ILOILO CITY – Last February 17, 2020 60 farmers held a picket- dialogue with local officials of Janiuay asserting their right to till their land. The farmers came from the barangays of Atimonan, Aglubong, Panuran and Barasolan all under Janiuay.
The picket – dialogue was the farmers’ response to the Local Government Unit (LGU) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) plan to put an end to the traditional farming practice of kaingin in the said Barangays to make way for their project, the National Greening Program (NGP).
The farmers, meanwhile, were able to have a dialogue with the District Committee on Natural and Environmental Resources of Januiay along with the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) and the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO).
The dialogue ended with the said committee still did not grant the farmers their wish to continue kaingin.
According to “Tatay Rogelio”, one of the farmers affected, they have already been carrying out kaingin for more than 20 years and that it has been their main source of livelihood.
He added, that due to the governments prohibition on Kaingin, his family will now go hungry and his children will not be able to go to school anymore.
According to Chris Chavez of PAMANGGAS, the LGU and DENRO are denying the farmers their livelihood and sources of food without any offer of an alternative.
Furthermore, Chavez added, that for a long time, the farmers were performing kaingin in the mountains of Januiay and no other alternative system of farming was taught to them. But not since there is a big project involved, these farmers will just suddenly be denied their livelihood.
Moreover he added that the livelihood promoted by the DENR and the LGU through the NGP is presently useless and that it cannot feed the farmers and their families.
The National Greening Program of the DENR for the reforestation of the town of Januiay is funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)./PT