Tobacco farmers to protest government-induced hardships


CANDON CITY, Ilocos Sur – The Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation (Stop-Exploitation) is set to take action on March 22 at 9:00 in the public plaza of this city. The action aims to call the government to address the calls of tobacco farmers for higher price for tobacco, better contract provisions under the tobacco contract growing system, and greater benefits from the local government’s share of the tobacco excise tax.

Antonino Pugyao, chairperson of the group, explained that the government favor huge tobacco companies and inutile against their “manipulation of price.” This, according to him, only served the corporate sector and “high-ranking officials of the Duterte’s Administration”.

He criticized the administration for failing to fulfil its promise to ensure that adequate support are given to farmers from the excise tax funds. The peasant leader also underscored that Duterte’s tax reform policy worsened their condition.

“The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law agravatted the already dismall condition of tobacco farmers. Where are your declared promises for the people?” added Pugyao.

He vowed to continue to fight for the rights and interest of peasants.

“We will never stop calling and protesting against the US-Duterte Administration until we received what is due to us and the Filipino people,” Pugyao said.

Other sectors and organization will also join the action. Ilocos Human Rights Alliance, Anakbayan-Ilocos, and religious groups have already announced their support and partcipation.

Stop Exploitation is the regional federation of peasant organizations in Ilocos struggling for genuine agrarian reform and national democracy. The group is an affiliate of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP). #


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