Bantay Bigas Bicol led forum to expand campaign for P20/kilo of rice

Legazpi City – Bantay Bigas Bicol expressed there is a need for a wider movement of Bicolanos to demand the failed promise of President Bongbong Marcos Jr.’s P20 per kilo of rice.

Food Security Advocates affirmed the statement of the group when Bigas Bente Movement (BBM) was introduced during the Rice Forum held in St. Gregory Hall of The Great Seminary Parish on Friday, October 20.

According to Lani Lirio of Bantay Bigas Bicol, the failed promises of Marcos Jr. during his election campaign should be condemned and must “Walk the Talk”.

Lirio added that amid the country’s crisis in palay and rice, the farmgate has not been able to keep up with the increasing cost of farming. “There is no decrease in supply compared to demand, and there is no basis for the retail price to increase.”

“As we are suffering in the crisis due to Marcos Jr. failure to lead the Filipinos, it is us, people of the country, who can create a genuine change for the benefits of the masses,” Lirio said. “We must demand for our rights through a stronger movement.”

Local farmer Patrocenio Bellen said there is no need to import rice supplies from other countries.

When all the farmers come together to practice organic farming, we can sustain the palay and rice supply. Practicing this alternative also costs less for farmers like me,” Bellen explained.

According to Bellen, the government is providing palay seedlings without considering the kind of farm land that suits it.

“I’m leading the organic farming in our place. We will trial 50 varieties of palay seedlings. Then whatever is good in your land, that’s what you should choose to plant,” Bellen added.

Bellen also expressed that organic farming can provide available palay seedlings in different varieties without spending money.

With this agricultural initiative, the price of rice can be lowered according to Bantay Bigas Bicol. However, only a few farmers in Bicol are aware of organic farming.

“We promote organic farming so that it is accessible to the community and is good for sustaining our economy. The price of our agricultural products can be lowered and the quality is more guaranteed in the market,” saidIsrael Amarga, BU-CAF BS Forestry Student.

After the half-day forum, delegates marched from St. Gregory Hall and went to Peñaranda park to attend the agri-fair that showcased different organic products made by local farmers in Albay province.

Bellen also showcased his organic red rice in the agri-fair.

Bantay Bigas encouraged all Bicolanos to support and join the movement to charge the failed pro-people programs of the Marcos Jr. administration. | Red Magtoto

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