Monday, April 28, 2008

Francisco Balagtas' Relevance

West Point classmate on Lim: He’s no rebel, just an idealist

Sa loob at labas ng bayan kong sawi

Kaliluha’y siyang nangyayaring hari

Kagalinga’t bait kimi’t nalulugmi

Ininis sa hukay ng dusa’t pighati.

McCain calls Obama insensitive to poor people

Not PGMA. They keep multiplying under her.

A Manila Times Editorial asks: WHAT if instead of lining up for rice and pushing against the crowd for one’s rations a person boycotts the grain? Or if a consumers group decides to call for a boycott? Or everybody?

Why not? Farmers would likely support the move, by not planting rice! Planting rice is never fun anyway. It is a losing enterprise. The more he plants, the more he gets into indebtedness. Try planting with capital borrowed from usurers. Try planting on land you do not own. Try selling to NFA that would rather buy from foreign sources.

Subsidies intended for farmers go to corrupt officials. Ask Jocjoc Bolante. Ask Quedancor. Rather than buy from local farmers, NFA would rather import rice and sell it to favored traders who make a killing by selling it as commercial rice. For years this has been the practice. Only the rice crisis exposed this anomaly.

Planting is an act of patriotism or plain stupidity. It raises the GNP, but not the farmers’ income. Let PGMA import rice at twice the cost it is willing to pay local farmers. Let’s plant and eat camote.