Gabriela: No more extra rice for the Philippines; poor

“The current rice crisis suffered by the Filipino people is the result of the Arroyo government’s adherence to globalization policies of the country’s agriculture sector. Clearly, we are now experiencing rice crisis because of the government’s failure to address the issues of food security,” she added.

Women and children are directly confronted by the face of poverty. Our needs are long pushed aside by a government that lacks concern on the welfare of its people. Mrs. Arroyo have long abandoned its people in the brink of starvation.  “We condemn the government for not taking true action in the midst of this crisis, and for passing the burden to the Filipino public,” Gambong said.

The campaign by Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap to reduce the rice intake to “half rice” is insensible that for now ordinary Filipino household cannot afford to buy a P28/kilo of NFA rice. Sec. Yap’s call to conserve rice is clearly a tactic to obscure government incompetence around rice production and distribution.

Rice being a basic commodity must be secured to safeguard our subsistence. We are aggrieved by the fact that rice has become a political commodity thus putting the survival of every Filipino in the hands of gluttonous politicians who will set aside public interest to their personal gains.

We cannot afford to see our children suffer from impoverishment while the country’s privileged are living in luxury. More and more women and children are adding up to the statistics for the poor and marginalized. Made even worse by the crisis that now we don’t have the liberty to ask for, “EXTRA RICE!”

Now, with greater emphasis, the Arroyo government cannot deny the fact that this crisis was brought about by its incapacity to secure every Filipino women and children’s welfare. Moreover, that the current scenario is being taken advantage of rice traders by hoarding and selling rice at higher costs not made accessible to the general public. Again, the government also failed to indict these rice traders for obviously making profit out of every Filipino’s scarcity.

Gambong further added, “We stand in protest to this evident abandonment of the Arroyo government in providing food security for the people. We call for mass action in dissent to this government’s evident neglect of the people. Mrs. Arroyo, lead us not into starvation!”