Narito ang transcript ng ilang bahagi ng pagbabangayan ni Senator Cynthia Villar at Senator Raffy Tulfo sa naganap na deliberasyon nitong linggo para sa 2023 budget ng Department of Agriculture.
Sayang at inawat ng kasalukuyang Senate President na si Senator Miguel “Migz” Zubiri na mag-escalate lalo ang bangayan ng dalawa.
Disclaimer: Ang transcript sa ibaba ay bahagi lamang ng pag-uusap ng dalawang senador at hindi 100% na kumpleto. Sinikap ng may-akda ng post na ito na maisulat nang accurate ang transcript sa abot ng makakaya. Kung may napansing mali o dapat ayusin, mangyaring paki-comment na lang po sa ibaba.
Raffy: Tadtad po ng korapsyon itong farm-to-market road at nagagamit ng maiimpluwensyang politiko.
Raffy: Sa maniwala kayo sa hindi, maraming mga insidente sa mga probinsya kung saan hindi po sila yung rice o vegetable producing town and yet sila po ay tadtad ng tinatawag na farm-to-market project
Raffy: Meron pa ngang biro-biro na marami dyan sabungan-to-market road, subdivision-to-market road, or sinasabi pa nilang private resort-to-market road
Raffy: Paano malalaman ng DA na yung FMR na ni-request ng isang maimpluwensyang, mayamang politiko na makikinabang ay mga farmers at hindi sa personal na interes ng politiko?
Raffy: So, kung nagsabwatan po ang DA at DPWH, tapos na ang taumbayan
Raffy: Lumiliit nang lumiliit po ang ating farmlands. Binibili po ng mga malalaking developer at ginagawang commercial at residential land. Ano pong ginagawa ng DA tungkol dito?
Cynthia: Alam ninyo, we are, that’s our business.
Raffy: Ah ganun po ba?
Cynthia; I want to tell you that we don’t buy agricultural lands in the provinces. Nobody will buy houses in agricultural lands. We only buy in cities and capital towns
Cynthia: Because the buyer of houses, they want also an opportunity that if they’re having financial problems, they can resell their houses and you know, it’s very hard to resell houses [if it’s] not in cities or capital towns. So we limit ourselves in cities and capital towns
Raffy: I’m from Isabela po. At marami po akong maibibigay sa inyong ebidensya/proof na mga farmland na-convert po sa mga subdivision
Cynthia: That’s in cities and capital towns but I don’t think in the ah…
Raffy: Well in Isabela, in Cauyan, Isabela po, Cauayan City, Isabela, may mga farmland po duon na…
Cynthia: Eh Cauayan is a city
Raffy: Regardless, ang pinag-uusapan po natin ay ang mga farmland na nako-convert na po sa isang subdivision o commercial…
Cynthia: But they allow that in cities and capital towns
Raffy: Kaya nga po, alam ko nga po
Cynthia: They allow conversions in cities and capital towns because if they buy your land, they buy it expensive, and you can reinvest the money and you will make more money than planting on those lands
Cynthia: It’s an investment decision for these people. If somebody will buy your land at a bigger amount, maybe, you can sell it and buy another land that is cheaper somewhere else and build your farm there. You have to understand agriculture as a business also
Raffy: Ano po ang ginagawa nila sa ganitong nangyayaring masamang sistema na paliit ng paliit po ang ating mga farmland
Raffy: Sorry po, madam ha.
Raffy: Na hindi lang po dito sa Cauayan sa Isabela
Cynthia: I tend to disagree with you
Raffy: Kundi sa marami pong probinsya na marami na pong mga subdivision ang nagsilipana
Cynthia: Eh where will the people live if you don’t build subdivisions?
Raffy: Marami pong mga lugar na pwede pong pagtayuan ng mga subdivision. ‘Wag lang po i-takeover yung mga farms. Kasi nga po, kung minsan ‘yung mga farmers dahil sila po ay naghihikahos, they are being taken advantage of
Raffy: Lalo na po merong tinatawag na rice tariffication, so mura po yung mga bigas na dumarating dito, they cannot compete and then papasok po itong mga negosyante at mago-offer ng pera para bilhin ang kanilang mga lupain of course walang choice po yung mga farmers kundi ibenta na lang ang kanilang mga lupa sapagkat meron na pong tinatawag na rice tariffication
Cynthia: I wrote the Rice Tariffication Law
Cynthia: You know, we wrote the Rice Tariffication Law because in 2018 the price of rice rose to almost ₱50 to ₱60 per kilo
Cynthia: And that was the only time President Duterte became unpopular. Because rice is a political crop. When nagmamahal ang rice, nagiging unpopular ang President
Cynthia: And the World Bank, we signed that WTO agreement in 1995 and they gave us 25 years to be competitive, but we failed to be competitive after 25 years
Cynthia: And if we don’t open or liberalize the importation of rice, they will bring down our credit rating and we have plenty of loans abroad and we have to pay higher interests for those loans so it will be a loss to the Philippine government
Cynthia: So what I did when they asked me to write the Rice Tariffication Law, I gave all the money from the collection of rice tariff to the small farmers
Cynthia: 10 billion for the rice competitiveness and enhancement fund, 5 billion for mechanization, 3 billion for seeds, 1 billion for loans, 1 billion for training
Cynthia: And anything above 10 billion, that was collected, it was given to the rice farmers owning 2 hectares and below, 5 thousand each, 1.6 million farmers
Cynthia: So that is 8 billion, so a total of 18 billion which is the collection of the Rice Tariffication Law na rice tariff
Raffy: Alam ko po yan
Cynthia: I don’t feel any guilt to the small farmers. All the money that came from the Rice Tariffication Law were given to the small farmers owning two hectares and below
Raffy: So how do we identify the small farmers? Paano po natin…
Cynthia: We have a list
Raffy: So, you have po a list, so paano po ninyo pinipili, ng DA…
Cynthia: They have a list
Raffy: Paano po pinipili, kung sino po ang magiging recipient nitong pera na galing po sa rice tariffication
Raffy: How are they identified?
Cynthia: A list of farmers owning 2 hectares and below
Cynthia: So magpapalista ka sa kanila…RSBSA
Cynthia: So, I have no guilt to any rice farmers
Cynthia: All the money that came from the rice tariffication were given back to the rice farmers
Raffy: I’m not saying po that you are guilty
Cynthia: I wrote that law
Raffy: I know, ako po yung…
Cynthia: I studied the difference between us and the rice farmers of Vietnam
Cynthia: The rice farmers of Vietnam, they produce their palay at 6 pesos per kilo.
Cynthia: We in the Philippines, we produce our palay at 12 pesos per kilo
Cynthia: The 6 pesos difference, I looked at it and the 3.50 is labor, that means we are not mechanized and 2.50 is the productivity of the seeds, so there is something wrong with our seeds
Cynthia: So, when I wrote that Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, I gave 5 billion to mechanization and 3 billion to seed distribution and also to train them to do the same seeds with their own farm
Cynthia: I am teaching them to learn how to do inbred seedlings
Cynthia: We need the residential and commercial areas to improve the quality of the lives of our people. It’s not the amount of farmlands. It’s the efficiency of using these farmlands
Cynthia: Alam ninyo ‘pag maganda ang seeds mo at mechanized ka, even with smaller area of farmland, you can do better and earn more
Raffy: Kaya nga po ‘yan po ‘yung dahilan bakit gusto ko po na maipasa na po ‘yung National Land Use Act
Raffy: Hindi ko po alam kung bakit hanggang ngayon, apat na presidente na po ang dumaan at hindi pa rin po ito maipasa-pasa. Hindi ko po alam kung bakit. Your guess is as good as mine
Cynthia: Alam po ninyo, ang Land Use Act, lahat po ng local government, may land use plan na sila, nagpagawa na sila ng land use plan
Cynthia: The power of determining the implementation of the land use is with the local government. Why will you, you will remove it from the local government and transfer it to the national government? Do you think that is better?
Raffy: It is better po na dapat sa national government ang humawak po nitong batas na ito ng National Land Use Act
Cynthia: Not everybody agrees with you
Raffy: Well, not everybody agrees with you
Cynthia: Ako, I don’t agree. Alam niyo, ako nga sinasabi ko sa kanila
Raffy: Maybe you are that way because, because…
Cynthia: Ako, I’m a daughter of a mayor…
Migz: Ah, special suspension for 1 minute