Immediate gov’t help for farmers PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 April 2016 16:03

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

 

To prevent fatal incidents similar to the Kidapawan bloodbath, when hungry marginalized farmers peacefully staged a public demonstration against the government, to request for food assistance, since they were not able to plant rice due to the El Nino dry spell, “government should by now start releasing assistance to farmers in the country”, said Dr, Mikee Romero, PhD, number one nominee of One Patriotic Coalition of Marginal Nationals (1-Pacman) Party List, in a press statement.

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1-Pacman Party List is also requesting government authorities, to file charges and impose penalties on concerned authorities who are found guilty in the death of marginal farmers demonstrating peacefully in Kidapawan, Central Mindanao. 1-Pacman Party List also promised to monitor the situation of farmers in the country and request the national government to utilize the P58 billion calamity fund to help  marginalized  families in the country. “Marginalized farmers are the most affected sector of the country on this El Nino phenomenon,” Dr. Mikee Romero, PhD, also said in the same press statement.

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1-Pacman Party List likewise said there is too much “red tape” in government, upon learning that government agencies had informed the public that there is a process and paper works required from those seeking government assistance. “Poor people are dying of hunger, do they have to go to government offices to sign documents and beg for food?” Dr. Mikee Romero, PhD asked. In reality, he continued “that poor and marginalized families don’t even have money for fare”.

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As to the issue of leftist group involved in the peaceful marginal farmers rally, resulting to the deaths of some farmers, 1-Pacman Party List commented that “the issue is hunger and farmers begging for food for their families but some government agencies did not seriously entertain the farmers demand and worse when farmers stood their ground for three days, and refused to disperse, the hungry farmers were gunned down mercilessly”. 1-Pacman Party List promised to keep track of this incident and what government has done to compensate the death and injury of marginalized farmers.

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“Hungry marginalized people do not have to die first before government will give assistance,” said Dr. Romero. He suggested that government agencies concerned in releasing  assistance to marginal families  “should distribute the assistance direct to the houses of poor families and not make them lined up in their offices like mendicants and beggars asking for alms.”

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It was gathered that 1-Pacman Party List visited the farmers in Baguio and Benguet of Northern Luzon to have a first hand information on the situation of marginalized farmers. In Mindanao, they went to see the situation of Indigenous Peoples (IP) of Central Mindanao like the Tibolis, Blaans and Manobos of Lake Sebu. In the Visayas, they were in Cebu, Mindoro and Palawan, seeking help from local governments to assist their local marginal farmers affected by the El Nino dry spell.

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Scoop: If the rains don’t come in the next few weeks, farms will get drier everyday and we expect more sufferings from marginal families in the country, especially war-torn Mindanao. National Government should start utilizing the P58 billion calamity funds. Foremost, agricultural support must be prioritized first in Mindanao. It has been neglected ever since and people are willing to die for food as what happened in Koronadal, Central Mindanao. War against terrorists in the hinterlands of Basilan Province is on-going, and most affected are the marginal farmers in the area. Table Talk is in agreement with 1-Pacman Party List in seeking where the P58 billion calamity fund of the National Government went.