Following the Philippine Peasant Month last October and the recent destruction brought by consecutive typhoons, the Student Government (SG) of College of Business, Economics, Accountancy, and Management (CBEAM) together with Kabataan Partylist Batangas commenced with the first-ever iMulat educational discussion which tackled the worsening situation of peasants and farmers in the country, Nov. 21.
Through the discussion, Kabataan Partylist Batangas emphasized that the youth have a huge role in promoting, creating, and implementing platforms for the benefit of the peasants in the province.
According to one of the invited speakers, Manuel “Ka Manny” Pereye, a farmer from Nasugbu Batangas, the consecutive typhoons severely affected the farmers in the province leaving them with no work, cash aids, and no appropriate land reforms from the government.
Pereye also shared that the continuous land development, including the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Cavite – Tagaytay – Batangas Expressway, also adversely affects their agricultural lands.
“Walang programa mismo ang gobyerno para bigyan ng kalutasan ang problema ng mamamayan […] Lalo pang magiging mahirap ang sitwasyon ng ating magsasaka [dahil] ang dadaanan ng nasabing expressway ay walang sinasabing relokasyon […] Mga sakahan ay hindi tiyak na mababayaran,” Pereye said.
Pereye also mentioned that there are several red-tagging incidents that occurred among farmers in Nasugbu, Batangas.
According to a statement released by the Kilusang Mambubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), since the pandemic started, 87 farmers have been killed in the country in relation to land dispute cases and advocacy for agrarian reform.
“Kaya malaki ang tulong ng mga kabataan dito [upang] magbigay ng tamang gabay at kung paano i-tuloy-tuloy ang paglaban ng mga magsasaka at ma-i-project sa media at mamamayan na [mayroong] karahasang nagaganap laban sa amin [magsasaka],” Pereye added.
Meanwhile, Dheine Maderazo, SG CBEAM governor, said that this online educational discussion will tackle not just political issues but social injustices that are not known by most students.
“We aim to open the eyes of the students, empower their voices, and stand for the people who cannot stand for themselves,” said Maderazo.
Maderazo also mentioned that online activities such as educational discussions can be utilized well by students in the online learning setup.
For BS Accountancy student Edlyn Krissel Navarro, the iMulat educational discussion is timely and relevant as students continue to engage on social media to be more aware of social issues.
“We are able to realize, even a little, the extent of the problems, issues, and concerns when it comes to the argricultural sector of the Phillippines […] It is extremely ironic considering that we are an agricultural country […],” said Navarro.
Meanwhile, Ivan Joshua Cortez, from BS Accounting Information System, said that the educational discussions exceeded his expectations and it must be done regularly in order to be more aware of what is happening.
“Being aware is not enough, we must also have ideas to be talked about and, if possible, executed,” Cortez said.
The iMulat educational discussion is set to be conducted monthly wherein it will tackle different socio-political issues which are seen happening in the country and how students can support national democratic movements and organizations (NDMOs).