MANILA, Philippines — The proposed Charter change (Cha-cha) will worsen the prevailing food insecurity and landlessness in the country, a peasant women’s group asserted Monday.
Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women chairperson Zenaida Soriano said that importation would increase if Cha-cha would be implemented.
“Hindi Cha-cha ang hinihiling ng mga magsasaka at maralita sa bansa, kundi solusyon sa nagaganap na krisis sa pagkain at agrikultura,” Soriano said in a statement.
(Cha-cha is not what the farmers and the poor are asking for, but solutions to the ongoing food and agriculture crises.)
“Kapag ipinatupad ang Cha-cha, totodo ang importasyon, kakamkamin ang mga sakahan, babagsak lalo ang lokal na produksyon, at didiktahan ng dayuhang monopolyo ang mga presyo ng pagkain. Lalo itong magpapalala sa krisis na nararanasan ng mamamayan,” she went on.
(If Cha-cha is implemented, importation will be intensified, farms will be seized, local production will further fall, and foreign monopolies will dictate food prices. This will worsen the crisis that the people are experiencing.)
She added that pushing Charter change will further open the economy to foreign monopoly.
“Ngayon nga na malalang dominado ng malalaking trader ang importasyon at trading ng bigas at palay, gusto pa ng gobyernong payagan na mismong mga dayuhang monopolyo ang mandambong rito. Sa agrikultura, pareho rin ang mangyayari, at ang magiging biktima rito ay ang malawak na mga magsasaka, kabababaihan, at kabataan sa mga baryo, at iba pang mga sektor sa kanayunan,” Soriano pointed out.
(Now that the importation and trading of rice are already severely dominated by big traders, the government still wants to let foreign monopolies to directly do the plundering here. In agriculture, the same thing will happen, and the victims here will be the farmers, women, and youth in the rural villages, and other rural sectors.)
The removal of protectionist measures in the current 1987 Constitution and reliance on foreign investments will lead to the exploitation of natural resources, according to the group.
Amihan said farmers are asking for government aid and subsidies for their crops, while low-income consumers want access to affordable food, not Cha-cha.
The group encouraged Filipinos to oppose Cha-cha and defend the country’s sovereignty. — Niña Cuasay, trainee
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