(The Battle against starvation)
Instead of engaging in guns and amunitions, then President Marcos fought the battle against starvation- a common problem confronting Asian countries.
Program of Survival
Up to the early 70’s, the country suffered a serious shortage of rice, the staple food. The problem was further aggravated by strong floods and extreme droughts that struck Asian countries. Our production of rice drastically decreased which resulted to inadequate supply for the monthly requirement.
In collaboration with the International Rice Research Institue, identified high yielding varities and developed planting techniques. In 1973, the “Program of Survival” dubbed as Masagana 99 was launched nationwide. The President provided his all-out support, morally and financially for the program to attain its goal.
On April 30, 1968, Pres. Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 347 under the Management of Development Bank of the Philippines, creating a committee assigned to look into upliftment of the agricultural economy of the country. In turn, a system was designed to ensure price stability and increased productivity. It led to the foundation of the Greater Manila Terminal Food Market (GMTFM) of Food Terminal Inc. (FTI)
In April 1971 the First Lady enlisted the active cooperation of all provincial and city governments, as well as concerned civic and religious organizations, to encourage backyard food production.
In 1973 President Marcos spurred the movement further by ordering the used of idle, undeveloped and unused lots for the production of root crops and vegetables.
During the Marcos years the Philippines was Exporting of Rice, Corn and Sugar to other Countries.
Today, we are now importing Rice, Corn, Sugar from other countries.