Democratic organizations distribute aid to farmers affected by drought in Bulacan

This article is available in Pilipino

Amid the Marcos regime’s incompetent response to the drought’s ravages brought by El Niño, democratic organizations and sectors banded together to help Bulacan farmers affected by the drought. Sagip Kanayunan, Youth Action on El Niño Network, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and other organizations distributed food aid and other basic needs.

At least 210 farming families and farm workers from Calumpit, Plaridel and Malolos received assistance. The organizations were greeted with a short program in the communities led by local farmers-leaders and even some barangay officials attended.

In a conservative estimate by the Department of Agriculture (DA), the damage caused by the drought has reached ₱6.35 billion, the rice sector being the highest at ₱3.3 billion. The disaster affected 112,000 hectares of agricultural land, with 30% completely damaged.

Throughout Central Luzon, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DWSD) says only 20,300 families have been ravaged by the summer and drought. The agency said only 1,071 families need assistance. On top of the deliberate underestimation, the government only gave aid to Capas, Tarlac according to the agency’s last report on May 11.

When progressive organizations distributed aid, Bulacan farmers shared the hardship they are facing due to the hot weather. They said the lack of access to proper and adequate irrigation facilities intensified the impact they are suffering this El Niño. In another barangay in Calumpit, apart from the drought, their fields were affected by the intrusion of sea water destroying their crops.

Ka Danilo Ramos, KMP chairman, described their actions in the communities as “solidarity with the farmers.” The collected support and aid comes directly from the collective efforts of the farming organizations themselves and their allies to support those who are most in need today.

Meanwhile, groups have also gathered aid for farmers and affected sectors in Occidental Mindoro. The activity was launched in partnership with the Southern Tagalog Serve The People Volunteer Corps.

The possibility of the La Niña phenomenon, also expected to bring even greater damage, is an added fear among farmers and the toiling masses.

AB: Democratic organizations distribute aid to farmers affected by drought in Bulacan