Farm Product Market For Marginalized Farmers
On February 16, 2012, the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Kalibo, Aklan approved Ordinance No. 2012 – 002 during its 7th SB Regular Session held at the SB Session Hall presided by Vice Mayor Madeline A. Regalado with nine (9) members who voted yes. Hon. Nilda B. Tambong was on Filial leave when the above stated ordinance was approved.
The SB members who were present during its approval were Hon. E. Soviet R. A. Dela Cruz, Hon. Ariel O. Fernandez, Hon. Arnaldo M. Tejada, Hon Mark Mitchell C. Sy, Hon. George L. Quimpo, Hon. Rodillo L. Policarpio, Hon. Peter Jene N. Lao, Hon. Ananias V. Solina, and Hon. Michael Angelo R. Melgarejo who is representing the SK.
Ordinance No. 2012 – 002 is “An Ordinance Granting Certain Privileges to the Marginalized Farmers of Kalibo Who Are Securing Mayors and Business Permit(s) and Amending Certain Provisions of Municipal Ordinance No. 95 – 0024 Otherwise Known As The Local Revenue Code of Kalibo”.
Going over or reading the said ordinance, the ordinance aims “to give marginalized farmers of Kalibo the opportunity to sell their agricultural products and livestock directly to the buying public at a better price”, and to extend assistance “through the adoption of policies and programs and enactment of ordinances that will improve and uplift their (marginalized farmers’) well being”.
These marginalized farmers will be allowed by LGU Kalibo to sell their farm products during market day, Sunday along Toting Reyes Street from Corner of XIX Martyrs Street to Corner of Roxas Avenue Extension.
To avail of the privileges to be granted by the said ordinance, first the farmer must be marginalized; second – resident of the municipality of Kalibo, and third – member in good standing of the Municipal Agriculture and Fishery Council of Kalibo.
He must have paid P50 Health Permit Fee; P50 Health Card Fee; P30 Garbage Fee; and P60 Mayor’s Permit Fee.
As defined in the Ordinance, marginal farmer or fisherman refers to an individual engaged in subsistence farming or fishing which shall be limited to the sale, barter or exchange of agricultural or marine products produced by himself and immediate family (members) and whose annual net income from such farming or fishing does not exceed fifty thousand pesos or the poverty line established by NEDA for the particular region or locality”.
The author defined “farmer or fisherman” as one. How can a farmer be the same to fisherman when farmer deals with plants and animals while fisherman deals with fishes?
The term “marginalized” neither exist in Webster’s dictionary nor in the five (5) languages dictionary authored by the late Mr. Roman A. Dela Cruz. There is the word “marginal” however in Webster’s which means “marginal” in economics as “on the border between being profitable or non profitable. With this definition, is marginalized farmer just non-profitable?
What documents will the supposed marginalized farmer present that will show he is marginalized? What does the author mean regarding the require-ment that to qualify as marginalized, a farmer must not have an annual net income from farming and or fishing more than P50,000?
There is no denying that the honorable members of the SB of Kalibo especially the principal author of the ordinance had a genuine concern to uplift the economic status of the farmers and their families whom the ordinance is designed and approved.
However, the Ordinance can be improved further such as:
1. Change the adjective “marginalized” to “qualified”. Marginalized denotes class and therefore avoid the branding “class legislation” approved to benefit a certain selected class. One must first be marginalized with a net annual income lower than 50,000. It adds more insult to injury being poor. It is also the degrading adjective. “Marginalized farmer” will prompt the children from engaging in either farming or fishing. They would rather choose any vocation except farming or fishing to prevent themselves from being marginalized.
2. Add another objective in the ordinance which will benefit the buyers or consumers of farm and marine products by allowing qualified farmers to sell their products on market days.
3. The Mayor’s and Business Permits be issued to the farm family and or fisherfolk family as farming is a family enterprise. Any member of the family be allowed the marketing of their farm products.
The above stated ordinance is already approved as of Feb. 16, 2012. It was certified correct by SB Secretary Ms. Diana V. Torre – Fegarido, attested by Vice Mayor Madeline A. Regalado and approved by Mayor William S. Lachica. /MP