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PBBM: Rice price hike is a global issue

MANILA: The issue of the prices of rice is not in the Philippines alone but in the whole of Asia. President Ferdinand R. Marcos made the statement in response to a question from a letter sent to the Office of the President through Bahay Ugnayan, asking if 'BBM' stands for 'Bigas Biglang Mahal.' Marcos clarified the increase in prices of rice is experienced globally and not specific to the Philippines. 'Hindi natin maiwasan na makita, talagang nagiging problema ang pagtaas ng presyo ng bigas dito sa Pilipinas. Pero, kung titignan po natin kahit na 'yung mga nag e-export na mga bansa ay tumataas din ang presyo nila, halos katumbas lang ng pagtaas dito sa Pilipinas (We can't help but see, the increase in the price of rice is really becoming a problem here in the Philippines. But, if we look at even the exporting countries, their prices are also increasing, almost equal to the increase here in the Philippines),' the President answered through his vlog on YouTube. The President said studies were made to observ e the prices of rice in the Philippines compared to the top rice exporting countries like Vietnam and Thailand, it showed 'external shocks' such as the movement of oil prices has made an effect, proving the problem affects the region. President Marcos assured the government is doing all it could to ensure a sufficient supply of rice and to stabilize the prices of rice in the country. 'Ginagawa natin lahat upang naman ang produksyon natin ay maging sapat na hindi na tayo nag-iimport mababawasan ang mga inputs, kung tawagin para sa ating mga farmer at sana naman ay ma-stabilize manlang natin 'yung presyo ng bigas (We are doing everything so that our production will be sufficient so that we no longer import, inputs will be reduced, so to speak for our farmers and hopefully we can at least stabilize the price of rice),' he said. The President answered more questions from letters received by the Office of the President from 'Bahay Ugnayan', one of the restored buildings inside the Malacañang compound turned int o a museum that has been opened to the public. Aside from issues of rice prices and supply, some of the questions answered by the President in his vlog ranged from politics to the jeepney modernization program, among other pressing issues. Politics in the service of the people President Marcos said politics should always be in the service of the people. 'Politics should not be in the service of one party, should not be in the service of one person, certainly. Namumulitika tayo dahil mayroon tayong gustong gawin (We enter politics because we want to do something),' Marcos said in response to a letter written by Erica, a Humanities student interested in Philippine politics and history. Marcos said an individual seeking whatever elective position should not be self-centered. President Marcos lauded Erica's interest in Philippine history, saying there is much to learn from history. The President said the Filipino people should realize that politics is constant, a favorite topic on social media but where fa ke news are rampant. He advised the youth to discern and take both sides of the story on issues. 'Because we have experienced this before. Politics is essentially about the human condition, it is about an ideology that you hold dear, a principle that you will not compromise so that you can help the people, so you can be of service to the people. Not to yourself, not to your party, not to your family, but for the people,' he added. No phase-out In the same message, the President said the government is not phasing out jeepneys, the most popular and cheapest mass transportation in the Philippines. He said the government is trying to modernize the jeepney transport system to provide quality service to Filipino commuters and provide the drivers with a better income. Marcos added that modernized jeepneys are also good for the environment. 'Alam ninyo, totoo nga namang ang jeepney kay inikilala na sa buong mundo, hindi po natin pinapalitan ang ating traditional na jeepney, ginagawa lang nating modern dahil 'y ung pagka nilipat natin, gagawin natin electric 'yang mga 'yan ay mas malaki nag kikitain ng ating mga nagpapasada dahil ang cost per kilometer ng mga electric na bagong modernized na jeepney ay mas mababa, mas maganda nga ang kita ng ating mga nagpapasada (You know, it's true that the jeepney is recognized all over the world, we're not replacing our traditional jeepney, we're just making it modern because when we transform it, we'll make it electric and our drivers will make more money because the cost per kilometer of the newly modernized electric jeepneys is lower, the income of our drivers is better,' he said. 'Bukod pa roon, hindi tayo nagdadagdag sa polusyon at tayo sa Pilipinas ay ginagawa natin ang lahat ng kaya nating gawin para naman tugunan ang problema ng climate change pero higit pa sa pagbabago at pag-moderno ng mga pampublikong sasakyan, kailangan na rin nating iwanan ang lumang pag-uugali sa kalye, dapat moderno na rin (In addition to that, we are not adding to the pollution and we in the Phi lippines are doing everything we can to address the problem of climate change but more than changing and modernizing public transportation, we also need to leave the old habit on the streets, must be modern too),' he added. President Marcos emphasized that a 'Bagong Pilipino' (New Filipino) is disciplined, considerate, and obey traffic rules. Source: Philippines News Agency