ANTIPOLO City, Oct. 4, 2011—Farmers from Central Luzon appealed to President Benigno C. Aquino III to give them ‘concrete’ support since their crops and properties have severely been damaged by typhoon Pedring (Nesat).
Nelson Canlas, chairperson of the Peasant Alliance in Central Luzon (PACL), said that they expect that the lives of the already poor farmers would be poorer as they always plant through credit.
What is saddening, according to Canlas, is that the help coming from the Government does not suffice.
“The government relief efforts that amounted to P25 million in the region is only 0.35% compared to the total value of damages caused by typhoon Pedring. Included here is the Dept. of Social Welfare and Dev’t assistance amounting to about P10 million with P2.5 million coming from the pork barrel of district congressmen. Also on the average it would only give P13.62 assistance for each affected persons or P64.67 per family,” Canlas explained.
“With all the boasting about the conditional cash transfer, Sec. Dinky Soliman’s assistance to the people of Central Luzon amounted to P5.75 per person or P27.29 per family,” added the peasant leader.
Canlas advised the Government to impose a moratorium on the payment of farmers’ loans since they are incapacitated to pay the loans as their crops had already been damaged by the floods and rains.
“Thus, to somehow alleviate the effects of the typhoon, we demand that the government should implement a moratorium on the payment of the farmers’ loans as obviously they are not incapable of paying up this season, the Dept. of Agriculture to subsidize 50% to 100% of the value of the crops lost to farmers and the immediate assistance of P50,000 for those houses totally and partially destroyed,” said Canlas.
On the other hand, the group also challenges the bachelor president to do what he did in Japan after the Land of the Rising Sun had been devastated by series of earthquakes and by a tsunami.
“As he could donate $1 million to Japan, it is only rationale that he should immediately do too to his countrymen,” the peasant leader said. [Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews]