Barangay councils first line of defense vs plantations

Peduche’s statement came after five barangay councils in Quezon town passed a joint resolution opposing the entry of a new agricultural plantation in their villages due to environmental consideration. The proposed plantation is close to the town's water sources.

Peduche, chair of the board's committee on environmental protection, natural resources, land use and zoning, heads Bukidnon's provincial multipartite monitoring team (MMT).

He said the councils should lead by guiding the landowners whether leasing their lands to agriculture firms is indeed viable on a long term basis. 

He said the firms pledge to provide rent, employment, and other benefits to the land owners.

"But does it really hold for long?," Peduche said, adding "in that case, the barangay councils can guide their constituents.”

But the board member recognized that some barangay officials lack the capacity to deal with the situation, hence, they should invite the MMT to be present in the assembly to provide information on the pros and cons of agriculture plantations.

Barangay officials must check on the impact of the projects to the constituents and to the community, he said. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)