Claim: In a presidential debate, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. recalled Masagana 99, an agricultural program established during his father’s regime, which helped small-scale farmers increase their production as well as lower food prices.
The facts: Towards the end of Masagana 99’s implementation, the beneficiary farmers were left in debt. Although the program achieved short-lived success, rice production was still not sufficient in order for the Philippines to export rice, as initially intended.
Why we fact-checked this: FTI, Kadiwa Store, and Masagana 99 were the buzzwords Marcos, Jr. evoked when he was asked by an SMNI panelist during their debate last February 15 on how he can feed the Filipinos with the rising food prices. Here we try to shed light on the Masagana 99 program as Marcos, Jr. plans to reimplement it when he gets elected as the next Philippine president.
On food security for Filipinos, MJ Mondejar asked: “If you become the next President of the Republic, how do you plan to feed the 110 million Filipinos and the next generation if the prices of staple foods continue to increase? Specific po sana ang paglalatag ng plano.”
When it was Bongbong Marcos’ turn to reply, he agreed to Ka Leody’s answers and added: “Tapos may pautang. Siyempre kasama diyan yung patubig. Hanggang sa post-harvest facilities hanggang sa processing. Dadagdagan ko lang, hanggang sa pagretail dahil kung gobyerno ang humamawak sa buong production, sa buong linya ng produksyon, hangga’t sa pagbenta sa retail, ang gobyerno ay hindi dapat kumita. Kaya’t maipagbibili nila ng mas mura.”
“Dito eh, naranasan na natin ito noong nagkaroon tayo ng Masagana 99 doon sa production. Merong tayong IRRI atsaka PhilRice doon sa R & D (research and development). Meron tayong FTI (Food Terminal, Inc.) doon sa ano rin NFA nagpa-stabilization hanggang sa Kadiwa Store. Yun siguro ang modelo na puwede nating gayahin at ulitin.” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5JH5ntZr8s
, 1:56:45 timestamp]
Masagana 99 was an agricultural program under his father Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., established to increase rice production among Filipino farmers. Although successful at first, this government program was criticized for its problematic credit scheme.
Launched in 1973, Masagana 99 was also called the “Program of Survival.” One key element of this program is to give out loans with no collateral. Loan applications were made very accessible, which became a vehicle for political patronage.