President Rofrigo Duterte said during the MOA Signing between the Commission on Higher Education, 112 State Universities and Colleges and 78 Local Universities to launch the Implementation of Republic Act 10931 that he cannot see the Philippines as rice sufficient in the coming years.
He cited the current trend in Mindanao right now that investors are focusing on “cash crop” instead of food crops. He also said that peace concerns in Mindanao need to be resolved.
“With the advent of the coming of cash crop instead of the food crop, kinukulang na tayo ngayon ng lupa and even to really satisfy or do we have the resources to answer for the food of the Filipino,” he said. “Kasi sa Mindanao, the choice lands there were eaten up by the cash crop guys. Iyong food crop, wala na masyado.”
“And if you’d ask me, in the next how many years, we will just have to import rice. I do not believe that we can be rice sufficient. ‘Yung sinabi ni Piñol na at the years end. Istorya man lang ‘yon,” he said.
“Kung wala na sanang gulo, Mindanao could really properly cultivated. Mindanao could supply the food that we are going to eat. But if we cannot solve the problem in time, magkakaroon tayo ng problema,” he explained.
“I know in the coming days I hope that the BBL, however fractured it may be to the others, we will see the light of day and just maybe reserve the portion that are with issues during the Constitutional convention,” he said.