Commemorating World Food Day:

KMP calls for food security and genuine agrarian reform

 

Quezon City

 

October 16, 2008

 

 

 
   
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Photos courtesy of Anakpawis Partylist
           
           
           
           

 

Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas
161-B Chico St., Project 2, Quezon City
Tel. No. 928-41-84 Email ad kmp_philippines@ yahoo.com, roym4dp@yahoo. com

PRESS RELEASE

October 16, 2008
REFERENCE:
DANILO RAMOS, KMP Secretary-General
ROY MORILLA, Public Information Officer (63-905-421- 7305)

`Foodless' Day in the Philippines caused by Arroyo
Group claims food security should be by genuine agrarian reform

About 10,000 peasant-members of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) and support groups nationwide protest the day or the World Food Day and re-declare it as World "Foodless" Day (WFD) as it is for them. In front of the Department of Agriculture (DA) - Central Office in Quezon City, about 200 peasants and members of progressive groups are protesting Arroyo's subservience to the World Trade Organization (WTO), her promotion of liberalization of agriculture and non-implementation of genuine agrarian reform. This is the group's counterpart to the international "Global Day of Action" participated by various groups from Asian and African countries to challenge their respective governments to resolve the food crisis.

In Southern Tagalog region, about 3,000 members of the KASAMA-TK (KMP Southern Tagalog) and supporters are set-up on camp-outs and are on farm strikes since last October 12. Their activities include dialogues with DA and NFA officials, to demand for their commitment to implement programs that would serve the farmers. Moreover, their group is on a massive campaign of discussion groups and educational discussions involving the food and rice crisis, genuine agrarian reform and Arroyo's "reign of scam" in the agriculture department.

Moreover, about 4,500 peasants in Mindanao regions are mobilized and actively participating the observance of the WFD. They are in dialogues with DA and NFA officials in Cotabato provinces, Southern Mindanao region, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, CARAGA and SOCKSARGENDS. They are also in immense education and information campaigns at the barrio-level regarding the food and rice crisis, also, preparing them for the October 21 nationwide peasant protest.

In Central Visayas, about 2,000 peasants are in participating in various forums and discussion regarding the food and rice crisis. They are also in protest actions in front of Department of Agriculture local offices.

"It is ironic here in the Philippines that peasants who feed the nation or cultivate rice are used to eating root crops, sometimes those dangerous if prepared incorrectly, " shared Danilo Ramos, KMP Secretary-General. "Rice farmers are those who couldn't afford them at the market," he added.

The country is facing a food crisis as food security is systematically brought down by the further liberalization of agriculture. Imported agricultural products compete heavily with the locally-produced slashing further the farmer incomes as landlord-traders who control the market keep price on depressed levels. "Arroyo is really the cause of the food crisis here in the Philippines. Before, though in hardship, we still find ways to cope up, but now it is really unbearable, such as the increased prices of rice in the market," Ramos observed.

"Arroyo's preservation of the semi-feudal set-up in the countryside results the food crisis," Ramos analyzed. He added, "As long as big landlords and traders dominate the economy in the countryside, the potential of the peasantry and agriculture to produce more food would be hampered. As the peasants are obliged to pay ground rent, they would never be able to develop their cultivation and increase output, moreover, landlord families and traders are able to control the circulation of the food supply, profiteering, thus, consumer from poor sectors such as workers, urban poor and other low-income sectors could not afford food with prices hiked. Thus, the landlord-trader section are getting their grip both on the producer and consumer side, causing the food crisis to worsen further."

KMP believes that only the realizatin of a genuine agrarian reform program is the solution to the present food crisis.

To further support their struggle to resolve the rice crisis, KMP is seriously looking into the recently disclosed `rice scam' perpetrated by the DA. They are in close coordination with professional and patriotic government employees who discovered the irregularities and validating their reports at the grassroots level to strengthen their case against the DA Secretary Arthur Yap and also Arroyo.

"Arroyo is really the `queen of scams' and Yap is the new Joc-joc Bolante (the culprit of fertilizer scam in 2004 who is now hiding at the US)," Ramos generalized. "They dared to use the names of the peasants just to rake up P218 million, that's why when we get to collect our data, we would meet them at the proper venues,"


"At present, the food crisis is symbolized by Arroyo, her subservience to the WTO and puppetry to U.S. imperialism. They are also against the interest of the people, basically, the right of the people to food, thus, the peasants, with the consuming Filipino people should unite to target the root cause Arroyo," Ramos declared.#
 

     
     
     
     
     
           
           
   
   

 

MEDIA RELEASE
October 16, 2006
Reference: DANILO RAMOS, APC Secretary-General (63928-422-98- 67)

Millions of peasants and supporters protest the World `Foodless' Day

The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) is observing October 16 as the World `Foodless' Day as food crisis remain an enormous predicament of countries whose governments act in contrast of the interests of the people and in favor of U.S. imperialism, local big landlords and traders. APC believes as long as government does not centralize on the primary issue of landlessness or the abolition of feudalism, food security would remain an illusion. The observance is the "Global Day of Action" against food crisis, coordinated with countries such as the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Korea, Japan, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mongolia, Hongkong, Uganda and Kenya. This involve about 22 peasant and support organizations in Asia and Africa.

"We at the Philippines, an initial 10,000 peasants nationwide are actively participating with the international activity. Our activities range from holding dialogues with agriculture and agrarian reform offices, to camp-outs and farm strikes, educational discussions and forums, agit-prop (agitate-propaganda ) teams and more," Danilo Ramos APC Secretary-General and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (Peasant Movement of the Philippines) Secretary-General.


 

"It is always U.S. imperialism that compels puppet governments to implement anti-peasant and anti-people programs," Ramos added. "Imperialism, through WTO, bilateral or multilateral talks or agreements always keep in mind on how they are going to rake up huge profits, sacrificing local people of subject countries. Its realization in the Philippines, Arroyo's liberalization, deregulation and privatization policies all add up to the exploitation of the people and towards the interests for huge profits of foreign monopoly corporations, " Ramos hinted.
 

Moreover in India, Chennaiah Poguri of Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union (APVVU), "Our strength is made visible in the number of people who are joining us in the struggle against the crises. We are expecting 25,000 individuals from Andhra Pradesh alone and we are estimating about 574,000 people observing World Foodless Day around the country as we are able to organise with other groups."

Erpan Faryadi of Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria (AGRA) of Indonesia said, We are mobilising 4,000 people in protest rallies where we will highlight the problems and agricultural conflicts that are affecting the peasants in Indonesia as well as call for implementation of a genuine agrarian reform. We resist International Financial Institutions for creating global issues that trickle down and make us suffer."

"With the millions of peasants and members of support groups from joining countries, the `Global Day of Action' is surely a big start to annually observe WFD, puppet governments to U.S. imperialism would surely reconsider if with our numbers, we are able to raise our actions to higher forms of struggle," Ramos declared.#
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KASAMA-TK
(Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan)
ANAKBAYAN-SOUTHERN TAGALOG
 

PRESS RELEASE References: IMELDA LACANDAZO
October 17, 2008 Spokesperson, KASAMA-TK
09182995780
John Paulo Bautista
Deputy secretary general,ANAKBAYAN- ST
09282039214

SOUTHERN TAGALOG YOUTH OFFER SONGS, POEMS, AND PERFORMANCES TO SUPPORT FARMERS’ CALL FOR LAND , FOOD AND JUSTICE

Using the creativity and art of the youth to advance a meaningful cause, Southern Tagalog youth performed songs, poems and other performances such as short skits and shadow plays for farmers holding a protest camp in Calamba, Laguna. Led by Anakbayan-Southern Tagalog, the youth said they are not merely fighting for the right of the farmers for land but fighting for a better future. The activity is part of a week-long protest of farmers in commemoration of peasant week.

“As children of farmers and other oppressed sectors, we vow to continue the fight long begun by our forefathers. We will not be cowed by harassment and the Arroyo regime’s heightened political repression because only by genuinely resolving landlessness can we begin to truly uplift the lives of the Filipino masses,” Bautista said.

Entitled “Gabi ng KARIT (Kabataan, mag-alay ng Ritmo, Awit, at Indak para sa Tunay na reporma sa lupa), the youth from various sectors performed a shadow play narrating the roots of the farmers’ struggle for land and their continuing struggle. Youth and peasant leaders also lighted candles to give tribute to slain peasant martyrs.

Imelda Lacandazo, KASAMA-TK spokesperson, condemned the criminalization of farmers and the scores of human rights violations against them. Out of 167 victims of extra-judicial killings in the region, 63 are peasant leaders, 13 are national minorities, 7 are are fishermen, and 11 are leaders and members of Anakpawis partylist.

Eddie Gumanoy was chairperson of KASAMA-TK when he was slain, together with human rights leader Eden Marcellana, by suspected members of the military last April 2003. Still in jail due to trumped-up charges are three Mamburao farmers and three in Antipolo. The Tagaytay 5 peasant organizers were also illegally detained before being freed; nine peasant organizers were abducted in Silang, Cavite and tortured; and a case of arson and conspiracy to commit rebellion has also been filed against 27 leaders of progressive organizations, including several peasant leaders.

“While hunger and poverty is widespread among the Filipino masses, Arroyo and her cronies are greedily profiting from funds supposedly allotted for farmers. They should be made responsible for the P728M fertilizer scam, P5B swine scam, P218.7M hybrid rice fund and P135M vegetable fund that have not benefited farmers,” Bautista added.

Lacandazo said the new impeachment complaint filed in Congress should be heard. “Arroyo must be punished for her crimes against the farmers and the people. If she continues to stay in power, there will be no future except one of extreme poverty.”###

For more information, please contact Glen - 09083115293.
 

 

     
     
     
           

 

PRESS RELEASE

October 16, 2008

Reference:

Tony Salubre

KMP- SMR Acting Spokesperson


FARMERS, URBAN POOR COMMUNITIES ASSERT RIGHT TO FOOD

In time of the World Foodless Day, A Global Day of Action for Food Sovereignty

 

Throughout the past months, food riots have erupted from Haiti, Mexico and Cameroon to the Philippines, Bangladesh and Indonesia due to the aggravating crisis on food.


Protesting the worsening state of the country's food security, marked by the most recent crisis on rice and unabated increase in the price of rice, oil and other commodities farmer communities belonging to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas – Southern Mindanao together with urban poor communities led by KADAMAY, SAMAKANA, and SUARA BANGSAMORO joins the Global Day of Action for Food Sovereignty dubbed as the World Foodless day.


In Davao City, protests were held at the Department of Agriculture (D.A) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).


“Hunger wrought by food insecurity is the pitfall of globalization that is being felt today in a global scale. Food stocks may have dropped by 30% but there should be enough food to eat if only there is no profiteering and monopoly of food stocks by giant agribusiness companies and rice cartels,” Tony Salubre, acting spokesperson of KMP-SMR said.


KMP – SMR slammed the DA, DAR and the DTI for implementing “anti-people policies” that led to the further “deterioration” of the country's agricultural and local industry and in “destroying” peoples livelihood.


“These agencies together with the Arroyo government are culpable for the worst organized crimes against the people as they implement globalization policies that lead to the sell – out of our nation's lands and resources to agribusiness companies which destroy agricultural lands as they freely convert land use and crops in exchange for super profits,” Salubre said..
 

 

 

 

He added, “While our nation is naturally blessed with the land and resources to produce more that enough food for our population, we are the ones without food in our tables . It is because with globalization, they have opened surrendered our nation's wealth to these greedy capitalists while our landless farmers and lumads thrive in hunger..”


Salubre underscored that at the height of the rice crisis this year, the Filipino people had seen the dehumanizing face of food insecurity; suicides caused by depression over economic hardship have been rampant, hunger has caused parents to take the life of their own children, people sleep at rice queus just to get 2 kilos of rice, and occurrence of theft and robbery crimes committed by economically hard up Filipinos.


Salubre also blamed the militarization of lumad and peasant communities as a cause of hunger incidents in the rural poor areas.


“As if the poverty we are experiencing is not enough, peasants and lumads are subject to food and economic blockade at times of militarization. Military operations in civilian communities drive people away from their sources of food and are subject to hunger when forcibly displaced such as the case in Sitio Kahusayan in Brgy. Tamayong and in Boston and Cateel, in Davao Oriental,” Salubre said.


The holding of the World Foodless Day is a part of the series of activities led by the KMP – SMR as it embarks on its 2nd Regional Assembly this month.


The World Foodless Day is also being observed in Metro Manila, and in other parts of the globe led by the Pesticide Action Network International, the People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS), Food and Nutrition Network, and other international groups. #


Media Desk Contact No:

Jan: 0929-627-4950

 

 

           
           
           
           
           

 

PRESS RELEASE: October 16, 2008
Millions of People Observe October 16 as World Foodless Day

A Global Day of Simultaneous Actions that resist forces
maintaining the Financial and Food Crises

Today, 16 October, 2008, millions of farmers, agricultural workers, fisherfolks, pastoralists and herders, indigenous peoples, women, migrants, consumers, youth and urban poor are in unison in resisting neoliberal policies that created and maintain the food security crisis and the financial meltdown.

The financial crisis and food crisis make the basic right to food elusive. They both share the same recipe deriving from failures of free market fundamentals that feed on each other.

“The continued implementation of liberalisation, deregulation and privatisation policies only support the giant agribusiness corporations who are definitely going to scramble to accumulate more profits.” says Danilo Ramos, secretary general of Asian Peasants Coalition (APC). He adds, “The twofold and intertwined crises in the world’s food and financial systems are doomed to be a never-ending cycle until free market trade fundamentals are destroyed, genuine solutions to stabilise food and financial markets are implemented and people are the basis for steering the change.”

“Small food producers or peasant farmers have inherent knowledge and experiences to address the food crisis but we are treated as mere recipients of policies that do not benefit us.” says Fathima Burnad of Society for Rural Education and Development (SRED) of India. She adds, “We commit World Foodless Day as a day to send a strong message for genuine interventions that include us in addressing the root causes of the crises.”

“The immediate effects of the crises which include spiraling food prices gave a crushing blow to the working class including women, peasants, agricultural workers and landless farmers. World Food Day is a mockery and is much better named World Foodless Day.” says Azra Sayeed of Roots for Equity in Pakistan. She adds, “We observe World Foodless Day to assert our food sovereignty and women’s participation, to demand control over our natural resources including land, seed, and water and to reject trade liberalization which has forced millions of farmers to poverty.”

According to Chennaiah Poguri of Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union (APVVU) in India, “Our strength is made visible in the number of people who are joining us in the struggle against the crises. We are expecting 25,000 individuals from Andhra Pradesh alone and we are estimating about 574,000 people observing World Foodless Day around the country as we are able to organise with other groups.“

Erpan Faryadi of Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria (AGRA) of Indonesia said,“We are mobilising 4,000 people in protest rallies where we will highlight the problems and agricultural conflicts that are affecting the peasants in Indonesia as well as call for implementation of a genuine agrarian reform. We resist International Financial Institutions for creating global issues that trickle down and make us suffer.

“For migrants, the plunder that neoliberal agenda in agriculture impacts them two-fold - migrant workers come from countries where rural people are displaced by massive land concentration, extreme feudal exploitation, and land redevelopment; globalization policies in food production make it difficult to cope with increasing prices of basic commodities that leave compatriots in the home countries hungry.” says Hong Kong based Ramon Bultron of Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants. He adds, “Now with the current global financial meltdown, more people will surely go hungry or be forced to eke out a living by being modern day slaves. We migrants support the grassroots peasants and advocates for food sovereignty.”

Ninety nine national and international NGOs and People’s Organisations from 23 countries have called on the United Nations (UN) Task Force on Global Food Security Crisis and Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary general and Task Force head, to draw comprehensive measures to resolve the global food security crisis. In the letter, handed over to the UN on 14 October 2008 as the FAO Committee on World Food Security met in Rome to discuss the global food crisis, the organisations expressed their concerns on the Comprehensive Framework of Action (CFA) that was drawn. The CFA has prescribed the same policies that created the crisis and are seen to strengthen power structures, approaches and practices. In the same letter, the organisations stipulated people’s recommendations in addressing the food crisis to the UN Task Force. Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) continue to enjoin organisations in this signature campaign.
 

World Foodless Day is a day of global action on the crises that beleaguer the people. The objectives are as follows: create public awareness and media attention on the root causes of the food crisis; provide policy recommendations and organize meetings with government officials, opinion makers and leaders; organise activities to raise our voices against neoliberal policies and their impact; and highlight people’s recommendations to respond to the world food crisis.

It is organized by (PAN AP) and People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty together with 22 NGOs and People’s Organisations from 16 countries. For more details, please visit
www.panap.net/wfd


 


 

WORLD FOODLESS DAY EVENTS CALENDAR
 

 

In India, four organisations are organising simultaneous events. Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union (APVVU) is organising district wide protest rallies and public meetings in 15 districts. In Tamil Nadu, Society for Rural Education and Development (SRED) is holding meetings and campaigns on food crisis. Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultants Society (CECOEDECON) is holding a workshop with government officials, community leaders and farmers’ associations and Institute for Motivating Self-Employment (IMSE) will be organising a mobilisation and film showing on the food crisis. They will also release a book that documents the violations of right to food and the role of multinational corporations and neoliberal policies.

In Nepal, two organisations are participating in the observance of World Foodless Day. All Nepal Peasants' Federation (ANPFa) is organising a mass mobilisation and workshop on Food Crisis; and All Nepal Women Association (ANWA) is holding a program for women leaders as well as joining protest actions led by Right to Food Network. In Bangladesh, SHISUK is having a dialogue on the Issue of Food Security and Agriculture Input Management in Bangladesh, debate and discussion of Global Food Crisis and art competition.

In Pakistan, Lok Sanjh Foundation is holding national and zonal Dehqan assemblies. In Sri Lanka, Vikalpani is organising a workshop on food crisis and local food exhibit featuring rice products. They are also organising a meeting with opinion makers and leaders on the improvement of food policy. In the Philippines, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) is holding a dialogue with the Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary and the National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator. They will also organise a rally infront of the DA’s office and picket at the NFA warehouse. In Malaysia, Tenaganita is holding a forum on biofuel, food sovereignty and sustainability. In Hongkong, the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants is holding cultural presentations and public forums on World Foodless Day.

In Cambodia, the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture (CEDAC) is airing a live radio seminar on rice crisis. In Vietnam, the Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) is organising information awareness activities and group discussions. In Indonesia, World Foodless Day activities will be held in Solo and Jakarta. In Jakarta, Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria (AGRA) is organising protest actions on the theme of ’’Stop Land Monopoly and Violence against the Peasants: Assert Our Rights to Land and Food.’’ In Solo, Gita Pertiwi is conducting a seminar, exhibit and national discussion with INFID and INDIES on the role of International Financial Institution policies on the food crisis. There will also be a local food competition among women organisations.

In Mongolia, Center for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) is holding an information session and photo contest with journalists. In Japan, Consumers Union of Japan (CUJ) is organising a forum. In China, Pesticide Eco-Alternatives Center (PEAC) is also holding a forum on the food crisis. In Kenya, the Kenya Small Scale Farmers Forum (KESSFF) is holding an exhibit on best practices and strategies to food security and food sovereignty. In Uganda, Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (Pelum) Uganda is holding radio talk shows and information awareness activities.
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Contact: Clara Guzman
PAN Asia and the Pacific
P.O. Box 1170, 10850, Penang, Malaysia
Contact Number: +604 657 0271 or +604 656 0381

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is a global network working to eliminate the human and environmental harm caused by pesticides and to promote biodiversity based ecological agriculture. PAN Asia and the Pacific is committed to the empowerment of people especially women, agricultural workers, peasants and indigenous farmers. We are dedicated to protect the safety and health of people, and the environment from pesticide use and genetic engineering. We believe in a people-centered, pro-women development through food sovereignty, ecological agriculture and sustainable lifestyles.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ramon Bultron
Managing Director
Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)
G/F, No. 2 Jordan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
Tel. (852) 2723-7536 / (852) 9477-3141
Fax. (852) 2735-4559
E-mail: rbultron@gmail.com / rbultron@netvigator.com / apmm@hknet.com

Website: www.apmigrants.org

 

           

 

 
 

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