Lay off Landbank
I come from a working-class family, from a long line of ancestors who must till the land in order to put food on the table.
That is why President Duterte’s sentiment on how Landbank of the Philippines has strayed far from its original mission of providing access to credit, especially for small farmers strikes a chord.
But can I blame Landbank? I can’t. The bank could have gone bankrupt a long time ago had it not commercialized itself.
Where it is now is where it is supposed to be. The fault is not in our banks. It is in the way the government deals with farmers, especially the small ones. Farmers do not need scum from a bureaucracy.
Free fertilizers and seedlings are not the only service they need. They need a path to the market. They need wider crop insurance coverage. They need efficient irrigation. They need high-end but low-cost technology. And the budget for our agricultural programs should rival that for defense, especially in a nation like ours whose biggest enemy is hunger and poverty.
JONAS CABILES SOLTES
Antipolo, Tinambac, Camarines Sur
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