Central Luzon fishers, farmers appeal for aid

Published July 31, 2021, 3:34 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

(KEITH BACONGCO / MANILA BULLETIN / FILE PHOTO)

The government has been urged to provide assistance to small fishers and farmers in Central Luzon, whose livelihoods have been affected by the recent typhoon and heavy monsoon rains.

Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said farmers and fishers were demanding livelihood subsidy for the loss of their income as heavy rains brought by the southwest monsoon and typhoon “Fabian” damaged agriculture and fisheries in Central Luzon.

Bobby Roldan, Pamalakaya vice chairperson for Luzon and a fisherman from Zambales, said small fishers in the province were unable to do fishing activities for more than two weeks now due to monsoon rains.

“We haven’t been able to set sail for two weeks. Our small boats could not withstand the strong waves caused by the incessant rain for two weeks,” Roldan said in a statement.

“Many fishermen are forced to look for other sources of income such as farming which is not enough because even the farm are also affected by heavy rains,” he added.

The Pamalakaya and militant farmers’ group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) have been seeking a P15,000 production subsidy for the rural sectors to cushion the devastating socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.

The fishers’ group noted that production subsidy proposal has already been filed by the Makabayan bloc as House Bill No. 9192 at the House of Representatives.

“Now that there are disasters in the midst of a devastating pandemic, we are pressing the government to provide immediate production subsidies that our so-called food security frontliners deserve),” Roldan said.

“The government must already learn that abandoning food producers in the midst of a health crisis will result in an even bigger economic crisis such as widespread hunger,” he added.

 
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