Determined to put an end to rice smugglers and hoarders in the Philippines, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. ordered on Tuesday all officials, authorities, and government agencies to strictly implement policies and laws to address rice issues in the country.
In his speech during the distribution of rice at the San Andres Sports Complex in Manila, President Marcos said hoarders, smugglers, and rice manipulators are the actual rice “weevils” that destroy the ecological balance of rice supply and demand.
“Ang bukbok na lubos na sumisira sa balanse ng supply at presyo ng bigas sa merkado [ay] ang hoarding at saka ang smuggling, at price manipulation na ginagawa ng mapagsamantalang mga negosyante,” the President said.
The chief executive gave his assurance that smugglers, hoarders and price manipulators have no space in the “New Philippines” campaign of the administration as he emphasized that the government will relentlessly run after them to ensure an affordable staple food for the Filipino people.
“Sa Bagong Pilipinas, hindi na po ito puwede. Kaya inaatasan ko ang lahat ng mga opisyal, otoridad, at mga ahensya na higpitan nang husto ang pagpapatupad ng mga polisiya at batas hinggil sa isyu ng bigas,” Marcos said.
The President reiterated that there is enough rice supply in the country.
“Gaya nang sabi ko noong namahagi tayo ng bigas sa Camarines Sur noong isang araw po: sapat ang supply ng bigas dito sa Pilipinas. Ang kailangan lamang po ay ang maayos na pamamahala ng produksyon at bentahan nito. Sa katunayan, mas malaki ang ani natin noong second quarter ngayong taon kaysa sa second quarter ng nakalipas na taon,” Marcos said.
The President acknowledged that this will not be an easy battle for the government as the smugglers, hoarders, and price manipulators have been operating for so long, but stressed that the administration is determined to put an end to their illegal operation.
The chief executive, also the concurrent Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), also challenged the Filipino people to join with the government in the battle for victory against rice in the Philippines.
“Ang hamon ko sa inyo, mga kapwa Pilipino: Magtulungan po tayo upang maisaayos ang ating agrikultura at maisakatuparan ang pangarap natin ng ‘Bagong Pilipinas’ – kung saan matatag, maginhawa at panatag ang buhay ng bawat Pilipino,” President Marcos said.
“Sa ating pagkakaisa, tiyak na anumang hamon ay kakayanin at anumang pangarap ay matutupad, basta’t para sa sambayanang Pilipino at para sa Pilipino,” he added.
President Marcos led on Tuesday the distribution of rice to 1,000 beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), with each beneficiary receiving 25 kilograms of rice.
The 1,000 sacks of rice distributed were part of the 42,180 sacks of rice seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in an operation in Zamboanga City, that were eventually donated to the DSWD, after the importers failed to prove the legality of its importation.
President Marcos earlier distributed rice to 4Ps beneficiaries in Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay; Iriga City, Camarines Sur; and General Trias, Cavite.
Citing the recent rice distribution in the country, President Marcos reiterated that this will send a strong warning to rice smugglers, hoarders, and price manipulators that the government will not stop running after them.
“Bilang Pangulo at Kalihim ng Kagawaran ng Agrikultura, patuloy po tayong gumagawa ng mga kongkretong solusyon upang matugunan ang mga problemang kinakaharap ng sektor ng agrikultura,” President Marcos said.
The President also highlighted that the “Kadiwa ng Pangulo” is one of the government’s interventions to address the current state of the agricultural sector in the Philippines including the continued modernization of farming in the country. | PND
Photo Courtesy by PNA