More than 10,000 peasants to walk
in protest of landlessness, exploitation
Lakbayan Press Release #01
10 October 2011
More than 10,000 peasants from Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental will walk
starting October 19 and will converge in Cagayan de Oro City on October 21
to press for genuine agrarian reform in Northern Mindanao as the country
honours the October Peasant Month.
Dubbed as "LakbayangMag-uumaalangsaYuta, KatungodugKatilingbanongHustisya"
(Peasant Protest March for Land, Rights and Social Justice), the
protesters will bring issues from their respective farms to the regional
capital in order to create awareness of their situation.The protest
theme’s will evolve around issue’s of landlessness, and the accompanying
exploitative conditions of production that are being imposedunto the
farmers due to landlessness.
In Northern Mindanao, 3 out of every 4 peasants do not own the land they
Global land grabbing in Bukidnon
Contingents from Bukidnon will bring with them issues of global land
grabbing and human rights violations.
DaniloMenente, Chairperson of Kasama-Bukidnon (KahugpungansamgaMag-uumasaBukidnon
or Farmers' Association in Bukidnon) said that global land grabbing 'is
putting into serious risk the survival of small farmers and farm workers
in the Province.'
'Global land grabbing,' according to the Pesticide Action Network in Asia
and the Pacific (PAN-AP) refers to 'land deals, whether as direct
purchases or long-term leases are being brokered in poor countries by
advanced countries and their TNCs (trans-national companies) as they
command resources to produce crops either for food, feedstock or agro fuel
in commercial and export quantities. They have been called land grabs, not
as reference to their illegality since many of the deals have passed
government approvals, but as description of the unjust terms through which
they have been transacted and the utter lack of consultation with the
communities of farmers and indigenous peoples.'
Touted as Mindanao's food basket, Bukidnon has been a host to the
country's largest plantations owned by TNCs. Of the province' 315,164
hectares of alienable and disposable lands, 79,501 has been allotted to
pineapple plantations alone, and 31,607 for bananas. Among the big
corporations operating in Bukidnon are those of Del Monte Philippines Inc
(DMPI), Davao Agriventures Corporation (DAVCO), and Southern Fresh Fruits.
'In Bukidnon, TNCs conspired with the traditional landlords in grabbing
vast tracks of land, and in evading agrarian reform programs,' Menente
While landlessness has been the reason why the actual tillers and
producers of food in Bukidnon remain the poorest among the poor in the
Philippines, Menente said that the phenomenon of global land grabbing in
the province have also attacked peasant's human rights and fundamental
The province has become a focus of bloody agrarian unrests in the country,
and the culture of impunity which exists in relation to human rights
violations in agrarian situations have swelled drastically.
Menente added that 'this culture of impunity attached to global land
grabbing is again illustrated in the continuing assaults against the 800
families of the Buffalo-Tamaraw-Limus (BTL) Farmers’ Association.’
In the morning of June 14, 2011, the peaceful protest camp of the BTL
farmers in front of the Central Mindanao University (CMU) in Dologon,
Maramag,Bukidnon, was brutally attacked by goons and security guards hired
by the university. Protesters were indiscriminately fired at, seriously
wounding six farmer-leaders.One victim is a woman farmer of BTL, Marilou
Fortin, which sustained bruises in her chest from the splinters. The
farmers were protesting dislocation from the parcels of land within the
university that they have been tilling for nearly three decades to pave
the way for the pineapple and banana plantation expansion of a number of
TNCs, foremost, the DAVCO in the said lands.
Violent dispersals of camp-out protests—as a peaceful form of farmers’
objection against land grabbing—have become a common scenario in Bukidnon.
Such was the case of the shooting of the Danggawan Landless Farmers’
Association (DFLA), the incident believed to be perpetrated by hired men
of the Del Monte Philippines Inc on July 30, 2010. The company was to
start their pineapple plantation on part of the OcayaRanch which the DFLA
were tilling in the village of Kuya, Maramag.
Coconut farmers and agri-workers exploited in Misamis Oriental
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Misamis Oriental Farmer’s Association (MOFA),
Ireneo Udarbe, said they will highlight the dismal situations of the
coconut farmers of the province during the Lakbayan.
While coconut has been the province’ main produce, Udarbe stressed that
‘the coconut farmers and workers in coconut plantations and industries
that serve as the backbone of the economy live miserably.’
According to the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), almost 64% of Misamis
Oriental’s agricultural lands were allotted to coconut. For 2010 alone,
the value of the coconut products produced for export reached
“But the 43,105 coconut farmers and farm workers are living below poverty
level,” said Udarbe. He pointed out landlessness as the main problem.
“Because we do not own the land we till, we were forced to enter into
oppressive sharing systems with the landlords,” added by the peasant
“Tersya” sharing system which gives tenants a third of the income from the
produce is prevalent in the province, even if it is mandated in
Administrative Order No. 5, Series of 1993 DAR (Section V, B.4) that the
amount of land rental would not exceed to 25% of the overall income of the
farmers. In one of the case studiesthat MOFA conducted in Samay, Gingoog
City engaged in “tersya system,” a farmer merely gets P83.96 per day in
three months cultivation of 290 coconut trees in 2 hectares of rented
land. The situation is even worse in PhilippineVeterance Industrial
Economic Corporation (PHIVIDEC) area in Villanueva and Tagoloan where the
maintainer of the coconuts only got 10% of the net income and is
continuously facing the threat of demolition.
Additionally, the farmers bear the brunt of
the ever-fluctuating prices of copra and other coconut products.
Currently, the price is P17.00/kilo for copra if the buyer bought this
from the farmer. However, if buyers sold the copra, they earned big profit
since the copra is bought P29.00 per kilo in the mill gates.
Subtraction from the farmers’ income is also
prevalent through the arbitrary deduction of ‘resikada’ or the moisture
content. Despite the Administrative Order No. 1, series of 1991 of
Philippine Coconut Authority that allows a 7% to 12% moisture content of
copra if dried under the sun and 14% if dried in the coconut drier,
approximately 14% to 18% of resikada have been stolen from the farmers
every time they sell copra.
In the coconut plantations and individual coconut farms, agricultural
workers receive a measly P120 up to P150 for a day’s work, far beyond the
P269 minimum wage set by the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity
Board (RTWPB) for agricultural workers.
Protest march, concert, rally
Contingents of Lakbayan from Bukidnon will start their journey from Quezon
town. Those coming from Misamis Oriental will come from as far as the
municipality of Lugait in the west, and Gingoog City in the east.
They are set to converge 4pm of October 20 in Licoan, Cagayan de Oro City
to do the historic “Salubungan” or convergence, and will march up to the
Pelaez Sports Complex for the ‘Concert for Land, Rights and Social
On October 21, the group will head to KioskoKagawasan in Divisoria to
culminate the activity.
Lakbayan is jointly organized by KilusangMagbubukidngPilipinas (KMP or
Philippine Peasant Movement), AMIHAN Northern Mindanao, Kalumbay Regional
Lumad Organization, Kasama-Bukidnon, MOFA, and the Rural Missionaries of
the Philippines (RMP) in Northern Mindanao.###
Richard Colao (KMP) 0915-334-7924
MarvickTapanan (AMIHAN Northern Mindanao) 0905-247-2573
JomoritoGuaynon (Kalumbay Regional Lumad Organization) 0930-345-8010
DaniloMenente (KasamaBukidnon) 0949-407-1214
IreneoUdarbe (MOFA) 0949-794-8512
Stop militarization in San Fernando, Bukidnon!
A joint statement of Katribu and Kasilo indigenous peoples organizations
in San Fernando, Bukidnon, Philippines
CARP failed, say North Mindanao farmers
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
ILIGAN CITY—Three of four peasants in Northern Mindanao are landless, more
than 20 years since the government implemented the Comprehensive Agrarian
Reform Program (CARP), a militant farmers’ group said on Wednesday.
Mindanao farmers stage long march for 'land, rights, justice'
11-Oct-11, 2:54 PM | Ria Rose Uro, InterAksyhon.com
ILIGAN CITY, Philippines – Thousands of disgruntled farmers will march for
three days through Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental provinces to northern
Mindanao’s regional capital, Cagayan de Oro City, to demand land, rights
Farmers to air grievances thru ‘camping’
Monday, October 10, 2011
THE Misamis Oriental Farmers Association (Mofa) will hold a “Kampuhan” or
camp at the Capitol grounds on October 18 to 20 to deliver their message
to the Provincial Government, asking for a solution on the different
issues they faced.
Ireneo Udarbe, chairperson of Mofa, said the three-day camping is in line
with the celebration of the Peasant Month this October.