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Retiree asks government to support corn farmers

A former vice president of banana-exporting multinational firm Unifrutti pleads for help for poor corn farmers who are being “killed” by illegal smugglers and importers as prices of the grain plunged to an all-time low of P9 per kilogram......»»

Category: financeSource: thestandard thestandardOct 18th, 2020

Corn prices fall to all-time low

Local corn farmers are now at the losing end as prices hit a low of P9 per kilogram, way below production cost due to imports and lack of government support......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 16th, 2020

Rice farmers seek bigger financial aid

The one-time financial assistance that the Senate directed the Department of Agriculture (DA) to provide to rice farmers amid the declining prices of palay would not be enough, a group of rice farmers said. (MB file, Keith Bacongco) Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) National Manager Raul Montemayor said rice farmers have lost an average of P10,000 per hectare in the ongoing cropping season due to severely depressed palay prices.   This was his response to the joint resolution recently passed by the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, which ordered the DA to appropriate some P3 billion in tariffs from rice imports through the 2021 national budget for cash aid to rice farmers. Under the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL), which allowed unlimited rice importation in the Philippines, tariff collections in excess of P10 billion per year can be used for additional support to farmers, including cash transfers. FFF, however, noted that the proposed appropriation would only provide P5,000 per farmer if distributed to some 600,000 farmers tilling one hectare or less.   If the actual number of qualified farmers is raised to 1.1 million, the subsidy would only amount to about P2,700 per farmer. Either proposal will be unfair to equally affected rice farmers tilling larger areas, the farmers’ group said.   Instead, Montemayor said the government could keep palay prices stable by temporarily imposing safeguard duties or additional tariffs on imported rice. “The government allowed unlimited rice imports, resulting in low palay prices.  Now, it will spend P3 billion to partially offset farmers’ losses. If it had instead imposed additional duties on imports, palay prices would not have dropped too much, there would have been no need for cash aid to farmers, and the government might have even earned extra revenues from the safeguard duties,” said Montemayor. Under the Section 10 of RTL or Republic Act (RA) 11203, in order to protect the Philippine rice industry from sudden or extreme price fluctuations, a special safeguard duty on rice shall be imposed in accordance with Safeguard Measures Act.   R.A. 8800 or the Safeguard Measures Act, on the other hand, allows additional safeguard duties on top of regular tariffs in case an import surge is shown to be harmful to local farmers.   “Safeguard duties will not be inflationary as claimed by the DA, because they will be applied only when there is already a proven oversupply in the market.  They can be removed once the situation stabilizes,” said Montemayor. Agriculture Secretary William Dar is not keen on slapping additional tariff on rice imports, and has repeatedly appealed for public understanding about the “short-term” effects of RTL to palay prices. However, he promised to look for other solutions to the plea of the farmers like asking the National Food Authority (NFA), which buys palay at P19 per kilogram (/kg) to boost the government’s buffer stock, to intensify its palay procurement.   Instead of cash aid, the FFF proposed that existing funds from the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) and extra tariff collections be re-focused to address current problems of farmers.   It noted that half of farmers receiving free seeds under the RCEF had already been using certified seeds in the past, and that many were seeking other types of support that were not available under RCEF.   Numerous farmers have also questioned the DA’s promotion of seed varieties like NSIC Rc222, which is of poor quality and are being shunned by traders. “Also, the P5 billion annual fund for mechanization is not moving well, and it might be more practical at this time to preserve job opportunities for farm laborers instead of displacing them with machines,” Montemayor said.   “Moreover, the P1 billion budget for extension and training could be realigned, considering that farmers cannot attend training activities due to COVID-related restrictions. The P1 billion for credit could be better used for interest rate subsidies or loan guarantee programs, instead of direct loans which will benefit only 20,000 farmers,” he added......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 19th, 2020

Christmas 2020 for workers and farmers

HOTSPOT Tonyo Cruz Two things workers are looking forward to at the end of each year are the 13th month pay and the Christmas bonus. And it seems about two million workers may not get any 13th month pay at all, if the Duterte government would have its way. The reason? Because of the pandemic. In reaction, Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Elmer Labog  issued his shortest statement yet this year, unable to hide labor’s frustration: “It is the government’s responsibility to bail out MSMEs in times of emergencies.” Indeed, it is the state’s obligation to support and prop up micro, small and medium-scale enterprises especially now in the time of pandemic. By saying MSMEs could dispense with the 13th month pay, the government is practically passing on its responsibility to MSMEs. Workers continue to give their share through the cheap, underpaid and overstressed labor power that makes sure MSMEs continue to function and perform their role as main engines of the economy. The government must do its job: Bail out the MSMEs. It is quite surprising that the Duterte government seems disinterested in bailing out MSMEs, considering the avalanche of news about the borrowings here and there. According to Sonny Africa, executive director of the think-tank Ibon Foundation, the borrowings has reached a historic high: “It took 118 years for the country’s debt to reach P6.1-trillion in 2016. President Duterte is taking just six years to more than than double that to P13.7-trillion in 2022.” Again, the reason for the borrowing has been “because of the pandemic.” Regardless of where the money goes, and whether or not MSMEs and workers received only a drop from it, they would pay the entire debt through more and higher taxes for years to come. Workers are not asking for something they have not earned through hard work. They earned that 13th month pay. It is not an optional thing. It is part of the law. The pandemic should oblige the state to bail out our MSMEs to enable them to fully function, and to give the workers’ their due under the law. Workers have given and lost a lot because of the pandemic. Workers have not asked for free rides to work, but the government fails to provide adequate and safe mass transport. Workers have asked for free mass testing in their companies and communities, but the government has other ideas. Workers and their families would have fared better with unemployment benefits amid the dismal pandemic response of government, but it seems the same government wishes to push them instead to pawnshops and loan sharks. We haven’t even factored in the laid-off, underemployed and unemployed workers, as well as the undetermined number of overseas Filipino healthcare workers stranded in the country since April. They all don’t wish to be “patay-gutom” and “pala-asa”.  They don’t wish to stay unemployed and be dependent on aid. They are ready to work and earn their keep. But since the president made policy decisions affecting their ability to obtain work, it is the government’s obligation to bail them out as well. The situation of our nation’s farmers is no different. For instance, rice farmers continue to produce our national staple. The pandemic made even worse the effects on them of the combined power of policies such as rice tarrification, the stranglehold of Big Landlords, the vast influence of rice cartels, and the continued operation of illegal rice importers. Price monitoring by Bantay Bigas and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas reveals the outrageously low palay prices nationwide, which means ruin to our nation’s rice farmers: Negros Occidental and Bicol region P10; Capiz P10-P11; Caraga P11; Tarlac P11-12; Ilocos Sur and Nueva Ecija P11-13; Camarines Sur P11.50-14; Bulacan and Mindoro P12; Isabela P12-P13.50; Pangasinan P12-P12.30; Antique P12.50; Agusan del Sur P13; Davao de Oro P13.14; Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and South Cotabato P13.50; North Cotabato P14; and Lanao del Norte P15. If you look at it, plantitos and plantitas today pay 20 to 50 times more for ornamental plants, compared to the prices traders and the NFA offer to our farmers. According to Bantay Bigas and KMP, the government procures way less than 20 percent of the produce of rice farmers.  And then we hear that the NFA would rather import rice from other countries, at pandemic-affected prices at that. Without any state intervention, by way of NFA buying rice farmers’ produce at P20 per kilo, and providing loans to farmers, there could be worse rural poverty in the coming months and years. Between our workers and farmers, their families have been made to sacrifice a lot since March, with prices of basic goods spiking, with new and higher expenses arising from online classes for the children. There cannot be no aid for them.  Neither should workers and farmers shoulder the burden of the failure or refusal of government to provide funding for bailouts sorely needed by MSMEs, and be forced to accept new national debts to pay for policies such as rice tarrification and importation. The government knows the scale of the problem. The Department of Labor and Employment says 13,127 companies have either laid off workers or permanently closed. The response cannot be “pass the burden to workers”. The answer should be: “the state must do everything to rescue the companies and the workers.” OFWs across the world should be familiar with bailouts and economic protections because of the pandemic. Many countries that host OFWs enacted huge bailouts and stimulus to their economies, partly so that migrant labor could continue to be employed. They enjoy health insurance, and special COVID19 coverage. Governments handed out checks to both citizens and companies. Is it too much to ask that the same be done in our own country? Or do Filipinos have to go abroad to experience such social and economic protections?.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 9th, 2020

Government support to farmers hits P34 billion

The Department of Agriculture said fiscal and technical support to rice farmers amounted to P34 billion in the first half, on top of free irrigation services provided by the National Irrigation Administration......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 28th, 2020

Hope for the farmers

A promise of bountiful corn harvest in few more weeks gives hope to farmers of Tugal, a barangay of Midsayap in North Cotabato that opted to join the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Tugal used to be the venue of clashes between government forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Farmers of this barangay, […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2020

Robredo: COVID-19 cases and deaths are not mere statistics

Vice President and opposition leader Leni Robredo said the country’s coronavirus cases and deaths are not mere statistics as it shows how COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected every Filipino family. VP LENI ROBREDO (SCREENSHOT FRO VP LENI ROBREDO’S FACEBOOK VIDEO / MANILA BULLETIN) Robredo noted more people have to endure hardships that resulted from the weaker economy and continuous rise in the number of infections and deaths. “Conversely, as more people get sick because of COVID-19, so does the suffering of our people get prolonged. Many have died; they are not mere statistics,” she said. ”Each of them had a story, had a dream, has a family that mourns their loss. And as cases continue to rise, it becomes harder move forward towards a better normal,” she added. The vice president reminded the administration the pandemic is the root cause of these problems, and if it has a clear plan, Filipinos can overcome the challenges of COVID-19 and move forward. Robredo bared a comprehensive list of suggestions in a videotaped public address, dubbed “Message of Hope”, on her Facebook page. This was perceived by many as her own roadmap on how the country can recover from the ill-effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Her recommendations include a correct data regarding COVID-19, safety nets for affected families, tax incentives for companies, equitable and systematic provision of resources to hospitals. Robredo also batted for pooled testing and timely contract tracing, better wages of health workers, and harmonization of COVID-19 efforts of the public and private sector, among others, instead of just waiting for a vaccine to become available. The opposition leader said she supports the government’s P31-billion “Plant, Plant, Plant” program that will be implemented nationwide to benefit farmers, fisherfolks, and consumers. This program mentioned by President Duterte during his last Monday’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) falls under the “Whole of Nation” approach, which Robredo said she is also supportive of. “We support the whole of nation approach. But a true whole nation approach should be directed toward a common goal,” she said. The lady official is also keeping her faith on the goodness and capability of Filipinos in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. “It is not wishful thinking to dream that we can also achieve what Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, and New Zealand have achieved….We can also do this. We have the right skills, we should have sufficient resources. We have what it takes,” she said......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 30th, 2020

Baguio adopts Benguet project to help farmers sell produce

BAGUIO CITY, Apr. 21 (PIA) -- The city government of Baguio adopted a project of the provincial government of Benguet to support the farmers and at the same time to provide cheap vegetables to Bagu.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsApr 21st, 2020

Food assured beyond ECQ

The government is on top of things in providing financial support to the workers, farmers and vulnerable families. The post Food assured beyond ECQ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 15th, 2020

DA-10 beefs up support to farmers amid COVID-19 pandemic

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, April 13 (PIA) - As the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) forces the government to adopt more stringent measures in implementing its programs, the Department of.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsApr 13th, 2020

PTAA asks government for support packages

The Philippine Travel Agencies Association wants the government to extend support packages to their sector which they claimed has been heavily burdened by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 12th, 2020

Corn farmers hit government inaction vs pest infestation

The P104.4 billion corn industry is in peril as pests have ravaged several corn farms across the country......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 27th, 2020

Landbank beefs up lending to farmers

Government-owned Land Bank of the Philippines has intensified its programs to directly lend to small farmers and fishers in a bid to beef up support to the farm sector......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 20th, 2020

Group asks Mayor Sara to sustain ban on pigs, pork products due to ASF

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 October) — The Hog Farmers of Davao, Inc. (Hog FADI) has asked City Mayor Sara Duterte to sustain her Executive Order banning the entry of live pigs and pork products in Davao City after Local Governments Secretary Eduardo Año encouraged local government units in Visayas and Mindanao to lift the […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsOct 18th, 2019

RAPID Growth Project to Transform Agri-based PH Enterprises for Global Markets

Farmers and micro-, small- and medium-enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines can expect more marketing and business support from the government with the launch of the Rural Agro-enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) project. RAPID Growth is a 4.7-billion-peso value chain-based and market-driven business development initiative that aims to achieve inclusive and sustainable […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsMay 28th, 2019

Over 100 Farmers Completes FSTP

Farmers from Alcantara, Barili, Naga and Talisay finished the Farmer Scientist Training Program (FSTP) of the Cebu Provincial Government on May 22. FSTP or Farmer Scientist Training Program which centers on corn-based production system, provides training for small farmers with agricultural experts and scientists to develop their technical skills and hone their scientific knowledge in […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsMay 27th, 2019

Cassava farmers lament poor market but gov’t urges them to plant more

By Rey Nasol LEGAZPI CITY – Corn farmers here complained of very low marketability of cassava production but government continues to encourage them to intercrop the tubers with corn farms anyway. The farmers’ sentiment was aired amidst gover.....»»

Category: newsSource:  bicolmailRelated NewsNov 3rd, 2016

U.S. Files WTO Case Against Chinese Agriculture Subsidies

The U.S. brought a trade complaint to the World Trade Organization alleging China is offering excessive support for the production of corn, rice and wheat, in the process denying American farmers the ability to compete fairly for exports......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsSep 14th, 2016

US complains of unfair government aid for Chinese farmers

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration lodged a complaint yesterday against China at the World Trade Organization alleging excessive government support for ri.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 13th, 2016

?After Kidapawan ‘massacre’, farmers in Arakan still lack gov?’t support

While they are waiting for the harvest season, Datu Gunding said they hope they get aid from the government......»»

Category: newsSource:  davaotodayRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2016

First Gen donates P33m to complete Pantabangan water supply

First Gen Hydro Power Corp. of the Lopez Group pledged P33 million in financial support to help the local government of Pantabangan in Nueva Ecija complete the town’s water supply and distribution system......»»

Category: financeSource:  thestandardRelated News12 hr. 12 min. ago