Category Archives: Country: Philippines

PAKISAMA celebrates 30th anniversary, holds 9th congress

PAKISAMA 9th Congress' Delegates from Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon (c) Nonoy Villas
PAKISAMA 9th Congress’ Delegates from Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon (Photo by Nonoy Villas)

The Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary and holding its 9th congress on November 21 at the Claret Retreat House in Quezon City, Philippines with the theme “Perlas na mga Karanasan sa Tatlong Dekadang Nakaraan: Kasaysayan, Pakikibaka, Kabuhayan” (“Pearl of Experience through Past Three Decades: Ourstory, Struggle, Livelihood”).

Participating in the event are leaders and partners of PAKISAMA and its member cooperatives, associations, and federations coming from 45 provinces of the country, representing the voices of some 54,000 landless and owner-cultivators, upland farmers, marginal fishers, indigenous peoples, rural women and youth.

The event have 4 main objectives: (1) to celebrate the 30 years of experience recognizing the critical milestones of PAKISAMA; (2) to present past 3-year accomplishments (2013-2015) and to approve the strategic direction of PAKISAMA for the next 6 years (2017-2022); (3) to recognize outstanding members and partners for the past 30 years who contributed to the growth and development PAKISAMA; and (4) to elect a new set of officers that will govern PAKISAMA for the next 3 years.

The celebration includes a film presentation on PAKISAMA’s 30-year history, keynotes speech by Vice President Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo, dinner for a cause, and solidarity night and recognition of outstanding members and partners.

PAKISAMA is a national peasant confederation and movement towards the empowerment of small farmers, fishers, rural women, youth, and indigenous peoples. It envisions a humane, gender-sensitive and environmentally sound rural society where peoples control and own the basic means of production and exchange; critically and actively participate in governance; protect and care for the environment; and live the values of authentic humanism in a Philippine society characterized by justice, freedom, democracy and national sovereignty.

It is an AFA member organization in the Philippines.

Farmer organizations supported by AFOSP-MTCP2 attend KLMPE 2016

15085721_1342456459120132_9033994477495737788_n-1The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) and other farmer organizations in the Philippines supported by the ASEAN Farmers’ Organizations Support Program (AFOSP) – Medium Term Cooperation Programme with Farmers’ Organisations in Asia and the Pacific, Phase II (MTCP2) attended this year’s Knowledge and Learning Market that has the theme IFF+2: Engaging Development Partners Towards Sustainable Development of Smallholder/Family Farmers held at the Bureau of Soil and Water Management (BSWM) Convention Center of the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Quezon City, Philippines.

The KLMPE 2016 featured an interactive learning exhibit highlighting the various IFAD-funded projects and rural developments in the Philippines, where AFA, PAKISAMA and other AFOSP-MTCP2 FOs displayed their agricultural products and knowledge materials.

There were also product demonstrations such as the one on Sweet Potato Noodles and Pandesal Making by the CIP-FoodStart and Mushroom Production by the Organic Farmers of Macabud, Rizal. Farmer participants are very happy to take advantage of these opportunities to learn new product technologies that could help them find additional source of income.

In his opening remarks, IFAD County Programme Officer Jerry Pacturan, in behalf of the 2016 Knowledge and Learning Market and Policy Engagement (KLMPE) Technical Working Group, warmly welcomed the guests and participants from all over the country to the 2016 KLMPE celebration recognizing them as partners in development. With this year’s theme of “IYFF+2: Engaging development partners toward sustainable development of smallholder/family farmers,” he emphasized that over the last decade, the KLMPE has been “a platform for knowledge sharing and learning for civil society organizations, government and development partners, and a venue for policy engagement with government policy makers and program implementers.”

Frank Roy Ribo of the Kalipunan ng Maliliit na Magniniyog ng Pilippinas (KAMMPIL), representing the AFOSP-MTCP2 FOs and the farmers sector, gave the keynote address.

A stakeholder-based policy engagement , which aimed to promote good practices of family farmers, innovations and initiatives, draw out lessons for policy dialogue-lobby and program development, and to implement and popularize knowledge products on advocating family farmers’ innovation, was staged in the afternoon of the first day.

There were breakout sessions on the themes of (1) sustainable agriculture, food security and nutrition; (2) market empowerment; and (3) resource tenure. Inspiring experiences of successful smallholder farmers and advocates were championed during the policy sessions.

In the session on market empowerment for small holder farmers, successful farmer entrepreneurs shared their experiences in farming enterprises on coffee, coconut, pineapple and fisheries.

To have a grasp of the strategic actions and updates on IYFF+1, Raul Socrates Banzuela of PAKISAMA presented the Progress Updates of IYFF Action Agenda from the FOs/CSOs. He highlighted three (3) updates particularly: 1) active promotion and undertaking of climate-resilient agriculture; 2) enlargement of farmer’s power, and 3) strengthening capacity of agricultural cooperatives.

This was followed by another breakout session on ways forward which resulted in strategic directions for the next five years (2017-2022) with a more strengthened and collaborative support for smallholder/family farmers. Participants were grouped based on the sectors they belong to: farmer organizations, academes, civil service organizations, research institutions and the government.

AFA, PAKISAMA and AFOSP-MTCP2 FOs are members of the KLMPE technical working group. The AFA Secretary General synthesized day 1 and day 2 discussions, while the KM Officer contributed to social media reporting. PAKISAMA brought around 50 farmer participants to the event, while AFOSP-MTCP2 FO representatives took the lead in the breakout group on resource tenure.

The organizers for this year’s KLMPE include: IFAD, DAR, DA, AFA, AsiaDHRRA, AFOSP-MTCP2, PAKISAMA, PhilDHRRA, TRIAS Southeast Asia, and We Effect.


Women’s Land Rights, Gender-Responsive Policies and the World Bank (Philippines)

womens land conference 2015
Equity @resourceequity_Violeta Corral of PAKISAMA (left) – @PAKISAMA:Women must be empowered with knowledge of laws/policies, so they can assert their rights. womensland #LandConf2015

By Violeta P. Corral, Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA)

PAKISAMA participated at the 16th Annual World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty held on March 23–27, 2015 at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C. Organized by the Bank’s Development Economic Research Group (DECRG), the conference is a key global event which fosters dialogue and sharing of best practices among representatives from governments, civil society, academia, the development community, and the private sector on the diversity of reforms, approaches and experiences that are being implemented in land sectors around the world.  The theme for 2015 “Linking Land Tenure and Use for Shared Prosperity” highlights the effects of land tenure in the distribution of assets between men and women, generations, and social groups, and how patterns of land use will have far-reaching implications for welfare and other socioeconomic outcomes at household, community, or landscape level. PAKISAMA’s participation was made possible with travel support from the International Land Coalition (ILC). Continue reading Women’s Land Rights, Gender-Responsive Policies and the World Bank (Philippines)

Paper: Analysis of Land Tools in the Philippines using Gender Evaluation Criteria

This paper was prepared for presentation at the “2015 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty” in Washington DC last March 23-27, 2015 by Violeta P. Corral of the National Confederation of Small Farmers and Fishers Organizations (PAKISAMA), Philippines.

The Gender Evaluation Criteria (GEC) project was jointly implemented by PAKISAMA and Asian Farmers Association (AFA), support by the International Land Coalition (ILC).

Under the project, land tools were assessed for their gender-responsiveness using the Gender Evaluation Criteria (GEC) framework developed by the Global Land Tool Network of the UN-HABITAT.

The land tools selected were:

  • Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL of 1988);
  • Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER of 2009);
  • Magna Carta of Women (MCW of 2009);
  • and Guidelines Governing Gender Equality in the Implementation of Agrarian Reform Laws and Mainstreaming GAD in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAO 01, Series of 2011).

Continue reading Paper: Analysis of Land Tools in the Philippines using Gender Evaluation Criteria

PAKISAMA receives recognition as finalist for the First ILC Award

PAKISAMA's wins ILC award
From left: Rene Cerilla (PAKISAMA), Amanalieva Mirgull (RDF), and Ykhanbai Yerkin (JASIL). Photo by ILC Asia.

PAKISAMA president Ireneo Cerilla received a plaque of recognition as one of nine finalists for the First International Land Coalition (ILC) Award during the ILC Global Land Forum and Assembly of Members in Dakar, Senegal last May 12-16. The recognition was given for PAKISAMA’s entry entitled “Twenty years of non-violent protest to benefit from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program” which falls under ILC’s commitment to “Strong Small-Scale Farming Systems.” Continue reading PAKISAMA receives recognition as finalist for the First ILC Award

Vicente “Ka Vic” Arraya Fabe (11 September 1956 – 2 March 2015)

ka vic in memoriam (banner) small


The body of farmer-leader Vicente “Ka Vic” Fabe has been brought to Manila to enable friends and colleagues in the farmers and social movement to pay their last respects. On March 6, 6:00 PM, a mass will be held at Santa Maria della Strada Parish Church, Pansol Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City. On March 7, 6:00 PM, another mass will be held followed by a tribute. The body will be brought back his hometown in Quezon province on March 8. The last wake will be on March 9, while the burial is on March 10.

Click here to download a short bio of Vicente “Ka Vic” Fabe

Former AFA Treasurer and PAKISAMA Chairperson passes away

Dear AFA Members and Partners,

It is with deepest sorrow to inform you that Mr. Vicente Fabe, known to many of us as Ka Vic , ex-Chairperson of Pakisama, ex-Treasurer of AFA, died while having his afternoon nap yesterday, March 2, at his home in Sta Elena, Camarines Norte, about 257 kms away from Manila. We deeply mourn this sudden loss, the movement is poorer with his passing.

Many colleagues in the farmers movement in the Philippines have seen him grow as a young shy farmer in the late 1980’s to a highly respected, highly admired, staunch, fearless leader of the farmers’ movement in the Philippines. He has been a great inspiration to many , including us in the AFA secretariat, He thinks sharply, he argues soundly, and he creates poems spontaneously. Despite his various positions in government and CSO coalitions as farmer representative, he has remained simple, humble, unwavering and committed to the cause, always eager to serve and to improve his service for his fellow farmers. As a farmer leader, he has led many of Pakisama’s campaigns on land rights , sustainable agriculture, significant involvement in governance processes on agriculture, gender equality, and the recovery of the coconut levy funds. His last activity at the national level was his participation in the 3rd national coconut farmers conference a week ago, last Feb 25.

As the longest-standing member of the AFA Execom until 2013, his principles and skills in coalition work has helped position AFA in many networking activities as well as helped AFA decide soundly on many of its organizational matters .

For those of you who have FB accounts, you can look at the posts of Jun Virola to remember Ka Vic.

We ask for your prayers . We will appreciate any tribute to Ka Vic, as well as any support you might be willing to give for his bereaved wife and children.

Kind regards,


Click here to download a short bio of Vicente “Ka Vic” Fabe

Phil FOs to organize organic rice enterprise summit

AFA member PAKISAMA will organize the “Organic Rice Enterprise Summit” on August 14-16, 2014 at the Boso Boso Highlands Resort and Convention Center in Antipolo City.  The goal of the summit is to strengthen the network of the nine (9) FO-members of PAKISAMA engaged in organic rice enterprise particularly determining the possibility of consolidated marketing. Jane U. Zamar, PAKISAMA Business DevelopmentServices (BDS) Manager is overall coordinator of the summit.

Philippine CSOs gear up for IYFF 2014 events

IYFF 2014 LOGOCIVIL society organizations (CSOs) will meet at the Partnership Center in Quezon City on Monday (April 1, 2014) to highlight the calendar of activities and set a jubilant mood leading to the global closing event of International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) in the Philippines.

In his opening statement at the 32nd Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia 10 to 14 March 2014, FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva announced that the global closing event of the IYFF 2014 will be held in the Philippines.

“This is in recognition of the lead role of Philippine government and CSOs in the IYFF campaign. We are happy with this confirmation,” said Marlene Destreza Ramirez, secretary general of AsiaDHRRA. “We urge our Philippine and regional partners to make full use of the year and the closing event to drumbeat the issues of smallholders and smallscale food producers.” Continue reading Philippine CSOs gear up for IYFF 2014 events

New set of PAKISAMA leaders meet for orientation seminar-workshop

Image 14AFA gives international situationer

Tagaytay City, Philippines, April 13, 2013 – Fourteen farmers, five of them women, all members of the National Council (NC) of PAKISAMA (National Confederation of Farmers Organizations), AFA member in the Philippines, together with its national secretariat and regional coordinators, started today a four day orientation workshop in Tagaytay City, aimed to level-off on basic tenets of the organization, roles and functions of each governing and management structure, and to set directions of the organization for the next three years.

The first day of the orientation was spent on getting to know each other better, clarifying expectations between and among different levels of organization(e.g. secretariat, officers, council members) through a team-building exercise (e.g. secretariat, officers, council members), reviewing the core principes of authentic humanism and active non-violence, and levelling off on international and national situation of farmers, agriculture and sustainable development general. AFA Secretary General Esther Penunia gave inputs on the engagement of AFA in international policy advocacy work and Pakisama’s current involvement in it, especially in advocacy for land rights, sustainable agriculture and farmers’ market power, particularly in GAFSP, MTCP and in the celebration of the International Year of Family Farming in 2014.

Image 15The new set of NC leaders were elected during its 8th national congress, held last Feb 20-22, 2013 in Quezon City. Like in previous Congresses, the NC leaders were elected by each island region (Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao), each region having five slots, with one slot given to a woman and another slot to a fisher. But unlike in previous Congresses, the President , Vice President and the committee heads are now elected from among the NC members. Elected for a three year term were Benedicto “Benny” Aquillo as Chairperson and Ireneo “Rene” Cerilla as President.

The last Congress also celebrated Pakisama’s 26th year, where it gave plaques of appreciation to organizations and individuals who have supported it from its founding years. AFA received one for its contribution to PAKISAMA’s international work.

Video: Farmers’ Voices on Agricultural Land Investments

This video presents the experiences of small scale women and men farmers, fishers, and indigenous peoples with agricultural land investments and their impact on their lives and livelihoods.

Six cases are featured – three in Cambodia and three in the Philippines.

The video is one of the knowledge products that came out of the project “Expanding the Dialogue on Large-Scale Land Acquisition and their Alternatives” implemented by the Asian Farmers’ Association (AFA) with the support of the International Land Coalition (ILC) in 2011-2012.

Total running time: 12 minutes

Various activities, important decisions mark AFA’s 5th general assembly

The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) held various activities and decided on important matters on its recently concluded 5th general assembly, which was also a celebration of its 10th anniversary.

Vietnam Farmers Union (VNFU) hosted the event in Hanoi, Vietnam last March 9, 2012 back-to-back with regional farmers’ consultations on March 7-8 and a CSO consultation on the 31st FAO APRC that AFA attended on March 10-11.

The series of events officially opened on March 7 with a cultural presentation from a Vietnamese folk group, who also performed traditional songs and dances with participants from different Asian countries, and with welcome speeches from VNFU Vice-Chairperson Dr. Nguyen Duy Luong and incumbent AFA Chairperson Mr. Tsai, Shun-Te.

Around 45 representatives from 12 farmer organizations and partner NGOs from 10 Asian countries, such as API (Aliansi Petani Indonesia), FNN (Farmer and Nature Net) in Cambodia, VNFU (Vietnam Farmers Union), SorKorPor (Farmer’s Federations Association for Development Thailand), PAKISAMA (Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka) in the Philippines, AINOUKAI in Japan, KAFF (Korea Advanced Farmers’ Federation) and WAFF (Women Advanced Farmers’ Federation) in South Korea, TWADA (Taiwan Wax Apple Development Association), TDFA (Taiwan Dairy Farmers Association), KKM (Kendrio Krishok Moitre) and Action Aid in Bangladesh, NLRF (National Land Rights Forum) and CSRC (Community Self-Relience Centre) in Nepal attended the event, and ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) in Mongolia.

Representatives from partner agencies, such as Nellie van der Pasch of Agriterra, Ignace Coussement of Agricord, Thomas Price of GFAR (Global Forum on Agricultural Research), Marlene Ramirez of AsiaDHRRA, Jose Osaba of WRF (World Rural Forum), Michael Commons of Green Net, and Dinah Fuentisima of WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals) also graced the occasion.

Review of accomplishments and decisions

Opening with a video showing photos of the past four general assemblies of AFA, the 5th general assembly reviewed AFA’s accomplishments in the last two years (2010-2011) vis-a-vis the strategic plans it set for 2011-2015, while member FOs gave updates on their respective organizational activities.

The assembly also heard, discussed and adopted the Chairperson’s report regarding the administration and activities of AFA and confirmed decisions made by the Executive Committee in between general assemblies.

Exhibit, field visit, and courtesy call

As part of AFA’s knowledge sharing activities, each AFA member organization also put up an exhibit of its country’s agricultural products and traditional processed foods just outside the meeting room, where participants exchanged information on the items on display.

On March 8, participants also went on a field visit to an organic farming project, which is run mainly by women farmers.

It was followed by a short meeting with the VNFU chairperson and other leaders at the VNFU headquarters in a new building in Hanoi, where the two sides shared their aspirations and activities for farmers.

Two-year thrusts, new members, and new officers

The 5th General Assembly set the thrusts of AFA for the next two years, focusing mainly on governance and organizational development, capacity building, knowledge management, and policy advocacy.

The assembly welcomed AFA’s first two member FOs from South Asia — KKM (Kendrio Krishok Moitre) in Bangladesh and NLRF (National Land Rights Forum) in Nepal — whose applications for regular membership were previously approved by the AFA Execom.

It also determined the new set of Executive Committee members for 2012-2014, which in turn elected the new set of officers.

Through a collegial process that follows the tradition of leadership rotation, the Execom elected FNN President Uon Sophal as the new AFA Chairperson, the representative from Ainoukai as Vice-Chaiperson and the representative from API as Treasurer, while re-appointing Esther Penunia as Secretary General.

10th year anniversary, international women’s day, and tribute to farmer leaders

The general assembly was also an occasion for celebration and commemoration.

AFA celebrated its 10th year of existence through an exhibit of agricultural products, solidarity night, ritual of mixing and distributing traditional rice varieties from each Asian country, reading of solidarity statements from partners, awarding of plaques of appreciation, launching of a draft anniversary video and banners containing 10 themes, and the announcement of a plan to come out with a coffee table book highlighting AFA’s important achievements and future plans.

AFA also celebrated International Women’s Day during the field visit, courtesy call to VNFU headquarters, and solidarity night on March 8.

The Women Advanced Farmers’ Federation (WAFF), AFA’s first and so far only FO member composed solely of women, gave away gifts to women farmers during the field visit to the organic farming project.

VNFU’s Chairperson and other leaders also presented gifts to all AFA women during the courtesy call at the VNFU headquarters.

AFA’s women were again honored during the solidarity night, where they were given roses and asked to share their sentiments about the occasion.

Finally, the general assembly also set aside a special time to commemorate the heroism and martyrdom of farmer leaders in AFA who have died in the struggle for farmers’ rights.

The life and death of farmer leaders Lee Kyung Hae of South Korea; Vicente Paglinawan, Renato Penas, and Florita Caya of the Philippines; and women farmers Lamlaya Chamchamagar and Janak Kumari Chaudhary who died during the land rights campaign in Nepal were presented at the opening of the general assembly, followed by a moment of silence and a dedication of the event to their memory.

Click here for more photos

Click here for videos

OXFAM, SEAFISH, AFA co-organize forum on food security and climate change adaptation

Esther Penunia, Secretary General, AFA

A forum-workshop entitled “Food Security and Climate Change Adaptation of Small Scale Farmers and Fishers in Southeast Asia” was held in Quezon City, Philippines, last Nov 24-25. The workshop was co-organized by Oxfam International’s East Asia office, Southeast Asia Fisheries for Justice (SEAFISH), a regional alliance of NGO and fisher groups, and Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA), a regional alliance of national farmers organizations.

AFA participants included Oun Sophal and Meas Somica from Farmer and Nature Net (Cambodia), Lutfiyah Hanim from Aliansi Petani Indonesia, Rene Cerilla from PAKISAMA (Philippines),Vicky Serrato and Esther Penunia from the secretariat.

Small scale farmers and fishers are trying to adapt to climate change as much as they can. In this workshop, participants shared various adaptation strategies. Here are some of what they shared:

Continue reading OXFAM, SEAFISH, AFA co-organize forum on food security and climate change adaptation

Farmers to raise native chicken the natural way

By Jun Virola (

Tiaong, Quezon, Philippines, 17 June 2011 – Farmers can augment their income from farming by raising native chicken through the natural farming system.

Following this lead, PAKISAMA farmers and their supporters visited the Earthkeepers learning farm in Quezon province today to see how such a system works.

Vicente Fabe, PAKISAMA National Council Chair, sees a huge potential in raising native chicken naturally.

“It looks sustainable and can earn good income, but we need to watch out for diseases, which can also be cured naturally,” he said.

Read more…

PAKISAMA Statement Condemning the Assassination of Another PAKISAMA Leader, Florita “Nang Flor” Caya

PRESS STATEMENT (Contact: soc banzuela,434 2079)

PAKISAMA Statement Condemning the Assassination of Another PAKISAMA Leader, Florita “Nang Flor” Caya

The Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) condemns in strongest possible terms the April 27 dastardly assassination of Florita “Nang Flor” Caya (58), General Manager of a local indigenous peoples’ organization (UTCEL) and Vice-President of a national rural peasant women organization (LAKAMBINI) affiliated to PAKISAMA Confederation. According to police autopsy/investigation, at 7 PM of April 27, 2011, while tending her store at the poblacion of Monkayo, Compostela Valley, Florita “Nang Flor” Caya (58) was shot at the back of her head. Her face just below the right eye was blown away. Witnesses saw a man hurriedly walking away from the store and quickly riding at the back of a motorcycle driven by another man.

Nang Flor was a newly-elected general manager of Unified Tribal Council of Elders and Leaders (UTCEL), a group of indigenous peoples (Mandaya, Manobo, Mangguangan & Dibabawon) awarded in 2004 by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title covering 30,468 hectares in 14 barangays of Monkayo, Compostela Valley.

“This is too much! Why Nang Flor!” exclaimed Vicente Fabe, Chairperson of PAKISAMA, a national peasant confederation with presence in 42 provinces in the country. Nang Flor is the third national leader of PAKISAMA, all hailing from Mindanao, gunned down by assassins in a span of two and a half years. Vicente Paglinawan (November 22, 2008) from Davao City and Renato Penas (July 5, 2009) from Sumilao, Bukidnon were assassinated in their respective villages at the height of a campaign for the passage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) law.  Until now, their killers have not been brought to justice.

Read more

AFA holds study tour on organic marketing and renewable energy

Marketing of organic products where farmers get a bigger share of the value chain. Clean and renewable energy systems that are appropriate for rural communities. These are just some of the concerns of small scale women and men farmers in Asia.

The Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA) arranged a study tour for its Cambodian member Farmer and Nature Net (FNN) and Laos partner Social & Economic Developers Association (SEDA-Laos) last March 2, 2011 in the Philippines in order to share some of the best practices of local NGOs and POs on these two important subjects.

Continue reading AFA holds study tour on organic marketing and renewable energy