Farmers raise concern anew over ChaCha’s ‘pro-foreign provisions’

In a House Committee on Constitutional Amendments hearing, farmers represented by Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) presented their points against the proposed Charter Change, particularly the provision that will allow foreign ownership of lands which KMP said will further undermine the country’s food security and national patrimony.

“Sa halip na amyendahan, kailangan at nararapat ang mahigpit na pagpapatupad sa mga makabayan at makamagsasakang nilalaman ng Konstitusyon. Nakikiisa kami sa mga nagpahayag ng pagtutol sa ChaCha dahil hindi ito napapanahon ngayong kumahakarap sa krisis sa ekonomya ang bansa, hindi katiyakan sa pag-unlad o malinis na gobyerno ang anyo ng Konstitusyon, at self-serving ang panukalang term extensions.

Mariano said during the hearing: “Baka magising tayo isang araw, pag-aari na ng mga dayuhan ang lupain sa Pilipinas,” asserting the group’s adamant opposition to the inclusive provision “unless otherwise provided by law” in Resolution of Both Houses 2 and 4 in protectionist provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

The former solon and DAR secretary further said: “Lubhang mapanganib ang panukala ng RBHs 2 at 4 na idagdag ang katagang “unless otherwise provided by law” sa mga probisyong nagbibigay ng
proteksyon sa pambansang ekonomya at patrimonya (Art. XII); partikular sa mga seksyon kaugnay ng pagpapaunlad at paggamit sa likas yaman (Sec. 2), pag-aari sa pampubliko (Sec. 3) at pribadong lupa (Sec. 7), at pamumuhunan (Sec. 10).

In gist, KMP said the ChaCha proposals would hasten foreign-instigated land-grabbing and plunder of natural resources; worsen the state of landlessness of Filipino farmers, and further deepen foreign domination of domestic agriculture that will lead to the further slowdown of local production.

On the controversial mode of Con-Ass (RBHs 1, 2, 3, 4, at 5) or ConCon (HB 4296 at HJR 12) KMP said the existence of political dynasties undermines the democratic representation of the public.

The Filipino people have staunchly fought all ChaCha attempts throughout the past administrations. Hindi papayag ang taumbayan na iratsada ang ChaCha. Once approved and legislated, this ‘economic ChaCha’, will have irreversible economic and political repercussions.

“The so-called deluge of foreign investment brought by economic Cha-cha is only for the benefit of big landowners and businesses and not for the Filipino people.” Ramos said, “foreign capital if any, will only be infused to transnational corporation-controlled plantations and vast haciendas whose raw material production is mainly directed for export to serve the needs of advanced capitalist countries.”

“Under the guise of foreign direct investments, foreign capital will be channeled to plantations and agri-businesses devoted to the production of crops for export. While big landlords and agribusinesses benefit from so-called agricultural investments, farmers and farm workers suffer from landlessness and slave-like wages,” the peasant leader said.

“At the same time, economic Cha-cha will result in wide-scale land-grabbing of vast agricultural lands occupied by farmers and ancestral land of indigenous people,” Ramos said.

“Where shall the government get the lands to be put up for sale or lease to foreigners? Obviously, not the land of big landowners like the Villar family but land already covered by the sham CARP. We expect massive land grabbing, land-use conversion, and displacement of farmers under ChaCha, the KMP leader added.

“We call on all Filipinos to express their strongest opposition against ChaCha,” the KMP said. The group, along with progressive party lists protested outside the House of Representatives this morning.

WATCH the FB Live of the hearing here:

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