La Trinidad, Benguet – Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel Casilao calls for a pull-out from World Trade Organization – Agreement on Agriculture (WTO-AoA) during the public hearing on House Resolution No. 797 in La Trinidad town, Benguet province sponsored by the Committee on WTO and Globalization.
The said resolution is pushing to determine the impact of massive importation of vegetables as prokoted by WTO-AoA to the farmers of the region.
“The Cordillera farmers have been demanding a stop to massive importation of vegetables since 2002, and then they called for a pull-out from the WTO during their protests in Manila, now we are actually facing what they are protesting against, cheap imported vegetables that could freely enter the local market, versus the costly locally produced, due to absence of gov’t support such as irrigation, infrastructure and hauling, post-harvest and warehousing, to marketing-distribution,” Casilao said during the hearing.
Casilao, together with other Makabayan lawmakers filed the resolution since the 14th congress as farmers from APIT-TAKO, a regional chapter of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas in Cordillera, is urging congress to know and expose the ill-effects of liberalization of agriculture, such as the massive importation of vegetables. Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago, also a principal author of the resolution is at the public hearing.
“The Filipino farmers have protested the entry to the WTO for reasons what we are facing now, developed countries are already reverting back to protectionism due to chronic crisis of monopoly capitalism, poor countries such as ours are the only left submitting to WTO, hence, it is the duty of us all to demand emancipation from this unfair trade agreements, to protect and rehabilitate our agricultural sector,” Casilao ended. ###