Rizal 2nd District Rep. Fidel Nograles on Thursday, Oct. 4 urged the Department of Agriculture (DA) to go all out in helping farmers who have to absorb the double whammy of twin floods – typhoon Maring and unabated smuggling of vegetables from China.
Nograles said local farmers are in dire economic situation as they also continue to suffer from the harsh effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Just a month ago, our farmers are coping with the proliferation of smuggled vegetables from China. Now, their crops were damaged if not completely destroyed by the typhoon. In my opinion, it is just right for us to allocate funds to aid them in rising up from this situation,” Nograles said.
Nograles also reminded that the disaster will not also be felt by consumers as vegetable prices increase after typhoons ravage the Northern part of country.
“We need to act fast. We hope that the DA will be able to police the abuse being done by some traders during times such as now,” he added.
The Rizal solon explained that some middle men are known to abuse the situation by buying crops at very low prices from farmers while selling these vegetables for high rates due to the low supply.
“We need to be able to end this unacceptable practice by cracking down on abusive traders. It is high time that we show farmers how important they are and how crucial their role will be in the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery,” Nograles said.
A Harvard-trained lawyer, Nograles also noted that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) cited that agriculture in Northern Luzon will be a key driver in rebuilding the economy disrupted by COVID-19. BSP, in an online forum last week, also encouraged banks to offer low-interest loans to the agricultural sector.
“No less than our top economic researchers in the BSP saw the potential in agriculture. Let us make swift Philippine economic recovery happen by helping Philippine agriculture, typhoon or no typhoon,” Nograles stated.