March 18, 2008
CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga—"There's no rice shortage, tuloy ang
supply," President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared today.
The Philippines, she added, can very well meet the food requirements,
particularly rice, of its people.
The President made the assurance to allay worries over a possible
supply shortage of rice, the Filipinos' main staple food.
Appropriately enough, the presidential declaration came during the
opening of the P27-billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), the
"Food, Freight and Fun Highway" linking Northern Luzon and Mega
"Walang (rice) shortage. Tuloy-tuloy ang supply," she said.
The President pointed out that with the opening of the SCTEx, the
delivery of prime commodities, such as rice and vegetables and
services between Manila and the food baskets of Northern Luzon would
be greatly enhanced and expedited.
A National Food Authority (NFA) truck loaded with rice accompanied
the President's convoy from Manila during the inaugural drive-thru of
the new highway to "signal that the supply chain for rice can meet
the demands (of the people)."
The President also "promoted" the SCTEx to potential users, saying
the new highway provides an alternative route for Filipinos out to
take a break during the Lenten holidays in Northern Luzon.
"The SCTEx is a Food, Freight and Fun highway," the President said,
that will serve the movement of "people and products safe and fast to
places where we work, live and play."
"It will funnel food to Mega Manila coming from the rice granaries of
Cagayan Valley in the northeast or the Salad Bowl in the Cordilleras
or the Fruit Basket that is Nueve Vizcaya," the President said.
The SCTEx, she added, will also provide the much needed overland
route for the transport of export products crafted by Filipino
producers and technicians from the manufacturing hubs in Clark,
Bataan, Subic and Baguio onward to foreign destinations by air
through Clark or by sea via Subic."
The President said the SCTEx will also serve as the "artery that will
deposit the vacationing working man, the OFWs (overseas Filipino
workers) on RnR, the foreign tourists to heritage sites in Ilocos,
cool Baguio and sun, sea and surf of Subic and Zambales, Morong,
Mariveles and Bagac in Bataan, the 100 islands in San Fabian,
Pangasinan, San Juan in La Union and Baler in Aurora."