A day after Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. took his oath as the 17th President of the Philippines, peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) presented their demands for the agriculture sector, adding that all of these are “doable” within the first 100 days of the new administration.
“To achieve genuine food sufficiency amid a looming food crisis, the government must pour in a significant budget for agriculture and support the boosting and strengthening of local food production,” KMP said in a press statement on Friday, July 1.
All of the demands, according to KMP, require immediate attention and legislation.
Among these were the issuance of Executive Order (EO) against the conversion of agricultural lands devoted to or suitable for the production of staple food crops, the suspension of the Rice Tariffication Law, as well as the provision of 10,000 cash aid and 15,000 production subsidy for farmers, fishers, and agricultural workers.
Apart from these, the group also reiterated its call for the suspension of excise tax on petroleum products. This, however, was already discussed by President Marcos prior his inauguration where he stated that there are “other ways” to address the rising cost of fuel in the country aside from suspending excise tax on oil products.
The peasant group also called on Marcos to resolve the long-standing agrarian disputes in the country, including the recent Hacienda Tinang controversy where farmers were arrested while they were conducting a collective land preparation activity at the sugarcane plantation.
Meanwhile, the farmers also challenged the President to allocate at least 10 percent of the national budget to food production, likewise urging him to pay their over 200 billion unpaid estate taxes.
“Return the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies. Allocate at least 10 percent of the national budget to agriculture and food production,” they added.