Filipinos are known for their preference for rice as their staple food. Among the various energy-giving food, rice is the common choice that could best satisfy a hungry stomach. Workers who has no income or barely have earning for one’s daily needs, rice is the basic food that could be eaten even without viand. It restores ones energy after toiling, especially if one works under the heat of the sun or warm workplaces.
Unfortunately, the poor worker does not earn enough to feed oneself and the family that depends for support. Indeed, people are suffer so much due to the lowly income that is inadequate to buy even the cheapest rice which is usually of low quality. Amid the skyrocketing prices of rice are the continually increasing prices of basic goods and services. The prices of basic goods such as meat, fish, cooking oil, fuel and above all, sugar.
As if the hardship of the poor is not enough, farm products like onions, crops and vegetables also rose several times over than the usual regular prices. What is appalling is the fact that these farm products were being bought by unscrupulous capitalist traders at very cheap farm-gate prices. The poor and hapless farm workers have no choice but to sell their products at low prices that the capitalist traders impose because the farmers have no adequate storage facilities and equipment to preserve their products.
In many instances, farmers who produce huge harvest during peak seasons are forced to sell their products at low prices than loss everything if the products will rot in so short a period. It is unconscionably unthinkable that the farmers who produce these farm products could not even afford to buy the same products that are already sold expensively in markets under the control of capitalist traders. After being forced by their helpless situation to sell their products at prices dictated by capitalist traders, they now suffer from the high prices set by the same capitalist traders.
The anomalous and irregular situation had been exposed and subjected to congressional investigations. But like all investigations conducted purportedly in aid of legislation, no concrete solution had been reached. The investigations become a venue for grandstanding by lawmakers who put media millage in aid of re-election. So much taxpayer’s money is wasted for such exercises that end in mere brouhaha. After the show is over, the poor remain in the quagmire of poverty and suffer the escalating prices of farm products, mainly the basic staple food that is rice.
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