Cagayan solon seeks return of farm subsidies

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UNA SENATORIAL candidate Jack Enrile answers questions in an ambush interview by reporters during the 10th Liga ng Mga Barangay Congress in Clark. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CLARK FREEPORT—To ensure “food sufficiency and sovereignty,” the Philippine government should restore subsidies for the agriculture sector even if this runs counter to provisions of the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade (GATT) concurred in 1996 under the World Trade Organization, United Nationalist Alliance senatorial candidate Rep. Jack Enrile said here on Friday.

“The truth is, those who impose globalization on us do not abide by it because they subsidize the agricultural sector,” he said in a press conference here.

He repeated the need to establish food sufficiency and sovereignty through food requirement plans at the national, provincial, city, town and barangay levels when he talked before the Liga ng mga Barangay of Pangasinan in a conference here also on Friday.

Enrile said the removal of subsidies for seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation has increased production costs, making Filipino farmers not competitive.

“The competition is not fair,” he said.

He said House Bill No. 4626, also known as Food for Filipinos First, which he filed in May 2011, intends to make the agriculture sector a key mover in providing food for the poor and middle classes.

This measure, he said, does not aim to replace the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act, although many components of these are “unfunded.”

In support of this, Enrile said the National Food Authority (NFA) should concentrate on trading and transfer its regulatory functions to the Department of Agriculture.

“The NFA has not done its mandate,” he said, adding that the agency should be setting floor prices at rates profitable for grain producers.

He said rice importation plus the influx of foreign grains bury farmers further in debt. Asked by the Inquirer, Enrile confirmed he is not engaged in farming but said he has a handle on the real situation because of self-study, researches, exposures and interactions with farmers and fishermen.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Smuggling for food sufficiency.

  • Ravens727

    Enrile, puede bang abunohan mo na lang ang budget para mabawasan naman konti yang kinurakot mo…….wala ka nang ginawa kundi humingi ng tulong sa gobyerno tapos kukurakuting niyo naman…..you are using the people as a tool to perpetrate your ill intentions to corrupt government funds…..mahiya ka….

    • blowcoldblowhot

      At a circus in a nearby
      town I saw you stood looking at the camels. Then you picked up a straw, placed
      it on the camel’s back and waited. After a while you mutters “wrong
      straw” and walks away. Got it?

  • kismaytami

    Kelangan ng bagong pagkakakitaan. Buking na kasi ang smuggling sa Port Irene.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Modernize the irrigation system. how can an ordinary Pinoy farmer afford a modern farm equipments when he has only an hectare to farm? Train farmers about organic farming, less fertilizer, less insecticides. Subsidies are again roots of corruptions. Another fertilizer scam.

  • AlexanderAmproz

    How many thousands stollen hectares owns by the Enrile ?

    How much subsidies will go for the “poor” haciendero’s,

    it smell sulfite, Enrile favorit perfume.

    • blowcoldblowhot

      A copy of House Bill No. 4626 can be found in the web site of congress. Read the merits and demerits of the bill, then give your comments or recommendations. Going personal against the person is not the right way in a democratic country.

      • AlexanderAmproz

        Sorry, I can’t trust Trapos, Enrile family more than any others.

        Even a donkey didn’t bump twice the same stone, he has memory !

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