Presidential aspirant and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Monday, Nov. 15 said he will allocate more resources to improve the country’s food security if he gets elected as president in the upcoming May 2022 elections.
Domagoso, along with his running mate Dr. Willie Ong and the Aksyon Demokratiko senatorial slate, attended the stakeholders’ meeting of the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) at the Mimaropa Regional Office in Naujan town in Oriental Mindoro.
In his speech, Domagoso bared his plan to establish policies that would cut the cost of food production, stressing the country should not just depend on other countries for food, especially in this time of pandemic.
“Food security is the number one threat to national security pero nakasalalay tayo sa bigas sa ibang bansa (but we depend on rice from other countries),” he said.
“The next government should refocus our resources to ensure food security in the country because we cannot have the same pandemic na aasa tayo na padadalhan tayo ng bigas (that we expect rice to be sent to us),” Domagoso stressed.
He emphasized the need to impose higher quality standards on crops to counter the negative effects of the international commitments on rice tariffication of the country.
“If you go and attend to the needs of your people, hindi ka malilito (you will not be confused). If we produce our own rice that is enough to buy our own rice at kung hindi tayo makakapalag sa WTO [World Trade Organization] in terms of quantitative [restrictions], babanatan naman natin sa qualitative. Doon tayo babawi (if we can’t meet the WTO in terms of quantitative, we will move to qualitative. We will make gains from there),” he said.
Domagoso also reiterated his earlier plan to separate the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources from the Department of Agriculture to help farmers and fishermen in the country to earn more.
“Para ang agriculture sa lupa, naka focus nalang sa lupa. Ang pagkain sa dagat nakafocus nalang sa dagat (So that agriculture will focus only on the land. And the BFAR will focus only on food derived from the sea),” he said.
The Manila mayor had earlier vowed that he would pursue the creation of more cold-storage facilities for agricultural towns and other key areas around the nation as part of his food security policy.