Over 1M farmers could lose jobs, many going hungry
Over a million farmers could lose their livelihood due to the El Nino, former dean of the UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations Rene Ofreneo warned.
“El Niño is happening all over the country, so the level of displacement and the gravity of the problem is so serious and comprehensive,” Ofreneo was quoted by BusinessMirror as saying.
The report said in January 2016, the net employment loss in the agriculture sector has already reached 935,000 due to El Nino.
El Nino is expected to last until the end of July.
Ofreneo said government’s preparation was “weak and negligible.”
In Mindanao, farmers win Region 12 have incurred P2.46 billion in losses while those in Region 12 have lost P737.36 million.
“These people do not have anything to eat. They also have to sacrifice everything else. One story I’ve heard from a student is that her aunt does not take her medicine.
They don’t even have the capacity to buy food,” said Domingo Non of the Mindanao State University.
Non said in South Cotabato, the T’boli and B’laan tribes have resorted to begging or offering to work in exchange for food because they could not plant crops and due to pest infestation.
Some indigenous peoples have resorted to cutting small trees and turning them into charcoal to sell, so they could have money to buy food.
Ofreneo said government should stop dismissing the adverse impact of El Niño and give direct assistance to the starving farmers and indigenous peoples.