Commemorating World Foodless Day


Cebu City


October 21, 2009





Rally in Cebu City in commemoration of "World FoodLess Day"




Photos courtesy of FIDEC (Central Visays Fisherfolk Development Center, Inc)



Groups present to DA 9-point omnibus demands for peasant typhoon victims

To mark World Food Day, October 16, established by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO) since 1981, peasant groups such as the militant Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines), Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women, Pamalakaya-Pilipinas, UMA and Anakpawis Partylist tabled their 9-point omnibus demands for peasant victims of typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng to the Dept. of Agriculture in Quezon City. Their dialogue was beefed up by 150 peasants and supporters from nearby farm areas such as Montalban, Rizal and San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

“We are formally presenting our immediate demands that would concretely alleviate the well-being of peasants hit by typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng,” said Danilo Ramos, KMP Secretary-General.

“Our demands clearly include about support in housing, rehabilitation of farms, grant of seeds and seedlings for rice, corn, vegetables and other farmers’ crops, financial assistance of about P10,000 to P15,000 per hectare, a credit line to the Land Bank of the Philippines amounting to P10,000 to P15,000 per hectare, tractors, hand-tractors and carabao, setting-up of potable water supply, one year or equivalent to the value of two successive croppings moratorium on irrigation fees to National Irrigation Authority and private irrigation systems and livelihood to seasonal farmworkers,” shared Ramos.

The groups insisted that any assistance should be given to legitimate peasant and people’s organization to avoid vulnerability to scams such as what happened to the P218.7 million rice scam where support and subsidies were allegedly given to dummy organization and foundations.

Based on NDCC, damage to agriculture brought about by typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng reached to P13.2 billion, also caused the 682 deaths, who the groups believe are majorly peasants. About 140,156 houses were also destroyed and damaged.

“What we are facing are really serious. Filipino peasants are now in deep poverty but support from government agencies such as the DA is scarce if not nil. We could still recall that we asked for help of the DA when typhoon Frank hit the country last year, seriously damaging the island of Panay. Our members in PAMANGGAS (KMP Panay Region) asked us to coordinate with the DA central office but to no avail,” Ramos said.

The group was also joined by peasant leaders from DAGAMI (KMP Isabela), also foreign delegates from India, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Laos, Thailand and Ecuador who participated in an international workshop regarding hybrid rice at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. The hybrid rice workshop was sponsored by MASIPAG, GRAIN and KMP, in line with the World Food Day.

“Also, to us farmers, October 16 is a world foodless day, as we are now facing the effects of typhoons, and even without, our livelihood are being slaughtered by unproductive land rent, high cost of production and competition to cheap imported agricultural products as the Arroyo government push through with more liberalization of agriculture,” said Ramos.




The group affirmed that the long-term solution to the food crisis is the implementation of genuine land reform in the country. This would firmly secure the supply of food and develop self-reliance. Genuine land reform also contradicts the market-oriented character of agriculture which gives primacy to requirements of foreign markets than the needs of the people.

“At present, we call for the immediate support of the government, the international aid amounting to P0.5 billion should be used directly for the benefit of the peasant victims and not into someone’s pocket,” called Ramos.#