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Food security risks tackled in forum

NAGA CITY --- Logistical and property mismanagement bring risk in food supplies during natural calamities and man-made tragedies, especially in today’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis.

Marion Abiog Ramirez, Naga City People’s Council (NCPC) executive director, discussed on Thursday, May 7, the “Community Resilience and Food Security” where she cited factors that caused food insecurities during this public health crisis and past calamities such as natural, socio, and political factors.

Ramirez, in an online conversation organized by the 416 Art Space, said people as of today, need to step out of their homes for external sources of food and livelihood as they wait for the fruits of their backyard farming.

She admitted that this month is not the right time for harvest because people engaged in backyard farming, just planted their crops during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) last March. Ramirez said food production and distribution were delayed because people, especially farmers and food factory workers have limited time outside their homes due to the ECQ.

She said people still need to go out of their homes in search of food as a basic need, and the national government must address the problem.

She said that landowners possessing large, fertile, but idle and unproductive lots in barangays should have entered into agreements with concerned authorities to provide people with land for alternative farming.

Ramirez further said that politics played a big impact to government assistance. Environmental degradation and climate change also pose as threats to water and food supplies.

“Are we certain that Mt. Isarog is well preserved and our waters are well managed for a resourceful fishery?” she asked.

As the NCPC executive director, Ramirez gave emphasis on food security in times of calamities.

She said the available resources in every barangay and their ability for production must be determined.

She said an assessment is needed to identify the community needs and landowners must give the poor access to their fertile and vacant lands for alternative farming.

As to farmers, she said they must be given access to government agricultural assistance.

She bared that based from the latest world risk index, out of 118 countries prone to calamities, the Philippines is at ninth place.

According to the global climate risk index, the Philippines is in the fifth place in the list of 10 countries prone to disasters as the country suffers death tolls and economic crises during calamities, she said.

She confirmed that the Asia Pacific disaster risk report shows the Philippines as the most susceptible country to be affected by natural calamities.

She said that the country’s vulnerability to natural calamities is due to its geophysical characteristics, considering that it is an archipelago and located in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire.

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