Food security advocacy group Tugon Kabuhayan has made an appeal to Filipino consumers to patronize locally produced food during the Christmas season.
This, as the group anticipates a surge in consumption, especially this December as most employees will receive their 13th month pay and yearly bonuses, said Tugon Kabuhayan Convener Asis Perez said.
He noted that there are many native and locally available fruits like sinturis (mandarin orange), pineapple, and lanzones which can also be included in fruit baskets during New Year’s Eve.
“As the economy is gradually recovering, consumers can extend their support to local producers’ recovery by simply buying their products. Please include Pinoy products in your shopping list,” Perez appealed.
In a briefing hosted by Tugon Kabuhayan on Monday, Nikki Garcia, executive vice president of Vitarich Corporation, explained the advantages of buying locally produced chicken.
“Consumers are assured of its freshness and local products have less preservatives,” she said, adding that there has been more than enough chicken supply in the last four years, citing the private sector’s ability to scale up production to meet any increase in demand, especially for the coming holiday season.
“By buying local, you’re not only feeding your own family, but you’re actually feeding all families that help bring fresh chicken to our tables,” she added.
Fresh Options Chief Executive Officer Dr. Robert Lo, on the other hand, said that it is safer now to consume locally produced pork because it undergoes strict quality control done by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).
For the local bangus sector, Sarangani Bay Assistant Vice President for Sales Andrew Borbon said bangus exports are patronized by many Filipinos abroad.
“As we anticipate that consumption will increase this Christmas, especially since our economy is slowly re-opening, we encourage Filipinos to buy our local products,” he added.
For local fruits and vegetables, Sentrong Pamilihan (Sariaya) Administrator Carlo Cena shared that buying local fruits and vegetables will help a lot of farmers while consumers are assured of freshness.
Based in Sariaya, Quezon, Sentrong Pamilihan has almost 2,000 farmer members.
Cena said buying local supports not only local farmers but also the community as more jobs are created for porters, drivers and others in the supply chain.
“We call on consumers and institutional buyers to support local agricultural products as this will help farmers sustain their production,” he said.
Apart from local chicken, pork and vegetables, Tugon Kabuhayan also urged Filipinos to patronize premium local canned products and include them in gift baskets for the Christmas season.
“Our Spanish sardines are export quality. We have delicious wines made from native fruits like lipote,” Perez said.
“When we support local products, we contribute to the growth of domestic producers which can boost employment generation. Consumer spending targeted on local products will give renewed impetus to economic recovery from the pandemic,” he further said.