QUEZON CITY, (PIA) – Amid high inflation on agricultural commodities, the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday reminded the public to be responsible rice consumers or simply be ‘RICEponsible.'
The call is in line with the observance of National Rice Awareness Month (NRAM) this November, focusing on the theme “Be RICEponsible” which encourages farmers, policy-makers, and the public to do their share in achieving rice self-sufficiency in the country.
Dr. Hazel Antonio Beltran from the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) said to be ‘RICEponsible’ the public should follow NRAM’s “A-Ba-Ka-Da” campaign.
A-Ba-Ka-Da stands for “Adlay, mais, saba, atbp. ay ihalo sa kanin,” “Brown rice ay kainin,” “Kanin ay huwag ay sayangin,” at “Dapat bigas ng Pilipinas ang bilhin.”
“Yung apat na mensahe natin, yung “A-Ba-Ka-Da” ay huwag po sana nating kakalimutan. Let us remind each other na maging ‘RICEponsible tayo, para mapabuti yung health natin, makatulong tayo sa mga farmers natin at sa ating bansa (Let's be reminded of the A-Ba-Ka-Da message. Let's be Riceponsible to improve our health, help our farmers and the country)," Beltran said.
To support responsible rice consumption, the DA is gearing up for the efficient distribution of additional fertilizer assistance that will support rice farmers nationwide.
The DA is eyeing the distribution of fertilizer assistance for the dry Season 2022–2023 by December 2022 after the ongoing distribution of fertilizer discount vouchers funded through FY 2021 and FY 2022 GAA is completed.
Agriculture Undersecretary Domingo Panganiban has instructed the DA-Regional Field Offices (RFOs) to ensure accurate, efficient, and immediate delivery of the fertilizers that will be dropped off at strategic locations nationwide in coordination with the Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC) and concerned local government units.
Meanwhile, the DA met with the Philippine National Police (PNP) last Friday, to further improve the cooperation between the two agencies in the fight against anti-smuggling and price manipulation of agricultural commodities.
Police Brigadier General Jonnel C. Estomo, Chief of PNP – National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) vowed to assist DA in their efforts to intensify the “second border” protection, and conduct of inventory, inspection and monitoring of all warehouses and cold storage facilities in the country. (JAFD/PIA-PMD)