Palace seeks food summit to curb prices of pork, rice

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 11 2021 05:07 PM

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Is another food summit necessary to curb the runaway prices of staples or could the government adopt a plan formulated in 2018 instead? 

The executive branch on Wednesday called for a food summit to address high pork prices due to the African swine fever, and a drop in palay farmgate prices. 

However, former Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said a 2018 summit attended by farmers, fishermen and agriculturists had tackled food security. 

"Just pull out the blue print stored in the Agriculture Department computers to save on time and money. What that National Food Security Master Plan needs is just the funding," he said on Facebook. 

Reacting to Piñol's remark, Palace spokesman Harry Roque said another food summit was necessary because the COVID-19 pandemic had been a "game changer." 

"Assuming na nagkaroon na po ng dating food summit, game changer po talaga itong pandemyang ito," Roque told reporters in an online briefing. 

(Assuming there was a previous food summit, this pandemic has been a game changer.)

"After COVID-19, kinakailangan panibagong strategy na tayo dahil ang COVID-19 changed completely ang ating pamumuhay," he added. 

(We need a new strategy because COVID-19 changed our life completely.)

The previous summit only covered Mindanao, said Roque. Piñol said the 2018 summit was "conducted in 4 Clusters—North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao." 

The agriculture department has yet to set a date for the new food summit.