Food Production First

Agri is key
By Jaime Pilapil

If I were President of this country, I will just concentrate on basic things namely, food production, health services, education, infrastructure, energy and culture.
So far, the only presidential candidate I heard giving importance to all of these is Gibo Teodoro, the Lakas Kampi CMD standard bearer. Surprisingly, he is the youngest candidate and yet he has a wide and deep understanding of the ills of this archipelago.
While Noynoy Aquino (Liberal Pary) and Manny Villar (Nacionalista Party) are busy throwing dirt against each other, Gibo goes around explaining his plans and program of government. He is aware that his survey rating is lower than Aquino and Villar, but he is assured that his party leaders do their share of promoting him.
According to a confidential survey, Gibo is slowly and steadily increasing his popularity. Latest numbers say it is already 24, 21 and 19 distributed to Noynoy, Villar and Gibo respectively.
If these numbers will be validated, then Gibo is within striking distance and soon, in less than two months, he will overtake Manny first then Noynoy eventually.
Party officials believe that provincial sorties will ultimately make Gibo popular.
Gibo indeed is lucky because reelectionist Bong Revilla is the senatorial frontrunner. Another party mate and reelectionist Lito Lapid is chasing Bong closely. While Bong’s smile and hand wave is enough to elicit wild applause from the audience during rallies, Gibo’s piercing looks and occasional smiles can grab your attention as he projects competence aside from a firm personality.
During Tuesday night’s proclamation rally at Ynares Center in Antipolo City, Gibo, in straight forward manner, laid down his vision of a Philippine farmer. “I want every farmer to be proud of his job. I want every farm be converted into a business endeavor. Allow him to make not just a living but wealth so that his sons and daughters can inherit it and be proud also of being farmers.”
This quote did not land space in Wednesday papers and even Tuesday evening news in televisions and radios.
If my memory has not failed me, there was a time during Erap Estrada’s abbreviated Malacanang stint that he once appointed himself Secretary of the Department of Agriculture. Then it was turned over to Edong Angara.
They know that the only key to development is through agriculture. History tells that United States, Japan, China, South Korea and European countries became super powers because they can feed their citizens and they can export food.
Even Middle East countries, with their vast oil empires, converted their deserts into farms. They know that producing enough food is like a proclamation of independence.
In Israel, a country always facing threats of war, agricultural products are exported to Europe and even countries inimical to their Jewish faith buy their farm outputs.
History tells us that early centers of civilization were agricultural areas. With the introduction of barter and eventually the use of money, markets became the center of commerce as agricultural products were exchanged in these sites.
Farmers in each area in the country encounter difficulties differently. What prevents them from producing more is different in each area. It’s a complex problem and solutions are not handily available. It will take time to solve the problem. To have a President who will address the problems of our farmers will propel our country to agriculture-based development.
While hundreds are being employed in call centers, a blooming agriculture will annihilate the unemployment problem itself. Farm products will eventually give birth to manufacturing companies.
When President Arroyo first ran for Senate, her posters were that of a female farmer harvesting palays. She was loved for that by the masses. When Estrada first ran for President, he vowed to uplift the conditions of the farmer and he was loved by the masses.
Is my message to Gibo obvious?
Email your reactions to pilapil.jim@gmail.com -30-

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