The plummeting prices of unhusked rice are convincing more and more farmers that safeguards in the Rice Trade Liberalization Law flaunted by the Duterte government like the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund are ineffective to cushion the destructive impact of trade liberalization in the agriculture sector.
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.
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.
The governor of Benguet province sees the legalization of pocket mining though the Minahang Bayan is beneficial to the environment since this ensures the government’s monitoring and regulation of the mining-related activities.
Abra representative Joseph “JB” Bernos said that as the new chairperson of the Special Committee on North Luzon Growth Quadrangle, he would give importance on the continued economic growth and delivery of social services to make Northern Luzon a super-region.
The Provincial Board of Cagayan backed the people’s call asking the president to stop immediately the dredging operation in the Cagayan River, which they believe is magnetite mining. Governor Manuel Mamba sanctioned the dredging through a memorandum of agreement that did not pass the provincial board and in the absence of permit from the DPWH, as required by law.
Members of the Baguio-Benguet Coalition Against Jeepney Phase-out underscored that the government is merely using the PUV modernization program to pave the way for big business to monopolize the service on July 30 during their protest at the Modern PUV Caravan at the Baguio City Hall.
Farmers belonging to the Solidarity of Peasants Against Exploitation (Stop Exploitation) are urging the provincial governments to provide more assistance for farmers and fisherfolk hit by Super Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) and drought.
Former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said that issues on Philippine sovereignty and economy are the pressing matters that President Duterte should address in his 4th State of the Nation Address during a forum on The True State of the Nation in Baguio city hours before the president delivers his speech.