Monday, August 04, 2008

A Framework for Making Food Subsidies, Land Reform & Victory Gardens Work

In my previous blog entry, along with the flat tax, i proposed 20 pesos per day food stamps that every Filipino adult (ages 18 to 64) can avail of if he/she chooses to. Since then, i have thought out further details on how this arrangement might work while at the same time help in implementing land reform as well as increase local food production. This approach is summarized in the following diagram:

Figure 1: Framework for Food Subsidies, Land Reform & Victory Gardens
(click on image to enlarge)

(to be continued)


Anonymous said...

Except for the food stamps, this is exactly how the flow of money works in the present system.

cvj said...

Anonymous, in your opinion, is that a good or a bad thing? Anyway, i still owe you the continuation.

Anonymous said...

I think there's no way our government can afford public welfare. I am all for the abolition of DSWD. Let the private charities, NGO's and church help the poor.

The government should focus on cutting the budget to essential projects that provide lasting benefits like education and public infrastructure. We have to cut further because of debt payments.

Anyway, with our corrupt government, food stamps will probably be inefficient anyway. Also, expect the "manggaganchos" to game the system. I can foresee evil restaurants and food sellers charging the poor twice for their food stamps or exploiting shabu addicts and the like to give them their food stamps in exchange for half the cash value of the food stamps.

Anonymous said...

While on the issue of cutting, we could probably half the size of congress by merging municipal districts. We could also just do with 12 senators. Let's also expand our cities so we can cut the number of mayors. Imagine the savings in public official salaries.

With the money saved, let's triple, quadruple or even quintiple the staff and resources of the office of the Ombudsman and the tax office. Give them powers that are taken for granted other First World nations like opening up bank accounts.

leytenian said...

great illustration on money flows.
regarding the 20 pesos food stamp: the food stamp ticket is only valid for a certain store ( government approved) and for a certain commodities like food only. it cannot be used for other budget. the men in my province might save that money for the weekend cockfight and to buy coconut Tuba.. for their drinking blues...

leytenian said...

regarding land reform:
aggressive continuation of this program and awarding recipient should not be delayed..

idle lands of 5 hectares not 10 hectares should be subject to agrarian reform.

cvj said...

Hi Leytenian, thanks! I agree, the food stamps (or vouchers) can only be used to buy food. Not only that, the food must have been domestically produced so that the money circulates domestically and goes to the income of local farmers.

I agree with you on land reform as well.

leytenian said...

how do we implement your proposal?
here's what I can share:

1. Data colection:
a. database of small stores around the country. each store must register and apply for such license as a provider. each store must abide the rules and regulations. No advance or utang is allowed. meaning the voucher cannot be used as collateral. Used it as they buy. All stores are subject to revocation of business licenses and other benefits as penalty for non compliance.
b. per barangay records of low income family. this data must come from the bottom. It needs to be verified. the government must compile all recipients then multiply by 20 pesos.. ( hahaha).

2. Management and personnel... who is responsible for the process and what penalty will the manager will be subject to if corruption will occur.

3. Risk Management: In exchange for food stamps, the registered recipients must apply for a National ID. Employers around any town, and barangays must report new employment using the National ID system. this way, food voucher may not be necessary once employed. automation of this data at central is crucial for future reference.

Note: to those people who have received agrarian reform award are not eligible but eligible for other programs such as .. loan or grants to cultivate the land.

leytenian said...

hi cvj,

agree.. all foods must be domestically produce... that's what agricultural employment is all about. it motivates individual to produce in exchange for money.

this might be another way of motivating those 6.6 mil underemployed in the agricultural sector.

cvj said...

Leytenian (at 2:49:00 AM), i think we're in sync on the implementation details. In a previous blog post, i also mentioned the need for recipients to register for a National ID.

The effectiveness of this scheme would depend on the quality of the distribution network, i.e. the organization (or organizations) that purchases food from farmers and distributes it to the retailers. For a model, i think we can look the successful example of India's Amul.

leytenian said...

agree amul is a good example.
what business are we in..rice, milk, sugar, fisheries, livestocks.

we cannot just focus on one product. Philippines islands is over 1000.
distribution will be more challenging than India.

anonymous1 said...

"While on the issue of cutting, we could probably half the size of congress by merging municipal districts. We could also just do with 12 senators. Let's also expand our cities so we can cut the number of mayors. Imagine the savings in public official salaries."

now that I will agree...
basing from my own observation in my hometown, my mayor is useless.

cvj said...

Leytenian, precisely what i like about Amul is that it found a way to make suppliers out of the poor...

"In 2005-2006, its sales turnover was $850 million handling 9.91 million liters of milk a day from 2.5 million small-farm milk producers, most of whom started out earning less than a dollar a day" - Paul Polak, Out of Poverty

That's exactly what we need, a way to channel the food stamps to fund the domestic food producers, especially the poorest among them. That would generate a multiplier effect that can helpl pull the rural communities out of poverty.

leytenian said...

multiplier effect is the result of proper implementation.

food stamps, buy own own produce, multiplier effect...that's brilliant.

let's do it..

no if's and buts..there's no failure in trying. so what's next?

Anonymous said...

This model looks so... socialist. Did any of the failed communist countries every try such an experiment? Attempting this on a capitalist economy without Stalinist police controls looks set to encourage a lot of corruption, including among the poor who are involved in its implementation.

This subsidizing scheme is anathema to progress espoused by "To get rich is glorious" capitalism. At first glance, this doling out proposal seems to encourage waste and discourages the population's enterprise.

cvj said...

Hi Anonymous, perhaps i haven't explained the diagram adequately, but the model aims to make use of market based exchanges (as labeled in the yellow arrow) to encourage food production and distribution. The subsidies (in the form of food stamps) are a way to direct consumption into necessities which would in turn benefit domestic producers.