‘Food security’ and ‘food self-sufficiency’ as thematic banners of gov’t are waning

Published September 14, 2018, 12:05 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat



Elinando B. Cinco
Elinando B. Cinco

Those two morale-boasters of the administration’s food programs are failing to lift up the enthusiasm and stir the interest of the public.

It is said that those trumpet calls could not even show to a majority of the citizenry how sincere the government is in putting rice and fish on the dining table of Filipino people three times a day.

Indeed, many are skittish about how agencies of government concerned can attain their goals.

Why is this so?

It is because the government itself hides its inadequacy. It does not admit there such a thing as “rice shortage” or “fish scarcity.”

Its solution – more importation of the two main commodities consumed every day by Filipino families around the islands.

Faced by this shortage, visiting foreigners are always amazed.  “Aren’t you, guys, an agriculture country that is surrounded by oceans where marine products are in big abundance?”

Yes, but our shortfall needs immediate solutions. Going into sustainable agriculture and fishery production takes years! That, my friends, is our wry answer.

But seriously now.

The government’s failure to give more impetus to the  “food security and self-sufficiency in food” programs are not new. The current Duterte administration just inherited it.

We had it during the terms of Cory, Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo, and Aquino.They all promised to solve the nagging problem. It was an elusive undertaking. Not one of them was able to overrun it.

So what else is there to do but import rice and fish? This time make the importation in bigger quantities. So people won’t howl, “The markets are empty.”

Just make sure this time the rice is free from aphids and the round scud does not emit a smell from an earthy chemical!

Breaking news! As expected, the mess triggered some finger-pointing among concerned officials.  It happened in last Monday’s Senate hearing.

DA officials revealed the crisis would not have happened had the DBM not cut the former’s budget by P15 billion – from P15 billion to P7.4 billion.

What about the unfinished battle for “food security” and “self-sufficiency in food” campaigns?

Ah, leave those to the guys who will fight it out in 2022.