Piñol vows to end ‘injustice, oppression’ experienced by Panay rice farmers

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Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has vowed to end the “injustice and oppression” experienced by rice farmers in Panay who are getting almost half the price for their produce compared to other farmers in other parts of the country.

Piñol said that this is “unbelievable” considering that the island is the rice granary of the Visayas.

“In the series of Biyaheng Bukid farmers and fisher folks consultations I conducted in the island of Panay, I found out that rice farmers in the four provinces, including the island province of Guimaras, are getting almost half the price for their produce compared to other farmers in Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Davao Region and Central Mindanao,” said Piñol in a statement posted in his Facebook page.

“While the buying price of freshly harvested paddy rice is between P18 to P20 per kilo in the three regions mentioned above, the Ilonggo farmers get as low as P8 to P12 per kilo for their produce,” added Piñol.

The Agriculture secretary said that the oppression and injustice must end and he will not allow it anymore.

“The oppression of Ilonggo farmers must end now. I will not allow it to continue anymore because it is an outright injustice and oppression,” Piñol said.

“In this Region, palay is being bought by businessmen for as low as P8 to P12 per kilo. And farmers here borrow money from private lenders with almost 500 percent interest,” he said.

Pinol said that he will come back to make sure that the oppression will end.

“I will come back again and again until the Ilonggo farmer gets what is fair and his rightful reward for his pain and hard work.” he promised.