The Yamang Bukid farm will hold a “Puso para sa mga Magsasaka” run-for-a-cause on September 28 as a part of its 5th Agros Festival aimed to support the small scale organic farmers in Palawan.
Hope Alas, tourism campaign manager of Yamang Bukid said Monday they are targeting around 1,000 runners. Alas said that the run aims to spread awareness regarding the condition of farmers.
“We have been celebrating Agros festival in Yamang Bukid for two years already and one of the reasons we are having this event is because of our farmers – to uplift, empower and support them. But right now they are facing the issue of the price of palay which is only P10 per kilo, in Narra, it is already P7. Our farmers are suffering. The purpose of the run is awareness and promotion to tell people that farmers need our help,” Alas said.
The activity will start at Barangay Bacungan covered gym at 4:00 a.m. and will end in Yamang Bukid area.
She said that this will be an annual activity of the farm.
“Every year we are going to run for the people who put food on our table,” Alas said.
She also pointed out that the majority of the Filipino farmers are not getting enough attention.
“The farmers of Yamang Bukid are already privileged but we feel sorry for other farmers because they are experiencing the abuse and they are not getting a lot of attention. As an initiative of Yamang Bukid, our 5th festival is for Filipino farmers. I hope you will join the run and let us support our farmers,” emotional Alas said.
She added that tickets will be available for only P350 with a shirt and kit.
The total proceeds will be given to some small-scale organic farming communities in Palawan including the farmers association in the town of Narra.
Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat is expected to join the event.
In addition, Palaweño farmers previously lamented with the declining farmgate prices being offered by private traders have joined the call for the government to set a floor price for unhusked rice (palay) and for Congress to review Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tarrification Law.
Rizal municipality Campong Ulay Farmers Association (CUFA) president Nicasio Noynoyan said the P12 to P10 offer per kilo of palay which is much lower than their production costs will cause the death of their livelihood.
“Napakalaking epekto talaga ng mga nangyayari sa aming mga magsasaka kaya minsan makakapag-isip ka nga na mag-divert sa ibang mapagkakakitaan,” Noynoyan said.
“Sa totoo lang, napakalaking dagok sa mga magsasaka ng ganitong batas. Mabuti sana kung katulad sa Thailand o Vietnam na ‘yong mga kailangan ng farmers ay naibibigay ng gobyerno,” he added.
In the provincial board, Board Member Cesareo Benedito blamed the implementation of Republic Act 11203, or the “Rice Tariffication Law,” for the drop of the unmilled rice prices affecting the local farmers.
Board Member Cesareo Benedito said in his privilege speech Tuesday that the majority of the rice farmers not only in Palawan but in the entire country suffer from the low prices of rice.
Currently, unmilled rice is being sold for around P7 to P10 per kilo, he said.
Benedito called on the provincial government to extend assistance or other intervention for the farmers affected by the law.
Meanwhile, the finance and agriculture departments have vowed to extend cash assistance to rice farmers to help them cope with the rice tariffication law.