Philippines: Call for collective action to extend aid to victims of massive flooding
Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Oct. 12 statement from the Communist Party of the Philippines.
The Party calls on all revolutionary forces to lead in efforts to mobilize all possible resources to extend aid to all victims of massive flooding in various provinces, especially in northern Luzon.
Just several months after suffering from widespread economic devastation brought about by rains last December, millions of people of northern Luzon provinces have been ravaged again by widespread flooding following a few days of heavy rains and landslides brought by typhoon Maring. Widespread inundation has caused the destruction of thousands of homes and hundreds agricultural crops.
People have been forced to flee their homes and congregate in evacuation centers where they are vulnerable to the spread of disease and infections. Cagayan province, one of the worst hit by the floods, saw spikes in Covid-19 infections last month, as well as in the period immediately after last year’s floods.
The most devastated are the peasant masses, the ethnic minority groups, gardeners and working people whose source of livelihood was damaged by floods. Large areas of vegetable and strawberry farms in Benguet are submerged in water. Hundreds of sacks of newly harvested corn were washed away by raging waters. Classrooms and educational materials were destroyed. People fear that the plan to open the floodgates of Magat dam this afternoon will bring greater destruction.
As before, the Duterte government is showing utter lack of concern for the sufferings of the victims of massive flooding. People are again being left to fend off for themselves. For months, thousands were able to avoid fatal hunger only through the effort of their own organizations, with the assistance of private foundations.
The devastation caused by the floods underscore the need to urgently address the demands of the peasant masses for a suspension or cancellation of usurious debt as well as loans owed to government agencies, and the demand for higher farmgate prices for palay and other crops to allow them to recoup their costs. The situation also puts a spotlight on the grave conditions of feudal and semifeudal oppression and exploitation and the demand for genuine land reform.
Amid the massive disaster, all revolutionary forces, including units of the New People’s Army (NPA) must pay attention to addressing the urgent needs of the masses and help them surmount the devastation. Peasant mass organizations can immediately form mutual aid groups to help each other amid the devastation to their farms. As before, Red fighters of the NPA can form production brigades to help the people repair their farms and resume production as soon as possible.