By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Re-electionist Senator Richard J. Gordon today called on the public and the private sectors to help break what he called a “cycle of disaster and poverty” that has been pulling back the agriculture sector for decades.
Gordon, who chairs the Senate government corporations and public enterprises, said the Filipino farmers are always at a disadvantage yearly due to factors beyond their control, such as natural disaster, smuggling, and unfair competition.
“We have to stop the cycle of disaster and poverty in agriculture. Every time there’s smuggling, na-impoverish iyung farmer, kinukumpetensiya siya sa garlic, kinukumpetensiya siya sa lahat ng produkto,” he said in a recent agriculture forum.
“Ang kailangan natin is to create an atmosphere upon which agriculture will be modernized by both public and private sectors, with private sector being allowed to do its business because it knows how to do business with the modicum of ‘yung talagang hindi naman nasisikil para makakuha ng tamang presyo ‘yung farmer at saka makuha nila yung produkto ng farmer na kikita din sila in the end,” he added.
Being one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, Filipino farmers are not spared from the average of 20 typhoons traversing through the country annually, which often spoil their months-long preparation for the harvest. (ai/mtvn)