KORONADAL CITY – After five days of protest pressuring government agencies here to act on the demands for food aids, the farmers from South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos on Monday, April 25 got 2,000 sacks of rice from the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Quick Reaction fund.
Around 3,000 farmers mass up in the Regional Center in Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City on April 21.
WHERE IS THE CALAMITY FUND? Farmers questions the government where is the P9,417,530,00 calamity fund for Region 12. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)
PRIMARY DEMAND. Farmers demanded for 15,000 sacks of rice to sustain each family for three months until rainy season comes in June. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)
ORIENTATION. The farmers hold their orientation in blocking the road of General Santos national highway in Koronadal City. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)
BLOCKED.Thousands of farmers start to block the road at around 4:30 pm on Sunday, April 24 to pressure the government and answer their demands. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)
ADVANCE. Farmers move forward to occupy the road. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)
RAISED FIST. An activist raises his fist while holding a streamer with the demand for 15,000 sacks of rice. Behind him are farmers sprawled in the national highway of Koronadal-Gen.San. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)
The farmers’ protest has totally blocked the national highway on Sunday, April 24. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)
Women farmers are among those who lay down the national highway in protest of the government’s inaction for the severe drought.
Koronadal City Mayor Peter Miguel (center) talks to an official on how to handle the crisis in his city. Along with him are Police chief Superintendent Noel Armilla of Region 12 (right) and Koronadal Police Director, Police Superintendent Barney Condes. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)
On Monday, April 25 DSWD Region 12 official Norhata Benito visits the camp and informed the leaders that their agency through the national office will provide 2,000 sacks of rice for the farmers so they can go home to their respective provinces. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)
Farmers wait for updates of the dialogue with the Department of Social Welfare and Development who promised to give 2,000 sacks of rice and toiletries. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)
Some farmers take their nap as the negotiations are ongoing. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)
VICTORY. By Monday afternoon, the promised 2,000 sacks of rice arrived. (Ace R. Morandante/davaotoday.com)
Meanwhile, the farmers said even with their “initial victory”, they will not stop demanding for food aid and subsidy from the government as long as drought continues. The farmers returned to their communities on Tuesday, April 26. (davaotoday.com)