AS the Philippines observes Peasant Day, House Assistant Minority Leader and Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas on Thursday backed the farmers’ call for P15,000 production subsidy amid the series of typhoons and rising oil prices in the country.
“Mababa na nga ang presyo ng palay, rumagasa pa ang sunod-sunod na bagyo at pagtaas ng presyo ng krudo sa bansa. Ang masaklap pa rito, wala man lang inilaan na pondo ang gobyerno para sa ayuda,” Brosas lamented.
“Majority of our farmers did not receive any form of financial assistance from the government. They were even forced into further debt because the government offers them 5,000 pesos in loans disguised as financial assistance,” Brosas added.
Palay prices hit an all-time low P10/kg, the lowest recorded this season. The palay prices also remain low at an average of P12 to P13 — still way below the average production cost of P15/kg.
On top of this, fertilizer prices remain high for farmers reeling from high production and livings costs.
“Mass importation brought by rice has plunged Filipino farmers into deeper debt and poverty. This is why we will continue to demand the passage of the proposed Rice Industry Development Act or RIDA which aims to genuinely advance our local rice industry and the condition of our rice farmers,” Brosas ended.