House panel wants May 15 to be declared as Farmers, Fisherfolk Day

TWO House committees have jointly endorsed plenary approval of the proposed measure declaring every May 15 as National Farmers and Fisherfolk Day.

The Special Committee on Food Security chaired by Rep. Agapito H. Guanlao (Party-list, Butil) and the Committee on Agriculture and Food chaired by Rep. Mark Llandro L. Mendoza (4th District, Batangas) passed HB 6158 authored by Guanlao himself with all members of both panels as co-authors.

“This representation has always been cognizant of the roles played by farmers and fisherfolk but strongly believes that attention afforded to this social class does not even approach that of the working class (labor) who celebrates its day every May 1 of each year,” Guanlao explained.

Under HB 6158, May 15 of every year shall be National Farmers and Fisherfolk Day, a Special Non-Working Holiday nationwide, Guanlao said it may be superfluous to delve into exact estimates of the contribution of farmers and fisherfolk to Philippine society and other
nations and societies for that matter.

“Suffice it to say that these classes or sectors weigh as much as others in every nation’s purposeful strides toward building progressive and development societies,” Guanlao said.

Guanlao recalled that Presidential Proclamation No. 33 was issued on March 21, 1989 declaring the month of May of every year as “Farmers and fisherfolk” Month.

He said the proclamation is indeed timely as it coincides with many farmers’ and fisherfolk’s celebrations such as the Carabao Festival in Pililan, Bulacan, the Pahiyas Festival in Quezon Province and numerous Feasts, all in celebration of bountiful harvests or fluvial parades in celebration of the year’s good catch.

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