The Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura warned that food security in the country would be imperiled because of the overly strict implementation of the lockdown by security forces and certain local government units that do not consider the particular situation of the rural economy.
It said that aside from food security, the lockdown would also lessen the immediate food supplies of the rural population and even harm the well-being of the people.
UMA chairperson in Cagayan Valley Antonio Flores said even when there was no case of COVID-19 infection yet, farmers and farm workers were prevented from harvesting rice especially if there are no public transportation to take them to the rice fields. Even those who need to buy farm inputs or sell vegetables, fruits, and rice cakes to augment their income are not able to do so, he said.
He said that in Tumauini, Isabela, the vegetables just rotted when the farmers were not allowed to sell them to the market.
Flores said even the harvest and milling of sugarcane in Batangas was affected as mill workers who had not motorbikes could not go to work because of lack of transportation.