Friday, July 30, 2010

The moronisms of the "rotting rice surplus" debate

President Benigno "P.Noy" Aquino III's people continue to gripe about excess "rotting" rice in National Food Authority warehouses even as a shipment of 20,000 metric tonnes of rice ordered last April arrived. Of course Malacanang wastes no opportunity to blame the previous administration as Asia News reports...
President Aquino, in his State of the Nation Address on Monday, acknowledged that last year four million Filipinos ate less than three meals a day, blaming the problem on the wasteful policies of the former Arroyo administration.

But then the report also contained the following observation...
Still, cheap shots at his predecessor aside, in his speech the president brought back to the fore the issue of land reform, which he has not yet addressed.

Felix Paz, member of the national council of the Peasants' Movement of the Philippines (Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas or KMP) offers his "expert" views on the matter:
"More than 4.2 million farmers and agriculture-related workers rely on our staple for their jobs but" the sector "is often neglected. While billions are being spent just to import rice, the price of palay (unhusked rice)" remains "low," Paz said.

Ok na sana. But then instead of quitting while he was ahead, he offers this "recommendation" on the basis of the Malcanang's "rotting surplus" tagline-of-the-week:
"[...] the Aquino government should just distribute the excess rice for free so that it will not go to waste [...]"

And here I was thinking that rice farmers already had enough problems coping with the low prices of their produce (as Paz himself observed). Imagine what a market flooded with free rice would further do to these dismal prices.

That's the Philippines for you. It's a society where already flawed arguments are responded to with moronic "recommendations". But trust the Government of such a society to take on board (make patol) even these moronic recommendations...
MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government may distribute to poor Filipinos the surplus imported rice instead of leaving it to rot in warehouses, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said today.

Sayaw Pinoy, sayaw...

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