Food Supply to Boost Stability

Article excerpt

Byline: Bernardino Ronquillo

Those aspiring to get elected as economic planners and policymakers as well as economic managers must consider more seriously this time the urgency of making the Philippines closer to self-sufficiency in food supply stretching the average wage earners shrinking peso income the cost of cereals like rice and corn and even fish and vegetables has become a matter of extreme urgency.

There is no valid reason why such hitherto low-priced fish like "galunggong" should cost as much as R70 instead of 7 centavos per kilo in the good old days and not even R7 before the Asian currency crisis six years ago. Nor should "Kangkong" be priced at R5 per small bundle against only 5 centavos not so long ago.

Vegetables and fruits can be grown locally virtually the whole year round, the Philippines being a tropical country where the sun shines almost everyday and water is available all-year round except when El Nino comes around.

And in an archipelago with over 7,000 islands and islets, the Philippines is blessed with rich fishing grounds. For a small archipelago, it has a coast longer than the United States, and this obviously the reason why under normal times, fish here is more affordable than it is in the US while meat is lower priced in the U. …