Green Presidential Candidate Nicanor Perlas Launches P3-RLAS LIVELIHOOD ASSISTANCE PROJECT in Response to Drought Affecting Farmers in Iloilo
Independent presidential aspirant Nicanor Perlas, president of Partido ng Marangal na Sambayanan (PANGMASA) inagurated today in the province of Iloilo a joint project with Lifebank (Rural Bank of Maasin),Iloilio Inc. . P3-RLAS, the acronym stands for Patubig, Patubo and Patubas Rural Livelihood Assistance Scheme, is a proactive response aimed at assisting farmers grappling with the effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon. This is a brain child of Nicanor Perlas, the only Green presidential candidate, jointly with the Iloilo- based microfinance enterprise Lifebank, headed by its President, Dr. Vicente Perlas.
Patubig, Patubo and Patubas in Hiligaynon is roughly translated as Irrigate, Grow and Harvest. P3-RLAS is a loan product of Lifebank offered to farmers for the construction of artesian wells,and for the purchase of water pumps and other farm implements so they can irrigate their land during the drought season.
“The water shortage due to the abnormal weather pattern of the El Niño has seriously affected the farmers and their families. Not only has it disrupted the harvest and income generating activities of many, the water scarcity has also caused health related problems. The prototype artesian well financed by the P3-RLAS livelihood scheme will provide water for the drought damaged farmlands and ricelands initially in Barangay Mandog , Maasin, Iloilo.We intend to replicate this project in other barangays in the province of Iloilo and in other parts of the Philippines where Lifebank’s branches are located.” stated Perlas. His father, Jesus C. Perlas, Sr. is from Sta.Barbara, Iloilo and his mother, Anunciacion M. Pineda is from Maasin, Iloilo.
Nicanor Perlas’ presidential platform placed top priority on agricultural policies and programs to eradicate poverty, as follows:
– Irrigate all rice lands using both large-scale irrigation infrastructure and artesian wells for small farms.
– Design, together with microfinance NGOs and banks, an agriculture-oriented micro-finance program that would receive the appropriate financial, technical, and guarantee support from the government.
– Build upon existing micro-finance initiatives and set up new micro or small industries based on strategic partnerships between academic institutions, socially responsible businesses, government institutions and NGOs.
Perlas served as Adviser on Strategy and Integral Sustainable Development and Chairman, Board of Directors, Lifebank, and Member, Board of Trustees of Lifebank Foundation. Together, both enterprises have helped 250,000 poor urban and rural families thru microfinance.
Nick Perlas, an environmentalist and agriculturist, is globally renowned for introducing bio-dynamic and organic farming in the Philippines. Perlas helped thousands of farmers and their families in over 25 provinces transition from expensive and destructive chemical farming methods to sustainable agriculture.He was at the forefront of a national effort to break the corrupt collusion between pesticide companies and senior officials at the Department of Agriculture. This effort resulted in the banning of 32 pesticide formulations, reducing the chronic pesticide poisoning of millions of farmers. The ban also led to the creation of a P750 million national program on Integrated Pest Management, that reduced pesticide use nationally and that enrolled over a hundred thousand farmers.
Nicanor Perlas’ accomplishments in these areas has earned him national and global awards including the Public Service Award given by the Municipal Government, Maasin, Iloilo (1972);William F. Masterson, S.J. Agriculture Award (1995);The Outstanding Filipino Award (1994);UN Environmental Program Global 500 Award (1994); and Right Livelihood Award or Alternative Nobel Prize (2003).
Perlas’ two days campaign sortie in Iloilo province will take him to 14 towns and cities:
Maasin,Cabatuan,Janiuay,Lambunao,Calinog,Passi City,Dueñas,Dingle,Pototan, Zarraga,Dumangas, Barotac Nuevo, Sta. Barbara, and Iloilo City.