MANILA - Rising prices of food, particularly rice and fish, along with other basic goods only indicate that the country is nearing a food crisis, Senator Panfilo Lacson warned Monday.
"Sobrang taas ang bilihin, pati isda. Lahat halos basic food sa table e hindi na kinakayang bilhin, lalo na ang sobrang mahirap nating kababayan," he said.
"Puwede nating sabihin na kung wala mang food crisis pa, malapit na tayo magkaroon ng food crisis kasi tumataas ang bilihin," the senator added.
Lacson earlier urged President Rodrigo Duterte to focus on the economy instead of his anti-narcotics drive, saying the economy is a bigger problem as inflation may hit 6 percent in September to October.
The last time inflation breached 6 percent was at 6.6 percent in March 2009, according to Philippine Statistics Authority data using 2012 prices as base.
For its part, Gabriela party-list group criticized Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol for encouraging people to eat weevil-infested rice instead of finding a solution to the rice shortage.
"Ang pagkain ng kanin na may bukbok ni Sec. Piñol ay hindi sagot sa krisis sa bigas. Ito ay pagmamatigas at hindi pag-amin ng administrasyon na may mali sa polisiyang pinapatupad," the group said.
It added: "Nakakahiya para sa isang bansang agrikultural sapilitang pagpapakain ng gobyerno sa mamamayan ng pagkaing luma at nabubulok."