Isko Moreno promises to protect Filipino farmers, ensure PH food security
La Union, Philippines — Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno ” Domagoso on Thursday promised to provide support and protection to Filipino farmers if elected president.
Campaigning in La Union province, Moreno asserted that his administration will work to uplift the lives of farmers from the country’s so-called food basket and ensure food on the table of every Filipino family.
“Isa sa mga nakakalungkot na nangyayari sa Northern Luzon and Central Luzon is ‘yung mga pananim ng gulay niyo is unti-unting nawawala. Tignan mo ‘yung bawang, iba na, at marami ng nawawala dala ng importation nung mga Taiwan garlic at garlic sa China,” he pointed out during a media interview at the provincial capitol building in San Fernando City, following a courtesy call with Gov. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III.
Team Isko has embarked on a motorcade around the Ilocos Region.
“Central Luzon, umiiiyak ngayon ang ating magsisibuyas, dahil baha ang imported na sibuyas, dahil pinayagan natin,” he also said.
“Ngayon ‘yung bigas, ‘di pa tumataas pero tataas, pero ‘yung presyo ng palay, hindi tumataas. So, itong lugar na ito, Northern Luzon and Central Luzon, which is the food basket ng ating bansa, is greatly affected of negligence on the part of agencies of government by not protecting their crops, particularly sa panahon ng pag-ani,” the Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer added.
The 47-year-old presidential candidate said that given the chance, among the first policies he would institute to protect farmers is to issue clear guidelines on the strict importation of agricultural products to make sure that local producers can sell their products first before importation is made; and clamp down on smuggling of agriculture products to protect the interests of local producers.
“In our case, someday, basta ‘yang mga smuggler, ‘yung mga importer na ‘yan, sasawatain ko as a matter of protection to our farmers. Importation should be buffer, not the main reason for us to feed our people,” Moreno stressed.
Moreover, he vowed that his administration will see to it that the cost of agricultural production will be brought down to ensure farmers of their income.
“Second, I will see to it, and I will make sure, in my own little way, all the powers bilang isang pangulo ng ating bansa, na ma-monitor, maayos ang presyo ng abono. Kaya mapapansin mo ngayon, maraming magsasaka ang hindi makapagtanim. Ang mura ng bi ng palay, di ba? Ang mahal ng abono. So lumalabas abonado talaga sila,” he said.
To further ensure farmers of their income, Moreno said he will also buy the surplus produce of farmers at the right price.
“So, these are the things, in my own little way, mabigyan ako ng pagkakataon, taongbayan. We will arrest and address this bad situation of neglect,” he said.
Agriculture is one of the main pillars of Moreno’s 10-point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda, which will be his administration’s guiding principles to accelerate human and economic growth if elected president.
Moreno aims to raise the income of farmers to the level of average Filipino workers by also providing them with risk-free capitals; building more irrigation systems while improving the efficiency of existing ones; and establishing the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, among others.
Likewise, the government will lead the effort for farmers to adopt new technologies to increase their productivity and establish post-harvest facilities and cold storage facilities across the country and in major production areas, Moreno said.
It will also invest in strengthening agriculture schools and institutions, including its teachers and professors, and ensure that the product of these institutions will directly benefit Filipino farmers, he said.
Moreno took the opportunity to also thank Governor Ortega, as well as the mayors, for welcoming Team Isko and giving them the opportunity to campaign in the province.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa ating governor, at mga mayors dito sa probinsya, sa mainit na pagtanggap sa amin.. na makaikot kami in as many places as possible, makakamay kami, makakaway kami, abutin namin sila,” he said.
Even if Region I is a known bailiwick of a rival, Moreno said he will strive hard to visit as many towns of the province as possible, and other provinces of the region in due time, to give Ilocanos an “alternative candidate.”
“Ang sabi nga nila, ang bulalo man, kahit anong tigas, basta’t lagi mong babagaan, lalambot din ito. ‘Yun ang natutunan ko sa buhay sa dami ng hirap na dinanas ko, na magpursige ka sa buhay. Kung gusto mong may makamit ka, pagsikapan mo. We will try to be in places like in Northern Luzon and Southern Luzon, wherein may kandidato rin naman silang presidente sa mga lugar na yon. And we will also be in Mindanao after this,” he said.
“Tsaka masaya na akong makakuha ng konting boto sa lugar na ito. Bawat boto mahalaga. Sana sa mga Ilocano sa Northern Luzon, pahingi naman po ng inyong konting boto. Kahit kaunti, pandagdag din,” Moreno said.
And he expressed hope that his perseverance to reach out to every Filipino to preach his clear platforms and programs that are based on real achievements will gradually win the support of the people as the campaign goes on.
“Sana mapusuan nila ako, katulad ng hinihilingi ko sa mga kababayan natin dito. Kaya nagsisikap naman ako talaga. It’s been 10 days, hindi pa kami natigil, awa ng Diyos. Masakit sa katawan, pero sabi nga, ang nagsisikap, may aanihin. Sana anihin ko yung puso at damdamin at paniwala ng bawat Pilipino,” said Moreno, who once upon a time worked as a garbage collector before becoming an actor then a Manila City councilor at age 23, Manila City vice mayor at age 32 and Manila City mayor at age 44.
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