SOME 30 farmer victims of calamities in Eastern Visayas yesterday held a vigil protest at the Redemptorist Church in Baclaran, Parañaque City to press for a dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte and ask for livelihood assistance.
Nestor Ledico, secretary general of Samahan Han Gudti nga Parag-Uma or Samahan ng Maliliit na Magsasaka, said his group came from Tacloban, Leyte, and arrived in Baclaran at 10 p.m. Sunday where the vigil protest was staged before they proceeded to Mendiola in Manila.
“Nais naming maiparating kay Pa-ngulong Duterte ang aming mga hinaing patungkol sa kahirapan na aming nararanasan matapos kaming hagupitin ng mga kalamidad. Marami sa amin ang nananatiling lugmok dahil sa kakulangan ng tulong,” Ledico said.
Ledico said the farmers were victims of Typhoons Yolanda, Nona, Ruby and Senyang that hit different parts of Visayas.
Also, Efleda Bautista, chairperson of People Surge, said the protest is part of the group’s “Kampanya Laban sa Kagutuman at Militarisasyon sa Eastern Visayas.”
“Tatlong taon na simula noong Yolanda pero hanggang ngayon naka-dapa pa rin ang ating mga magsasaka. Madami na ang humagupit ulit na bagyo at lalo kaming naghihirap,” Bautista said.
Bautista added that they will be conducting “agency hopping” until December 6 to knock on the different government agencies for assistance.
She said they will be visiting the Department of Agriculture (DA), the National Housing Authority (NHA) and Vice President Leni Robredo for resettlement of permanent housing, Department of Labor and Employment for livelihood assistance and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for relief goods.
She added that more farmer groups will be joining their “Visayas-wide campaign protest”.