Press Release
July 26, 2023

'Walang dapat magutom' -- Bong Go lauds PBBM's food security, anti-smuggling efforts highlighted during 2nd SONA

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go commended President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s commitment to enhancing the agriculture sector and his stance versus smuggling activities during the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

In his speech, Marcos highlighted his administration's concerted efforts towards food security and sustainable farming, emphasizing the use of scientific methods, and focusing on the consolidation, modernization, mechanization, and enhancement of agricultural value chains.

"President Marcos has laid out a clear and well-guided plan that champions our farmers and the entire agricultural sector. He places this vital segment of our nation at the heart of our development trajectory," Go said.

"Hopeful ako. After one year in office, hopeful po ako na sana unahin po 'yung mga pro-poor programs at wala pong mapabayaan na Pilipino sa daan tungo sa ating full and inclusive economic recovery. Sa pagbubukas po ng ating ekonomiya, importante rito walang magutom. Unahin po natin 'yung mga mahihirap nating kababayan at suportahan natin ang ating maliliit na magsasaka," he added.

Go lauded the President's stern warning to smugglers and hoarders, an enduring problem that has significantly contributed to the inflation of prices and subsequent hardship for both consumers and producers. He also noted his previous support for the administration's directive on conducting a comprehensive investigation into the alleged onion cartel and smuggling and hoarding of agricultural products.

"Isa sa mga dahilan ng pagtaas ng presyo ay ang mga smugglers, mga hoarders at mga nagmamanipula ng presyo ng produktong agrikultural. Hinahabol at ihahabla natin sila. Bilang na ang mga araw ng mga smugglers at hoarders na 'yan," Marcos said in his SONA.

Echoing the president's sentiments, Go said "these illegal activities inflict significant harm on our farmers and consumers. It's encouraging to see President Marcos showing such firm resolve in battling these activities. This is a crucial step towards creating a fairer, more transparent, and more prosperous agricultural market."

"Yung talagang nangsasamantala, totohanang hulihin, ikulong, kasuhan. 'Yan po ang pakiusap ko sa gobyerno," Go earlier urged.

Another key aspect of the president's agricultural reform initiative is Republic Act No. 11953 or the New Agrarian Emancipation Act. Go, who co-sponsored and and is one of the authors in the Senate of RA 11953, underscored the significance of this law in protecting the welfare of agrarian reform beneficiaries towards achieving food security.

Aside from the newly signed RA 11953, Go is also one of the authors of the measure that became RA 11901, expanding the agriculture, fisheries, and rural development financing system.

"Huwag natin pabayaan ang local farmers, sila po ang may binubuhay na mga kababayan natin. Sila po ang kadalasang isang kahig, isang tuka. Dapat po suportahan natin sila," he urged.

As member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Go has actively advocated for the enhancement of farmland irrigation, expansion of the National Rice Program, and conversion of idle government lands into agricultural areas to boost food production.

"Dapat kumpleto ang suporta sa mga local farmers: more trainings, technology transfer, more fertilizers, itong mga drought-resistant seeds, irrigation, at kailangan talagang suportahan ng gobyerno ang ating local farmers. Kailangang tumaas po ang productivity rate natin lalo na ang maliliit nating magsasaka," he cited.

The Senator had also filed Senate Bill No. 2117, aiming to provide full crop insurance coverage for agrarian reform beneficiaries. Concurrently, he has put forward SBN 2118, intended to offer better insurance coverage and services to farmers and mitigate the impact of natural disasters on the agricultural sector.

Reiterating his support for the administration's initiatives, Go stated, "Every Filipino has a role to play in this cause. Together, we can overcome these challenges and continue to build a stronger, more resilient agricultural sector."

Go is confident that through the implementation of the plans outlined by Marcos, the nation will see significant progress in the agricultural sector.

"This will not only directly benefit our farmers and consumers, but ultimately contribute to the overall economy of the country," he concluded.

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