The government’s one-time cash gift offer for rice farmers this December, worth P5,000, is “an insulting stunt”, said Gabriela Women’s Party.
The Christmas cash gift was to be given “cannot offset the income losses of Filipino farmers due to the massive rice importation under the Rice Liberalization Law.”
Repeal Tariffication Law
Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas commented “this Christmas cash gift to rice farmers is an insulting stunt by the Duterte administration to again feign its concern to our food producers while standing its ground against calls to repeal the anti-farmer and WTO-prescribed Rice Liberalization Law”.
“Ni hindi sapat ang P5,000 cash gift para magkaroon ng disenteng Noche Buena ang ating mga magsasaka dahil sa aktwal ay baon na baon sila sa utang dahil sa pagbagsak ng presyo ng palay,” she added. (The amount is not even enough for a decent Christmas Eve dinner as our farmers are deeply indebted. The current selling price of grains is very low.)
Brosas accused the government of “mocking” the plight of rice farmers by dishing out palliative measures such as loans and now the measly cash gift.
“The government can do better than indulging in palliatives if it is really sincere in helping our farmers. Why not expedite the supplemental budget for the massive procurement of local palay, which has the overwhelming support by lawmakers of different political colors?” said Brosas.
P15-M Supplemental Budget
Gabriela, together with over 50 lawmakers, have filed House Joint Resolution No. 18 seeking a P15-billion supplemental budget for the National Food Authority for the procurement of palay at a minimum of P20 per kilo.
The women’s party list also filed House Bill 476 seeking to repeal RA 11203 or the Rice Liberalization and Tariffication Law.
Gabriela joined various organizations led by KMP Anakpawis and Amihan in Mendiola to demand for concrete solutions to save the faltering agricultural sector and to stop the state-sponsored attacks on farmers and rights advocates. (Stacy Ang/Ismael Amigo/CNS)