Ilocos farmers and tobacco have a long history but the things that keep them together despite the numerous difficulties are beyond sentimental. Farmers are chained to the crop by political and economic circumstances perpetuated by the deeply rooted social inequality in the Philippines.
Tobacco farmers were disappointed with the measly P1.00 increase on all types of tobacco, across the grades offered by traders during the tripartite conference held on September 25 in Quezon City, Philippines.
For the first time, two of the largest tobacco farmers’ organizations in Ilocos came up with a common stand for the floor price negotiations tomorrow, September 25, in Quezon City.
The president of the National Federation of Tobacco Farmers Association and Cooperatives scored the proposed increase on the floor price of tobacco for being “very far” from the consolidated results of the pre-tripartite workshop of farmers last August.
NAFTAC President Bernard Vicente said they are preparing for an uphill battle in the upcoming tobacco price negotiations especially with the imposition of higher taxes on tobacco and other measures but hopeful that farmers will have stronger negotiating voice this time with groups like Stop Exploitation calling for farmers to put forward a unified price demand.
The Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation urged tobacco farmers to set aside political beliefs and affiliations and unite another a common price increase demand for the National Tobacco Tripartite Consultative Assembly scheduled on September 25-26 at the National Capital Region.
Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation, the regional peasant organization in Ilocos, welcomed the measures and plans of provincial governments to mitigate the impact of plummeting prices of unhusked rice caused by the Rice Trade Liberalization Law (RTL). However, the groups underscored that these are “not enough” and “band-aid solutions”, and urged local officials to support the repeal of the RTL as a strategic solution that will benefit their constituents.
The Provincial Board of Ilocos Sur compelled the DPWH and PENRO to stop the tree-cutting operation along the Manila North Road after discovering some procedural lapses. PENRO issued a special tree-cutting permit to DPWH to cut at least 1,165 trees, some of which are century-old acacia to implement the directive of Secretary Mark Villar to remove all obstructions along the 20-meter highway road right-of-way before the end of 2019.
The province of Ilocos Sur held a consultation with stakeholders of the rice industry in the province to come up with viable solutions to mitigate the impact of plummeting palay prices caused by the implementation of the Rice Trade Liberalization Law.
Judge Mario Anacleto Bañez of RTC Branch 25 acquitted Rachel Mariano, a community health and human rights activist of murder and frustrated murder charges filed by the military after finding the evidence presented against her as insufficient and doubtful.
More than 300 participants attended the Aywanan Environment and Mining Summit held on August 24 at the St. Mary’s School Gym in Sagada Mountain Province where they made a united stand and plan of action against the mining applications of the Cordillera Exploration Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corporation, covering more than 60,000 hectares in the Cordillera and Ilocos Sur province.
Strong rains failed to deter more than 300 community representatives, peoples organizations and church leaders from the Cordillera region and Ilocos Sur province to attend the Aywanan Environment and Mining Summit on August 24 in Sagada, Mountain Province aimed to build the broadest unity against the mining application of Cordillera Exploration Company, Inc. (CEXCI), a subsidiary of Nickel Asia Corporation.