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This Sunday (October 7), join Jessica Soho—widely regarded as the country’s most credible

broadcast journalist—together with award-winning documentarists Kara David, Maki Pulido, and
Atom Araullo as they present and seek answers to one of the most pressing issues of today in
“Walang Unli-Rice: A GMA News and Public Affairs Special”.

A family in Zamboanga eats kamote instead of rice.


Long before daybreak, 81-yr old Antonia Alconis endures the long queue in Pasig Public Market
to buy cheap NFA rice which is sold at P27 a kilo. She is just one of the over a hundred people in
line. The situation is the same in many other public markets with people scrambling to purchase
NFA rice.

Farmers continue their struggle with ancient farming techniques in the Rice Granary Province of
Nueva Ecija
As the supply of NFA rice runs out in their warehouses, the price of commercial rice has also
begun to soar. In Mindanao where poverty remains at alarming levels, rice is now considered a
luxury. The family of Albasin and Norain Tanjilani, residents of an island part of Zamboanga now
totally abstain from taking rice with their meals. They say it was in the month of June when they
last ate a cup of rice. Back then, the price of rice was just at P30-40 per kilo but has since surged
to P65-70 a kilo in their area. They now eat kamoteng kahoy instead of rice.

Other NFA warehouses remain empty.


“Walang Unli-Rice” aims to show the current plight of ordinary folk as they struggle to make
ends meet amidst the high price of commodities, especially rice – the most important food for
most Filipinos. Beyond the poorest of the poor, middle class households also feel the pinch with
inflation at a 9-year high of 6.4% in August – with the price of rice is seen as one of the most
essential inflation drivers.

Maki Pulido with a lady farmer who is washing mud-covered rice grains as another typhoon hits
Northern Luzon.
Apart from the consuming public, “Walang Unli-Rice” also tackles the issues concerning the
farmers who toil in the rice fields. From the “Rice Granary” of the Philippines, the province of
Nueva Ecija remains the country’s top rice producer. But despite their productive harvest lies the
perennial problems that continue to beset the farmers. They do not have a farm land to call their
own, remain indebted to their landlords and continue to farm with poor irrigation facilities and
ancient farming techniques all of which contribute to low rice productivity. “Walang Unli-Rice”
also examines the rice situation in Thailand, now the world’s 2nd largest rice exporter, whose
farmers once gained knowledge by training at our own International Rice Research Institute.