Press Release
February 6, 2022

Pangilinan: Itatampok ng 'Byahe ni Kiko' ang solusyon sa gutom at mataas na presyo ng pagkain

SENATOR Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan's "Byahe ni Kiko: Hello Pagkain, Goodbye Gutom" caravan hit the road Sunday bringing to fore food security for the Filipinos as a vital issue in the May elections.

As he embarks on his vice presidential run, Pangilinan stressed that the issue of food must be on every candidate's plate, and not be treated as a sidebar conversation, since it affects over half of the country's population.

"Food is an encompassing concern. It can be a hunger and poverty issue, an economic issue, an animal welfare issue, a labor issue, an environmental issue, a farming issue, a health issue, a trade issue," Pangilinan said.

"Ang byahe natin ay pagkakataon na habang kumakampanya tayo sa pagka-bise presidente ay sabay nating isinusulong iyong napakahalagang usapin ng gutom, kahirapan na siya naman dapat pinag-uusapan," he said.

Pangilinan, a farmer himself, said the elections should not solely focus on the candidates but on their agenda and the direction they intend to bring the country.

The Byahe ni Kiko van will take Pangilinan to cities and provinces all over the country to meet and listen to various sectors, including farmers, fishers, students, micro and small entrepreneurs, professionals, and workers.

The vice presidential aspirant said the voices of the sectors should be heeded as they will become an important component of the solution to their woes.

He said hunger has been drowned by more controversial issues, even as it is a critical concern.

Citing Unicef data, he said 95 children die every day due to hunger, and one of three kids suffer from stunted growth.

Pangilinan said neglect of the agriculture sector has left the Philippines behind by its neighbors in terms of farm produce and development of the industry. He lamented that despite of having rich seas and land, we resort to importation, which is riddled by corruption.

"Mag-iimport tayo ng galunggong, hindi natin alam na yung mga aangkatin natin ay balikbayan na mga isda rin, isda ng ating mga karagatan 'yun, mga dayuhan lang ang nanghuli," he said.

Pangilinan vowed to double the budget of the agriculture department if he and Vice President Leni Robredo win in the elections.

He also committed to fully implement the Sagip Saka law to shore up farmers' income and help them find direct markets for their produce.

Pangilinan said he would also call for stricter border controls to thwart smuggling of food and other food products, which deprives government of revenues.

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