DAVAO DEL NORTE:The liberation of Pantaron banana farmers of Santo Tomas

By ROGER M. BALANZA

“Out of the cage”

“Nakabuhi sa hawla, sa kulungan,” said Gloria Panimbo in describing her feelings and that of other small banana farmers whose land will be returned to them after a decade of being tied down to a lease agreement, that was to expire in 2027, with a banana corporation.

Panimbo is one of 57 small landowners of the Pantaron Landowners Association that inked in 2012 a 15-year lease and growership agreement covering 77 hectares in Sitio San Agustin, Barangay Pantaron in Santo Tomas town with NEH Corporation.

The return of the land titles to the landowners by NEH happened after a series of negotiatons, requested by the landowners, facilitated by Santo Tomas muncipal administrator Atty. Elisa Evangelista-Lapina .

In the Usapang Legal program, Panimbo along with landowners Emely Panague and Flordeliza Tambien, profusely thanked Evangelista-Lapina and her father Mayor Ernesto Evangelista for helping the farmers get back their land,

The local government support to the landowners is in line with the program of Mayor Evangelista who is seeking reelection in the May 9 polls.

Nanawagan si ๐— ๐—ฎ๐˜†๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—˜๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ ๐˜€๐—ฎ ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ด๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—•๐—ฎ๐˜†๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜‚๐—ธ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ป๐—ฎ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐˜† ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐˜†๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ฎ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜†๐—ผ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ ๐˜€๐—ฎ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ป๐—ฎ ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฎ ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฎ ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€. ๐—œ๐˜€๐—ฎ ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ ๐—ถ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ฝ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜†๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜†๐—ผ ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ด๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ณ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—บ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฝ๐˜‚๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ’๐˜-๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—น๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜€๐—ฎ ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐˜†๐—ฎ.

The landowners sought the help of the municipal government to end the contract this year as NEH and its management group ENTREP met problems in the operation of the farm and obligations to the workers, including delayed salaries and failure to remit SSS premiums and PhilHealth contributions.

The Pantaorn case hit two birds in one stone: return of the land to farmers and abort a looming labor problem that could derail government efforts against insurgency.

According to Evangelisya-Lapina, a former action offricer of PEACE 911, an anti-insurgency campaign of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Pantaron is a matter of cncern of the government’s inter-agency Security Sector because the United Pantaron Banana Worlers Association is affiliated with the militant, left leaning labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), which the military has identified as a legal front of the CPP/NPA/NDF.

According to the municipal administrator, the NEH fully cooperated and agreed to end the contract by 2022 and would return to the landowners their clean, encumbrance-free titles.

Evamgelista-Lapina said Mayor Evangelista has ordered the Municipal Agriculture Office (Magro) to extend technical support to the farmers, who would now be farming their own land.

DAVAO DEL NORTE: PANTARON, SANTO TOMAS LANDOWNERS THANK MAYOR EVANGELISTA FOR RETURN OF THEIR FARMLANDS

DAVAO DEL NORTE: ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿ• ๐๐š๐ง๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐จ๐ง ๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐๐จ๐ฐ๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ GET ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ข๐ซ ๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐ ๐š๐Ÿ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ SANTO TOMAS MAYOR ๐„๐ฏ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฅ๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐šโ€™๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง

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