(dpa) - Leaders of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) must hold an emergency summit to address the looming food shortages in the region, a senior Philippine legislator said Saturday.
Senator Mar Roxas said the 10-member grouping must come up with concerted efforts to address the issue of shortages in staple food and runaway prices of basic commodities.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
"ASEAN has in its membership the world's two biggest rice exporters and the world's biggest rice importer," Roxas said in a statement.
"The proposed summit has the opportunity to ease the fear and the crisis that is gripping both the producing farmers and consumer families across the ASEAN and the region," he added.
Roxas said the summit can include ASEAN's partners like China, South Korea and Japan and multinational financial institutions that have interests on "both the consumer and the producer sides of the current crisis."