Another Pain in the Neck

From corruption scandals to the risk of losing a resources-rich group of islands the country faces a new kind of problem — shortage of rice.

Although we are not yet in the state of a crisis, we are nearing it. And the ironic part is that we once used to be the world’s leading rice producer, and the fact that the Agriculture sector receives the fourth largest percentage of the total budget. The Government has no one to blame but themselves, they also cannot blame harsh weather conditions because it only affects some parts of the archipelago. Misuse of funds and lack of technology for rice farms are the reasons why there has been a shortage of rice. In 2005, a scandal erupted which was about the use of an P 800 M fertilizer budget to fund Mrs. Arroyo’s election campaign. One of the many misuses of Agricultural funds. Rice farmers also can’t afford basic technologies like irrigation which should be where the Government steps in. The Government should maintain their lease-hold system to provide more land to more farmers. In addition, the Government should keep an eye on the amount of rice being exported, what we keep for our own consumption should be more than what we export to other countries. By doing this, we are able to save more in rice importation.

The Philippines still remains today as one of the world’s top rice paddy producers, hanging onto the 9th spot just before Brazil and Japan, but if necessary measure would still be neglected we would move further away from being, once again, an economic tiger. Another pain in the neck for the Arroyo Administration.

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