Senator Cynthia Villar on Monday assured that there is enough supply of rice in the country to sustain the needs of the Filipino people.
Speaking at DZRH’s Damdaming Bayan, Villar clarified that the shortage of rice produced by the National Food Authority (NFA) does not necessarily mean the shortage in rice supply in the country.
“Wala po tayong rice shortage,” Villar insisted, “Ang may pagkukulang ay NFA. Nagfail ang NFA sa paggawa ng kanilang mandate. It’s a sign na hindi nila kayang gawin ‘yung trabaho nila.”
“Nagtataka nga ako bakit ina-announce ‘yung buffer stock e. Nagdudulot lang ng panic sa tao,” she added.
Addressing the country’s smuggling dilemma, the Senator urged the NFA to cope and produce the same rice quality and value as that of Vietnam.
“We have to make them efficient. Kailangang ma-produce ‘yung rice with the same rice with Vietnam para wala nang smuggling,” said Villar.
Meanwhile, on the issue regarding the total deployment ban of overseas Filipino workers to Kuwait, Villar noted that the same problem has been existing for years.
“Panahon palang ng aking asawa, aware na tayo na 80 percent ng domestic problems ay nasa Middle East. Iba ang culture nila doon. Hindi na dapat tayo nagpapadala ng ating kababayan to these certain countries,” she said.
The Senator explained that a great number of OFW’s now hail from rural areas in Visayas and Mindanao, opposed to the previous preference of recruiters to recruit OFW’s from Metro Manila and other neighboring regions.
“Pumupunta na ang employers sa rural. Pero hindi prepared ang mga kababayan natin sa mga problemang kahaharapin nila sa Middle East,” she said.
Earlier today, Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration told DZRH that a reform in the recruitment process is greatly needed to address the issue on OFW’s cultural adjustments abroad.
“Tingin ko kailangan talaga magkaroon ng reporma sa pagrerecuite – dapat ang kaparaana ay sistematiko hindi yung rine-recruite ang mga kababaihan natin dahil silay mahihirap. Dapat tama ang skills at properly matched sila, ibigsabihin dapat properly matched sila doon sa pupuntahan nila doon,” Cacdac said.
Explaining further, Sen. Villar emphasized that there are enough job opportunities in the country given the government’s ongoing Build, build, build program and expanding tourist attractions.
“Marami na na pong opportunities sa ating bansa,” the Senator said, “Malalakas na ang ating kababaihan. I’m sure women can prosper in tourism. Ang construction natin ay booming, pero kaunti ang workers dahil sa perception na panlalaki lang. I don’t think panlalaki lang ‘yon.”