Bikolano masses, choose a prosperous future and break free from hunger, advance the revolution!

This article is available in Pilipino

In the current system, the masses only have two options: to die from hunger and state violence or to live a life worse than death. This reality demonstrates itself upon the daily existence of Bikolano masses, especially the peasantry, under the intensified neoliberal attacks of the US-Duterte regime. Three years after the passage of the catastrophic Rice Tariffication Law, stomachs have been growling in starvation and destitution.

RTL has brought nothing but the steep decline of the prices of local rice products, avalanche of imported rice, destabilization of local agriculture and anarchy in the market. Thousands of farmers went bankrupt and lost their livelihoods.

In Bikol, even government agencies could not deny the staggering number of jobs lost especially in the agriculture sector. Understandably, how could a peasant continue farming when the price for their palay plays at a meager P7 to P15 while farm inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers doubled in price costing them P2,000 or more? This is even worse for tenants who still have to pay their landlords regardless of profit and for agricultural workers whose daily wages are fixed no matter the amount earned from their labor.

Meanwhile, consumers remain at their wits’ ends with the unreasonable and arbitrary inflation of rice prices in the market. There has been no significant decrease in rice prices which still range from P40 to P60 in local markets. This is alongside the increase in other basic commodity prices caused by the frenzy of US-Duterte regime’s neoliberal directives.

Amidst the recoiling socioeconomic crisis, burden after burden, deprivation of basic needs and rights, the only certainty that the people can hold on to is the hope that the people’s democratic revolution gives them. The existence of mutual aid groups, revolutionary mass movements, cooperatives and committees that have been helping the masses rise from hunger and poverty are glimpses of a prosperous future the revolutionary movement strives for.

Through a planned, self-sufficient, advanced and scientific appreciation of agriculture, the people gains a defense from crisis. Drawing from the most advanced experiences in Bikol, consolidated communities were able to provide enough food supply and resources for their own as well as neighboring areas during the pandemic crisis.

NDF-Bikol appeals to all who seek to liberate themselves from starvation and poverty to join the people’s war. The Rice Tariffication Law is not the first nor the last neoliberal law intent on robbing the Philippine society of its last breath. With the worsening crisis, puppet regimes and their local and foreign masters shall surely attempt all ways to further bleed the people dry in the name of their own selfish interests. As long as the semicolonial and semifeudal society exists, poverty and crisis can never be expected to ease. Choose to live and be free from the chains of slavery, choose a future that truly serves the majority, choose the revolution!

Bikolano masses, choose a prosperous future and break free from hunger, advance the revolution!