Wednesday, June 13, 2007
No to Bread Price Hike!
One of the press releases of Senator-elect Francis Escudero during the campaign period is about the possible consequence of food shortage due to the bio-fuel or alternative fuel craze. For lack of better word, I’ll call it a craze. Anyway, it’s not yet a lifestyle. He said that there could be a shortage because farmers might be more enticed to plant alternative fuel-related crops than – let’s say – rice. I thought that he has a point but I would not believe the shortage scenario just yet.
The name Thomas Malthus is synonymous with famine. He said that overpopulation could lead to food shortage and eventually, world famine. It’s possible. However, Malthus didn’t take into account a couple of things – science and technology. These twin factors prevented a worldwide nightmare. And these also stopped me from totally accepting the food shortage explanation of Escudero.
His comment is not in any way a dig to fellow candidate Juan Miguel Zubiri. I guess the outgoing Sorsogon representative knows a thing or two on food production as well as shortage since his father was a former head of the Department of Agriculture in which the National Food Authority is part of. (You should have seen the overwhelming support given to Chiz by NFA-Iloilo. Raul Gonzales’ financial reward has no effect whatsoever.)
The point I’m making is that: the price of bread might increase! As if expanded value-added taxes are not enough. The price of good quality flour has increased (from P510/ 25 kilos to P520/ 25 kilos). Simple economics would tell you that if the price of raw material increases, the price of the manufactured product also increases. What’s really scary is the explanation for the said price alterations.
The problem is felt worldwide. Less wheat is harvested because more farmers are attracted to plant corn since it is use as an alternative fuel. See. There is a grain (pun intended) of truth to Escudero’s claim.
Please spare bread! Please spare the noble bread! It is my 24/7 food intake every school semester.
Choosing between clean air (bio-fuels) and a full stomach (affordable bread) is like choosing between Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. You cannot choose. It is best-consumed as a combination.
It is commendable that we are doing something to slow down the effects of global warming but this should not displace other things of importance such as food production. Even the G.H.W Bush-anointed Ozone Man, Al Gore would agree.
I tell you…expensive pan de sal does not really taste good. Even if you put cheese…and eat it with Chiz.