MANILA (Mabuhay) – The House Committee on Agriculture and Food has reported out for floor deliberation a measure declaring May 15 as National Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Day.
The body chaired by Rep. Mark Llandro L. Mendoza (4th District, Batangas) approved House Bill 4478 in substitution of House Bill 470, which also declares May 15 as a special non-working holiday.
Rep. Agapito Guanlao (Party-List, BUTIL), author of House Bill 470, said the important role and the contribution of farmers and fisherfolk in the development of the country shall be recognized by commemorating every 15th of May as National Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Day.
Guanlao said Presidential Proclamation No. 33, which was issued on March 21, 1989, declares the month of May as Farmers and Fisherfolk Month.
This coincides with many celebrations such as the Carabao Festival in Pulilan, Bulacan, the Pahiyas Festival in the Quezon province and other feasts, which are all festivities in farming and fishery, Guanlao said.
Guanlao said local government units also undertake activities in farming communities and hold gatherings for farmers and fisherfolk organizations. But these, Guanlao lamented, are less anticipated or even ignored.
“This Representation has always been cognizant of the roles played by farmers and fisher folk but strongly believes that attention afforded to this social class does not even approach that of the working class who celebrates its day every May 1 each year,” Guanlao said.
“Suffice it to say that these classes or sectors weigh as much as others in every nation’s purposeful strides toward building progressive and developed societies,” Guanlao added. (MNS)