Isabela beauty queen urges government to make farming conditions better

January 27, 2023 - 5:36 PM
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Photo shows Queen Isabela Culture and the Arts 2022 Johanna Trisha Cinco (Johanna Trisha Cinco/Facebook)

A local beauty pageant contestant earned praise from the public because of her answer that highlights issues confronting Filipino farmers and what the government should do about it. 

During the Queen Isabela 2023 pageant, Johanna Trisha Cinco was asked by Miss Universe Philippines national director Shamcey Supsup-Lee how she can encourage millennials to take a career in agriculture as the number of farmers declines. 

“I think it is time for us to stop burdening society to go to jobs that don’t benefit them, instead, we should burden the system to create a more sustainable position for farmers and make farming a good job for people. And once we do that — once the government does its job that’s when millennials will choose to be farmers because by then it is a profession that will feed their family and it is a profession that will give them a sustainable life,” Trisha said. 

Trisha’s answer has caught the attention of some social media personalities. 

“I just had a wordgasm!! Grabe!! Clear, concise, and very eloquently addressed! Rekta! In that very short time!” Eva Le Queen, one of the finalists of “Drag Race Philippines” Season 1 said.

Former Miss Universe delegate Ayn Bernos also noticed Trisha’s answer and wrote in a quote retweet “Slayeddd.”

“Ganito ang sagutan. mulat sa realidad. may aksyon na inilalatag,” an online user said.

“Wanna see Shamcey Supsup’s reaction when @trishacincoo nailed the answer to her question. This should be the type of candidate that #MissUniversePH sends,” a Twitter user commented

Some lamented that Trisha failed to bag the title but the beauty queen said that “being able to speak and be heard is already a win” as she expressed her gratitude to the people around her. 

Trisha bagged the title of “Queen Isabela Culture and the Arts.”

The articulate delivery of her message is a reflection of Trisha’s experience as a national debater and as the president of the Far Eastern University Oratorical and Debate Council during college.

Trisha told Interaksyon that she is preparing to pursue a law degree. Apart from this, she also creates educational content on TikTok.

Farming in the Philippines

The average age of farmers in the Philippines is between 57 and 59 years old, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) reported. 

USAID said the reason behind this is that the youth do not consider a career in agriculture as profitable. 

Based on the Department of Agriculture‘s 2021 report, agricultural workers in the country have a P285.19 average daily basic pay. 

Apart from the youth themselves, most of the parents of rice farmers also do not want their children to pursue a career in agriculture. 

This was revealed in the study by University of the Philippines professor Florencia Palis. 

Her findings showed that about 65% of the farmers want their children to stay away from rice farming, while 35% want their children to engage in the same trade.

One of the major reasons why farmers do not want their children to be like them is that they do not see a good future in farming. 

Farmers also wanted their children to earn a college degree so that will have better incomes and stable jobs. 

In her recommendations, Palis underscored the role of government in providing support to farmers that will encourage the younger generations to pursue a career in agriculture. 

“The Philippine government and agricultural institutions need to formulate on-the-ground strategies that will raise the motivation of farmers and their children to continue rice farming and, thereby, contribute to attaining the country’s rice self-sufficiency goal,” the UP professor noted in her research.

Palis’ study was conducted in three provinces of the country, one province representing each of the three big islands: Isabela for Luzon, Iloilo for the Visayas, and Agusan del Norte for Mindanao. The study noted that 165 farmers participated in the focus group discussion. 

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