Cynthia Villar hits PH importation habit: 'Bobo ba tayo...?' | Inquirer News

Cynthia Villar hits PH importation habit: ‘Bobo ba tayo…?’

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 02:03 PM October 17, 2023

Cynthia Villar hits the Philippine government's fondness for importation

WHY DON’T WE PRODUCE OUR OWN?  Senator Cynthia A. Villar reiterates her advocacy for the use of organic fertilizer during the continuation of the Finance Subcommittee B hearing on the proposed P167.458 billion budget of the Department of Agriculture and its attached agencies on Tuesday, October 17, 2023. Villar, the committee chairperson on agriculture, food, and agrarian reform, opposed the P10 billion allocation for importing chemical fertilizer, citing its harmful effects on the soil, which is already 38 percent degraded. She said the government should instead invest in composting machines that can produce fertilizer from kitchen and garden wastes rather than resort to importation.  (Joseph B. Vidal/ Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Cynthia Villar again lambasted the country’s strong or habitual liking for importation and questioned the P10 billion budget for imported chemical fertilizer.

“Aba eh 10 billion, nasa-shock ako sa P10 billion para sa importation ng fertilizer? Nasa-shock ako doon,”   Villar said during Tuesday’s hearing on the proposed P167.5-billion budget of the Department of Agriculture for 2024.


(Well, 10 billion, I’m in shock at P10 billion for the importation of fertilizer? I was in shock there.)


The senator then questioned the government’s policy on importation, which she said should only be a temporary solution to any supply shortage.

The permanent solution,  she stressed, is for the country to produce its own.

READ: Department of ‘Importation’? Cynthia Villar flags DA’s importation policy anew

“Bakit tayo mag-i-import? Ba’t hindi natin bilhin ‘yung ating sarili para nabibigyan natin ng trabaho ‘yung kapwa natin Pilipino na naghihirap?” Villar  said.

(Why should we import? Why don’t we buy our own to give jobs to our fellow Filipinos who are suffering?)

“Alam mo nung araw tayo pinakasikat pero ngayon talong-talo na tayo. ‘Yung mga articles na [nababasa] ko talo na tayo ng Vietnam, talo na tayo ng Thailand, talo na tayo ng Indonesia.”


(You know, back in the day, we were the most popular, but now we are losing. ‘The articles I [read] say that we have lost to Vietnam, we have lost to Thailand, we have lost to Indonesia.)

“Bakit? Bobo ba tayo na tatalunin tayo ng lahat, ha? O mahilig lang tayo mag-import kaya hindi natin nade-develop ‘yung ating sarili,” she added.

(Why? Are we stupid that everyone will beat us, huh? Or we just love to import. That’s why we can’t develop ourselves.)

READ: Senators scold agri officials over unspent, misspent funds

Instead of spending P10 billion on imported chemical fertilizer, Villar urged the government to invest in composting machines that produce fertilizer from kitchen and garden waste.

The senator pointed out that since 2002, she has been spending her own money to buy composting machines every year for Las Pinas City.

To this date, she said, the city has 89 composting machines that can produce  89 tons of organic fertilizers every month.

“And then pinamimigay ko po ‘yan sa mga farmer saka urban gardeners na binibigyan ko sila ng libreng  seeds kasama nyan para magtanim sila ng gulay para ‘pag wala sila trabaho hindi sila magutom at hindi sila magnakaw,”  Villar said.

(And then I give that to the farmers and urban gardeners that I give them free seeds with it so that they can plant vegetables so that when they don’t have a job, they don’t go hungry and don’t steal.)

READ: P1.1-B fund for composting program still unused, says DA exec, shocking Villar and Marcos

“Kasi nung nagkaroon ng COVID eh ninanakawan pati ‘yung aking mga composting machine, ninanakaw nung aking mga kapitbahay dahil nawalan siguro ng trabaho walang makain kaya binibigyan ko sila vegetables seeds at saka organic fertilizer para magtanim sila at nang hindi sila magnakaw,” she also said.

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(Because when there was COVID, even my composting machines were stolen. My neighbors were stealing them because they probably lost their jobs and had nothing to eat, so I gave them vegetable seeds and organic fertilizer so they could plant and wouldn’t steal anymore.)

TAGS: Agriculture, Department of Agriculture, Fertilizers, importation, Villar

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