MANILA - President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., who is also heading the Department of Agriculture must act fast in addressing the looming food crisis to avert a possible "catastrophe", according to Senator Risa Hontiveros.
This is in reaction to an agricultural sector group's call for the President to declare a "state of emergency" or a "state of calamity" on agriculture.
Hontiveros said she will support any term that the government would opt to choose, if that would be necessary.
But what is more important she said, is the government’s immediate action on the problem.
"Ang mas importante ay tugunan ang babala ng ating mga ekonomista, ng ilang linggo na na mayroon nang food crisis sa ngayon. At kailangan nating umaksyon agad at sa tamang paraan para hindi ito maging food catastrophe. Marami na pong panukala na pending, na puwedeng gamitin ni Presidente at Agriculture Secretary para tugunan itong ating problema. Hindi lang ng presyo ng pagkain dahil sa presyo ng langis, pati nga yung suplay ng pagkain," Hontiveros said.
(What's more important is to address the warning by our economists, that we can have a food crisis in a few weeks. And we have to do something about it so it won't turn into a food catastrophe. There are already a lot of proposals that our President and Agriculture Secretary can use to address the problem. Not only the price of food because of oil prices, but also the supply of food.)
People in the countryside, specifically farmers, fishermen, indigent families and indigenous peoples, must be given food subsidy, Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros also raised concerns on the Pulse Asia survey result on the public's preference for the government to address inflation (57 percent); increasing the pay of workers (45 percent); reducing poverty (33 percent) and creating more jobs (29 percent).
"Yan (poverty) talaga ang pinakamalawak, pinakamatagal at pinakamalalim na problema natin. At ito ay isa sa pinaka-importanteng natitirang unfinished business sa People Power Revolution… Matutugunan lang talaga natin ang kahirapan...kailangan talaga yung paghahati-hati muli ng yaman ng resources. Ibig sabihin hindi lang oportunidad pero paghahati hati ng kapital, ng lupa, ng ibang productive forces," Hontiveros said.
(That's the biggest, worst problem we have. And this is one of the most important unfinished business from the People Power Revolution...If we can only solve poverty...We really need to reallocate resources...this means not only opportunity but to divide capital, land, other productive forces.)
And with just two weeks away from the 1st State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Marcos Jr., what she wants to hear from the President according to Hontiveros, are defined programs on how his administration will address the issue on skyrocketing prices of goods, petroleum, food supply, climate change, energy resources and health.