The Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women slammed Senator Cynthia Villar following her statement that farmers and fisherfolk do not understand climate change during the continuation of the public hearing for the proposed 2023 budget for the Department of Agriculture yesterday. “Her statement is an utter display of her typical matapobre character, detached from realities from the ground,” Amihan chairperson Zenaida Soriano said.

“Farmers and fishers are among the most vulnerable sectors, facing the devastating impacts of climate change. This is not the first time that Sen. Villar issued insensitive and condescending statements against the peasantry and the poor. Kung ganito ang pagtingin ng mga namumuno sa mga magsasaka at mangingisda, hindi ka magtataka kung bakit marami sa mga proyekto at programang ipinapatupad ng gobyerno ay hindi akma at hindi tumutugon sa pangangailangan ng batayang sektor,” Soriano added.

“While farmers and fishers have long been pushing for a moratorium on land-use conversion and free land distribution to the farmers, protecting fishing waters from reclamation projects and halting large-scale mining operations to prevent further damages of the climate crisis, Sen. Villar and her family on the other hand is among the leading elites converting agricultural lands into business and residential estates,” Soriano said.

“Bilang Committee Chair ng Food and Agriculture sa Senado, isinulong niya ang RA 11203 Rice Liberalization Law na ngayon ay lubhang nagpapahirap sa mga magsasaka,” Soriano added.

The peasant women group challenged Sen. Villar to integrate with the peasant communities as farmers from Southern Tagalog and Cagayan Valley are arriving in Metro Manila in the coming days for the October Peasant Month activities. ###

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