Davao City is the proposed site for the hearing on the proposed measure pushing for a ban on aerial spraying, which was authored by Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez. Rodriguez’s House Bill 5573 is seeking to ban the use of the fungicide Dithane, a chemical commonly used in the banana industry.
The proposed measure, according to Rodriguez, is pending before the House committee on ecology chaired by Zamboanga Sibugay Representative Belma Cabilao.
The lawmaker clarified that his bill only aims to ban aerial spraying, citing misinformation that it seeks to ban all kinds of spraying.
Many of the area farmers disagree and are protesting any such bans on the spraying, because the farmers believe that it will bankrupt their respective farms and businesses.
AROUND 600 banana farmers, many of them beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, marched to the regional offices of the Department of Agriculture and Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority to avert any move to suspend aerial spraying.
The farmers do not believe that the pesticide is harmful.
"No such incidents happen, as what Maas [Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying] and Idis [Interface Development Interventions] claim. Kami ang naa sa sagingan, kami ang nagpuyo palibot sa sagingan, wala ma'y namatay ug nagkasakit kanamo [We are the ones inside the plantation, we live surrounded by bananas and yet not one of us has died]," Renante Bangoy, chairman of 911 Movement said.
"Ihunong na nila nang pag pangintriga nga walay mga facts [They should stop spreading these stories that are not based on facts]," he added.
Source: Mindanao Times ; Sun Star