The increase in rice prices is not an act of God nor is it an act of Duterte

The “debate” around the best short-term solution to combat the rise of the prices of rice mirrors the overall flaw in the traditional “activist” rhetoric. Shrill communist and Opposition “activists” want lower prices (supposedly empathising with the kawawa naman poor). Yet they cannot reconcile this cry for cheap rice with the plight of the farmers who will further be impoverished by lower prices.

These same activists are going all rah-rah over the sophomoric recommendations of their demi-god Mar Roxas who wants all roadblocks to importation lifted to flood the market with piles of rice and exert this much-needed crushing effect on prices. Farmers left out of the equation just the same. Filipino-farmed rice is, of course, no match for the rice produced from the high-yield farms of excellent farmers in Thailand and Vietnam that is moved through their world-class infrastructure and logistics chains up until these are unloaded on Philippine ports.

This is the trouble with mere virtue signalling and the appeals to emotion this dishonest approach to advocacy produces. It is easy for “activists” to come up with their quaint picketline chants to demand “lower rice prices” and conveniently fail to understand that if you pull back one lever in the economic equation, another lever pushes forward. This is no different from all the other “advocacies” of these militant “activists”. They campaign against “increased tuition fees”, rail against a lack of state dole-outs, and strike at the first sign of a fuel price increase. Yet when asked to balance the fiscals and cough up tax revenues, they balk and coddle the “victimised” members of the “informal” economy who are subsidised by the minority Filipino taxpaying community.

People need to understand that there are deeper systemic problems at play in the way commodity prices behave in a national economy. Indeed, a no-brainer factor that just literally stormed in was Typhoon Ompong itself which decimated harvests across much of Luzon further putting pressure on domestic supply and, as the Law of Supply-and-Demand dictates, puts more rockets underneath the inflation rate.

Much as the Philippine Opposition led by the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) would like to think that their nemesis, current Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, is a major contributor to the ebbs and flows of the Philippine economy, the reality is that much of the way the economy behaves has nothing to do with who is sitting in the Office of the President. Come to think of it, when one considers that the Philippines is Asia’s most prayerful nation, it seems God himself has nothing to do with Filipinos’ fortunes either.

The bottomline is that things happen as an outcome of a chain of cause-and-effect that can be explained if modern intelligence is applied to the “debate”. If Filipinos can learn to analyse and solve their problems without undue reference to mysterious and imagined political and religious “forces”, they will go a longer way towards truly understanding what needs to be done to change their personal and collective fortunes.

For now, political agendas rule the “debate” over the prices of rice. There are short-term solutions where some may win (consumers) and many will lose (domestic producers) much the same way as combatting overall inflation (reducing consumption) will not make certain retail barons very happy this Christmas. Long-term solutions offer more win-win scenarios. But these demand the energies of smart people to implement. And therein lies the million-dollar question: Are Filipinos smart enough to come up with real solutions to their problems?

The answer to that question will likely be a confronting one.

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48 Comments on “The increase in rice prices is not an act of God nor is it an act of Duterte”

  1. In as much as our thought is only confined in respecting private ownership of the land, then the only solution is for the owners of the land where the rice field are would be that someday he/she will wake one day and say to himself/herself, “hey, I think I will be a saint today, and give or sell rice to the people at a very low price”.
    And I think this is everyone’s hope. And by which I can only say “dream on”.

    1. Filipinos are genetically diabetic. Black Brown Asians Hispanics are naturally diabetic. The government should tell Filipinos the cause of their kidney problems are due to diabetes. Diabetes is caused by too much sugar in their diet. Since Filipino diet are predominantly rice which is carbohydrates that is converted to sugar Filipinos should eat less rice and bread to lower their blood sugar.

      Rice is killing Filipinos softly without them knowing it because the Filipino government is not educating them.

      RICE IS BAD. SO IS BREAD. IF FILIPINOS DO NOT EAT RICE AND BREAD THEY DIE. SO EAT RICE AND BREAD. IT IS BEST TO DIE WITH STOMACH FULL THAN DIE WITH NOTHING INSIDE.

      It is a conundrum between a Rice and the deep blue sea.

  2. Mar Roxas, the Typhoon Yolanda Fund thief, is trying too politicize the rice shortage situation in our country.

    Many factors affect the rice shortage. One is the increasing population ; Filipinos multiply like rabbits. Because the Roman Catholic Church, in tandem with the Aquino Cojuangco political axis are against, birth control by any means. Another is rice hoarding, to have a temporary shortage of rice. The reason may be for profit, or for politics.

    We eat too much rice. Hence, we must find alternatives, to rice as our staple food. Corn, cassava, potato, sweet potato, other root crops, etc…can be good alternatives.

    Flooding imported rice, to alleviate the rice shortage situation is just a counter productive “band aid solution”… The poor must learn to fend for themselves. Not just all “awa”…

    We have the International Rice Institute, researching for high yield varieties of rice; but we cannot produce enough rice. The Vietnamese and the Thailanders come to study at the IRRI; apply what they have learned, produce more rice than us. Then, we import their rice.

    What is wrong with us people ?

    Long term solution is needed for this rice problem. The late Pres. Marcos Sr., had solved this rice problem, during his tenure as President. Cory Aquino and her political minions, came along; and we began importing rice again . That’s what you get for EDSAs !

    1. Why should rice importation be a government task?

      LET THE FREE MARKET WORK.

      The small town mayor cant even keep inflation down. SAD!

  3. THE INCREASE IN RICE PRICES is an act of Filipinos and Duterte.

    HERE ARE WHYS:
    1. Philippines is NOT AN AGRICULTURAL COUNTRY
    2. It is inculcated in Filipinos PLANTING RICE IS NEVER FUN
    3. Filipinos would rather die of hunger in defending their white skin than planting rice that makes them brown
    4. Why plant rice when they can smuggle rice at cheaper price
    5. Cheap smuggled and imported rice is hit with import duties
    6. Government is not promoting mechanization in planting rice. The government find it culturally cute for farmers to use carabaos for tourists sake.
    7. National and local Government are not purchasing machines to help farmers mechanize planting of rice
    8. There are more mouths to feed than rice produce. Supply-and-demand.
    9. Filipinos should eat cake instead of rice
    10. The more the economy grows the more demand for rice. More demand put pressure in supply. If there is pressure in supply the price goes up
    11. Weather. Annual Typhoon regularly devastates rice paddies.
    12. Not worthwhile to plant rice. The return is small for back-breaking job. Not worth it.
    13. Rice paddies are taken over by subdivisions. Farmers are happy to sell their paddies.
    14. Promote importation of rice free of duties
    15. Filipinos should eat bread as alternative to rice

    PHILIPPINES IS FOOD CHALLENGED !!! FEWER AND FEWER FILIPINOS PLANT RICE. ACREAGE OF RICE PADDIES GETTING SMALLER AND SMALLER !!! THERE IS VERY LITTLE INCENTIVE TO PLANT RICE.

    It is better to work in the government to steal money from taxpayers.

    When stealing from the government please be reminded: THE BIGGER FILIPINOS STEAL THE LESSER THEY ARE PROSECUTED. THE SMALLER FILIPINOS STEAL THE LIKELIHOOD THEY GO TO JAIL.

    STEALING BIG PAYS. STEALING SMALL YOU BECOME LOSERS. GO STEAL BIG, YOUNG MAN !!! STEAL BIG !!!!

  4. Well duh duterte is causing the CONTINUED high prices. Mar Roxas is right. Temporarily allowing imports will ease inflation. But duterte with his blunt thinking and small mayor mind doesn’t understand economics. And neither do you.

    It’s called supply and demand.

    It’s called the FREE MARKET.

    Our farmers are being held back by this rice importation scheme that needs to be dismantled!

    You should stop writing about economics.

    1. Unfortunately, you’re clueless and so does Mar Roxas. The issue about inflation is multisectoral so you can’t just solely blame on the government for that. Oh yeah, Roxas is wrong and because what he did in Tacloban 5 years ago, it’s better for him to keep his mouth shut because what he is doing right now is politicizing calamities. I’m gonna laugh my ass off when you said he’s right that hammers should never be sold in malls and ‘bahala kayo sa buhay niyo!”. 😛

      Now going back on topic: Importing rice on their own though might be too much since there are importers who can and are currently doing it already. Again, he’s not right; what he said is stupid:

      “Proactively ask Jollibee, McDo, Mang Inasal, SM, grocery, and supermarket chains, and all large users to independently source and import their own needs para di na sila makihati pa sa national stockpile.”

      Isn’t that they already have independent sourcing of rice in the first place??? Are they always relying on the government???

      Perhaps you should stop TROLLING on this page, son. You’re starting to act like a Yellowcuck by agreeing on a stupid guy like Mar Roxas.

      1. Youre just a TARD boy!

        I subscribe to ideas not people.

        Maybe if you put on your little big boy pants and learn basic economics you can start intelligently debating. Rice importation is strictly controlled in Ph. Even GMA agrees that relaxation of import rules via tarriffs is a good solution to this self-inflicted problem.

        SAD that youre representative of the general lack of intelligence in the Philippines. Do us all a favor, boy, and DONT HAVE KIDS!

        Wouldn’t want that (re)TARD genes in the next generation….

        1. You’re already a TARD when you mention an actual TARD like Mar Roxas. And you already subscribe to PEOPLE when you mention that ACTUAL TARD who did absolutely NOTHING during his 6 years where he spends time grandstanding and politicizing.

          SAD that you’re missing the point. Perhaps you should mention GMA and not Mar Roxas. But what do I expect from a Hillary Clinton fanboy like yourself. Yes, Mar Roxas is Hillary Clinton in a man’s body. And do you know what’s funny? Mar Roxas giving advice to Duterte is like Risa Hontiveros giving advice to Juan Ponce Enrile about martial law.

          Yes, you want YOUR genes in the next generation when they chose someone like Leni Robredo. You shot yourself in the foot on this, son….

  5. If “Filipino-farmed rice is, of course, no match for the rice produced from the high-yield farms of excellent farmers in Thailand and Vietnam” then they should have stopped growing rice decades ago.

    What sort idiot continues to slog away at something that he’s no good at and that can be bought cheaper elsewhere? Only Filipinos.

    So yes, open the floodgates. Give the “poor farmers” four years notice that it’s going to happen, and they have a simple choice: Either learn to be proper farmers with a diversified and profitable output, or sell their land. What’s the problem?

  6. Lookit, I like imported rice better. It is white as my teeth. It got longer grain. The aroma is just something to die for. It is made in Thailand and Vietnam … and do not forget China. I pay big time to have outstanding rice.

    Philippine rice, like Filipinos, are brown, short and it stinks. Anything that is touched by Filipinos are inferior. They grow inferior rice. They breed genetically inferior children. The Filipino-built condominiums are rickety (I live in a condominium designed and built by last-remaining colonists).

    Even Filipinos pay premium price for premium rice.

    1. What is screwing the Filipinos are the OLD FILIPINOS. The internet generation are good Filipinos. The internet generation Filipinos’ minds are colonized that is why they are good Filipinos.

      Bad Filipinos do not have colonial mentality. That is why they remain very very very baaaad. Old Filipinos who are bad Filipinos have inflated head. Much of it are air. Bunch of air-heads !

      1. “…Filipinos’ minds are colonized that is why they are good Filipinos. Bad Filipinos do not have colonial mentality.”

        Lord Master Oratio Imperata! It can be quite contradictory or I suppose a very playful sarcasm!

        Colonial mentality is a slave mentality! A defeatist, submissive and surrender mentality characterized by many half-educated to highly-educated but confused filipinos incapable of making truly independent thinking.

        Many of these captured filipino minds whose hardened resentment of their indigenous pride undoubtedly originates from their unashamed western envy. They include a lot of confused bloggers too who take the easy route of their identifying with the west and then proudly declare themselves as progressive moderns. These poseurs want to seen as something at the height of cool!

        1. WRONG !!!
          PROOF: Last remaining colonists owns the Philippines. They own banks, power companies, shipping everything … BUT NOT AN IOTA OF CORRUPTION AND THIEVERY. GO ASK YOUR FAKE NEWSPAPERS … THEY HAVE NOTHING ON THEM EXCEPT BEING DEMONIZED BY HISTORY BOOKS.

          If only Filipino brains were colonized they would have could have been industrialists, bank owners, shipping magnate, mall owners. What the current state of brain of Filipinos are thievings … corruptions …. s2pdt …

          Colonizer brains are good. That is why they are rich ! COLONIAL MENTALITY IS GOOD. IT IS JUST BEING DEMONIZED AS THE CAUSE AND THE BANE OF FILIPINO SOCIETY.

          HAVE YOU HEARD ANYTHING FROM THE MESTIZO CLASS LATELY? NADA! PORQUE, THEY ARE VERY HONEST ……

          (or, the brown skin fake news Filipinos are just bought or just afraid to say what they want to?) FOR NOW, COLONIAL MENTALITY IS GOOD UNTIL THE FAKE NEWS HAVE THE COURAGE …

  7. Of course, economics has something to do with who is sitting as president. The president controls major departments and bureaus of the government and, he is the one who approves their recommendations, from planning, budgeting to implementation, of different policies that could affect economics greatly as a whole. Not the ordinary Filipinos who are doing their own living to feed their families.

    Farmers in the Philippines are forever trapped by the cycle of poverty. They sell their “palays” to the middlemen who are the ones who dictate prices because they have the money to pay the farmers who are in dire need of money. These farmers have debt already to pay to the money lenders for the cost they put up from planting rice to harvesting. Only these middlemen earned a lot of profit from their buy and sell of rice they sell to the big market. Unless there is aggressive government intervention to the lives of farmers in giving them what they need to keep up their income, such as free infrastructure and equipments to be used from planting to harvesting, these farmers will remain poor.

    Rice problem proves Duterte’s incompetence as president. You have the DA, NFA, DTI, DOF, NBI, PNP, BOC, etc. that president Duterte has direct command over and he can direct them to go after those who violate the laws and make them pay if need be. He has plenty of time to do this, before the time when prices of rice were stable, but it shows now that he did not learn anything from history. He did not address the problem of rice hoarders and market profiteers before. He did not anticipate the shortage of rice which will result to rice crises. All in all, he did not take care properly the rice sector.

    He has to shut up and just do his job. So far, all that Filipinos hear from him are all invictives and blame glames. He has to shut up once and for all to minimize his mental sickness and hubris because it seems he is getting paranoid and onion-skinned, just like before, everytime someone criticizes him.

    1. The above is a concrete example of the typical Filipino thinking:

      Government should fix the economy
      Government has several bureaus that can handle this

      It has been demonstrated countless times, even in FIRST WORLD nations, how government meddling does not fix things: it actually does the opposite and makes things worse.

      A more recent example of this is the housing bubble that burst back in 2007, which plunged so many countries into a recession.

      1. Tobias,

        We are talking here of Rice problem. It really needs government meddling for it to be solved rather than your contrasting view, which is no intervention or laissez-faire economic policy.

        1. This is where youre absolutely WRONG!

          Government is the DIRECT cause of the rice shortage by STOPPING imports and mishandling rice inventories.

          The private sector should be the one handling this NOT government

        2. The above is another example of the typical Filipino mentality that thinks markets should be disrupted by governments because” we” cannot trust people trading in a free market.

          The mindset here is that people cannot be trusted. Therefore government should be on guard.

          This naively forgets that governments, like markets, are run by people also.

      2. @Pinoy Citizen: the Philippine government has TOO MANY departments supposedly responsible for agricultural issues. Nobody needs to “manage” the growing and selling of rice (or coconuts, or fruit, any of the other foodstuffs that the government endlessly meddles with). If there is a market for it, and the price is right, let people grow it and sell it. If there isn’t, let them grow something else.

        As for that alphabet-soup of agencies which do nothing except absorb tax revenue and squabble over who gets the credit for what stupid project: shut them all down, and tell the leeches who run them to go and get a proper job.

        As for the “poor farmers”: if they’re too stupid to figure out how to run their business properly, why should they get free stuff? Let them sell their land to people who know what they’re doing.

    2. Wait a minute. Does the brain power of the sitting president have anything to do with it?? I seem to recall a president who told the FIlipino to vote for him. Not because of his brains. Not because of what he did in government service. But because his mom died. Vote for me because my mom died does have a certain ring to it. As long as you have been commenting in GRP. You seem to be so defensive of that guy and all his allies yet you have all this ammunition for people who are not part of your cult. Noynoy did nothing with his life and then pole vaulted to the position of president over his mother’s corpse. I know it is something you admire. Something you aspire to. Too bad Dengvaxia parents don’t see it that way. Go preach to your yellow choir and leave people who require brains and accomplishment with their president alone.

      1. Gogs,

        You have become obsessed with Noynoy Aquino in all angles. Your EMOness comes shining everytime Duterte is being criticised. You seem to forget that he is no longer the curent president. This time, it is but proper to criticize Duterte and his economic policies and on how he runs the economy. It is already more than 2 years of his presidency and seems no positive tangible improvements he had done so far. If you have personal angst against Noynoy Aquino, go file a complaint in the court. Prove that you have good basis in all your hatred. It will be easy because he no longer enjoys presidential immunity from suit unlike Duterte.

        1. And you’ve always obsessed with tainted surnames you obsessively hate. Your own EMOness also shines when you put Noynoy Aquino on a pedestal. And you keep on saying that there are no positive tangible improvements of Duterte’s 2 years in his presidency because even the media barely reported those.

          Pot calling the kettle black, as they say.

        2. It’s fair to say NOYNOY sucks.

          But DUTERTE sucks also.

          They are both terrible. But Duterte is now president. So it’s time to point out his CATASTROPHIC errors to the WANKERS in this site. Before we get Marcos 2.0 Africa in the Philippines

        3. It’s fair to say NOYNOY sucks.

          But DUTERTE sucks also.

          They are both terrible. But Duterte is now president. So it’s time to point out his CATASTROPHIC errors to the WANKERS in this site. Before we get Marcos 2.0 Africa in the Philippines

          And so does Darth Mortis. So it’s time for you to take your TROLLING to somewhere else. And you love Leni Robredo so much that you wanted an Aquino 2.0 Africa in the Philippines.

      2. FILIPINOS ARE MORBID VOTERS … They elected Cory because her husband was murdered … Leni Robredo became Vice President because her dear husband died in plane crash … They even elected a senator because he was mourning over his dead cat ….

        NOW THE FILIPINOS ARE IN MOURNING EVERY MORNING …. MABUHAY SI DUTERTE !!!!

        1. I forgot Benigno Simeon Colang ulo Aquino pangatlo became president because he was seen crying over his dead Mama …..

          So, Filipinos, listen, yo !!! KILL YOUR MOTHERS. SO YOU BECOME PRESIDENT !!!!

        2. It’s really beyond me that most Pinoys are utterly clueless when someone bring the term ‘necropolitics’ in any discussion.

  8. “Are Filipinos smart enough to come up with real solutions to their problems?”

    Do Filipinos have a vision of what kind of society they want to have?
    No vision, no solution.

      1. You probably get a huge BONER, flogging/shit-talking filipinos (yourself included).

        Most folks who live abroad are totally normal people like the average non-squatter pinoy. You bring a typical filipino driver to subic and HE WILL STAY IN LANE. You bring an american to Manila and HE WILL BEND THE RULES.

        The US has corruption. China has corruption.

        You should stop jacking off to the idea that white people and chinese are some sort of enlightened UBER MEN.

      1. The Filipino ideology is very simple.

        ME ME ME ME ME ME.

        I can’t help wondering if Marcos initially believed all that bullshit about the noble Filipino spirit and was then later forced to accept the reality: the Filipino likes being a slave, and rebels only against ideas that highlight his faults and mark out the path to being a better person. The LAST thing he want is to be a better person, because that implies that, today, he is not the perfect being that he imagines himself to be.

        Once he’d figured that out, Marcos probably realized the only sensible course of action: shaft the Filipino long and hard, because that’s what he’s understands and feels comfortable with.

    1. LOOKIT, FILIPINOS ARE NOT SMART !!! THEY ARE NOT BRILLIANT !!! The Filipinos are outsourced to countries where they follow what they are told because Filipinos are not capable to think !!! They only do what they are told to do !!!

      Filipinos are good followers as long as who they are telling them to do are not Filipinos …. Filipinos only follow orders if their masters a re whites … BECAUSE FILIPINOS ARE DISCRIMINATORS !!! THEY ARE RACISTS !!!!

    2. pilipinos are full of visions. They almost got it through marcos era. And now they see a leader for that visions in president duterte. All they do is work work work for their country’s vision. They need a leader like marcos and now duterte. Don’t under estimate them they might take the law by themselves.

  9. Does anybody know that the MAXIMUM ATTAINABLE CAREER OF FILIPINO IS A NURSE? Yes, Victoria, Nursing profession is the only attainable maximum career of Filipinos. To Filipinos in the USA being a nurse equates to being WEALTHY !!! AHA! HA! HA! Poor Filipinos !!!

    A PhD (Philippine Doctor) immigrating to the U.S. downgrades to a nurse because what they learn from Philippines is only worthy to be a nurse …..

    Other Filipinos in the USA and the Middle-East are screamed at and whipped so they can work because they are so lazy. All they do is text-and-talk all day long …..

    Here is what is funny about Filipinos …. In the Philippines the Filipinos has no respect for police. When they are pulled over they ask the poor policeman, “Do you know who I am? Do you know who my father is?”

    But when they are in the U.S. their Alzheimer is cured. When American police turn on their christmas lights and christmas twinkle Filipino toughies pull over and ask American police, “errrr …. officer …. what seems to be the problem, Sir, Sergeant? Me good Filipino. Me drive good.”

  10. Probably the topic of the rice cartel and other forms of regulatory capture have to be raised. I also wonder if there is an importation cartel, that wants to see Philippine self-sufficiency brought down and imports increased to they can have better business at our country’s food security’s expense.

    1. The Philippines has a precarious food-security situation for three primary reasons:

      – Agricultural land is in the hands of those least able to make it productive.
      – Transport infrastructure is poor to nonexistent in rural areas.
      – Filipinos keep making more Filipinos with no regard for their ability to support themselves.

      Since the country imports a great deal of foreign currency (via OFWs) it makes a great deal of sense to spend that money on food imports. After all, what else is it good for? Buying foreign-made cellphones and handbags? Importing (say) rice will actually make the country’s food-security situation better: rice farmers will be forced out of business, which means their land will be sold to competent farmers. After rehabilitiation – which will take 5-10 years – that land will then produce crops that more nutritious than rice, thus improving the disgraceful national diet.

      Those ex-farmers will walk away with a lot of money in their pockets, which they could (theoretically) spend on making a better life for themselves, although of course in practice they won’t; but that’s not really the government’s problem. The land-sale money that they waste will be transferred to the pockets of people who aren’t financially incontinent, and from there will improve the economy further.

      As I’ve said before: the primary cause of poverty is poor people, and so it is in this instance. It just so happens that the government sees value in maintaining a large voter base of people who are poor and stupid. Thus we get laws about rice importation to “protect” our poor farmers, ie., to maintain them in perpetual poverty.

      1. I see what you mean. I still have the thought that food security is ideally maintained through self-sufficiency, and we only need to import because the local self-sufficiency has been damaged through mismanagement and our rising population as you mentioned, among other things. So it’s more of an emergency measure. I think food importation makes for a chink in our food security chain. This is most serious especially if food import routes go through the South China Sea, and if the Chinese Navy blockades that or asks for tariffs, then we still have a food security issue there. Maybe that’s one reason why Duterte has been cozying up to China, because if this happens, it’s better to be on China’s good side.

        It’s perhaps moot on why our rice farmers (I’m thinking the workers in the field, not the landowners) are incompetent, is it really incompetence or is there just some business hullaballoo going on?

        And or course, GRP had its video before that recommended replacing rice with other crops that will be equally as nutritious, such as camote.

        1. >> I still have the thought that food security is ideally maintained through self-sufficiency
          I don’t disagree. It’s a sensible goal. Every country should be able to feed itself. It’s also a very simple goal that people (individuals) naturally aspire to. So, mostly, governments just need to leave things alone and it will happen. When people who know nothing about food start fiddling with the food supply, there are rarely any good outcomes.

          >> I think food importation makes for a chink in our food security chain. This is most serious especially if food import routes go through the South China Sea, and if the Chinese Navy blockades that or asks for tariffs, then we still have a food security issue there.

          You’re assuming that the country will become dependent on imports, but that’s an incredibly unlikely outcome. Let’s stick with rice for a moment. The immediate effect of removing all barriers on rice importation is this: 95% of rice farmers will go out of business. That will happen even if you “temporarily” import rice: you must be aware that rice farmers are perennially in debt, so even a minor disruption in government “protection” will send them under.

          So just pull that tooth already. Let them fail. Give them fair warning – five years would be reasonable – so those who either can’t or won’t adjust can just exit the business in their own good time. Their land will be bought by proper farmers. The Philippines could easily expand its agricultural output by a factor of five if it just stopped growing rice, and opening the rice market to competition would be the fairest way to do it. So there’s your food security: a massive increase in output (and diversification) driven by a lot of land coming onto the market.

          >> is it really incompetence or is there just some business hullaballoo going on?
          It’s both, although Filipino incompetence is of a most unique kind. It’s driven by a curious combination of hubris (“we’re the best in the world, we don’t need anyone to tell us what to do”) and victimhood (“we’re just poor farmers, so the rest of society must give us free land, free equipment, free irrigation, and anything else we ask for”). Somehow the Filipino farmer manages to keep those two thoughts in his head in the same time, despite the inherent contradiction.

          The business scams follow directly from the attitude at the bottom. Because the farmer is both a victim and an expert, he sees no need to improve his knowledge, create his own markets, try different products, or co-operate for mutual benefit. He is therefore exploited mercilessly by middlemen, who provide those things that he refuses to do for himself (or more usually, because he’s dug himself into a debt-filled hole that leaves him neither time nor money to be anything other than he is).

          The solution is to open the markets. Let people solve their own problems. If they will not, then let them fail so that others can solve the problems instead.

          Incidentally, it’s not just a matter of replacing one crop with another. Any business must care for its capital – in this case the soil and the creatures we share the planet with. Until the Filipino learns to respect God’s gifts – instead of spitting on them and abusing them – he can expect only punishment at Nature’s hands.

        2. This thread actually looks intelligent.

          Dependency on rice imports is a security risk. This is why the US subsidizes its farmers. BUT the entire Philippines is already a security risk. The Philippines has one of the WEAKEST, MOST INCOMPETENT standing armies in the world.

          We would lose a war with any country under any scenario. Indonesia can easily conquer us. So can Malaysia and Vietnam. The only reason they haven’t is the general lack of value in a conquered Philippines.

          Just look at our pathetic response to China, do you think they can pull that sh!t with India (who they share a contested border with?)

          So what exactly is the point of preventing this security risk?

  11. I doubt it’s about Filipinos being smart…it’s about actually implementing solutions that have been proposed already? Our technology is being used by the countries that prosper in agriculture now….but we don’t even get to use the technology…

    1. @Francesca

      You got that absolutely right! The technology is there and it has been done before.

      And still, the people’s interest is anchored in finding visions. Guess, agreeing to other people’s vision, which has been laid out for evaluation, is kinda hard to swallow for people with their own sets of visions. Too many people can’t humble their pride.

      Perhaps our solution will be in our collective inspired agreement to a vision that has accomplished solutions. And reevaluate from there for the changing times.

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