Party-list group says gov’t should help farmers, instead of blaming them  | Inquirer News
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Party-list group says gov’t should help farmers, instead of blaming them 

/ 10:07 PM October 23, 2020

Rep. Argel Cabatbat

MANILA, Philippines — A party-list group has urged the government to support local farmers and address the issues affecting the agriculture industry, instead of putting the blame on them for several alleged shortcomings.

In a statement on Friday, Magsasaka Rep. Argel Cabatbat said that it is disheartening to hear some government officials place the blame on the shoulders of farmers despite being obviously disadvantaged in the agriculture supply chain.

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“Napakasakit sa puso na ang iba pa sa ating mga nasa katungkulan ay ipinapasa sa kanila ang sisi, gayong sila ang pinakaapi sa lahat ng mga nangyayari, at ilang henerasyon na ang inhustisyang kanilang nararanasan,” Cabatbat said.

(It pains our heart to know that some people in public offices putting the blame on the farmers, when they are the most disadvantaged sector in everything that happens, as generations of farmers have been victims of injustice.)

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“Hanggang ngayon, malaki pa ang kakulangan sa ayuda at mas modernong teknolohiya sa pagtatanim,” he added.

(Until now, they have not received enough aid nor technologically advanced machinery for farming.)

According to the lawmaker, more funds should have been allocated toward the farming industry as they are vulnerable to various calamities like typhoons — especially since work emanates from farming but they benefit the least from it.

“Ang ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda na umaasa sa yaman ng lupa at tubig ang unang dumadausdos sa kahirapan sa dahil sa pagkapinsala ng kalikasan. Sila na nagpapakain sa bayan ang nagiging biktima ng gutom sa lahat ng ito,” Cabatbat explained.

(Our farmers and fisherfolk who rely on the resources on land and water are the among the first to succumb to poverty during natural calamities.  They who feed the country fall victim to hunger amidst all these.)

“Ang Pilipinas ay isa sa mga tinaguriang disaster hotspots sa buong mundo, at alam na dapat natin sa gobyerno ang napakalaking dagok sa sektor agrigultura tuwing tayo ay babagyuhin,” he said.

(The Philippines is among the so-called disaster hotspots in the world, and we in the government should know how big of a blow typhoons are to the agriculture sector.)

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Cabatbat did not mention anyone in particular, but in the past, some officials like Senator Cynthia Villar have scolded farmers while noting that technology is the key to farming, and not the use of land and water.

Villar was then reacting to suggestions that farmlands should not be converted into commercial areas and housing projects, then mentioning the case of Israel who supposedly does not rely on barren land and salty water to grow produce.

Then this September, Villar criticized dairy farmers for not producing enough carabao milk for poor Filipino families and children.  She also heralded Israel’s system in her criticism, saying that dairy farmers in the Middle Eastern country are able to collect 40 liters of milk per cow a day.

But aside from these, Cabatbat said that government should also spend time tackling climate change concerns, as these also adversely affect farmers.

“Nararapat ding pag-usapan ang isyu ng climate change dahil mayroong malawakang academic at scientific consensus na ang mga mahihirap na bansa, lalo na ang tayong mga nasa Pacific Ring of Fire, ay ang lubhang apektado sa pabagu-bagong klima na dulot ng malawakang industriyalisasyon,” he added.

(It is only right to discuss climate change because there is a wide academic and scientific consensus that the poor countries, those in the Pacific Ring of Fire, are gravely affected by changing weathers that is brought by a wide-scale industrialization.)

JPV

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TAGS: 2021 budget, Agriculture, agriculture industry, farming, funds for farming, Israel, Magsasaka party-list, Philippine news updates, Rep. Argel Cabatbat, Senator Cynthia Villar, support local farmers
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