Bacoor City, Cavite – The Amihan or National Federation of Peasant Women and Bantay Bigas rice watchdog group, along with the fishers group Pamalakaya, held their petition signing drive via market hopping in Brgy. Talaba II, Bacoor City, Cavite, as sustained campaign to repeal the Republic Act 11203 or Rice Liberalization Law, a month before its first year anniversary on February 14. The activity is also part of the “Kanin at Isda: Likha sa Bansa, Idepensa!” campaign to promote local agricultural products and oppose liberalization policies and importation of rice and galunggong.

“We are confident that market-goers and vendors will sign the petition against RA 11203 Rice Liberalization law. Since last year, poor consumers were unable to buy affordable rice due to the implementation of the law and high prices of rice in the market as controlled by private traders,” exclaimed by Cathy Estavillo, Secretary-General of Amihan and spokesperson of Bantay Bigas.

Moreover, the recent influx of imported galunggong or fish liberalization was an additional burden to poor fisher families.

Amihan and Bantay Bigas stated that the effect of rice and fish liberalization is double whammy to poor fisher producers and consumers.

“We call on various sectors to join the campaign in defending our Philippine agriculture wherein the rice and fish liberalization will undermine our food security, and in contrast for being self-sufficient and self-reliant,” stated by Estavillo.

She urged the people to join the nationally-coordinated protest on February 14 at Mendiola bridge, Manila, coinciding the first year implementation of the law.

“We have to act as one and support in pushing the National Food Security based on Genuine Land Reform. Amihan and Bantay Bigas with various organizations will continue to conduct series of protests, discussions in schools, universities, urban and rural communities, lobbying and other activities for junking the rice and fish liberalization,” ended by Estavillo. ###

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