Two agri-products have been hugging the headlines and have become the top stories in print and radio/television news program. The issue of renewed plan to import sugar and onions have one common denominator – importation, to increase supply for the consumers and (hopefully) to lower their prices. Meanwhile, the lowly sugar and onion farmers lament as the looming importation of the twin products will affect the farm/gate prices of the items, livelihood of farmers, too!

The consumers believe that IMPORTATION is not the rightful solution to shortage and soaring prices, but increased PRODUCTION of both agri-products.

Indeed, by resorting to importation is benefitting the FEW moneyed-importers; while by increasing production, the beneficiaries include a greater bulk of the Filipino population – rich and poor alike, but more importantly are the lowly farmers and those belonging to the marginalized sector of the populace.

Indeed, it is very unfortunate that PBBM opted to add the surmountable work and responsibilities doubling as Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA), on top of the presidency mandate! Any one who bungles his/her duties as a DA honcho is bound to bear the brunt of the domino effect(s) of the complex food security and related problems.
My one cent dictates that there should be a FULL-TIME Secretary of DA to be assisted by a phalanx of academically founded, experienced, and science/research-oriented agriculture degree holders, dedicated staff. Also, there is an immediate need to detach the fishery and aquatic sector of DA, so that it can fully concentrate on the development and growth, advancement of terrestrial/land-based food resources.
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