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Feature, Page 2

The shrinking domain of Ilocos’ “green gold”

Despite the aggressive campaign of the National Tobacco Administration (NTA), local government units (LGU) and companies, tobacco farmers and production are losing numbers. Roadside farms, used to be the domain of tobacco are now occupied by corn and peanuts. While in some villages, tomatoes are now cultivated on the lands where the region’s “green gold” once flourished. The plant that transformed the Ilocos provinces and some of its towns, that were suffering from scarcity of funds, into first income class LGUs, is now struggling to survive.

Tobacco: The lifetime crop of Ilocos

Childhood experience with tobacco growing is not the only thing the two share. Cesar and Julius also have similar complains about the price, the growership scheme, and the government’s treatment of farmers.

Ucab folk struggle to survive

After Typhoon Ompong, news on the tragic landslide, the relief and assistance from government and private institutions and the DENR’s closure order field the the airwaves. Two months after the disaster, the people of Itogon continue to face the hardships brought not only by Ompong but by the national government’s lack of comprehensive action to resolve the people’s safety and economic wellbeing. These are some of their day-to-day struggles to survive that remain unknown to the public.

A crack in the nation’s foundation

Section 1, Article 15 of the 1986 Constitution states: “The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation. Accordingly, it shall strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total development.” However, the number of broken homes and problematic relationships between couples and their children are increasing, with majority of case associated to families that one or both parents are working overseas.

Communities plunge into debt after Ompong

Still reeling from the destructive impact of Habagat (monsoon) and Typhoon Ompong, the knee-jerk decision to close small scale mines in the region and insufficient government assistance aggravated the dire situation of disaster victims in the Cordillera.

Chico Once More: Legacy of Resistance in the Cordillera (2/3)

The aggressive development push in Cordillera involves extensive scale of violation of indigenous peoples’ rights over their land and primarily their right to free, prior and informed consent. Villagers of Huhlukan Barangay in Ifugao complaint on the real FPIC process prescribed by NCIP was not followed for proposed hydro electric projects as information was denied to them by Santa Clara Company for the proposed dam in Tinoc. Villagers are rather misinformed that villagers will have roads, electricity, and employment with the dam construction.

Chico Once More: Legacy of Resistance in the Cordillera

An environmentalist and human rights defender from the Center for Research and Advocacy – Manipur and a member of Meitei people of Manipur, India writes his perspective of the issues shared by indigenous peoples communities during the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) in the Cordillera.