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GARB for rice self-sufficiency

(This is in reaction to the article of Philippine Daily Inquirer last June 15, 2017 entitled ‘Unli” rice is unhealthy, says Villar)

The Philippine Network of Food Security Programmes admires the intention of Senator Cynthia Villar in promoting brown rice consumption for a healthier diet as opposed to consumption of the well-milled rice. Well-milled rice in the Philippines usually comes from high-yielding varieties that demand high levels of inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers. Thus may have detrimental effects to our health.

However, we are alarmed and skeptical about the Senator’s statement to ban “unlimited rice” promotions to help the country obtain rice self-sufficiency.

This shows how poorly our government officials grasp the problems of our agricultural industry wherein farmers do not own the land they till, and how inept they come up in resolving the problems related to rice production.

It is true that rice is the number one cause of diabetes, and that promotion of brown rice is laudable to promote good health. However, it is very clear that this will not address the root cause of the problem of the country’s insufficient rice production. Sadly, her statement has only triggered negative reactions from netizens.

We believe that the only way for the Philippines to achieve rice self-sufficiency is thru a genuine agrarian reform program, by allowing landless farmers to own the land they till, national industrialization and free irrigation. It is only thru the enactment of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill or HB 555 that the Philippines will achieve food self-sufficiency.###

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