Peasant women denounce Marcos regime’s inaction amid El Niño

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Amihan, the national federation of agricultural women, picketed before the Department of Agriculture office in Quezon City on March 7 to condemn the Marcos regime for its lack of action on the impact of El Niño on the peasant masses. They demand Marcos and his agencies to provide immediate relief and aid, especially those whose crops were damaged by the drought. Farmers also denounced the country’s very high inflation rate which has further eroded their meager income.

The group says, for years, farmers across the country have been demanding for free and effective farm irrigation but previous regimes have failed to implement any significant reform. The masses of farmers will continue to suffer from this neglect during this drought season.

“It has implemented only 67% of the development irrigation target, many canals are inoperable, have been repurposed or permanently damaged,” shared Amihan.

The group is more frustrated with the regime’s plan to systematically use water for industry and electricity services, resulting in less water supply for irrigation. “Proof of this is the repeated reports of local farmers that the National Irrigation Agency canals have no flowing water, forcing them to use water pumps and shoulder petrol costs,” according to Amihan.

According to the March 6 estimate of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the total damage caused by the El Niño drought has reached ₱1.05 billion. It affected 17,718 hectares of farms with an equivalent of 32,844 metric tons of production.

“In marking women’s day, peasant women and other poor sectors must hold the Marcos government accountable for failing to serve the people’s interests, its anti-people programs and policies,” according to the group. Women’s groups observed International Working Women’s Day on March 8.

AB: Peasant women denounce Marcos regime's inaction amid El Niño