Hungry farmers block road in Kidapawan City
Thousands of farmers from North Cotabato barricaded the Cotabato-Davao highway in Kidapawan City on Wednesday protesting the provincial government’s failure to address the adverse effects of the El Nino and asking for relief, including the release of 15,000 sacks of rice.
North Cotabato has been under a state of calamity since January, and the protesting farmers, who gathered in front of the National Food Authority warehouse, said the drought has made them go hungry.
Police were deployed to secure the NFA warehouse.
North Cotabato is the province most damaged by El Nino, with crop losses estimated to exceed P1 billion.
At least 15,706 hectares in the province have been scorched and 9,630 farmers have been affected by the drought.
The barricade caused a massive traffic jam, forcing authorities to open alternative routes.