MANILA, Philippines—Filipino farmers experience “discrimination,” being “neglected, abandoned and forgotten” and risks, such as climate change, in order to feed the very people who ignore them, Secretary Francis Pangilinan said Wednesday.
“I thought it was only unique to developing nations like the Philippines that farmers are extremely discriminated against, we look down on the farmer, they have been neglected, taken advantage of and used,” Pangilinan said during the closing plenary session of the Grow Asia Agriculture Forum.
“Societies like the Philippines, we look up to lawyers and doctors, but we will need a doctor only occasionally in our life, same with lawyers, hopefully we’ll never need a lawyer in our life. But we need farmers not only every day, we need them three times a day,” he said.
Former senator Pangilinan, who was recently appointed as Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, said that in the Philippines the average age of farmers is 57 years old and the average educational attainment is fourth grade.