Press Release
March 15, 2010


Campaigning yesterday in Cabanatuan, NP-NPC-LDP vice presidential bet Loren Legarda called for extensive consultation in the agriculture, climate change and health committees of the Senate, all of which she chairs, in order to address food security and health issues.

Legarda seeks to put an end to the heavy importation of rice and vegetables, which kills the local farming industry and causes local food prices to spike.

"Massive importation of rice and vegetables not only kills the local farming industry but also leads to higher prices of food, which in turn threatens the nation's health by making healthy, adequate food more inaccessible. Food security and health issues are closely intertwined. I am trying to address both of these in the committees that I chair in the Senate," she said.

Further, Legarda said climate change must be considered in setting government's food and health policy.

"Climate change is a challenge to both the agriculture and health sectors of the country. With resources becoming more and scarcer, especially water, agricultural production has greatly diminished. Without adequate food, we jeopardize our nation's health," said Legarda.

She also reiterated her call for government to release the El Nino funds to rescue the country's agriculture and fisheries sectors.

"I appeal to all who process papers in agriculture and fishery bureaucracy for the release of funds for El Nino-related purposes in agriculture and fisheries. Please expedite paper work. Namamatay na ang mga tanim at mga hayop.," she said.

"It is critical now that we give extension support to our farmers, and provide them technical and financial assistance. For instance, we should start teaching them to plant drought-resistant crops," said Legarda.

The NDCC has reported that 300,000 hectares of agricultural land and P5.11 billion worth of crops have been damaged by El Nino.

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