'Filipino farmers first': Mayor Isko says smugglers' days are numbered

Published December 1, 2021, 2:06 PM

by Jaleen Ramos

Presidential aspirant and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Wednesday, Dec.1, said he would limit the importation of agricultural products to help improve the lives of Filipino farmers if he becomes the country’s next president and warned smugglers of imported produce that their days are numbered.


“Sa lahat ng mga maggu-gulay, bilang na ang araw ng mga smuggler ng gulay sa Pilipinas. Pagdating ng araw, yang mga imported na sibuyas at bawang na yan, imported na gulay, sisikip na ang mundo nila [smugglers]sa akin (To all vegetable vendors, the days of vegetable smugglers in the Philippines are numbered. When the day comes, those imported onions and garlic, imported vegetables, their world [smugglers] will be limited),” said Domagoso during a town hall meeting with vegetable farmers and transport groups members.

“Pag sinuwerte tayo, panatag na ang mga magsasaka dahil may kakampi na sila sa gobyerno (If we get lucky, the farmers will be safe because they already have an ally in the government),” he said, stressing it is much more expensive to transport low-priced vegetables to the market.

Domagoso also said he would limit the importation of rice “for purposes of reserve” and will be used only during times of calamities.

A clearer guideline on the strict importation of pork and chicken will also be issued, the Manila mayor said.

Through this, Domagoso said local hog and chicken raisers will be able to sell their products first before importation is made.

“Producer naman tayo. (We are producers) The entire Luzon is producing meat. Ang gagawin natin ay sa (What we will do) latter part ng taon mag-import as augmentation when there is a big demand for chicken and pork,” he said.

“We will do the same with the importation of rice. We should prioritize our farmers. Filipino farmers first,” he added.

While the presidential aspirant admits that he cannot resolve all the issues in the agricultural sector, Domagoso promised he will do his best to ease the plight of Filipino farmers in his own little way.

“When I declared my candidacy, may binitiwan akong salita: maibsan ko man lamang ang dinaranas ninyong hirap. Maaring di ko kayang resolbahin ng buo pero mapagaan man lamang ang katayuan ninyo (When I declared my candidacy, I gave my word: To at least ease your suffering. I may not be able to resolve it completely but at least it will improve your situation),” he said.

The Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer had earlier vowed to pursue the construction of cold storage facilities for agricultural products in all provinces and regions in the country as part of his food security policy.

Domagoso has also been repeatedly expressing his commitment to cut by 50 percent the taxes on fuel and electricity since the announcement of his presidential bid.