KMP marks World "Foodless" Day,

Gabriela marks World Rural Women's Day

 

Manila, QC

 

October 16, 2010

 

 

 

Farmers from the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines), KMP Negros and KASAMA-TK (KMP Southern Tagalog) protested in front of the Dept. of Agrarian Reform office in Quezon City corresponding the World Food Day observed globally. The peasant groups dubbed it as World “Foodless” Day and put the blame of poverty and hunger on massive landlessness and the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with “Reforms” or CARPer.

 

The groups were joined by other peasant groups such as Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA), Tungkong Mangga farmers, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), Pamalakaya-Pilipinas, Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) and supporters from Anakpawis Partylist, International League of Peoples’ Struggle-Philippines (ILPS) and NNARA-Youth.

 

 

In commemoration of World Rural Women’s Day, GABRIELA joined the caravan of peasant women to Mendiola that started from the Kampuhan ng Kababaihan in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

It is the caravan’s objective to use the occasion to underscore the plight of the Filipino women in the rural areas who comprise the 50% of the peasant population.

“Not only do they work on the land under impoverished conditions like their male counterparts, but on their shoulders also fall the burden of stretching the family’s meager income to provide for everyone. The fact that the sector has very limited rights and is often denied ownership of the land is the drawback of their existence and this pain is most pronounced on the lives of their women,” said Lana Linaban, secretary general of GABRIELA.

 

   
   
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Photos courtesy of KMP and Gabriela
     
     
     
           

 

Poverty and hunger caused by CARPer, landlessness, Negros and Southern Tagalog farmers say
10/16/2010 - 08:58.

Farmers from the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP, Peasant Movement of the Philippines), KMP Negros and KASAMA-TK (KMP Southern Tagalog) protested in front of the Dept. of Agrarian Reform office in Quezon City corresponding the World Food Day observed globally. The peasant groups dubbed it as World “Foodless” Day and put the blame of poverty and hunger on massive landlessness and the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with “Reforms” or CARPer. The groups were joined by other peasant groups such as Alyansa ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA), Tungkong Mangga farmers, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA), Pamalakaya-Pilipinas, Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) and supporters from Anakpawis Partylist, International League of Peoples’ Struggle-Philippines (ILPS) and NNARA-Youth.

“World Food Day in the Philippines is a World ‘Foodless’ Day’ as peasants are still landless and they are continuously displaced as landlords and landgrabbers make use of the anti-peasant provisions of CARPer,” said Antonio Flores, KMP Spokesperson.

“We farmers from Negros are major victims of CARPer, landlords are using it to criminalize agrarian cases, accusing our leaders and members of various criminal charges,” KMP Negros spokesperson Greg Ratin said.

“CARPer on its more than 1 year of existence and 21 years of its predecessor CARP has never served the farmers of Southern Tagalog. Worse, it is a convenient tool of landlords to keep their lands and throw peasants out of their farms,” Axel Pinpin said, KASAMA-TK Secretary-General.

The groups cooked symbols of CARPer in front of the DAR office to show that it has not worked for land reform and food security. They said that it is not “edible” to farmers and pushed for the passage of House Bill 374 or Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB), sponsored by Anakpawis Rep. and KMP Chair Rafael Mariano and Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Partylist, Kabataan and ACT.

“Bungkalan”
Instead of CARPer, KMP and the peasant groups are promoting their campaign dubbed as “Bungkalan” (cultivation). It is an organized effort to cultivate lands that remained idle and transformed it to highly productive agricultural lands. Farmworkers from Hacienda Luisita and Negros were able to implement that is now estimated to cover 2,000-hectares and 6,000-hectares, respectively.

“Hacienda Luisita farmworkers under the leadership of AMBALA are able to enjoy the fruits of their labor on land. Rice farms now reach 2,000-has., with hundreds more planted with fruits and vegetables. This is the Genuine Land Reform we are pushing about, not the market-oriented, pro-landlord schemes of CARPer,” Flores said.

“In Negros, we were able to cultivate the lands with the massive participation of farmers who used to work on the vast sugarlands. As the world market demand for Philippine sugar declined, mills closed down and work opportunities for the sugar farmworkers became scarce. We have no option but to cultivate those idle and make them productive. Now, even those not under our organization are also cultivating lands. Landlords are now retaliating by criminalizing agrarian cases,” Ratin said.

APC and ILPS also sent their messages of support and said that the bungkalan campaign is just and historical. It is only now, after vast lands were subjected to market-oriented sugar industry for decades, were transformed to serve the people and break out of US imperialism.

“Those who support CARPer should learn from the rich experience of farmers from Hacienda Luisita and Negros. CARPer is a misnomer, it does not serve the interest of Filipino peasants, it is just a source of financial opportunism of pseudo-peasant groups, a milking cow of landlords and an instrument of foreign agro-corporations. It should be junked and GARB should be passed in Congress,” said Flores.

Aquino’s denial of land reform
“Noynoy Aquino should contemplate as more and more farmers are protesting here in Manila against his neglect of the land issue. He omitted it three times on his inaugural and SONA speech and first 100-day report,” he added.

The groups then marched towards in front of the Dept. of Agriculture and National Food Authority warehouse along Visayas avenue. They protested against the continuing liberalization of agriculture and rice importation.

The farmers also vowed more and bigger protest actions against Aquino’s anti-peasant programs and policies such as CARPer, his proposed Public-Private Partnership Program and the continued extra-judicial killings and arrests of peasant activists. On October 21, farmers from Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon, Hacienda Luisita, Ilocos and Cagayan Valley regions would march towards Mendiola, Manila to call for land and justice, junking of CARPer and Stock Distribution Option (SDO).

“Aquino should ready himself as thousands of farmers would be coming to Manila. If he is not mentally prepared for it, he could get crazy,” Flores said. #
 

     
     
     
           
     
   
     
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PRESS STATEMENT
15 October 2010
REFERENCE: Lana Linaban, GABRIELA secretary general (0908-8653582)
Public Information Department (371-2302 / 0917-4661522)

On World Rural Women’s Day
Advance peasant women’s rights

In commemoration of World Rural Women’s Day, GABRIELA joined the caravan of peasant women to Mendiola that started from the Kampuhan ng Kababaihan in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

It is the caravan’s objective to use the occasion to underscore the plight of the Filipino women in the rural areas who comprise the 50% of the peasant population.

“Not only do they work on the land under impoverished conditions like their male counterparts, but on their shoulders also fall the burden of stretching the family’s meager income to provide for everyone. The fact that the sector has very limited rights and is often denied ownership of the land is the drawback of their existence and this pain is most pronounced on the lives of their women,” said Lana Linaban, secretary general of GABRIELA.

Linaban further adds that the peasant women’s suffering doubles due to persisting gender oppression that stereotypes them to be, first, housekeepers. “Despite doing half of the work in the lands, they are still seen as inferior force in production and thus, receive lower compensation compared to men.”

Peasant women from Hacienda Luisita and Barangay Mascap in Montalban, Rizal articulated their conditions and pushed their demands through erecting the one-week Kampuhan ng Kababaihan outside DAR premises. It started on the 101st day of Aquino in the palace, October 9, and culminated today on the World Rural Women’s Day. They were joined by GABRIELA Chapters from various communities in Metro Manila.

“These women come to the capital to denounce the tricks played on them by Aquino, who instead of championing their cause, use the judicial system to perpetuate his family’s rule over the vast tract of land of Hacienda Luisita. We are not surprised, Aquino’s non-intervention on pivotal issues such as that of HLI, tags him as the biggest enemy of the peasants,” Linaban commented.

The militant women’s group said that the significance of World Rural Women’s Day is yet to be felt in a country where the government perpetuate social conditions unfavorable to the farmers and continue to undermine the value of women as a productive force in food production. Declared in the UN Conference for Women in Beijing on October 15, 1995, WRWD recognizes the important role of rural women in uplifting lives in the rural areas

Women comprise about 80% in the labor force for rice production, the staple food in the country, yet it is them who felt most acutely the lack of it on their tables. Worse, with the massive land conversions brought on by neoliberal policies of the government, they also face the threat of losing altogether their means of income.

“Where are now the promises of Aquino? 100 days go by but the only thing he showed so far is the distressing truth that the agenda of the peasant and most especially of the peasant women is not foremost in his priorities. On the contrary, he remains true to his Haciendero Republic,” Linaban said.

GABRIELA vows that militant women’s movement will be relentless in its struggle for genuine land reform and will advance without let up the rights and entitlement of peasant women to land along with the rest of the sector and people of the world. ###

Public Information Department
GABRIELA National Office
(+632) 3712302 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (+632) 3712302 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

 

     
           
           
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