April 24, 2024

Bicol Express News

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Rural groups demand P15,000 subsidy, repeal of Rice Tariffication Law

Bicol Express News photo

Various groups led by Amihan, a women farmer federation, mark the 14th year of the United Nations International Day of Rural Women. The women peasant federation demanded the Marcos administration for the P15, 000 farm production subsidy and the repeal of RA 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law.

Amihan said that this is an important day which is celebrated annually to recognize the contribution of rural-based women to the attainment of household and national food security, agriculture, and economic development. But they claimed that in the Philippines, the rural sector remains a victim of system-wide poverty, hunger, and abuses, fueled by the chronic landlessness, oppression and exploitation, and suppression of its assertion of land rights.

This year’s theme “ Rural women rise and claim your basic rights to sustainable development”. The group said that the current government’ policy particularly in agriculture is just like the continuation of its previous administrations; which mainly embraces policies that they claimed are disadvantageous to local farmers and the agricultural sector as a whole.

They cited the continuing high cost of farm inputs that are burdensome mostly to low income farmers which comprise the vast majority of farmers in the country, The group said that in rice farming alone, the cost of production was P53,300 last harvest season in Nueva Ecija. Farm inputs were too high such as fertilizers amounting to P16,400 for Urea and Triple 14. This was exacerbated when typhoon Karding hit the province which decreased the harvested palay from 100 to 30 bags.

The women peasant group also decried the lingering high inflation rate of the country, they claimed that peasant women were affected by inflation and the high cost of basic commodities. The group said that as food producers,peasant women were forced to buy a kilo of rice amounting to P39 – P44 per kilo. They were also burdened with runaway prices of other goods such as sugar, condiment.

Rural sectors together with progessive lawmakers in the House of Representatives for months are urging the Marcos administration to provide urgently needed farm subsidies to mitigate the effects of the continuing high inflation, the recent typhoon as well as the continuing costly price of fuels which led to the spike of farm inputs and among others. This on top of the outurn of the unli-rice import under RA 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law, which triggered further the already low price of local palay. . .

Amihan urged the Marcos government to immediately and decisively resolve the food crisis, provide doable solutions, certify as urgent the P15,000 production subsidy, repeal the Rice Liberalization Law, and enactment of the pro-poor bills such as HB 405 Rice Industry Development Act (RIDA) and HB 1161 Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill. These legitimate demands will ensure the peasant women’s livelihood and attain food security based on self-sufficiency and self-reliance.