Another time bomb ticking before us in this COVID-19 pandemic is our food supply. There is looming hunger as our agricultural system remains unsustainable, with its being export-oriented and import-dependent.
The narrative that people with critical opinions on the inept government’s response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic wishes the government to fail is utterly wrong, absurd, and narrow. No one wishes the government to fail for the simplest reason – no one in his/her rightful mind wishes to die.
The Corona Virus Disease 19 (Covid 19) can be considered as a litmus test for all of us. We witnessed how governments respond to such pandemic, and we as humans treat each other.
The past week was devastating as African Swine Fever (ASF) claimed the lives of pigs and livelihood of Davaoeño hog-raisers noting at least 3,000 hogs were culled to prevent further spread. Farmers along Calinan district and nearby communities were worried as backyard hog-raising is one of their sources of income.
The recent program of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) through its so-called Mindanao Organic Rice Council exposes the outright bankruptcy of this government in terms of Rice sufficiency.
2019 is a deadly year for Filipino farmers and catastrophic to Philippine agriculture. In a recent study by international advocacy group Pesticide Action Network-Asia Pacific (PAN-AP), Philippines ranked as the top country dangerous to land rights advocates especially farmers and Indigenous People.
Earlier this week, an online community page named “Lapu-Lapu” maliciously vilified me and our news site Davao Today as “fake news and NPA sympathizer”. Such accusation and vilification against me and Davao Today is purely baseless.
Earlier this week a senate hearing was conducted due to the plumetting prices of Palay (unhusked rice). During the aforesaid hearing, farmers and civil society organizations raised their concern that farmgate prices of palay dropped as low as P7 per kilo, leaving farmers in a disastrous position. Thus pointing out that price drop was caused by the influx of cheap imported rice as import restrictions were removed under Republic Act 11203 or infamously known as Rice Liberalization Law.
At the onset of the Duterte administration, I shared the optimism of my good friends along with millions fellow Filipinos for a substantial and genuine change especially in agricultural policies.
President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa complex earlier this week. Out of the more than nine thousand word speech of Duterte he only mentioned the word ‘agriculture’ once.