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Progressive Solons Urge NIA to Condone Irrigation Fees of Typhoon-Ravaged Farmers
Press Release Posted on October 8th, 2011.
Rep. Emmi De Jesus, 0917-3221203
Rowena Festin, 0915-6349308
Strong typhoons that pounded Luzon in the recent weeks wrought an estimated PhP7.5 billion damage to crops. Farm workers in Central Luzon were hardest hit as Pedring and Quiel submerged an estimated 448,469 metric tons of palay, compelling Gabriela Representative Emmi De Jesus and AnakPawis Representatives Rafael Mariano to file House Resolution 1790 urging the House Committee on Agriculture to urge the National Irrigation Authority to condone the payment of irrigation fees by farmers and farm workers affected by these recent typhoons.
“Even if they earn barely enough to pay for the loans they incurred for seedlings, pesticides, fertilizers and other agricultural inputs, farmers have to carry the burden of paying irrigation service fees instead of being supported by government as an extension of social services to an important economic sector,” explained AnakPawis representative Rafael Mariano.
“Pedring and Quiel did not only destroy the farmers’ expected harvest but also pushed them and their families into deeper debts. If government does not condone the irrigation service fees for at least six months to allow them to plant a new crop and repay their debts, this will be an added blow that will nail them to deepening poverty. Women are doubly hit by crisis as they worry most when there is no more food at the table,” added Rep. Emmi De Jesus.
“What we are asking for is not new. This was done at the time of Ondoy. The farm workers affected by typhoons Pedring and Quiel deserve as much temporary relief as those devastated by Ondoy,” ended Rep. Mariano.###