Farmers called Senator Cynthia Villar “insensitive” to the sufferings of farmers caused by the Rice Tariffication Law for the senator’s “fake news” statement regarding the P8-10 palay prices.
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.
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 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.
An organization of farmers red-tagged by the military is urging Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Singson to stand against the continued harassment and threats committed by soldiers from the 81st Infantry Battalion. This came after a dialogue facilitated by the governor failed to stop the military from intimidating leaders and members of the group, and forcing some to surrender and pledge support to their “peace and development program.”
Barely a week after Ilocos Sur Governor Ryan Singson facilitated a dialogue where leaders of Timpuyog ti Umili iti Karayan Buaya (People’s Unity in the Buaya River) told the military to stop visiting them, army personnel intruded in their meeting.
Church and peasant leaders told the military to stop harassing their members and tagging their organizations as communist-rebel fronts during a dialogue facilitated by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur.
The passage of the Rice Liberalization Act (RA 11203) to resolve the looming rice supply crisis and inflation, as claimed by the economic managers of the Duterte administration, showed that the government never learned from the economic tragedies brought by more than three decades of globalization policies (liberalization, deregulation, and privatization) in the Philippines.
The Center for Development Programs in the Cordillera (CDPC) urged the government to channel sufficient funds and efforts to rehabilitate and improve the “age-old and traditional” communal irrigation systems in the region. It also called authorities to develop and implement “water resource and irrigation policy and program guided by the principles of equity and social justice.”
he National Irrigation Administration Cordillera Administrative Region (NIA-CAR) will minimize its construction work in the Alfonso Lista Pump Irrigation Project in response to the request of the regional National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to suspend its activities pending the issuance of the Certification Precondition for the project.