Senator says PH nearing food crisis

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 4) — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday warned of an imminent food crisis in the Philippines amid the rising prices of food and basic goods. 

"Sinasabi nila walang food crisis pero pag sobrang taas ang bilihin pati isda lahat halos basic food sa table, e hindi na kinakayang bilhin ng mga lalo na ang sobrang mahirap nating kababayan," Lacson said.

[Translation: They say there is no food crisis but if prices are high for fish and basic food, people can no longer buy food especially the poor.]  

"Pwede natin sabihin na kung wala mang food crisis pa, malapit na tayo magkaroon ng food crisis kasi tumataas ang bilihin," he added. 

Lacson's comment comes after the National Food Authority was revealed to have spent more than P7 billion for loans, instead of buying rice supply from local farmers, amid rising prices of goods. Vendors and consumers also are having difficulty buying round scad or galunggong.

He also urged government to shift its focus to the economy, and divert from the anti-drug campaign - one of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration's focus. 

"Mechanical na ang anti-drug campaign; kaya na ng pulis at (Philippine Drug Enfrorcement Agency) PDEA 'yan. Maliwanag naman ang kanyang marching orders, di na kailangan ulit-ulitin pa," he said. 

[Translation: Our anti-drug campaign is mechanical, the police and the PDEA can handle that. His marching orders are clear.]

Lacson cited the inflation rate, which is the highest rate in 9 years. 

READ: BSP, analysts expect inflation to hit 9-year high in August

"So dapat mag-refocus naman na kalampagin naman niya economic managers, di naka-focus na lang lagi sa illegal drugs and related issues," he then said. 

[Translation: There should be a refocus. He should talk to economic managers, and remove his focus from the illegal drug issues in the Philippines.]