Marcos to halt food importation, vows to increase production of rice and corn

·2 min read
President Ferdinand
FILE - President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. gestures during a press conference at his headquarters in Mandaluyong, Philippines on June 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, File)

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said that he’s more interested in increasing the production of rice and corn rather than importing more in order to stabilize the prices of food, he said during a news briefing after the first Cabinet meeting.

Marcos said that for the longest time, importation is used to stabilize the prices of food, but he said that if his government chooses to import goods, it will not be because of this.

“Importation has been used as a price stabilization measure. I don’t think that this is the primary reason for the importation that we’ll do now,” he said.

“As a matter of fact, we are going to try … I think we will do it in the Department of Agriculture to boost production of rice and corn in the coming two quarters. Hanggang Pasko until after Christmas,” Marcos, who is also the Agriculture chief, added.

Marcos also said that the production of corn is very important today given that the country’s supply of feeds was cut short due to problems and restrictions in importation. If the country increases its production of corn, then it may be enough for the needs of local animal raisers.

“Corn especially became very important because the feed-weed that we were importing, na-cut off ang supply nation (our supply got cut off), so we have to substitute it with corn,” Marcos said. “This season, the corn growers were able to come together and provide sufficient feed for the broiler production.”

“[W]e still have to increase production of corn to ensure that [the country has] supply because there’s corn for food, and there’s corn for feed. So if we are able to increase production sufficiently, then hopefully the importations [will stop],” Marcos added.

Meanwhile, the Marcos administration is looking at importing materials to ensure that the country has enough supply amidst growing concerns on the global food market. He said that if the country doesn’t act now, it would be disadvantageous to us.

“So if we are able to increase production sufficiently, then hopefully the importations, it’s not really an import-substitution measure. It is a strategic food supply measure,” he said.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.

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