“The time for genuine agrarian reform is now!”
Militant farmers led by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) renew their push and call for genuine agrarian reform as they converge at the House of Representatives (HOR) to attend the public hearing on House Bill 374 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill or GARB being conducted by HOR’s Agrarian Reform committee.
“This bill crafted by progressive partylist representatives addresses the issue of social injustice being experienced by farmers,” Danilo Ramos, secretary general of KMP, asserts. He continues to emphasize that “the dimensions of social injustice being concentrated on by GARB are poverty and landlessness, particularly in the rural areas.” These, the KMP secretary general stresses, are the main problems 70% of our nation’s farmers have to contend with day by day.
“Our farmers and the entire agriculture sector now only contribute 18% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) – a far cry from the almost 35% the sector injects into the economy in the 1950’s,” Ramos avows, as he quotes from the position paper of KMP on GARB.
“Their contribution has now been considered insignificant because they are deprived and robbed of the little resource they are profoundly desperate of – land,” he continues. GARB will be the proper remedy and would be the very first piece of legislation to advance free land distribution to farmers,” Ramos optimistically declares.
Even more so, as found in the KMP position paper, GARB recognizes the intrinsic worth and importance of agriculture to our citizenry and its indispensability in national economic development and industrialization because it protects the most vital resource and foundation of our country: the Filipino masses, majority of whom are peasants.
“Our farmers, the primary driving force who feed the nation, who have struggled for so long and at so great a price – even undergoing every form of oppression, exploitation, persecution and violence – are now in a morally upright, legitimate position as they troop to the HOR to personally present their conviction on genuine agrarian reform and its most appropriate legislative expression, HB374 or GARB” Ramos underscores.
“We call on the honorable committee members to listen and to do so attentively to the pleas of our farmers. Their cries are the cries of the entire nation. The land they are clamoring for will be the very land where they plant and where our toiling masses gets its food,” Ramos reiterates.
To dramatize their demand, farmers will transfer agriculturally fertile soil at the gates of the House of Representatives and plant their “calls” for genuine agrarian reform.
Reference: Danilo Ramos
Secretary General – KMP