In the face of growing hardships brought about by restrictions imposed under the Duterte government’s lockdown in Luzon and other parts of the country, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) calls on all its committees, all commands and units of the New People’s Army, and all revolutionary forces to carry out emergency food production and intensify economic work in revolutionary territories.
These efforts must complement the public health campaign being mounted by the NPA and all local revolutionary forces in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The lockdown imposed by the Duterte government is causing severe economic problems on the people. Under so-called community quarantine, checkpoints have been put up by the military and police in and around rural villages, preventing people from buying food, medicine and other necessities.
This comes on top of travel restrictions where agriculture produce from various areas are being prevented from entering city centers and left to rot. Food supply distribution to different towns and villages are hampered, to the detriment of both the consumer and producer.
The Filipino people must not allow this situation to persist. In the face of Duterte’s failure to carry out a comprehensive public health, medical and socio-economic response to the Covid-19pandemic, its lockdown and quarantine measures are bound to result in growing threats of food shortage and hunger in both the cities and countryside, and will be reduced to mere instruments to suppress and increasingly restive population.
It is in this light that the Filipino people must raise their demands for the Duterte regime to immediately and comprehensively address their socio-economic needs in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Party, among others, supports the call of various sectors for the Duterte government to provide funds for the purchase of rice, vegetables and other farm produce at fair prices, as well as ensure the free transportation of food produce and other basic needs.
At the same time, the Party calls on the NPA and all revolutionary forces to mobilize the people to undertake a campaign for emergency food production to help cover the needs of local communities amid the shortages and rising prices, especially in the territories within the scope of the revolutionary movement.
Units of the NPA and local revolutionary mass organizations are encouraged to plan out emergency food production to cultivate palay, camote and other root crops, bananas, maize, pechay and other vegetables, and other crops that can be harvested in the short-term to cover the needs of the local communities as well as nearby villages.
Village revolutionary committees and mass organizations can hold economic conferences to assess their needs and supplies, and their production potentials, and come up with specific plans to cover the rest of the year. The territorial commands and leading Party committees in the area must coordinate efforts of the village and inter-village committees in their areas.
The Party urges peasant organizations to undertake collective work in land preparation, build or repair irrigation facilities, tilling, planting, maintenance and harvesting during this time of emergency food production.
The Party calls on landlords to allow the use of their land for emergency food production without rent. They can also extend financial assistance, use of facilities and other resources.
The Party also urges all local and international agencies and organizations to extend all forms of assistance (funding, seed input, implements and others) to help the masses in emergency food production efforts.