No to RCEP! No to
sellout of PH economy! – GABRIELA
February 17, 2023
QUEZON CITY – The
national alliance of Filipino women GABRIELA denounced Marcos Jr.’s
push for Congress to immediately ratify the Regional Comprehensive
Partnership (RCEP) Agreement, citing that the move will have ‘dire
consequences’ to food security and to the agriculture industry in
the Philippines. The women’s group called on legislators to exercise
its autonomy as an independent branch of the government and ‘refuse
to be complicit in further jeopardizing farmers’ livelihoods and in
the sellout of our patrimony.”
“Words obviously mean
nothing to pathological liars like the Marcoses. From supposedly
having ‘reservations’ about the RCEP, Marcos Jr. has since
completely backpedaled by leading the push for its ratification – to
the detriment of the already suffering agricultural sector.
Naturingang DA Secretary pero puro peste sa magsasaka ang dala ni
Marcos, mula sa Rice Liberalization Law, importasyon ng mga
produktong pang-agrikultura, at ngayon ito namang RCEP,” hit
GABRIELA Secretary General Clarice Palce.
GABRIELA cited how farmers
– millions of whom are women – are struggling to compete with
imported products due to government’s neglect of agriculture. Many
are drowning in debt because of sky-high production costs and
depressed farmgate prices. Agri groups have been calling for subsidy
and aid, as well as for an end to Marcos Jr.’s import-driven
response to soaring prices of farm products.
“Departamento ng Angkat
ang pinatatakbo ni Pangulong Marcos. Kung dati’y nagkakanda-kuba
lang ang magsasaka habang nananatiling hikahos, ngayon
nagsisimatayan na ang marami sa amin. Nito lamang Enero, limang
magsasaka ang nagpakamatay sa Bayambang, Pangasinan. Ayon mismo sa
misis ng isa sa kanila, pagkabaon sa utang ang nagtulak sa asawa
niyang gawin ito dahil hindi umano nito mabawi ang milyong utang
para sa produksyon dahil sa importasyon. Nasaan ang kalinga ng
gobyerno sa nagpapakain sa taumbayan?” raised Amihan National
Chairperson Zen Soriano.
With women’s month just
around the corner, women agricultural workers are among the sectors
that GABRIELA aims to highlight on March 8, the International
Working Women’s Day, as they are among the most underpaid and
undervalued workers In the Philippines and across the globe.
GABRIELA and Amihan both
urged the government to prioritize the interests of Filipino farmers
and the country. The groups emphasized that Congress must oppose
RCEP and instead pass measures to strengthen the agricultural sector
of the country, which in recent years had historically the lowest
share in GDP despite the Philippines being an agricultural country.
GABRIELA urged, “give Filipino farmers a fighting chance.”
“Malaking pagtatraydor sa
bansa ang pagsasaalang-alang sa sektor ng agrikultura, laluna habang
kumakaharap ng malalang kagutuman ang mamamayan. Kaya hinahamon
namin ang mga mambababatas na wag magsilbing ‘rubberstamp’ lang ni
Marcos Jr., at sa halip ay tindigan ang mamamayang nagluklok sa
kanila sa puwesto. Pilipinas naman,” Palce called.