Press Release
April 30, 2008


Senator Richard Gordon supported Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia's local food program promoting "saksak" as one solution to the current rice price crisis.

"Saksak" is a Cebuano term for a mixture of rice and camote that Governor Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu pushed as a substitute for the rice staple which is now in short supply and subject to rising prices.

"I fully support the initiative of the Cebu provincial government led by Governor Gwen Garcia in promoting local solutions to the national rice price crisis. Indeed, if we can translate this local effort into a national food program, we would have effectively addressed the problem of escalating rice prices and short supply." Gordon said.

Gordon emphasized that this will also result in larger disposable incomes for Filipino families as it will result in cheaper prices by mixing camote and rice. "Gov.Garcia and I are going to come out a poster campaign to launch this program nationwide.

Garcia called on the National Food Authority (NFA) to sell camote as well as rice to encourge the public to mix with rice. Saying that mixing camote with rice will increase the volume of the staple food and cost a lesser price that the public used to pay.

"If you cook a kilo of rice to feed your entire family this time half kilo na lang and mix it with camote to increase the volume at a lesser price that you used to pay. The plan is practical as camote is one of the easiest root crops to plant and be grown even in the backyard," Said Gov. Garcia.

She also explained that the Cebu provincial government has given an amount of 100,000 pesos per municipality in Cebu for the purchase of camote. And another P100,000 for the propagation, development and cultivation of camote.

"We are also launching a contest to start on May 1st and ends on the 30th of November among the LGU's in order to find the most effective means to promote the "saksak" food program."

Gordon also believed that promoting saksak will not only addressed the problem of food security but it will also enhanced nutritional security, noting that camote is a rich source of nutrients.

Both Gordon and Garcia met at the Luneta to honor the Cebuano hero Lapu-lapu on the occasion of the 487th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan at the Rixal Park last April 27, 2008.

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