Food security, healthcare crucial to growth — NEDA

Ensuring available and affordable food and proper healthcare for all Filipinos are crucial in unlocking the country’s growth potential, the National Economic and Development Authority said......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarApr 28th, 2021

Group wants 10% LGU IRA allotted for food security

A coalition of agriculture groups is urging President Duterte to issue an executive order mandating local government units to use 10 percent of their internal revenue allotment for food secuirty programs to ensure the long-term growth of the agriculture sector......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 15th, 2021

Gov’t pushes digitalized, mechanized farm sector

The Department of Finance (DOF) said the government is rapidly digitalizing the country’s agricultural systems and mechanizing farm production to ensure food security over the long run. During the virtual 2020 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the government wants to turn the coronavirus-induced health emergency into an opportunity. Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) To do so, Dominguez said efforts to implement the twin measures are being done to expand Filipinos’ market access for food producers while keeping food supply available and prices affordable. “We are confident that the innovative measures we are putting in place today will transform Philippine agriculture into a dynamic, high-growth sector that will fuel our country’s strong recovery,” Dominguez said during the high-level Food Security Roundtable at the meeting. Dominguez said the government is also promoting digital marketing to support ongoing efforts to boost consumer spending in the new normal and sustaining public investments in rural infrastructure. He added that the government is accelerating the move towards agricultural technology-based farming and value chain development to ensure long-term food security.  To channel more funds into the agriculture sector, the government is also encouraging more private-sector financing in the sector by proposing reforms in the Congress that will provide more access to credit for the entire agricultural value chain, Dominguez said.   “We all aspire for greater food and nutrition security for our people. Only an efficient and modern agriculture sector can fully deliver that,” Dominguez, who was Agriculture secretary during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino, said. Amid pandemic, Dominguez III said the Philippines has been handling the COVID-19 crisis “with strength on the food security front” duets reforms, particularly with the passage of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL). According to Dominguez, the agriculture sector was “one of the brightest spots” of the Philippines’s response to the pandemic owing in large part to the RTL. He pointed out that agriculture sector even continued to grow when the rest of the economy contracted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Dominguez said rice tariffication was among the main reasons why the government has succeeded in keeping food prices and supply stable, and inflation low during the COVID-19 emergency.  Keeping rice prices stable has been helpful for low-income households that spend a fifth of their budgets on rice alone, he added.   “The Philippines faced the COVID-19 pandemic with strength on the food security front,” Dominguez said.  He pointed out that despite logistical restrictions resulting from the lockdowns imposed to protect people and communities from the lethal coronavirus, the government was able to sustain the flow of produce from local farms to Filipino consumers.   “A food crisis did not happen. This is credited to the effective management of the food supply by our Agriculture Department,” Dominguez said......»»

Category: newsSource: NewsNov 8th, 2020

Fighting two pandemics hand in hand in Asia and the Pacific

Global hunger has been on a regrettable rise in recent years, and despite Asia’s economic clout, the continent – home to more than half of the world’s undernourished – has not been spared. Now COVID-19 is leading to a slowdown of regional economic growth and further threatening food security......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020

Opportunity to reform market economy

The crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic provides a singular opportunity to significantly reform the so-called free market economy that has been embraced by countries of different political shades and persuasions, from socialist China to capitalist America.  Although it cannot be denied that the experiment with market-oriented economic policies by China has resulted in the liberation from dehumanizing poverty of hundreds of millions of people over the last 20  to 30 years, there continues to be scandalous disparity of income and wealth among those who have benefited from these reforms and those who have been left behind.  The massive unemployment that has been caused by the lockdowns of  economies all over the world has worsened the inequity in the distribution of income even in the most developed countries of Europe and elsewhere. The human sufferings that we are witnessing during the worst global economic crisis in 150 year  should bring world leaders to finally come to their senses and listen to what Pope Francis has been saying about   the limitations of the free market economy in respecting the dignity of each human person and in pursuing the common good of society. In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis clearly states that “the dignity of each human person and the pursuit of the common good are concerns which ought to shape all economic policies. At times, however, they seem to be a mere addendum imported from without in order to fill out a political discourse lacking in perspectives or plans for true and integral development.”  The Holy Father points out that  growth in social justice “requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth.”  it requires decisions, programs, mechanisms, and processes especially geared to a better distribution of income, the creation of sources of employment, and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality.”  In the publication “This Economy Kills,” authors Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi, inspired by the teachings of Pope Francis, enumerate the types of leaders who are needed for authentic human development in both developed and emerging markets.  According to them, we need “men and women who look to the future, who are committed to pursue the common  good and whose goal is not just the next election campaign.  It requires men and women who not only look at the spread and stock market indices as indicators of the health of a country but inquire whether the younger generations have a job, a future, and hope; whether children have kindergartens and schools that can educate them by introducing them to reality; whether couples have the opportunity to buy a house; whether there are effective welfare programs available for the elderly; and whether those who still bet on the future by putting children into the world are justly taxed, rather than penalized.  It requires men and women who are engaged in politics and work in institutions without corrupting themselves or letting others corrupt them, even managing perhaps to revive a minimum of esteem (which has never been so in decline) for that ‘highest form of charity’—that is, politics—in as much as it is exclusively committed to the common good and to the real lives of people, with special attention   and dedication to those in difficulty, those left behind, those  who are excluded and should be included.” We have in the above quote a program that should permeate the so-called new normal post-pandemic.  What I have read so far about prognostications concerning the “new normal” are mostly about means, not ends. There is a lot of talk about the digital transformation that all economic sectors shall have undergone as a response to the changes in consumer lifestyle and business practices brought about by COVID-19. It asserted that digitalization will be a universal practice. Online purchases of practically all types of consumer goods and services; modes of payments; delivery of formal education and all types  of skills training; banking practices; religious services; sports events; forms of entertainment; etc.  These transformations, however,  could occur without addressing the fundamental problem of great disparities in the distribution of income and wealth and may even exacerbate the problem of the poor if, for example, their children are further left behind because they lack the resources to participate in online learning.  Although the means are also important, there should be greater emphasis in the transformation of the ends or objectives of the economic system.  Our leaders should ask themselves how to make the structural changes necessary to reduce mass poverty (which has worsened during the many lockdowns made necessary by the pandemic).  In more concrete terms, the economic system should be geared to providing more nutritious food to the poorest of the poor; better quality education and health care to the bottom 20 percent of the population; free health services to those who cannot afford them;  socialized housing for the homeless; and well paying jobs for the unemployed and underemployed. The new normal should give the highest priority to providing the small farmers with what they need to eke out a decent living by providing them with the necessary infrastructures such as farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems, post-harvest facilities, access to credit and other farm support services that have long been denied the Filipino farmers.  I have always maintained that the first cause of dehumanizing poverty in the Philippines is the long-term neglect of rural and agricultural development.  It is not a coincidence that 75 percent of those who fall below the poverty line are in the rural areas. Many of them are the beneficiaries of agrarian reform who, after being provided with one or two hectares of land, were completely abandoned to their own resources.  They are the landless farm workers, the “kaingeros” (slush-and-burn farmers), and the subsistence fisherfolk. Hopefully, the shortage of food during  the pandemic has made it crystal clear that food security should be on top of our economic objectives.  Food security now and in the future can be made possible only by a significant increase in the productivity with which we use our agricultural resources.  To be continued For comments, my email address is»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2020

Agriculture sector crucial in helping Filipinos recover from crisis

Sen. Bong Go has appealed to the Department of Agriculture to assist more agri- and fishery-based micro and small enterprises to bolster food security as part of the efforts to help Filipinos recover from the coronavirus disease crisis......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 13th, 2020

Growing beyond food security

Before the pandemic, hunger was already a very real and very palpable problem......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 21st, 2021

Philippines backs 10-year APEC food security roadmap

The Philippines has thrown full support behind Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 10-year food security roadmap, according to the Department of Agriculture......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 21st, 2021

Growing beyond food security

Before the pandemic, hunger was already a very real and very palpable problem......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 21st, 2021

Singapore firms urged to invest, explore partnerships in Philippines

The Department of Trade and Industry is encouraging Singaporean firms to explore investment and partnership opportunities in the Philippines particularly in food production, manufacturing, infrastructure development, and healthcare......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 18th, 2021

Pasay launches urban farming, tourism program

Pasay City has launched a program that would integrate tourism and urban farming in its bid to promote livelihood, achieve food security and a greener city......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 8th, 2021

Legarda on how to alleviate malnutrition and improve food security

Three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker, Loren Legarda stressed the importance of providing the necessary support for agriculture, promoting urban gardening and rural farm schools around the country to address hunger and malnutrition and to achieve food security......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 6th, 2021

SMFB profit surges to P17.4 billion in H1

San Miguel Food and Beverage Inc. reported a 137 percent growth in consolidated net income to P17.36 billion in the first half, surpassing pre-pandemic profits in the same period in 2019......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 4th, 2021

Group eyes more aquaculture export zones

Food security advocacy group Tugon Kabuhayan is calling for the establishment of more aquaculture export ecozones in the country to boost the output of processed and value-added products both for the domestic and export markets......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2021

URC exits snack food business in Oceania

The Gokongwei Group’s Universal Robina Corp. will exit the Oceania region, seven years after snapping up New Zealand snack giant Griffin’s Foods in 2014 and Snack Brands Australia in 2016, to focus on other growth segments across developing markets......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 31st, 2021

95% of Megaworld Hotels Staff Now Vaccinated

Megaworld Hotels & Resorts, the country’s largest homegrown hotel chain today, has vaccinated 95% of its 1,154 hotel-based staff and personnel who are actively working in the various properties during this pandemic. These include teams from the front office, housekeeping, food, and beverage, engineering, sales and marketing, finance, executive, human resources, and security in different […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2021

Pandemic derails zero hunger goal — think tank

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the barriers in the goal of achieving zero hunger in developing economies, highlighting the need to reboot systems to ensure food security for all......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2021

Philippines wants disputed waters included in WTO fisheries subsidies

Food security advocacy group Tugon Kabuhayan emphasized the need to include disputed waters in the agreement currently being negotiated by the World Trade Organization on the prohibition of harmful fishery subsidies, saying the exclusion of these areas would further affect the livelihood of Filipino fishermen......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 19th, 2021

Duterte is first elected official to complete authorized Sinopharm vaccination

The Food and Drug Administration in June issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the batch of vaccines made by the Chinese state-owned pharma firm and later donated for use by the Presidential Security Group......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 13th, 2021

Marine plastic pollution poses threat to food security – Oceana

Marine conservation group Oceana Philippines is urging the country to act against marine plastic pollution due to its potential threats to the country’s food security......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 13th, 2021

Listen to and engage the private sector

The Philippine Statistics Authority recorded five consecutive quarters of negative growth shrinking at a rate of -4.2% last March. Unemployment is evidently high, and prices of food and goods keep rising. Unlike the government, which is primarily funded by our taxes, the private sector has to do the heavy lifting on the ground to survive and to remain viable. A developmental mindset is key......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJul 5th, 2021