Farmers slam Senator Villar for promoting farm tourism and agribusiness to profit from nCov health emergency

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas criticized Senator Cynthia Villar’s irresponsible and insensitive remarks encouraging Filipinos to profit from the novel corona virus (nCov) health emergency. “For many, nCov has become a matter of life and death, but for Senator Villar, it’s still about business and profiteering. She is cold-hearted and shows no compassion for others.”

During the 1st Agribusiness Tourism event in Iriga City in Camarines Sur, Villar told farmers that the novel coronavirus would boost local tourism in the country. She said: “since there’s a ban on any flight coming in from China, Hong Kong, and Macau, so they can’t cruise for fear of getting infected of nCoV so we will rely on farm tourism and it is local tourism.”

“Profit and business interests and not public service is at the core of Senator Cynthia Villar’s existence. She is merely using her position and influence as an elected official to boost her family’s economic interests. She is promoting farm tourism and agribusiness ventures at the expense of farmers asserting for genuine agrarian reform, free land distribution, and genuine rural industrialization,” says KMP chairperson Danilo Ramos.

“More than 800 people have died due to nCov while 34,500 are infected, and 6,000 of which are severely sick due to this new respiratory disease that is quickly spreading to countries outside China. At this crucial point, all Senator Villar could think of is how to profit from a serious health situation that could evolve into a dangerous global pandemic,” says Ramos.

Villar said local tourists can explore beautiful local sceneries, particularly farms. She also urged the farmers to get into agribusiness to generate more profit for themselves.”Villar is promoting farm tourism and business opportunities amidst a global health emergency. Just how callous and insensitive can she get?”

Meanwhile, farmers said the government’s decision to quarantine repatriated OFWs at the New Clark City Athletic Village in Tarlac was not consulted with local constituents. “The government must ensure the health of the repatriated OFWs as well as the communities near the quarantine area. The worries and concerns of community residents should be addressed and alleviated by local officials,” Ramos said. Farmers and Aeta tribes live and maintain their farms within the New Clark City. ###  

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