Opposition Senator Chiz Escudero is asking the Department of Agriculture to immediately provide alternative means of disinfecting crops to farmers who will be affected by the impending ban of aerial spray in farmlands by the Department of Health.
Escudero said this decision would endanger farmers who have relied on this method in their farms. “I am not saying that the harmful toxic substances should be ignored, we just don’t want our farmers to rely on more expensive agriculture means for their farms once the ban takes place,” he said.
According to the Department of Health, the ban of aerial spraying of pesticides has been recommended because of its harmful effects on humans and the environment. The World Health Organization meantime claims that humans who are exposed to these chemicals are likely to acquire skin and life-threatening diseases.
Escudero said that if these were indeed true, he will fully support banning pesticides altogether. However, he clarified that local and government authorities must have a dialogue first with concerned stakeholders to assess the consequences of the policy.
“I understand the banana plantation owners and workers have raised some issues about a total ban. This is the reason why talking with farmer groups, environmentalists, local residents, and local officials must be set,” he added. (press release from the Office of Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero)