Lowering the price of rice to P20 per kilo would only cause unfavorable impacts to farmers, aspiring vice president Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said.
Pangilinan said this when sought for reaction over the proposal of presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to lower the price of rice to P20 if he wins the presidency during a press conference in Cagayan de Oro on Wednesday, May 4.
“Kino-compute ko, e, parang…di ko alam saan galing dahil pagkaganung 20 pesos, magkano na lang ang palay na bibilhin galing sa magsasaka—kakalahati, limang piso na lang siguro ang presyo ng palay, ganun ba ibig sabihin nun? Mas lalong kawawa yung ating mga magsasaka (I’m actually computing, I don’t know where it came from because if the price drops to P20, how much will farmers get from selling palay—it would only be P5, is that what it means? Farmers would suffer worse),” Pangilinan stressed.
The senator, who is an advocate for the agriculture and fisheries sectors, said that the goal should not be outrightly lowering the price of the staple. Instead, supporting local farmers should be the goal first in order to increase supply which would result in lower prices of basic goods, he said.
“Ang sa akin, dapat ang solusyon ay suportahan, hindi presyo ang pinag-uusapan dito. Suportahan ng mga programa ang magsasaka at mangingisda (For me, the solution should be support, we are not talking about the price here. Support programs for the farmers and fishers),” Pangilinan said.
“Bigyan sila ng access sa merkado (Give them access to markets), bigyan sila ng (give them) post-harvest facilities, bigyan sila ng (give them) cold storage, drying facilities, build their capacity and support them,” he added.
The aspiring vice president also warned the public that such promises are only appealing intended to attract voters, so they must be discerning in choosing who to vote for.
He said “it is easy to make promises” but “don’t believe it right away.”
“Baka kasi magandang pakinggan pero wag tayo basta basta magpapaniwala, baka kasi ang message niya e, para maengganyo ang taumbayan: uy bente pesos na lang, iboto natin siya. Medyo busisiin natin nang husto (Because it sounds good but let us not believe it easily, because it might be a message to attract the people: it would only cost P20, let’s vote for him. Let’s study it further),” Pangilinan said.
The lawmaker is the running mate of Vice President Leni Robredo.