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‘Filipino not happy unless stomach full’

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 15:05:00 11/04/2008

STA. ROSA, Laguna — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo acknowledged on Tuesday that an economy strong enough to withstand the world financial crisis is worth nothing to a man with an empty stomach, but assured that government is doing everything in its power to keep food, fuel, and energy prices down.

“The relative strength and resilience of our people and our economy is still no consolation to the Filipino, who has to pay higher prices of basic commodities,” she said in a speech at a trade fair here.

“Your government is doing everything in its power to put food on the table dahil ang busog na empleyado ay hindi parating humihingi ng umento sa sahod [because an employee with a full stomach does not always ask for a salary increase],” she said.

Arroyo urged rice farmers to increase their production, to boost supply and bring the price of the staple down further as she disclosed that the National Food Authority (NFA) has bought 330,000 metric tons of the one million metric tons that it targets to purchase by next year.

“I hope that our farmers, many of whom are getting a good price from the NFA, will plant even more palay,” she said.

Arroyo also assured farmers of the government’s “unprecedented” support through the Department of Agriculture’s program FIELDS or fertilizer, irrigation, education and extension services, loans, dryers. and other equipment, and seeds.

She said the Department of Trade and Industry will conduct price checks to guard against profiteering.

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2008-11-04T07:37:25+00:00UTC11bUTCTue, 04 Nov 2008 07:37:25 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am11

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