Tag Archives: Right to food

[Statement] Defend mother earth against genetically modified organism! -PNFSP

Defend mother earth against genetically modified organism!

The Philippine Network of Food Security Programmes, Inc. (PNFSP) is a broad network composed of 26 non-governmental organizations, institutions and advocates, promoting food security and food self-sufficiency. It is committed to advancing the right to food, and create conditions for women, men, and children of the most disadvantaged sectors to combat hunger and lead a healthy, active life. This is achieved through the advancement of sustainable agriculture and appropriate technology in rural communities, in partnership with its members.

We cannot deny the fact that our planet has long been suffering from severe and complex problems which emanated from anarchic production and waste from advanced industrialist countries originated from Industrial Revolution. Modern machines were made and new economic system was introduced to mankind. Capitalism took the responsibility and proclaimed that it is the dawn of a new era where mankind will experience great advancement in knowledge, science and methodology that civilization has never been experienced before. Ironically, it asserts that capitalism is the highest and last stage of human history. Sad to say that what happened is the opposite.

Technologically engineered products like plastics, robots and chemical-based agricultural crops like GMO’s, contaminate the natural virginity of our air, water and lands. It affects the indigenous, normal and regular flow of our ecosystem hence the climate change. Nature irregularities occurred each year and worst, many lives are taken by nature. Super typhoon and tsunamis, extreme earthquake, landslide, flood, plague, new diseases and hunger are the results. These now become our main concern and no one is exempted.

Another alarming concern is the continuous modification on seeds. Pioneered by world’s biggest companies in agro-technology like Syngenta, Monsanto, Rockefeller Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and IRRI, they spend billions of dollars for modification projects. Masked with humanitarian morality of feeding the world and the hunger, they were able to deceive the public through partnership with the government.

In the case of the Philippines, for the last quarter of 2017, more families experienced involuntary hunger. There were 3.6 Filipinos who does not have enough food to eat and alarmingly this cycle continuous to grow rapidly. Despite billions of government spending to alleviate poverty and ecosystems destruction, it seems that all measures are not enough. Corruption becomes a normal scenario in the Philippine politics at the expense of man and environments health.

We must learn from the experience of other peripheral countries like Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia. When the International Conference on Golden Rice was held in Manila last April 1-6, they shared one common possible outcome regarding bio-fortification process. Contamination on land, water and air is feasible and its domino effect to humans will last until its fifth generation. Skin allergy and severe lung inflammation is the typical symptoms that may occur to anyone upon intake of said genetically engineered crop.

To defend mother earth means to veer away from the dictates of these masters of trade. It is the long-standing demand of Filipinos, especially farmers, for agriculture to deviate away from the burdens of the GATT-WTO agreement. Rice production in the country has already suffered huge losses due to successive calamities and unfair competition from cheaper imported rice. Under a tarrification environment, government support to local agriculture and farmers could be further limited as the agreement calls for total state non-intervention. We view that the total liberalization of agriculture would only push the country’s population into a worsened state of hunger and food insecurity. The government should heed the demand of Filipino farmers to pull-out from the aggressive GATT-WTO agreement and instead ensure the implementation of a nationalist and mass-oriented socio-political reform and implement free land distribution by passing the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill. For through this law, our farmers have a better assurance for safe and sustainable right not only to food but for a better type of living; and through a national law, we can protect our society away from harm that Genetic Modified Organism may bring such as the golden rice.

We call on all concerned individuals including Civil Society Organizations to be responsible enough and avoid another public and environment disaster as a result of the Golden Rice. Instead of promoting Genetically Modified Organisms owned by giant Trans-National Companies, the Philippine government should focus its resources on supporting organic agriculture and develop our farmers’ skills. It should pass laws, like GARB, which can protect the land, people and environment against technology malpractice.

Quoting what a woman farmer leader from Quezon said is just and timely, that “land, farmers and food systems must be liberated from the control of corporate greed, GMOs and toxic products to combat malnutrition, hunger and poverty. Farmers’ right to land, seed and practices of sustainable and ecological agriculture must be supported to ensure safe, nutritious food and a thriving healthy ecology for all.”

Again, we want to reiterate this coming Earth Day what the Creator said to its people: “and God blesses them, and God said unto them be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moved upon the earth.”

Therefore it is clear that we should protect our land against evil deeds and thought. Through collective action and prayer, we are certain that we can defeat corporate greed and plunder!

NO TO GMO! NO TO GOLDEN RICE!
YES TO ORGANIC! YES TO MOTHER EARTH!
PROTECT OUR PLANET AGAINTS CORPORATE GREED AND PLUNDER!

Reference:
Renmin Crisanta A. Vizconde
Executive Director
Philippine Network of Food Security Programmes, Inc (PNFSP)

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Blog] What’s the truth behind the “Golden Rice Project”? -healthactivist.ph

What’s the truth behind the “Golden Rice Project”?
March 23, 2014

This three-part series article was originally posted at BlogWatch Features last September 2013 of the Philippine Online Chronicles where the Author has currently renewed its contract as a contributor writer.

indivisible-300x300

I decided to repost this because the issue on Golden Rice is gaining momentum again when the government announced its commercialization within a month’s time. The NO2GMO Coalition members, including myself, representing my organization, SARILAYA, supports the call for the non-commercialization of Golden Rice. We support instead the move to make accessible Vitamin A-rich vegetables and rootcrops.

As a coalition, we are not against science as many suggest. We are instead for the use of science and technology responsibly for the common good of the entire population and preservation of the environment (especially the nutrients of the soil). We are for science and technology that promote ecological care.

Read full article @www.healthactivist.ph

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Petition] Stand up for your right to safe food. -standupforyourrice.org

Stand up for your right to safe food

Photo by Searice

Photo by Searice

Rice is the Philippines’ main staple and is also consumed by more than half of the world’s population every day. The diversity of our rice is a valuable resource for developing new varieties with improved yields and can withstand diseases and environmental conditions without compromising human health and the environment. However this resource is now being threatened by plans to release and commercialize Golden Rice to address Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in the country.

However, these should be our concern:

► Golden rice is a genetically engineered crop, that can have irreversible damage to health, food security, environment, culture, farmers and communities. More than 60 countries have imposed moratoria or outright bans on GMOs to adopt the precautionary principle.

► The Philippines does not have a biosafety law nor the capacity and resources to conduct robust risk assessments for GMOs intended for field testing, food, feed and propagation. The current regulatory process for GMOs is flawed and is only based on risk assessments conducted by the company who owns these GMOs.

► Any deliberate release of GMOs can contaminate conventional crops. This also means that the more than 63 GMOs allowed for importation for food, feed and processing and 8 GMO corn varieties allowed for commercial propagation in the country actually challenge the integrity of the 2010 National Organic Agriculture Act.

► Covered by expensive patents, Golden Rice and other GMOs can deprive farmer’s access, control and stewardship over plant genetic resources which have been nurtured, exchanged and shared across communities for generations.

► The incidence of VAD have been significantly reduced to 15% for children as of 2008 and there are already solutions in place to address VAD and other micronutrient deficiencies. The funds that are being wasted on Golden Rice research and development should instead be used on solutions that are already working which include fortification of foods and Vitamin A supplementation capsules. Having a diverse diet is still the best solution to VAD.

Say no to Golden Rice! Let us demand access to safe, healthy, nutritious and sufficient food that is produced through ecological agriculture.

Sign petition @standupforyourrice.org

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Urgent Action] Philippines: Right to food of 6,212 farmers threatened despite the issuance of land titles -FIAN

Philippines: Right to food of 6,212 farmers threatened despite the issuance of land titles

Beginning of Action: 19 February 2014  End of Action: 17 April 2014

After a decades-long struggle for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, the farmworker beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita were finally awarded land titles – the Certificates of Land Ownership Awards by the Department of Agrarian Reform in October 2013. Despite having obtained the land titles, the farmworker beneficiaries are still unable to cultivate the awarded land in order to exercise their right to adequate food. This is in part due to: the slow ground survey by the Department of Agrarian Reform needed to identify boundaries between the lots to be given to each individual farmworker beneficiary; the existing informal contracts with middlemen/middlewomen to whom the farmworkers have rented land to grow sugar cane; and the lack of social protection measures and support services in order to make the awarded land productive after the completion of the land distribution.

FIAN

This case needs your URGENT ACTION, by writing to the Filipino government to demand them to immediately install farmworkers in their land and provide essential support services and social protection measures to the farm beneficiaries and their families to ensure their right to food.

ACTION
Please write to the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform, with a copy to the President of the Philippines and the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, requesting them to meet the necessary measures in order to guarantee the right to food of the farm beneficiaries and their families.

Please inform FIAN if you receive a response to your letters.

Pls see sample letter @ www.fian.org

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] World Food Day Statement By National Food Coalition

World Food Day Statement
By National Food Coalition

On the occasion of World Food Day, 16 October 2013, the National Food Coalition renews
its call for the adoption of a comprehensive food policy by the Philippines. There is an
urgent need for a framework law on the right to adequate food to give expression to this
policy, and such a law should adopt a rights-based approach. The right to food is the right of
the people to have regular, permanent and unrestricted access, either directly or through
purchases, to quantitatively and qualitatively adequate and sufficient food, which
corresponds to their cultural traditions, and which ensure a physical and mental, individual
and collective, fulfilling and dignified life that is free of fear.

NFC

The framework law should ensure people’s participation, accountability of those who violate
it, non-discrimination on account of sex, age or any other basis, transparency or open access
to information, respect for human dignity, empowerment of the people, and respect for the
rule of law. It must develop indicators for determining levels of improvement in the
enjoyment of the right to adequate food, and it should provide for effective remedies in
cases of violations, including criminal, civil and administrative liabilities on the part of
violators.

We reiterate this call, at this crucial time, when public demand is growing for the abolition of
the pork barrel, which members of the Philippine Congress have been dispensing as if it
were their own money. This fund has been abused, and public outrage has grown over
reports of corruption arising from misuse of these funds. Any new form of pork that retains
the basic feature of being discretionary and lacking in transparency will just perpetuate
corruption that drains resources away from public services needed by the people.

The amounts from the pork barrel that have found their way to the pockets of unscrupulous
government officials and their cohorts are precious funds that could have been used to
provide for the people’s basic needs, to promote their fundamental human rights, and to
advance the cause of their human dignity. Rather than continue the pork barrel, the
Philippine Government should consider more worthwhile measures. These include a
comprehensive program to end hunger in the Philippines. The Government should provide
for the necessary financial and other support to realize zero-hunger in the Philippines.

Contact Persons:
Aurea Miclat-Teves, Convenor, NFC, 0918-991-1910;
Bombi Sunga, FLAG lawyer- 0917-854-2124

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Resources] The State of Food and Agriculture 2013: Food Systems for Better Nutrition -AFRIM Mindanao

The State of Food and Agriculture 2013: Food Systems for Better Nutrition

150329-The State of Food and Agriculture 2013

Afrim Mindanao
DOWNLOAD NOW!

Summary:

Malnutrition in all its forms – undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity – imposes unacceptably high economic and social costs on countries at all income levels. The State of Food and Agriculture 2013: Food systems for better nutrition argues that improving nutrition and reducing these costs must begin with food and agriculture. The traditional role of agriculture in producing food and generating income is fundamental, but agriculture and the entire food system – from inputs and production, through processing, storage, transport and retailing, to consumption – can contribute much more to the eradication of malnutrition.

http://afrim.org.ph/IDLS/items/show/109

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

 

sign petiton2 smallPhoto by TFDPcat alert icon copy

[Event] Launching of the National Food Campaign -NFC

Launching of the National Food Campaign

The National Food Coalition headed by the Foodfirst Information and Action Network (FIAN)-Philippines and the Peoples Development Institute for Asia (PDI) together with the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) and Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PHILRIGHTS) will launch the National Food Campaign which aims to push for a comprehensive national policy on the right to food.

Together with the National Food Campaign, the 5th Right to Food and Nutrition Watch Magazine will be launched, a publication which provides information and analysis on the right to food. There will also be a painting competition with the theme “Ang Pangarap Kong Bayan” to be judged in the afternoon.

More than 300 participants all over the country representing more than 50 people’s organizations and NGOs will attend the conference.

The conference will be on October 15, 2012, from 8am until 5pm at Bulwagang Tandang Sora, College of Social Work and Community Development, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[In the news] Cash dole no answer to poverty, says NGO -INQUIRER.net

Cash dole no answer to poverty, says NGO
By DJ Yap, Philippine Daily Inquirer
October 11, 2012

In spite of its successes, the government’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program is not the solution to rising hunger in the country, according to a nongovernmental organization.

FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FIAN) Philippines criticized the Aquino government’s reliance on the dole in easing poverty and reducing hunger, saying the program was insufficient to deal with these problems.

“This program has a wide coverage and contributes to children’s economic access to food. However, it remains very inadequate and is conditioned on performing other obligations whereas the right to food, which is a basic human right, is unconditional,” said Aurea Miclat-Teves, FIAN Philippines president.

In a statement from the group issued Wednesday, Teves said the supply of conditional services, such as schools and medicines “has been far behind the demand for these services.”
“The CCT program is not part of a coherent food policy,” Teves said.

FIAN Philippines said the rising hunger in the country was partly due to the lack of a comprehensive national food policy. It pointed to an urgent need for laws that would require full and active participation of all sectors concerned, including those most vulnerable to hunger.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Urgent Alert] Floods caused by torrential rains threaten food security of fishermen and urban poor in CALABARZON -AHRC

Asian Human Rights Commission

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION — HUNGER ALERT PROGRAMME
Hunger Alert Case: AHRC-HAC-005-2012

August 28, 2012
——————————
PHILIPPINES: Floods caused by torrential rains threaten food security of fishermen and urban poor in CALABARZON
ISSUES: Environmental protection, Impunity, Land rights, Poverty & adequate standard of living, Right to food, Right to health, Rule of law
—————————–

Dear friends,

Asian Human Rights CommissionThe Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from Workers Assistance Center Inc about the floods caused by torrential rains that has imperiled the food security of a vast population in the CALABARZON area of Philippines. Here, the floods affecting more than 3 million people have already taken a toll of 95. The severity of the situation is compounded by the submergence of a large area with residual/retreating water affecting more than 480 baranggays; 175,733 families and 830,700 people in the CALABARZON area alone, as per the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

CASE NARRATIVE

As if the disastrous consequences of the Typhoon Saola were not enough to put the life of ordinary citizen of Philippines, 11 straight days of southwest monsoon rains causing heavy floods have worsened the situation even more for them. The floods caused by the successive natural disasters have left the country battered with more than 3 million people directly affected.

Typhoon Saola (Gener) wreaked havoc on NCR and nearby provinces like For more than a week (since July 21 to end of July) Typhoon Saola (Gener) drenched NCR and nearby provinces like CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal & Quezon) and Central Luzon, and in Ilocos. The Southwest Monsoons followed by Typhoon Haikui approaching China further aggravated the situation. The flooding was unprecedented for some places like barangays in Bacoor, Cavite, which have not experienced it before.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council puts the estimates of flood affected people at around 3 million with a corresponding death toll of 95. In the CALABARZON area alone, 480 baranggays, 175,733 families, and 830,700 people are directly affected by the floods. This includes 209 baranggays, 44,007 families and 211, 929 people in Cavite alone.

The fishermen and the urban poor has borne the brunt of the flooding and are the worst affected. The towns affected in Cavite include Bacoor, Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario. Deteriorating the situation further, floods have rendered roads to Rosario, Noveleta, and Bacoor unfit for transportation and thus cut them off from rest of Philippines for a few days.

Even the offices of WAC were not let off the fury of the nature and stand submerged in Rosario and Cavite. The members of the organization working in CALABARZON areas as well as ones working in the communities in Rosario, Cavite have communicated about the scarcity of basic necessitates like food, clothes, medicine and even clean drinking water and have been asking for help. Also, there is a manifold increase in the cases of Leptospirosis (also known as Canefield fever for its high prevalence in wet areas) and athlete’s foot from the flood along with common strains of cough and colds The situation is worse for the fishermen who got displaced because of the heavy rains. As if it was not enough, Tropical Storm Helen, internationally known as Kai-Tak lashed the country yet again.

In this light, the picture emerging out of the area is a grim one of worsening food and livelihood security of the people living in the area and requires immediate and urgent interventions from both the state and international community and respond to WAC’s call for food, preferably ready to eat, potable and clean water, mats and blankets, clothes, waterproof boots, and medicines to averting hunger and outbreak of disease in the area.
SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write to the authorities mentioned below demanding immediate intervention in Ms. Sarathi Mondal’s case. You may also demand an inquiry into why she was not provided with ration card and benefit of other welfare schemes that she is entitled to.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear _______,

PHILIPPINES: Floods caused by torrential rains threaten food security of fishermen and urban poor in CALABARZON
I want to draw your kind attention to the pitiable and pathetic situation local communities are compelled to live into because of the several natural calamities in quick succession. As if the disastrous consequences of the Typhoon Saola were not enough to put the life of ordinary citizen of Philippines living in the area, 11 straight days of southwest monsoon rains causing heavy floods have worsened the situation even more for them. The floods caused by the successive natural disasters have left the country battered with more than 3 million people directly affected.

Typhoon Saola (Gener) wreaked havoc on NCR and nearby provinces like For more than a week (since July 21 to end of July) Typhoon Saola (Gener) drenched NCR and nearby provinces like CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal & Quezon) and Central Luzon, and in Ilocos. The Southwest Monsoons followed by Typhoon Haikui approaching China further aggravated the situation. The flooding was unprecedented for some places like barangays in Bacoor, Cavite, which have not experienced it before.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council puts the estimates of flood affected people at around 3 million with a corresponding death toll of 95. In the CALABARZON area alone, 480 baranggays, 175,733 families, and 830,700 people are directly affected by the floods. This includes 209 baranggays, 44,007 families and 211, 929 people in Cavite alone.

The fishermen and the urban poor has borne the brunt of the flooding and are the worst affected. The towns affected in Cavite include Bacoor, Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario. Deteriorating the situation further, floods have rendered roads to Rosario, Noveleta, and Bacoor unfit for transportation and thus cut them off from rest of Philippines for a few days.

Even the offices of WAC were not let off the fury of the nature and stand submerged in Rosario and Cavite. The members of the organization working in CALABARZON areas as well as ones working in the communities in Rosario, Cavite have communicated about the scarcity of basic necessitates like food, clothes, medicine and even clean drinking water and have been asking for help. Also, there is a manifold increase in the cases of Leptospirosis (also known as Canefield fever for its high prevalence in wet areas) and athlete’s foot from the flood along with common strains of cough and colds The situation is worse for the fishermen who got displaced because of the heavy rains. As if it was not enough, Tropical Storm Helen, internationally known as Kai-Tak lashed the country yet again.

In this light, the picture emerging out of the area is a grim one of worsening food and livelihood security of the people living in the area and requires immediate and urgent interventions from both the state and international community and respond to WAC’s call for food, preferably ready to eat, potable and clean water, mats and blankets, clothes, waterproof boots, and medicines to averting hunger and outbreak of disease in the area.

I therefore urge you to ensure
1. Immediate action to send food packets to the affected area;
2. Ensure availability of potable and clean water;
2. Arranging temporary shelters for all those who are displaced;
3. Ensure disbursal of blankets, mats and waterproof mats;
4. Ensure supplies of medicine to contain outbreak of disease/epidemic in the area;

Sincerely,
________

PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Benigno Aquino III
President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 736 1010
Tel: +63 2 735 6201 / 564 1451 to 80

2. Ms. Loretta Ann Rosales
Commission on Human Rights
SAAC Bldg., Commonwealth Avenue
U.P. Complex, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 929 0102
Tel: +63 2 928 5655 / 926 6188
E-mail: chair.rosales.chr@gmail.com

3. Corazon Juliano-Soliman
Secretary, Department of Social, Welfare and Development
Constitution Hills, Batasan Pambansa Complex,
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Tel/Fax: +63 (2) 931-81-91

4. Sec. Joel Rocamora
Lead Convener
National Anti-Poverty Commission
3rd Floor, Agricultural Training Institute Building
Elliptical Road, Diliman
Quezon City
PHILIPPINES
Fax: +63 2 927 9796 / 426 5249
Email: napc.gov@gmail.com

Thank you

Hunger Alerts Programme
Right to Food Programme (foodjustice@ahrc.asia)
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Visit our new website with more features at http://www.humanrights.asia.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Event] FIAN launches International Art Contest “Stop Impunity – Hunger on Trial”

Heidelberg, Germany, December 5, 2011 – In celebration of the international Human Rights Day, December 10, the human rights organization FIAN International invites people worldwide to participate in an art contest: Stop Impunity – Hunger on Trial, which aims to highlight prevailing impunity of violations of the human right to food, leading to chronic hunger and malnutrition.

Of the almost 1 billion people suffering from chronic hunger and malnutrition today, the majority live in rural areas in the Global South, as small-scale peasants or pastoralists, with women and indigenous people being particularly affected .

“We are concerned about the persistence of gross violations of the right to food and the near-total impunity enjoyed by their perpetrators,” describes Flavio Valente, Secretary General of FIAN. “Hunger is a consequence of impunity and it is the lack of accountability that allows for the impunity of human rights violations.”

One of the many cases of impunity of the human right to adequate food documented by FIAN addresses the plight of more than 2,000 villagers in Mubende, Uganda, who were forcedly evicted by the Ugandan army to make way for a coffee plantation, owned by a subsidiary of the German-based Neumann company.  In the ten years since their eviction the people have not received any compensation and no effective remedy has been found.

The Ugandan activist Peter Kayiira is currently visiting a number of European countries to speak about the pending case. One high point of his tour will be a meeting with members of the European Parliament today, accompanied by a symbolic collection of signatures from parliamentarians in support of the art contest.

For the international art contest, FIAN, together with the worldwide peasants’ organization La Via Campesina, invites activists to send in their art work visualizing the issue of impunity and right to food violations. Videotaped pantomime, photo-collections, recordings of a direct action or demonstration or own song, graffiti, stencils or an impressive landscape, printed or painted t-shirts, banners, walls or tattoos and others will compete to be one of  three selected art pieces that will help convey FIAN’s message: “Stop impunity – Fight for the right to food” in 2012.

Background information:

The Art contest Stop Impunity – Hunger on Trial is launched by the international human rights organization FIAN International, http://www.fian.org, and supported by the worldwide peasants’ organization La Via Campesina, http://www.viacampesina.org .

Participants submit their work via http://www.stop-impunity.org. Participation is free to all people 18 years of age and older. The contest includes two categories for submission – photography and video.

A public online voting will take place between February 10 and March 15, 2011. From the ten art pieces that receive the most votes, a jury will select three winners. First prize is 1000Euros, second prize 400Euros and third prize 100Euros. The top three winners will also be exhibited during a public screening on the occasion of the International Day of Peasant’s Struggle,  April 17, 2012, and used by FIAN and La Via Campesina to promote the right to food and the fight against impunity on their websites, reports and during public events.

Read the Press Release in pdf at http://www.fian.org/news/press-releases/stop-impunity-hunger-on-trial-fian-launches-international-art-contest/pdf

More information with Anton Pieper at FIAN International Secretariat, Tel. +49-6221-65300-55, pieper[at]fian.org

Wilma Strothenke
Coordinator Communication
********************************
FIAN International Secretariat
Willy-Brandt-Platz 5/ D-69115 Heidelberg Germany
Tel +49(0)6221 65300 56/ Fax +49(0)6221 830545
Postal Address: PO Box 102243/ D-69012 Heidelberg Germany
e-mail: strothenke [at] fian.org/ http://www.fian.org

FIAN is an international human rights organization that has been advocating the realization of the right to food for more than 20 years. FIAN consists of national sections and individual members in over 50 countries around the world. http://www.fian.org

[Blogger] Ang Pagkain ng Dumagat – by Bro. Martin Francisco

Ang Pagkain ng Dumagat
by Bro. Martin Francisco

Nangangagutom at nangangamatay ang mga kasalukuyang mga katutubong Dumagat sa bahaging Bulakan. At ang itinuturing na dahilan nito ayon sa mga katagalugan ay TAMAD ang mga Dumagat magsipagtrabaho. Ganito rin ang kalalagayan at paniniwala ng ilang katutubo na ‘natagalugan na’ at ng mga Unat (panawag sa Tagalog ng Dumagat) sa loob ng Sierra Madre na sakop ng lupaing ninuno.

Tamad nga ba ang mga katutubo? Kultura nga ba nila ang mag-ipon ng sobra-sobra o kahit kaunti sa panahon ng kagipitan tulad ng ginagawa ng mga katagalugan? Ano nga ba ang katotohanan sa mga ganitong akusasyon sa mga itinuturing na nabubuhay lamang sa “hand-to-mouth existence” o nisang kahit-isang tuka at sa rasyon o “dole-out system” ang mga Dumagat?

Ang pananaw ng karamihang mga Tagalog na HINDI nakakaunawa sa tunay na kalagayan ng mga Dumagat kung bakit silang nangangagutom at nangangamatay magpahanggang ngayon ay dahilan sa ang mga katutubo daw ay bukod sa tamad, ay mangmang pa sa makabagong pagsasaka, marurumi, at gusto lamang ay maging palaasa sa mga rasyon o donasyon ng pamahalaan at ng mga grupong tumutulong – mapasimbahan man o NGO. Na ang kasipagan ay nangangahulugan para sa mga katagalugan na bungkalin o linangin ang lahat ng lupa simula sa pagtotroso at pag-uuling tungo sa pagkakaingin hanggang tuluyang maging taniman o makalbo ang kabundukan na dating hitik na kagubatan.

Ngunit kung bawat tao, Tagalog man o katutubo ngayon at ng mga grupo o indibiduwal na may pusong makatulong na nagmamahal sa mga Dumagat ay mamumulat sa tunay na kalalagayan sa kabundukan ng Sierra Madre at sa kultura ng mga Dumagat ay MAUUNAWAAN ng tunay na kasagutan sa mga MALI at SOBRANG paraan o akusasyon sa mga Dumagat.

Mamumulat ang lahat na bago pa dumating ang sinu man maging ang itinuturing na pamahalaan ngayon na dapat sana’y siyang mangunang tumulong lakip ang pagmamalasakip at ng mga taong “matatalino” at “edukado” lakip ang kanilang ipinagmamalaking “sibilisasyon kanluranin” ay NARIRITO NA sa kagubatan ng Sierra Madre ang mga katutubong nabubuhay ng payapa na ligtas sa mapanirang impluwensya ng katagalugan (negative values), busog at nabuhay ng masagana dulot ni Makedepat na itinuturing nilang Diyos na Mapagbigay.

Sa matagal na panahon na hindi nagagalaw ng sinu mang taga-kapatagan ang Sierra Madre o Mahabe Pagotan sa wikang Dumagat ay namumuhay ng payapa ang mga katutubong Dumagat sa PAGPAPAIKUT-IKOT nito na muling nagbabalik matapos ang ilang taon sa kanilang nakagisnang lugar na itinuturing nilang lupaing ninuno. Walang pagsasamantala sa kagubatan at walang pagmamalabis sa yaman ng kabundukan sa kagustuhang mapanatili at muling mapayabong ang anu man kanilang nakuha o inari sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay pahinga sa lupa, sa pagpapaubayang makasibol muli ang kagubatan, at sa pamumuhay lang simple na may kakaunting pangangailangan sa kagustuhang mabuhay ng masaya at maayos, ligtas sa anu mang pagkakasakit, kagutuman at kapahamakan sa mga dayuhan.

Ganito ang ginawa ng mga purong Dumagat noon at magpahanggang ngayon sa iilan pang pamayanang natitira sa liblib ng Sierra Madre. Ngunit sa kasalukuyan ay mas marami nang katutubong Dumagat ang nagpapagamit sa mga katagalugan upang wasakin ang Sierra Madre ng HINDI nila NAMAMALAYAN at NABABATID na nagdudulot ng HIGIT na kagutuman sa kanila. Hindi nauunawaan ng mga bagong Sibol o henerasyon ng mga kadumagatan na sa tuwing nag-aangkat sila ng kaisipang Unat sa pamumuhay nila sa kabundukan ay lalong nadadali ang kanilang pagkalaho. At hindi na kinakailangan pa ang mga Tagalog o dayuhan ang magwasak nito bagkus ay sila na mismong mga katutubong walang maisip kundi ang kumain lamang sa kasalukuyan at magkamal ng higit na yaman.

Nakalimutan na ng maraming Dumagat na ang Sierra Madre ang siyang bumuhay sa kanilang tribu at hindi ang pumatay. Hindi ang pagiging taong-gubat ang dapat sisihin sa pagkawasak ng yaman sa kanila na sanay dapat ikabubuhay. Dapat pakaisiping mabuti ng kasalukuyang henerasyon ng mga katutubong Dumagat ang anu mang gagawin nila sa kanilang tribu, sa kanilang kultura at sa kanilang Sierra Madre.

Mayaman ang lupaing ninuno ng mga katutubo at sobra-sobra ang inilaang biyaya ni Makidepat sa tribung Dumagat na kahit ang mga kinakapatid nilang katagalugan ay maari ding buhayin kung magiging maayos lamang ang pagbibigay pahalaga sa kalikasan. Hindi dapat maging rason ang kahirapan ang pagdaming populasyon ng tao sa mundo o sa loob ng Sierra Madre kundi ang kasakiman ng bawat isa.

Pagkain ang hanap ng bawat isa? Araw-araw ay ito ang pinagkakaabalahan ng mga tao hindi lang ang mga katutubo kung saan kukunin ang isusunod na isusubo sa kanilang bibig. Palagi na lamang nagiging dahilan na di natin masisisi ang isang taong mahirap at gutom kung sakaling manira ito ng kagubatan sapagkat higit na iisipin nito ang kumakalam na sikmura kaysa ang mag-isip ng tama para sa kinabukasang tinatanaw.

Ngunit sa ganitong rason o prinsipyo ay lalong nagutom ang mas maraming tao na dati rati’y iilan lamang. Nagdulot din ito ng mas marami at komplikadong problema bilang epekto ng kaisipang pangkasalukuyang pangangailangan o “immediate needs” habang patuloy na nagmamasid ang kahabaan ng Sierra Madre ng buong kalungkutan.

Ang Sierra Madre ay isang napakayamang kabundukan. Binuhay nito at pinakain ang tribung Dumagat sa mahabang panahon at marami ng henerasyon ng mga katutubo ang payapang nakapamuhay at lumisan kapalit ng bagong grupong Dumagat. Walang tao o grupo na nagtanim ng mga kagubatan nito noon. Walang namuhunan o nagkagastos para sumibol ang mayabong na kakahuyan nito noon. Lahat ay biyaya ni Makedepat para sa lahat ng tao na nais mabuhay ng ayon sa batas ng kalikasan. Ngunit higit sa lahat ay inilaan ni Makedepat ang Sierra Madre – unang-una para sa kapakinabangan ng mga Dumagat bilang tagapag-ingat o “steward.”

Ngunit sa pagdagsa ng mga dayuhan mula sa mga Kastila, Amerikano, Hapon at kapwa nila Filipino na wala o ibang klase ang pagpapahalaga sa lupa ay nawasak ng tuluyan ang “pamingganan” ng mga katutubo. Ang tingin ng mga dayuhan sa Sierra Madre ay ginto na dapat minahin, puno na dapat trosohin, isda na dapat lasunin at kuryentehin, mga hayop na dapat pagkalibangan at pagkaperhan at mga nakatirang katutubong Dumagat na dapat pagtawanan, lokohin, gamitin sa turismo at palayasin sa lupaing ninuno.

Tuluyang nagutom ang mga Dumagat sa kabila ng mga trabahong ibinigay o ipinakilala ng mga katagalugan bilang manggagawa sa mga konstruksyon. Sa kabila ng pagtuturo sa kanila ng pagkakaingin ng malawakan at pagtatanim ng palay ay lalong nagutom ang mga Dumagat. Sumunod sila sa sistemang Tagalog ng pakikipagkalakalan na gamit ay pera na nagdulot ng lalo lamang na pagkagutom samantalang kabusugan naman ang idinudulot noong mga pagpapalitan at pagbibigayan ng pagkain ang kanilang ginagawang mga Dumagat.

Bakit nagkaganito ang kabundukan ng mga katutubo na dati namang sagana sa pagkain? Mayroon nga silang mga pera gunit lalo naman silang nangangagutom. Marami na silang nabibili ngayon na dati namang hindi nila kailangan ngunit patuloy pa rin ang kahirapan. Habang nagiging bato o semento na ang kanilang mga bahay ay lalo namang nagiging kabatuhan at kugunan ang kanilang lupaing ninuno. Umaangat nga ba ang kanilang katayuan sa lipunan o lalo lamang sila napapalubog sa kawala?

Sa ngayon ay mayroong mga Dumagat na ang panawag sa kanilay mga Remontado mula sa wikang Remontar sa wikang kastila na kahulugan na tumakas mula sa kabayanan papuntang kabundukan. Dahil nuon panahon ng Kastila ay nagpalabas ng kautusan sa bahaging kaMaynilaan na lahat ng katutubo ay kailangang pumaloob sa iisang maliit na pamayanan batay sa batas ng Reduccion o irereduce ang malawak na pamayanan ng mga katutubo sa isang poblacion para sa madaliang konbersyon sa pananampalataya at pamamahala ng mga prayle ngunit hindi ito gusto ng mga katutubo kaya silay nagpakalayu-layo sa kabundukan ng palihim kaya tinaguriang silang mga remontado.
Tatalakakayin sa paksang ito ang mga pagkain ng mga katutubong Dumagat na sa katotohanan ay ikagugulat ng lahat dahil sa kahit hindi kumain ng bigas at magtanim ang mga katutubo noon ay nabubuhay sila sa mahabang panahon. Tatalakayin din kung bakit ang mga pagkain ito ay unti-unting naglalho o tuluyan ng naglaho sa pagdagsa ng mga dayuhan.

Hahatiin natin ang talakayan sa mga sumusunod:
1. Mga dahilan ng mga pagkawala ng mga pagkain ng mga Dumagat.
2. Mga pagkain na ipinakilala sa mga Dumagat na nagpahina sa kanila ng mga Tagalog.
3. Mga pagkain na katutubo sa lupaing ninuno ng Sierra Madre na bumuhay sa kanilang tribu.

Mula sa Aklat ng, “Bakit sila Nangangamatay sa Gutom? ni Ilabe, pahina 261-263

[Press Release] Towards sustainable development GREEN CONVERGENCE URGES AQUINO TO TAKE CHARGE

Towards sustainable development
GREEN CONVERGENCE URGES AQUINO TO TAKE CHARGE

Reminding President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III of his avowed ‘Social Contract’ and policy statement during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) that promised the protection of the environment, members of the Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy (Green Convergence) yesterday urged the President to take charge and make true his promises to lead the nation towards the path of sustainable development by conserving and protecting the country’s natural resources.

In an annual gathering of Green Convergence through its State of Nature Assessment or Green SONA, the group said Pres. Aquino may be partly fulfilling his “contract” through the promulgation of some executive orders and programs but either they are not implemented adequately or are contradicted by other major policy directions.

They cited that while PNoy issued a moratorium on the cutting of trees in natural forests the executive order exempted areas for mining and those to be prepared for plantations.  Furthermore, illegal logging remains largely unabated in the Sierra Madre.  Though he inaugurated the Renewable Energy Program to fight climate change he also inaugurated coal-fired power plants which are highly contributive to climate.  Though the Department of Agriculture under the present leadership has promoted organic agriculture the official policy remains anchored on modern biotechnology moving towards genetically engineered crops. Green Convergence also strongly urged PNoy to forcefully enforce the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

“The President has to take charge and honor his environmental commitments to the nation that he has explicitly stated all too often. As we have surely not taken him out of context because of the straight-forwardness and simplicity of all his articulations, we expect him to oblige,” emphasized Dr. Angelina P. Galang, founder of the Green Convergence.

As members of the Green Convergence recited their incisive assessment of President Aquino’s positive inputs that are matched against the wider contradictory policies, they enumerated their following demands that should be the contents of his social contract in protecting the environment:

“Mr. President:  We ask that there be a moratorium on mining applications and approvals until a national industrialization plan is formulated that would rationalize the industry in terms of what and where minerals should be mined;

•    We ask for strong forest protection and economic programs for forest communities that will make them stakeholders in forest protection;

•    We ask for meaningful engagement with Indigenous Peoples with acknowledgement that their culture makes them the best stewards of the forest;

•    We ask for a complete stop to Bt corn planting and field testing of genetically modified crops until and when they are proven safe for humans and the environment;

•    We ask for rejection of nuclear power with finality.  Transition to 100% renewable energy which has been shown to be able to supply all our energy needs way into the future;

•    We ask for correct and vigorous implementation of RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act;

•    We ask for enactment of the National Land Use Management Act, Forest Resources Bill and Minerals Management Bill; and

•    We ask for a review of the Philippine’s involvement in the Clean Development Mechanisms and REDD + until and when this carbon trading  schemes show their effectiveness in reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and not just increasing profits of rich nations.

Green Convergence is composed of more than 50 networks and groups from the environmental, social and religious movements.–end–

Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment & Sustainable Economy

PRESS RELEASE
July 18, 2011

[Press Release] British and Pinoy Volunteers Help Fight Human Trafficking and Preventable Diseases

Twenty young volunteers from the UK, Quezon City and Hagonoy, Bulacan are working with VF and the Local Government of Hagonoy in projects aimed at curbing human trafficking and promoting health awareness.

The 10 British volunteers are part of the International Citizen Service (ICS) Youth Action, a new initiative funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) that will give thousands of 18-22 year old across the UK to join in the fight against global poverty.

The media is invited to join VSO, VF, and the local government of Hagonoy in welcoming these British volunteers, who will be joined by 10 Filipino youth professionals from Quezon City and Hagonoy, Bulacan. A welcome lunch will be held at the VF Office in No. 18 12th Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City on Wednesday, July 6th at 12:00 noon. This is an opportunity for the media to engage with the young volunteers and convey their message of working together for social change further to the public.

For 12 weeks, the volunteers will live, learn and volunteer together on a range of community based action projects.  Two teams of young people aim to work effectively together to deliver real impact at community level—be it through supporting service delivery, through advocacy or peer education activities or through youth-led community action research around themes of health, human rights, environmental protection, climate change, and youth participation.

Volunteers will receive in-country training in participatory community development approaches in order to support them in their placements and project work.

VSO, an international development organization that works through volunteers in fighting global poverty, heads a consortium that is piloting the ICS in 21 countries. In the Philippines, VSO Bahaginan, an NGO that implements a range of innovative volunteering for development programs and a member of the VSO Federation, serves as the focal point for supporting young volunteers to take action for development.

VSO Bahaginan and VF, an NGO known for its advocacy and action against human trafficking, have been partners in strengthening its volunteering program in support of its wide range of services for victims of human trafficking.

The Local Government of Hagonoy, Bulacan and VSO Bahaginan are collaborating for the first time to widen the reach of Hagonoy’s health education campaign against leading diseases such as tuberculosis and promote healthy lifestyles especially among the youth.

Sixty more British youth volunteers with their 60 Filipino youth counterparts will be working with LGUs and NGOs in Bohol, Cebu, Davao, and Samar in the coming months.

PRESS RELEASE:

[Statement] IKULONG at PARUSAHAN ang mga MANDARAMBONG sa NFA! – Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura

File photo source: allvoices.com

File photo source: allvoices.com

IKULONG at PARUSAHAN ang mga MANDARAMBONG sa NFA!
WAKASAN ang Pagpapahirap sa Masa’t Magsasaka!

Nitong mga nakaraang araw ay ginimbal tayo ng balitang mahigit sa P100 B ang nanakaw sa kaban ng bayan dahil sa problema ng korupsyon at pandarambong sa loob ng National Food Authority (NFA) sa nakalipas na 10-taon. Kagimbal-gimbal at kakundi-kundena ang ganitong paglalantad. Habang pinagkakaitan ng sapat na suporta ang mahigit na limang milyong magsasaka sa palayan ay lumalangoy naman sa bilyung-bilyong piso ang mga tiwaling opisyal NFA at nagpipiyesta ang mga kasangkot nitong mga negosyante’t kartel sa industriya ng bigas sa bansa.

Hindi bago ito sa mata ng mga magsasaka sa palayan. Pinatunayan lamang ng pagbubunyag ang matagal nang sinasabi ng mga magsasaka hinggil sa importasyon ng bigas at transaksyon ng mga pribadong  sektor sa NFA. Hindi ang taumbayan at mga magsasaka ang tunay na nakikinabang sa mga programa kundi ang mga tiwaling opisyal ng ahensya at mga kakutsaba nitong malalaking negosyante sa bigas at palayan.

PARUSAHAN ang BURIKI GANG sa NFA.

Mistulang operasyon ng BURIKI GANG ang nalantad na katiwalian at anomalya sa NFA. Ang kutsabahan ng mga tiwaling opisyal at mga kasosyo nitong kartel sa bigas ay operasyon ng isang gangster na sistematikong pinagpipyestahan ang kahirapan at kakulangan ng ating bansa.

Isang dekadang binuburiki ng mga bwitreng ito ang pondong laan para sa importasyon at operasyon ng NFA. P 100.92B piso ang kinulimbat ng BURIKI GANG sa pondo ng bayan.  Ang nasabing pagpapasobra  sa inaangkat na bigas ng bansa at diumano’y milyun-milyong kilong pagkawala ng bigas sa mga imbakan bunga kuno ng landing spillage pati na ang pagsasauli sa milyon pisong bond sa mga pribadong sektor ay larawan ng sistematikong pandarambong ng BURIKI GANG sa loob ng NFA.

Kaya’t hindi kataka-kataka ang kabiguang makamit ang inaasam-asam na kasapatan sa pangunahing pagkain sa bansa. Dahil sa halip na tumagas ang pondo sa lokal na produksyon at mga magsasaka ay sa bulsa ng mga tiwali at iilang mayayaman ito pumupunta.
Hindi lamang PANDARAMBONG kundi TREASON ding matatawag ang operasyong ito ng BURIKI GANG. Sinabotahe nito ang ekonomiya para sa interes ng pagkakamal ng limpak-limpak na maibubulsa sa kaban ng bayan. Sinamantala at lalong pinalala ang kakulangan natin sa pangunahing pagkain at kahirapan ng mamamayan upang maibulsa ang pondo ng gobyerno at makapagbenta ng mahal na presyo ng bigas sa ating bansa. Sa ganitong kasalanan, hindi sapat na patalsikin lamang  ang mga responsable sa anomalya bagkus dapat silang ARESTUHIN at BITAYIN sa kanilang KRIMEN sa taumbayan.

LIBERALISASYON at  PRIBATISASYON ng BIGASAN: Ugat ng Kawalan ng Kasapatan sa Bigas

Ang Palpak at anti-magsasakang programa ng liberalisasyon at pribatisasyon ng bigasan at NFA ang tunay na ugat sa patuloy na kakulangan ng bansa sa ating pangunahing pagkain.

Ang pagsandig sa importasyon o pag-aangkat ng imported na bigas upang punan ang ating kakulangan ay bunga ng pagpapatupad ng liberalisasyon sa agrikultura at industriya ng bigasan sa bansa. Mahigit na P 10 Bilyong piso kada taon ang ginagastos sa pag-aangkat. Habang kalahati lamang nito ang inilaan para sa lokal na pagbili sa ating magsasaka. Kapos na nga sa pondo inilalaan pa sa mga dayuhan sa halip na sa ating lokal na industriya.

Sa liberalisayon, taun-taong pwesahan tayong pinag-aangkat ng tone-toneladang bigas sa ilalim ng MINIMUM ACCESS VOLUME (MAV). May kakulangan man o wala obligado tayong kunin ang nasabing kota sa ngalan ng pagtangkilik sa malayang kumpetisyon at pamilihan. Kaya’t sa halip na kontrolin at proteksyunan ang lokal na industriya ay ibinuyayang at tinalikuran ito ng ating gobyerno at inoobliga ang sariling tangkilikin ang imported na bigas at ilagay sa kamay ng pribadong sektor ang  kinabukasan ng ating pangunahing pagkain. Ito ang ugat ng ating kawalan ng sapat na pagkain sa bansa.

Ang kasalukuyang direksyon ng pagrereporma sa NFA ay pribatisasyon ng ahensya upang lubusin ang liberalisasyon ng industriya ng bigasan sa bansa. Ang DECOUPLING o paghihiwalay ng mga tungkulin at papel ng NFA at pagdidiin na lamang sa pag-iimbak o buffer stocking ay nasa direksyon ng paglalagay sa kinabukasan ng mamamayan at ng bigas sa bansa sa kamay ng malalaking pribadong negosyante at korporasyon.

Ito’y pagtalikod ng gobyerno sa obligasyon nitong tiyakin ang karaparatan sa pagkain ng bansa at pagbitaw nito sa tungkuling proteksyunan ang maliliit magsasaka at mahihirap na mamamayan laban sa mapagsamantalang interes ng kapital at tubo sa bansa.

Sa liberalisasyon at pribatisasyon walang tanging nakikinabang kundi mga negosyante’t kapitalista at mga kakutsaba nitong tiwaling opisyal ng gobyerno habang ang mamamayan at maliliit na magsasaka ay patuloy na malulugmok sa kumunoy ng kahirapan at pagsasamantala. Ang inilantad  sa NFA ay malinaw na patotoo na walang katotohanan na mas magiging maayos at mura ang pagkain sa kamay ng pribadong sektor at mga negosyante.

Ang tunay na solusyon sa ating agrikultura ay nasa pagpapalakas ng suporta’t subsidyo sa ating mga mahihirap na magsasaka, pagwasak sa monopolyo sa pagmamay-ari ng lupa at modernisasyon ng agrikultura at hindi liberalisasyon at pribatisasyon.

Hamon kay Pnoy

Kung tunay at seryoso si Pnoy sa landas nang makabuluhang pagbabago agrikultura at ekonomiya dapat nitong ibasura ang  landas ng ibayong liberalisasyon ng ekonomiya at pribatisasyon ng mga ahensya’t serbisyo ng gobyerno tulad ng NFA. Sapat na ang mahigit  tatlong dekadang mapanirang epekto nito sa ekonomiya at kabuhayan ng mamamayan.

At sa halip, isulong nito ang industriyalisasyon at modernisasyon ng agrikultura. Ibayong palakasin ang suporta’t proteksyon ng gobyerno sa mahihirap. At huli, ipatupad nito ang demokratikong pagsasakapangyarihan at partisipasyon ng mamamayan sa pamamahala’t pagpapatakbo ng gobyerno kung nais nitong tunay na masawata ang lumalalang korapsyon at katiwalian sa pamahalaan.

IBASURA ang PRIBATISASYON ng NFA!
LITISIN at IKULONG ang MANDARAMBONG sa NFA
BUWAGIN ang KARTEL ng BIGAS

Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA) at Makabayan Pilipinas
May 19, 2011

[In the news] Biofuel program may affect CARP, food security – group | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online

Biofuel program may affect CARP, food security – group | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online.

By MARVYN N. BENANING
Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines — Large-scale conversions of prime agricultural lands in Cavite, Isabela and Quezon into biofuel production areas undermine the agrarian reform program and endanger food security.

This was the conclusion of Danilo T. Carranza of the Rural Poor Institute for Land and Human Rights Services, Inc. (RIGHTS), a private think-tank that undertook a field study of the farming areas in the three provinces that had been transformed into hubs for the cultivation of biofuel feedstock. Carranza asked President Aquino to rethink the impact of the Philippine Biofuels Act of 2006, Republic Act 9367.

He said that in Cavite and Isabela, long land leases had been resorted to by the biofuel companies, with the farmers not having copies of their agreements with the corporations.

Worse, the consolidation of the contiguous areas has continued and the agrarian reform beneficiaries had been reduced to work for low wages, with some farmers in Isabela reporting that they receive only between P50 and P98 daily.

In Barangay Alitabad, San Mariano, Isabela, an irrigation project costing P52 million started five years was abruptly stalled, denying water to farmers tilling 140 hectares of land, with some of them suspecting it could be a ploy to compel them to lease their land to the biofuel company.

In all three provinces, prime agricultural land is being converted to biofuel feedstock production, reducing them to work for slave wages and pushing back the country’s deadline to meet the deadline for rice selfsufficiency in 2013.

Carranza said that in Magallanes, Cavite, 23 agrarian reform beneficiaries who had possessed certificates of landownership awards (CLOAs) for 17 years run the risk of being relocated from a property that has designated as the
production plant for bioethanol, with the Remulla family purportedly telling them will be transferred elsewhere.

Carranza said of the 2,500 hectares for the project, 1,500 are in Magallanes, 500 hectares of which are covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

“Areas so far engaged in Magallanes were previously planted to rice and vegetables. The project has an existing nursery covering 100 hectares in Barangay, Pacheco, previously planted to rice and vegetables,” he added.

The Cavite Biofuel Producers, Inc. (CBPI) was organized in 2008 with the Lopa family, VG Puyat Group and the Zamora family as shareholders, with Penwood Corp. as the developer of a 6.500-hectare property in Magallanes and Maragondon towns with an option to subscribe to some shares.

The Cavite Sugarcane Multi-Planters Cooperative will supply the sugarcane for the CBPI, which secured leases from agrarian reform beneficiaries.

In Isabela, the biofuel complex covers an ethanol energy production site and a sugarcane production site, with Green Future Innovations, Inc. operating then bioethanol plant, capitalized at $120 million.

The company was organized in 2007 by a group of Japanese and Filipino stockholders, including the Uys of Mindanao Grains and the Bantugs who are Negros-based sugar planters. It will be operational next year.

About 11,000 hectares will be utilized as sugarcane plantations, with the company taking over 6,460 hectares this year from 3,230 farmercooperators, Carranza reported.