PRESIDENT  ARROYO  ADDRESSES  PLIGHT  OF  ARROYO  ESTATE'S  FARMERS

MALACAÑANG, May 10, 2008 (OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has directed the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to address the plight of the farmers of the Arroyo Estate in the Visayas.

This was revealed by Deputy Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo in her texted reply to queries by members of the Malacanang Press Corps (MPC) who asked her about the issue.

“The palace has directed DAR (Department of Agrarian Reform) to take appropriate action to address the plight of the farmers of the Arroyo estate.

Belying news reports to the contrary, Fajardo stressed that “the land distribution process (of the Arroyo Estate) is underway.”

“We ask for understanding and patience on the part of the concerned farmers, given that the Arroyos have already placed their 157-hectare land under CARP,” the lady spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, Fajardo – one of two deputies of Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye – reiterated that the President is in favor of the extension of the CARP even as the Arroyo Estate has placed itself under the CARP.

“PGMA (President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) favors the extension (of CARP). It was, in fact, one of the agenda during the last LEDAC (Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council),” stressed Fajardo.

She added that because of the President’s pro-CARP stand, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is already “working for the extension of the CARP in Congress (Lower House) and the Senate.”

“PGMA (President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) favors the extension (of CARP). It was, in fact, one of the agenda during the last LEDAC (Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council),” stressed Fajardo.

GMA blames media, opposition on food crisis Saturday, May 10, 2008

(STAR) President Arroyo accused the media and the political opposition yesterday of exacerbating the global food crisis.

Speaking to members of Soroptimist International of the Philippines Region (SIPR) at a luncheon in Malacanang, Mrs. Arroyo said “a combination of factors in the whole world” was contributing to the rising prices and the tightening of food supply.

“All of these (factors) acted together in the world to drive up the price of food, especially rice,” she said.

Mrs. Arroyo said these factors are:

• Spiraling petroleum costs;

• Increased demand for oil from countries like China and India;

• Climate change, decreasing investments in agriculture worldwide, and diversion of agricultural land for biofuels in efforts to reduce the use of petroleum to address global warming.

Mrs. Arroyo said Thailand and Vietnam are selling rice at home at prices higher than that fixed by the National Food Authority.

“All of these lead to a shortage, which has been further exacerbated all over the world by panic situations and hysteria created by the media and political opponents in various countries,” she said.

Mrs. Arroyo warned that this year some countries would be unable to buy rice, not for lack of funds, but because of the commodity’s unavailability.

“Traditional relationships are the key element as sellers are forced to choose within hordes of willing buyers and open wallets,” she said.

“So the buyers who bought early are the only ones with rice. Only those who come to the party early, leave with party favors.” – Paolo Romero


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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