US-Marcos Jr regime, number one pest for farmers

This article is available in Pilipino

Marcos Jr has only been in office for a year but his transgressions against the peasantry are already taxing. Just like an obstinate pest, Marcos Jr’s neoliberal policies destroy farmers’ sources of living, divest them of the land’s bounties and weaken the entire agricultural sector. The current regime further undermining of local production causes food crisis and additional suffering for the people.

Despite Marcos’ well-hyped laws such as the Agrarian Emancipation Act (AMA) and National Land Use Act (NLUA), the agricultural sector remains pre-industrial, backwards and stunted. This is because these laws as well as Marcos’ other executive orders regarding agriculture are just repackaged directives still in accordance with the liberalization of agricultural products, land grabbing and conversion and the preservation of feudal exploitation of farmers and farmworkers. Essentially, these laws are not what the peasant sector needs but genuine and free land distribution.

Supposedly, these laws would give way to the cancellation of debts that the farmers incurred as well as additional government loan opportunities. But these will not remove the system of usury and debts that burden the peasantry. Production costs remain high while government support is still lacking hence farmers will only succumb later on to this cycle of loans and debts. Even worse, the government poses as usurers in offering farmers more loans. In Paracale, Camarines Norte, farmers are forced to transform their plots for small scale mining because they cannot afford to fund their planting and are already drowning in debts.

The regime also forces the peasantry to depend upon commercial production which will only push production costs to overdrive and will be detrimental to the land. In Catanduanes, the campaign for golden rice have already started as part of the Masagana rice seed program. And while the local production is on its knees, the regime called for the undeterred importation of agricultural products.

Meanwhile, land concentration among the biggest landlords remain unquestioned. Included in the largest landholdings throughout the country is the 10,000-hectare Hacienda Espinosa in Masbate. Through land conversion further enabled by NLUA, rather than farmers benefitting from the land, it will be controlled by big capitalists and businesses dabbling in ecotourism, mining, subdivisions and real estate.

PKM-Bikol enjoins the peasantry and the entire nation to unite and together, beat the number one pest that is the US-Marcos Jr. regime. Continue advancing genuine land reform and participate in the people’s democratic revolution. The people’s war is primarily a peasant war. It is time for those who nurture the land and feeds the society to reclaim the land that is rightfully theirs.

US-Marcos Jr regime, number one pest for farmers