Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Criss- Crossing Battlegrounds

It drives me to create a cloud of doubt when I heard Sec. Arthur Yap condemning the fearless forecasts of peasant workers regarding the issue of rice shortage.

In this view, farmers, the land tillers themselves, shall become the first hand source of information. They are the tanks who strive hard to deliver a kilo of rice in every household. Whenever I take a look at the stand given by agriculture secretary, it makes me believe that his department suggests the other side of what is actually happening. The mere contradiction of the statements held by the thinks versus the tanks will only show the people that there’s no transparency at all and that this circumstance is prevented and protected by SOME CROCODILES to be publicly scrutinized, or to be kept secret.

Just to borrow the lines of a folk who I got to ask about his stand on the pressing rice concerns, he reiterated that Yap’s intelligence must not be corrupted, and in other words, not be tarnished by the power given to him or otherwise he is a candidate to be in the roster of other promising young crocodiles.

Farmers say that rice shortage is due to six major reasons:

  • The change of crop/livestock (let’s take for example, tobacco planters who gain more income than rice planters which is actually the case, creating a mutual feeling for unions to promote a different choice of crop)
  • Inadequate irrigation (since birth, this has always become an issue. Did you know that a kilo of rice grains needs to be supported by a liter of water in order to attain its harvesting state?)
  • Lack of fertilizers and agricultural machines
  • Change of agricultural areas to industrial ones
  • Inability to fight rice pests, etc.
  • Global Warming, of course underscores the change of climate, etc. (at least this issue is for a global worry)

Double Jeopardy. Yap, now taking this as an issue of tall order, shall inform the people what is the real condition of rice production in the Philippines and for a record, for the next years to come. In the news, rice rationing does exist, whether it in rural areas or not. Last month, a usual fifty NFA sacks would serve good for three consecutive days; today, that same amount is amassed only for three hours! To make things really aggravating, the so-called NFA Rice are smuggled and repacked together with low-quality variants, leaving the poor Filipinos with nothing but a completely betrayed meal.

Let us not dwell to that idea that his highlighted measures will drastically or completely change the current outfit of our agriculture sector, and that we will not experience rice shortage for the next years to come -- the Filipino people are tired of hearing another batch of conceived false optimism.

Carrying Capacity and Marginal Gains. The agriculture authorities informed that there has been an increase in rice production in the Philippines for the past two seasons – a good figure to take note; however, in contrary to that same alleged issue of adequacy, population continuously sets its ramp to a much booming number for that past three years! Mas marami kanin nga ang naihahain sa hapag, ngunit di hamak na mas madami naman ang kumakain. Samakatuwid, nanatiling salat ang produksyon ng bigas sa buong Pilipinas.

In reaction, fast food chains observe a venture of domino effect –- that is to cater ½ serving of rice in each plate. It has entailed panic buying, a normal response from average market consumers. On the other hand, some people simply behave like ants –- that is, buying and storing rice stocks in grand amounts, afterwards, selling these to the public in the event of price peaks, where there’s an absolute scarcity of resources.

As I see it, this has become a consequence of the Philippine’s city dream (or others ambition) to be developed in a speedy phase. The trade-off has created a big range of difference. Sacrificing the ideal balance between agriculture and industry (this includes technology), the government is so much winning its time to a fast-phased development.

The former rice-rich Philippines is now apparently gloomed with food shortage, a serious menace that should be considered by everyone. It makes me think, what happened to our rice bowl? Is it now just a coffee mug? An ash tray for tobacco? Or just a dwelling/breeding ground for another batch of crocodiles?

This is really an alarming crate as we are now dealing with the basic need of the people in order to survive. A real sustainable development* can be achieved by our country, something that can be described as having a balance between agriculture and industry.

Developing takes time and being patient goes with the same strand of learning what should be regarded or what steps should be considered relative to our own socio-political setting. Let’s not imitate Japan’s bullet train if there’s no enough fund to make it as a priority, or Singapore’s tiger claw for economics. Like many other things, development must be fitted with a nation’s landscape, so as to jive with the flow. We shall not be forced by risky factors that will promise us nothing.

I still dream of that development, but definitely, not like this.

In the first place, does development in the Philippines really exist?


Anonymous said...

Economic growth, according to the government, does exist. As for development, only the wealthy few experience this (who obviously don't need more of it). We can't blame the government for prioritizing economic growth over holistic development. After all, our chief administrator and executive is a neoclassical or neoliberal economist.

theporsche02 said...

Development, if it does exist, doesn't trickle down to the poor. There is a huge amount of roadblocks to encounter for us to know the prime reasons.

We can blame the government -- the Filipinos have exhibited an explicit choice. But the point is, can the Filipino people change the present issue by just doing so?

If the executive department shall be the one to reinforce measures and eventually resulted to this crate, there's development, but who benefits from it? The elites?

I guess, there's something wrong with that dress of economic planning, if that's the case.

noongmalapad said...

laruin mo yung nilagay ko sa blog ha! kahit 5mins lang. :)

Anonymous said...

It's totally wrong. Duh. Haha.

theporsche02 said...

precisely! it's not even a point of argument.

"...the government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations and promote the common good..." :)

theporsche02 said...

To noongmalapad:

sige, maglalaro ako!:)

Anonymous said...

Ui, may blog ka pala! Hehe. Daan ka naman sa blog ko.


Good post. Hehe. Important points were stressed. :)

theporsche02 said...

Ou meron! Salamat sa pagbisita!;D