Montemayor is the party-list representative of the Alyansamg Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Mang-gagawang-Bukid at Mangingisda (Cooperative Alliance of Farmers, Farmworkers, and Fisherfolk. He delivered this privileged speech
at the Philippine House of the Representative on 18 August 1998.
The GATT-Uruguay Round met stiff opposition from many small farmer organizations when it was presented to our Senate for ratification in 1994. There was very limited consultation beforehand, and it was obvious that the agricultural sector was generally unprepared to compete with foreign producers in both the domestic and foreign markets. The lack of the basicinfrastructure and support services to Filipino farmers made their production and marketing costs extremely high. This raised fears that the opening up to the local market to cheaper imports would effectively deprive our farmers of their livelihood. Additionally, many provisions of the GATT-UR were deemed to favour only developed and exporting countries. There were also concerns that an increasing dependence on imports for basic food products would threaten the food security and socioeconomic stability of the country in the long run.
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