By Aaron Recuenco
Senatorial candidate Mar Roxas vows to push for the automatic inclusion of farmers to the government’s conditional cash transfer program amid the harsh impact of El Nino on their livelihood.
“Why don’t we make all our farmers automatic members of 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program)? After all, our farmers are poverty-stricken. In this way, some of their financial burdens are eased off while waiting for the rainy season,” said Roxas.
He was reacting to the statement of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) that Php2.6B worth of crops are already lost due to El Nino.
The NDRRMC declared that the hardest hit agricultural areas are Central Mindanao and the Bicol Region.
CALABARZON (Cavite, laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) MIMAROPA (Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Eastern Visayas and Autonomus Region in Muslim Mindanao also recorded severe damage to their crops.
The same dry spell has also resulted in the water supply problem in Metro Manila. Some parts of Metro Manila and parts of Rizal still experience water shortage.
Roxas said farmers should be taken care of since the agriculture sector is crucial in the flow of food in the country.
“I am really focusing on rural areas, the agricultural sector because they are the ones who need help most. Our farmers couldn’t plant anything because of this dry spell. What can the government do to help? The government can’t do anything when it comes to weather. But the government can provide affordable loans to our farmers so that they won’t fall for unscrupulous traders,” said Roxas.
“What do traders do? They’re the ones giving loans to farmers in exchange for rock-bottom prices once farmers harvest their crops. But if the government will give the loans to farmers, there is no need for them to turn to exploitative traders,” he explained.