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Senate knows people face hunger: Hontiveros

SENATOR Risa Hontiveros said that in a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, they knew that aside from the problem of Covid-19, the people are facing hunger due to the rising prices of commodities.

In an interview with DYRC Aksyon Radyo Cebu, Hontiveros said the Filipinos are now experiencing food crisis because of the skyrocketing prices of daily needs.

She said that aside from the so-called “Ayuda” and band-aid solution, the government must have a longterm food production program.

“We should not only focus on giving financial assistance to the consumers but also to help the market vendors, livestock producers, farmers and fisherfolks among others. They must be assisted in recovering economically. All the Filipinos are now suffering from the high prices of commodities,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said that increasing food production is one way to survive in this Covid-19 pandemic.

“If our food supply is abundant, because the government is supporting the food producers down to the market vendors, and the consumers who will have jobs, we can resolve the food crisis,” Hontiveros said.

She said that in the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, several questions were heard like: Is the current high prices of commodities based on supply and demand, cartel, or manipulation?

She added that even the market vendors are help less because the delivered food stocks are already highpriced.

“Where can the vendors get profit when the food products are already high-priced when delivered? That’s why we are amenable to the proposal of Secretary Ramon Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for a suggested retail price (SRP) in all levels. The DTI and Department of Agriculture (DA) must also join hands in controlling the prices of farm products,” Hontiveros said. ELIAS O. BAQUERO