The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) challenged House Majority Leader Sandro Marcos Jr and Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food chairperson Cynthia Villar to try living a day in their lives as farmers.
“We do not need these billionaires telling us farmers what to do. Their job, as elected legislators, is to pass pro-farmer measures including the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill, the Rice Industry Development Act, and the P15 Production Subsidy for farmers Bill among others,” according to the group.
“Rep.Sandro and Senator Cynthia should try first on what they are suggesting before farmers do it. Let’s see if they can survive a day of backbreaking work in the fields,” according to peasant leader Danilo Ramos.
Ramos, 64, plants all-year round on his family’s parcel of awarded land in Bulacan. The KMP leader plants rice, vegetables, fruit trees, and root crops regularly.
“We humbly invite Rep. Sandro at Senator Villar to accompany us in planting. We also discuss farmers’ immediate and doable demand for production subsidies, lowering the price of farm inputs and fully supporting the agriculture sector,” Ramos said.
The young Marcos earlier drew flak after giving unsolicited advice that palay farmers should try shifting to growing dragon fruit when “palay is not needed.” Senator Villar, on the other hand, suggests that farmers plant root crops during the typhoon season since these are less likely to be destroyed by storms.
KMP reiterated its demand for substantial cash aid and production subsidies for farmers and fisherfolk. Out of the P205.6 billion ayuda announced by the Department of Budget and Management, only P1-billion is allocated for the Department of Agriculture’s fuel subsidy for corn farmers and fisherfolks. The agency will also continue its distribution of fertilizer discount vouchers.