Presidential aspirant and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso promised to prioritize food production and food security if he wins in the May 2022 elections.
“Food is the number one threat to national security. If we cannot produce sufficient food, particularly rice, to feed our own people, then we put our country in the hands of other countries,” Domagoso said when asked by the media during the Ikaw Muna (IM) Pilipinas convention in Batangas on Friday, Oct. 15.
Domagoso vowed to protect local food producers, local chicken and hog raisers, against the “influx of imported pork and chicken courtesy of unscrupulous smugglers.”
“Lahat ng smugglers, bilang na panahon niyo. Pag natyambahan ko maging presidente, papanatag ang mga nasa bukid. May kakampi na sila sa gobyerno (To all the smugglers, your days are numbered when I got the chance to become the president. Farmers will be at ease because they will have an ally in the government),” he said.
“Hihigpitan po natin ang pagpasok ng baboy at manok sa Pilipinas. Producer naman tayo. The entire Luzon is producing meat. We should prioritize the food products of our own farmers and breeders of hog and chicken. If there is a need to augment our supply, then that’s the time we can import during the latter part of the year,” Domagoso added.
The local chief executive also plans to “review and institute” reforms in the importation of rice and other agricultural products in the country.
The Rice Tariffication Law resulted in an influx of more imported rice that is cheaper than locally produced rice.
Local farmers recently raised their concerns with the influx of imported carrots in the local markets.
“I am not against importation if there really is a need. But if there is no big demand, why do we need to import if we could locally supply our needs, or even import more than what we need?” Domagoso said.
He also plans to review and strengthen the government’s subsidy programs that provide farmers with the necessary subsidies.
He added, “more innovative technologies” will be introduced to the local farmers to boost their production and lessen their production costs.