Crying gov’t neglect, various groups threaten to stage ‘food holiday’
MANILA, Philippines – Various groups are planning to stage a “food holiday” in the future, the chairman-elect of the Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines hinted as he voiced his anger at the leadership of Agriculture Secretary William Dar.
Nicanor Briones on Wednesday raged against the government, accusing it of neglecting the hog sector, even punishing it through imports, tariffs, and price caps despite the industry’s suffering from the African Swine Fever outbreak.
He hinted at a possible three-day or five-day “food holiday” involving various groups under the agricultural sector, which he did not name specifically, but said they included farmers, fishermen, chicken owners, and vegetable owners.
“Sa aming isang pagpupulong ay pumasok na idea na kung talagang hindi tayo papansinin sa ating mga hinihiling at ating sektor, ay nagkaroon po ng idea an sa halip na pig holiday lang, magkakaplano na tinatawag na food holiday,” he said.
(In our meeting, we proposed that if we’re neglected much more, we ought to have a food holiday, instead of just a pig holiday.)
“Siguro naman three or five days na ano lang kung sakali, pero wala pang final an usapan,” he said.
(I guess maybe three or five days, but it hasn’t been finalized.)
According to Briones, he is aware of the concerns consumers would have concerning the plan and said the food holiday would be taken as a drastic measure if farmers do not get their way. That’s why he said they need to be prioritized.
“’Yan naman ay mangyayari lamang kung nakikita namin talagang wala na sa kanilang isipan ang ating magsasaka,” he said. “Ang dapat nilang asikasuhin itong rating farmers, dapat maunlad na magsasakan kailangan natin yan para sa ating sapat an pagkain.”
(This will only happen if farmers start losing their minds. They need to prioritize farmers, and they should be prosperous. Otherwise, they will not be able to produce food.)
“Wala pang final na usapan [on food holiday],” he stressed. “Ngayon lang nagkaroon ng ganitong pagkakaisa ang ating farmers dahil sa kawalan ng malasakit ng rating Department of Agriculture sa pamumuno ni Secretary Dar.”
(There is no final discussion [on the food holiday]. Farmers are just becoming more united because of the lack of concern from the Department of Agriculture under Secretary Dar.)
Along with a food holiday, Briones said the groups plan to boycott the DA’s 2021 National Food Security Summit on May 18 and 19, 2021.
He said that they plan to convene their own summit and present their findings to Congress, the Senate, and Malacañang.
“Boboycott namin at ang resulta ng aming food summit for congress i-susubmit namin sa Kongreso, sa Senado at sa Malacañang kung gusto nilang tignan ang aming gustong mangyayari para sa pagkakaroon ng sapat na pagkain ng mamamayang Pilipino.”
(We’re boycotting it, and we will submit the results of our food summit to Congress and Malacañang if they want to see our plans.)
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