Duterte’s neoliberal policies, opposite of World Food Day #ZeroHunger goal – Anakpawis

Duterte’s neoliberal policies, opposite of World Food Day #ZeroHunger goal – Anakpawis

Manila, Philippines – Members and former representatives of Anakpawis Party-list joined the protest action led by the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) in front the Department of Agriculture central office in Quezon City to mark the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (UN FAO) 2019 World Food Day in the country.  The UN FAO set its slogan as “#ZeroHunger.”

“It is very obvious that the exact opposite of zero hunger is worsening in the country. The very law enacted by Duterte is throwing farmers into oblivion of bankruptcy and landlessness, while high retail prices of rice continue to hound poor consumers,” former Anakpawis representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao said in a press statement.

Casilao said that the majority of the people are already familiar with hunger and poverty, thus, mounting protests across the country are held by activists group against the Duterte government’s neoliberal policies, such as rice liberalization, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, the oil deregulation law, flexible labor and more others.

“Prices of food are surging, of oil products and basic goods, while household incomes are being slashed to bare minimum, worse, workers remain contractual who could be retrenched anytime by the employers.  These circumstances are all against approaching zero hunger in the country,” he said.

He said that members of Anakpawis, who are usually peasants and workers are already mounting protests in various regions against exploitative measures, and demanding fundamental reforms.  Peasant groups is Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog and Bicol, in the Visayas and Mindanao are protesting against displacement, feudal land rents, low farm gate prices, low farm work wages, usury and other semi-feudal measures by big monopoly agro-corporations, landlords and compradors.

“Duterte himself knows that the peasant masses resent him, obviously because of his outright betrayal or abandonment of his campaign promises for rural development and upliftment of poor sectors, thus, his direct attacks by government armed forces, sowing state terror and committing various human rights abuses,” he said.

The former lawmaker is confident that more sectors will support the advocacies of the peasant movement, as indicated by the popular reception of the petition signing for the repeal of the Rice Liberalization Law, led by Amihan peasant women group and Bantay Bigas.

“Let us show Duterte that the Filipino people will not accept losing our legacy of producing and consuming our own rice, and become beggars for imported rice.  Register your opposition by signing the petition to scrap the law that beleaguered the rice-farming sector and consumers in the country,” he ended. ###

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