During the Peoples Summit 2022, sectors including farmers presented actionable doable to the new administration of Bongbong Marcos Jr.
“These are actual, doable demands formulated by basic social sectors most affected by the worsening economic crisis. The weekly OPH and sharp food price hikes are unbearable. We are presenting these short-term and long-term proposals that will address the jobs crisis, inflation, hunger, and poverty,” says former agrarian reform secretary Rafael Mariano.
Six main clusters — economy, social services, good governance, human rights and peace, national sovereignty and foreign policy, and freedom of expression — convened and held grassroots consultations over the past weeks to craft the fighting demands for Marcos Jr. The urgent demands and proposals shall be submitted to relevant government agencies, institutions, and more importantly, to the people, to galvanize their involvement in shaping government policies that affect them.
“We have yet to see Marcos, Jr. come up with a concrete plan of action. He has promised to unveil something during his first SONA. If his choices for cabinet posts as well as his track record in government are to be the basis, there seems to be little hope that there will be radical changes from the policies that have plunged the country into endemic poverty, underdevelopment, gross inequality, and conflicts,” the Summit statement read.
With regards to addressing the spiking food prices, Mariano said the new administration must increase the budget for agriculture budget to at least 10% of the GDP to boost local food production. It is also imperative to witness strategic reforms and policies on land-use and agrarian reform, food security and food self-sufficiency, and fiscal policies in agriculture.
6. On economic aid and subsidies
In concrete, we urge Marcos Jr to certify as urgent a comprehensive economic stimulus that will provide PHp10,000 cash aid and Php15,000 production subsidy for farmers, fishers, and agricultural workers. The government must also ensure fertilizer and fuel subsidies amid the skyrocketing oil prices.
“We shall continue to fight for people-centered economic policymaking that is geared towards attaining national economic development. We vow to anchor this on true agrarian reform and rural development and national industrialization while maintaining environmental sustainability,” the former DAR secretary said.
“The formulation of efficient and genuine pandemic response is central to attaining economic recovery that will propel the country towards a pro-people development trajectory. We demand economic policymaking that will correct more than 50 years of a neoliberal mindset that has only impoverished the citizens to unimaginable conditions.”
“We forward our fighting demands not only as we benefit directly and urgently from them but as these lay the foundation of an economy for the many and future generations,” Mariano concluded.