TALAVERA, Nueva Ecija—Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Wednesday said curbing smuggling in the agriculture sector would be among his priorities should he win the presidency.
Smuggling needs to be curbed for the local farming industry to flourish so that vegetables can become more affordable, Domagoso told some 2,000 vegetable farmers here.
“Sa lahat ng mga mag-gugulay, bilang na ang araw ng mga smuggler ng gulay sa Pilipinas,” he said.
(To all vegetable farmers, know that the days of vegetable smugglers in the Philippines are numbered.)
“ ’Yang mga imported na sibuyas at bawang na ’yan, imported na gulay, sisikip na ang mundo nila (smugglers) sa akin,” he said.
(The world of those smuggling onions, garlic and other vegetables will become smaller because of me.)
Over the years authorities have been seizing smuggled agricultural products in various ports in the Philippines.
In previous years, Congress have looked into the racket of smuggling onions and garlic in the country, but the illegal imports continued to flood the market, leaving local farmers with lower profit.
“ ’Pag sinuwerte tayo, panatag na ang mga magsasaka dahil may kakampi na sila sa gobyerno," the Manila Mayor said.
(If we are lucky, farmers can be at ease because I am their ally.)
Domagoso said his other campaign promises, such as halving the tax on oil and electricity, would also help pull down vegetable prices in the country.
“Magkakaroon ng oportunidad na lumaki ang kita ng mga maggugulay at patuloy silang lalago at marami silang maiproproduce,” he said.
(Vegetable farmers will have an opportunity to increase their income so that they can continue to grow and increase their production.)
“Kapag madami silang napro-produce, mababawasan na ’yung ating konsumo ng kanin dahil sa mayroon tayong mga ulam.”
(If they can produce a lot, we can reduce our rice consumption because we can afford to eat more viands.)
Domagoso has been pushing to lessen the rice consumption in the Philippines to stabilize supply of the staple grain and to reduce risks for diabetes.
The Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer has also promised to impose a 2- to 3-year moratorium on the conversion of agricultural lands in the country.