After former Agriculture and now Bohol Congressman Arthur Yap refuted P-Noy’s statement regarding the country’s over importation of rice in the last three years, more and more evidence are coming out everyday, to prove that indeed, we are swimming in rice. While 4 million Filipinos barely eat 3 times a day, we see bugs feasting in rice at various NFA warehouses.
Despite, the glut in the supply of rice, which have been rotting in their warehouses since 2008, NFA under the Arroyo administration issued a permit to PITC to import some more 20,000 metric tons of rice estimated at P100 million in late April or May this year. This is on top of the millions of metric tons of rice already in stock. As a result, we have to request our Vietnamese supplier to delay delivery of these imported rice.
In total estimates, NFA imported rice 7 times more than what our country actually needs, acquiring a total accumulated debts of PHP177B. Plus the unaccounted inflow of imported smuggled rice. Im afraid, our farmers will soon face difficulty in selling their own rice due to oversupply. It can possibly result to diverting their rice farmlands to crop products, and worse convert their farms into residential and/or industrial businesses which may result to shortage in the future, thus making us dependent to rice importation forever.
This is not food security for the Filipino people, but rather for the Vietnamese, whom we enrich by buying their products.
The new administration must do something about this, before its too late and the damage done, becomes too impossible to repair. While a long term food security plan needs to be deviced now, the Noy-noy administration should decide first on what to do with the millions of bags of rice rotting in their possession. The government should make a sound plan on how to wisely discard the overwhelming supply of these staple white grains that we have today.Whether to give it for free? Or sell it at a losing price, it is important that they should address this situation.
After all, letting rice rot, while 4 million Filipinos starve, is in itself a crime.