City Mayor Constantino G. Jaraula today exhorted city government employees and the local residents to be vigilant against individuals and groups who may take advantage of the present rice scarcity crisis in the country.
During the flag raising ceremony at the city hall this morning, Mayor Jaraula said that everyone in the community must be watchful against those who will engage in rice hoarding and create an artificial crisis in order to make huge profits from the high prices of rice.
Mayor Jaraula enjoined the residents to report immediate to his office and other concerned government agencies any rice hoarding activity that they suspect in their respective barangays. The city mayor said that he will not hesitate to prosecute those who will be caught hoarding rice and jeopardizing the interest of the consuming public especially those who can hardly afford to buy a kilo of rice.
He said that the effects of what he perceived as “artificial rice scarcity” can badly hurt not only the consuming public but even the lowly farmers in the hinterlands.
Mayor Jaraula said that with rice scarcity, the government will then opt to import rice which can instead benefit farmers from other countries and a few individuals in the country.
The local chief executive likewise expressed his strong support to the position of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to stop the massive conversion of agricultural lands into residential or commercial areas.
Along this, Mayor Jaraula likewise urged the residents to engage in agricultural activities such as the planting of vegetables and root crops in the backyard, if only to save on the expenses for food.
Mayor Jaraula said that with vegetables and root crops planted in the backyard, the people are assured that they are eating vegetables that are truly nutritious and free from pesticides and other chemicals. Sandra B. Tadeo/ City Information Office