THE administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is concentrating on major palay-producing areas with the goal of maximizing their production levels to attain its target of having P20 per kilo of rice, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said on Tuesday.
In an interview by Pinky Webb on CNN Philippines, Bersamin said that the Marcos administration is doing everything to lower the price of rice and other commodities.
“Iyong 20 peso per kilo, as we started out saying, was an aspiration. Ibig sabihin noon, it may not be soon, it may be later… maaabutan din natin iyan,” Bersamin said.
“But you know, factors of production, hindi tayo masyadong ano dahil marami ng areas na hindi na nagpu-produce ng rice…But those areas that are producing rice, we try to maximize iyong production levels nila. That’s another thing that we are doing now in order to reach that aspiration.”
According to Bersamin, reaching that rice price point is not an entirely unrealistic ambition or aspiration, although there are several factors that might impact government initiatives.
Those factors include weather conditions, climate change, and the looming El Niño phenomenon that may affect agricultural production, he said.
“Pero ginagawa ng gobyerno lalo na iyong Department of Agriculture na experts ay gamitin ito na advantage din kasi there are species of rice that thrive in moderate, even during moderate El Niño—prediction of moderate El Niño occurrences,” Bersamin said.
“Gumagawa ng paraan ang Department of Agriculture upang hindi masyadong mahirap ang epekto sa rice production.”
Asked if the administration has a timetable in attaining that goal, the Palace official did not give a timeline, but expressed confidence that it may soon be realized.
“Hindi ko naman sinasabing matagal na ma-attain iyan; hindi ko rin sinasabing madaling ma-attain iyan. But I am saying that I am very confident that for as long as government is doing things right to attain these goals, that aspiration may soon be realized. Bakit hindi?” Bersamin said. PCO