Lone Filipino Gusi Peace Prize laureate calls on collaborators in food production to counter insurgency, terrorism

by Admin-Phmp

Agriculture Undersecretary Deogracias Victor B.  Savellano, the lone Filipino Gusi Peace Prize 2023 leaureate, has called on collaborators to strengthen ties with government on food production to counter insurgency and terrorism.

Awarded for good governance now geared toward increased food security, Savellano said political factions should all set aside ideologies to contribute to raising food supply. 

With good governance, he means the least privileged, the most disadvantaged, the poor and marginalized should be given priority in government programs.  

Food production is a primary mandate of government through which many socio-economic problems in the countryside can be solved, he said.

“When the Filipino goes hungry, we have a national security problem. We are all confronted with food security, which in fact is a national security problem.  That’s why all of us public and private sector people should be involved in finding ways to raise food supply,” he said.

Savellano made the statement in light of a bombing incident in Marawi early this week that is reportedly exposing internationally-linked terrorists to the violence.

However, government’s program for reintegrating rebels have been successfully luring returnees as its package of benefits includes safety and security of rebels’ families along with a health program and livelihood opportunities.

With increased food production and livelihood generation in the countryside, rural folks are less likely to be influenced to join armed rebellion, said Savellano.

Ambassador Barry Gusi, founder of the Gusi Peace Prize, said the appointment of strong leaders in government such as that of Savellano is so timely even now that violence has recurred with the bombing in Marawi City.

“This (violence) has many factors—security, economy, political (differences). They in the South should be given equal attention. These people are not treated equally.  It’s not important whether you’re a Christian or Muslim.  People should be treated equally,” said Gusi. 

Savellano is doing an important role in making available food, resources, and livelihood opportunities to all.

“Food is a necessity.  Food is one of the main reasons (for all these violence).  Political (conflicts) arise from a lack of attention to Muslims.  They have been neglected in part in health care and food.  They don’t have enough.”   

The Gusi Peace Prize is awarded for excellence in many areas like Medicine, Physics, etiology, environment, humanitarian works. 

This year’s other laureates in the Gusi Peace Prize are Atty. Jordan Gjorchev, founder, National University of Macedonia; Dr. Lars Larsen, Medicine -Neuroscience trailblazer;

Dr. Carlos Paya, CEO of Immune Design; Fmr Princess Himani Rajya Laxmi Devi Shah, supporter of disadvantaged Nepalese Community through The Himani Trust; Prof. Paris Katsivelos, quintessential actor, director, and educator of the dramatic arts.

The rest are Amb. Georges Suha of the European Union in Africa; Dr. Craig Elevitch, pioneer,  Mama Food Forests cultivating 800 million of such to help address food security; Mr. Frank Shooster – Haiti Relief Efforts during the 2010 earthquake; Mrs Xiomara Delgado Reynoso – Improving Children’s Rights;  President Vit Jedlicka – political leader, Liberland;  and Hon. Samuel Charles – Leader of New Nigeria, CEO ANOG Petroleum LTD and 11 other companies.

“Undersecretary Savellatno’s work (in agriculture) is one of humanitarian nature.  If he can put something on the table, that helps many Filipinos,” he said.

“Undersecretary Savellano is a man of understanding and compassion.  It is not hard to come to him and ask for help. I admire his efforts since he was a vice mayor, mayor, governor, and congressman in Ilocos.”  (PR)

Photo caption: Gusi Prize winner Deogracias Victor B. Savellano 

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