Hunger of Filipino families due to Duterte’s policies, groups say
MANILA, Philippines — Agricultural groups on Wednesday blasted President Rodrigo Duterte for leaving a “legacy of hunger” among Filipinos after a Social Weather Stations survey showed that the country’s hunger rate continued to be high for the last three months.
About 4.2 million Filipino families suffered from involuntary hunger during the period, the survey said, 674,000 of which experienced severe hunger.
Statements from Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women, Anakpawis party list, and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) blamed the administration’s anti-poor policies for the country’s state of perennial hunger.
They added that these policies resulted in the loss of livelihood, skyrocketing prices of food commodities, and inadequate aid.
No comprehensive plan
The government also does not have a comprehensive plan to address the coronavirus pandemic, which is the ultimate culprit for the country’s recession and high inflation rate, they added.
“Several people lost their jobs, prices of goods continue to go up, but it is the military and the police who continue to get bigger budgets,” the groups said. “The agriculture industry also continues to be liberalized when the government should prioritize local production.”
“The Duterte regime has long abandoned the poor peasant families and condemned them to die with hunger. We must hold him accountable and suffer the consequences for his criminal neglect of the Filipino families and epic failure to address the socioeconomic crisis in the country,” said former Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao.
‘Legacy of hunger’
The groups’ statements came just as the Department of Agriculture (DA) ended its two-day food dialogue on Wednesday. The KMP said the dialogue was held “without actual food producers” even when the industry continues to be hounded by several issues.
Last April, the country’s biggest producer groups also boycotted the DA’s National Food Security Summit.
Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura chair Rosendo So said this is in response to the government’s proimportation policies that continue to depress farm-gate prices.
“It has become clear that despite much grandstanding on food security, Duterte will leave a legacy of hunger,” KMP chair Danilo Ramos said.
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