Farmers from Isabela and Pangasinan have declared their full support behind the candidacy of re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino, who pushed for the immediate release of financial assistance to farmers affected by rice tariffication law.
In Cauayan City, hundreds of farmers have endorsed the re-election bid of Sen. Bam during a program, where he was joined by Isabela Gov. Bojie Dy and other local officials.
More than 2,000 farmers belonging to the Pangasinan-based Abono Party List, led by its chairman Rosendo So, gathered in Urdaneta City to show their support for Sen. Bam.
“Huwag nating kalimutan, kailangan natin siya sa Senado,” said So as he thanked Sen. Bam for helping push for the passage of Republic Act 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act.
As he thanked farmers for their support, Sen. Bam promised to work for the immediate release of the financial assistance given to agricultural workers under the rice tariffication law and to focus on their other concerns.
“Itong pinagdadaanang matinding hirap ng mga kababayan nating magbubukid dahil sa pagbagsak ng presyo ng palay ay hindi lang problema ng sektor agrikultura, ito ay isang pambansang usapin,” said Sen. Bam.
“Kaya dapat ibigay na ngayon ang ayuda sa mga magsasaka dahil ngayon ito pinaka-kailangan,” added Sen. Bam.
Sen. Bam called on the government to immediately distribute the direct financial assistance to farmers under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) to help them cope with the effects of the influx of imported rice in the market on their livelihood.
“Hindi na dapat paghintayin pa ang mga magsasaka. Kailangan na nila ang tulong ngayon,” Sen. Bam pointed out.
Earlier, Sen. Bam maintained that the government should focus on ensuring the livelihood of Filipino farmers and their families amid the entry of imported rice in the market.
“Dapat matiyak na walang magutom, mabigyan ng subsidiya, at masigurado ang kapakanan ng kanilang pamilya,” Sen. Bam said.
Aside from direct financial assistance, RCEF will also be used to support mechanization, credit assistance, seed development and for extension services for farmers to help them become more productive and competitive against imported rice.
“Mahalagang tulungan natin sila na maging produktibo para hindi maapektuhan ang kanilang kabuhayan,” Sen. Bam said.