Bukidnon solon Zubiri laments importation, insists on giving DA proper budget
“Instead of importation, let’s focus on the root cause. Let’s give the Department of Agriculture a proper and sufficient budget so that they can function well and serve the people that are feeding us – our local farmers.”
This was the statement of Bukidnon 3rd District Congressman Manuel “Manoy” Zubiri during a recent joint meeting of the Committee on Agriculture and Food and Committee on Trade and Industry at the House of Representatives to discuss the insufficient supply of rice, chicken and pork in the country.
Zubiri lamented that “the end game is always importation.” He said that while there are mitigation measures such as Bantay ASF (African Swine Fever) and repopulation, what is still crucial is government subsidy.
“For as long as we don’t provide the right subsidy to our farmers, especially the poorest of the poor, this will be a never-ending process,” Zubiri emphasized.
The Bukidnon solon, who is said to be his political party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2022 elections, also said that while there were costs of production presented to them, everything was “still subjective.”
“It depends on the economies of scale. It depends on whether it’s a big scale or a small scale hog raiser,” he explained. Zubiri also shared that on the issue of ASF, testing kits weren’t released from the get-go and this resulted in many cases of ASF in Northern Mindanao.
“It seems that we always have reactive measures. We don’t have preventive or pro-active measures. We should change that. Let’s give the DA a proper and sufficient budget.”
“Food security is national security,” he said.
Before joining politics, Manoy Zubiri was a businessman.
- Photos courtesy of the Office of Congressman Manoy Zubiri