A PARTY-LIST lawmaker said the government should use its resources in helping Filipino farmers boost their production of the staple food instead of helping other country’s farmers.

This was the statement of Anak Mindanao Party-list Congressman Ariel Hernandez on Wednesday after learning the plan of the National Food Authority (NFA) to import from 200,000 to 250,000 metric tons of rice to have enough buffer supply in the midst of widespread drought brought about by the El Niño phenomenon.

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Hernandez said the government should first pour its resources in boosting “our farm production and help our own farmers” instead of importing rice.

Hernandez, who hails from Northern Mindanao, one of the rich rice-producing provinces of the Philippines, urged government to “first look inside before looking outside.”

He also said government must focus its energy in developing our own, instead of giving business to other countries.

Government agencies in charge of food security like the Department of Agriculture and NFA should develop a policy that is “forward-looking” and not just come up with “short-term solutions” to a serious problem like rice shortage, the congressman added.