Ilocos farmers urge officials to deliver agricultural support


CABUGAO, Ilocos Sur — The Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation (STOP Exploitation) called on officials in the Province of Ilocos Sur to set aside politics and focus on delivering the needed support to advance agrarian development.

“We are urging all parties concerned to shape up, leave projects and services for farmers’ out of their differences. We encourage other famer’s organizations in the province to be vigilant, let us not allow incidence like this to go unnoticed,” said Zaldy Alfiler, Secretary General of STOP Exploitation.

This came after STOP Exploitation’s municipal chapter, Alyansa Dagiti Kumpang ti Cabugao (ALCUMPAC), reported that the rift between the local government of Cabugao and the family of First District Representative Deogracias Savellano has affected the delivery of farm equipment from the Department of Agriculture. Farmers association in barangays Salapasap, Baclig, Nagsingcaoan, Sabang and Sisim were to received hand tractors and water pumps, and a 4-wheel tractor for Aragan.

“We have received reports from our members that six farmers association were supposed to receive tractors from the DA but according to the department’s personnel in Batac, Ilocos Norte, Cong. Savellano asked to put the release of the equipment on hold,” Alfiler said.

The local government of Cabugao is currently at odds with the family of Savellano concerning the jurisdiction and management of the Cabugao Beach Resort. The Sangguniang Bayan, through a resolution faulted the lawmaker’s daughter Nicole, of trespassing after she refused to vacate the facility to facilitate the bidding process for the new lease contract.

He added that before June 24, the agricultural department released similar support to farmers’ organizations in the second district. Alfiler also underscored that according to the leaders’ of ALCUMPAC, this is not the first time that awarding of assistance for farmers’ in the municipality was delayed due to unnecessary intervention of politicians.

“The last thing we need are politicians getting back at each other at the expense of farmers, it is appalling for public officials to let politics affect the delivery of vital assistance to us,” states Alfiler. #