Bishop to gov’t: Listen to cry of farmers
MANILA, Philippines — A bishop from Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija called on the government on Tuesday to “listen to the cry” of farmers as the price of palay falls between P7 to P8 per kilo due to the newly signed Rice Tariffication Law.
“Napakababa, it’s almost like giving away their harvest,” Bishop Sofronio Bancud told Radio Veritas in an interview.
“Panawagan ko sa pamahalaan, to those who really care and pro-farmers na nakapwesto; they should listen to the cry of these farmers,” Bancud said.
Farmers from Northern Luzon are already worrying now from the continued downfall of the selling prices of palay.
It could be noted that on the fourth week of July, the average buying price of palay was still at P17.76 a kilo.
In a bid to help the rice farmers, the Department of Agriculture has provided a P15,000 loan assistance to farmers, with zero-interest and is payable up to eight years.
However, according to Bancud, the said measure is not enough to help the affected farmers given their tight situation.
“Paano sila makakabayad [sa utang] especially yung small farmers?” Bancud said.
Despite this, Bancud remains hopeful that the government would address the problems of the rice farmers and help them to recover their loss. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.