Duterte’s promise of aid to farmers 'empty rhetoric,' says group | Inquirer News

Duterte’s promise of aid to farmers ’empty rhetoric,’ says group

By: - Correspondent / @dtmallarijrINQ
/ 12:16 PM August 28, 2019

LUCENA CITY –– The farmers’ group Kilusan Para sa Tunay Repormang Agraryo at Katarungang Panlipunan (Katarungan), claimed that President Duterte’s promise of more funds for the farmers to alleviate their plight was only aimed to pacify the country’s restive land tillers.

On Tuesday, speaking at the 31st Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program anniversary celebration, President Duterte vowed to prioritize farmers in his remaining years in office as he intends to increase the government budget for farmers to further improve their plight.

The President previously pushed for measures to improve the condition of farmers, including providing free irrigation to those with landholdings of eight hectares or less.


“President Duterte’s pronouncement that he will aid farmers is nothing new, even if strewn with a lot of maybes,” Jansept Geronimo, spokesman of Katarungan, said in a statement on Wednesday.


He said the farmers under the Duterte administration were being beset with crises that continue to create havoc to their day-to-day lives.

“This promise for aid underscores the crisis that farmers are in as a result of bad policies adopted by his government,” Geronimo said.

He blamed the rice tariffication law (RTL), the still unreturned multi-billion pesos coconut levy fund and the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law.

“This latest promise for aid is, therefore, an attempt at damage control. The damage, however, is so profound that it threatens the very existence of agriculture in the country,” Geronimo said.

He challenged President Duterte that if he was really serious in helping the farmers and arrest the impending collapse of agriculture, “he should seriously consider a review and repeal of the RTL and the Train law and fulfill his promise to return the coconut levy fund to the farmers.”

“Short of that, his latest pronouncement would amount to empty rhetoric,” Geronimo said./lzb

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TAGS: Farmers, Katarungan, Rodrigo Duterte

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