On ‘Araw ng Kagitingan’ (Day of Valor), a national holiday to commemorate the fall of Bataan during World War II, presidential candidate Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson could not help but be reminded that a third world war still exists ‘in the realm of possibilities,’ considering the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
For this reason, Lacson said it is important for the Philippines to enhance its food productivity and move away from its import-driven mentality to ensure that our people would not starve in case the recent hostilities between Moscow and Kyiv escalate into a large-scale global conflict.
“Hindi tayo pwedeng mag-rely sa prophecy pero kailangan data-driven, kailangan may foresight. Ang pwede, in the realm of possibilities, dahil sa invasion ng Russia sa Ukraine—ito, medyo hindi naman sa nananakot pero pwedeng magkaroon ng outbreak—magkaroon ng World War 3,” Lacson said.
[We cannot rely on a prophecy, we need to be data-driven, we need to have foresight. What can happen, in the realm of possibilities, because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine—I don’t mean to sound like an alarmist—but there could be an outbreak of World War 3.]
Lacson shared these thoughts in a ‘Pandesal Forum’ hosted by columnist Wilson Lee Flores, Saturday (April 9), at the Kamuning Bakery Café in Quezon City. He segued on this topic after a discussion on his plans to address the national debt, which is projected to hit nearly P13-trillion anytime soon.
He explained that the best answer to resolve this issue is to come up with a ‘balanced budget,’ which he and running mate Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III have already been working on through their flagship Budget Reform Advocacy for Village Empowerment (BRAVE) program.
“Ang sagot diyan, ngayon pa lang dapat mag-enhance na tayo ng productivity natin, huwag tayong umasa sa importation. ‘Pag nag-World War III at tayo aasa lang nang aasa sa importasyon, magugutom ang mga kababayan natin,” the veteran statesman added.
[The best solution there is that we should enhance our productivity, even at this point, so we do not depend on importation. Once World War III strikes and we keep relying on importation, our people might suffer from starvation.]
Lacson, who has been following the events in war-torn eastern Europe, said there seems to be no end in sight yet on the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Because of this, the Philippines has to be prepared for contingencies to mitigate its potential long-term impact on global supply chains.
“Ngayon pa lang, i-anticipate na natin, hanggang hindi natatapos. Hindi natin alam ‘yung final outcome ng Ukraine invasion by Russia. Kailangan ngayon pa lang pinaghahandaan na natin ‘yan. Kailangan self-sufficient tayo sa mga basic na pangangailangan, (like) food, ‘di ba,” Lacson said.
[We need to anticipate (potential scenarios) while the war is going on. We have no idea what is the final outcome of the Ukraine invasion by Russia. We have to prepare for it this early. We need to be self-sufficient in terms of our basic needs such as food.]
Lacson and Sotto are currently leading the efforts to get to the bottom of the agricultural smuggling issue that local farmers and vegetable traders brought to their attention in recent months. The Senate Committee on the Whole’s ongoing probe on this matter will resume next week, according to Lacson.