IBON Networks


In the aftermath of the Fourth Mindanao-Wide Conference of the Save our Schools (SOS) Network, transformative education group Educators Forum for Development (EfD) said that the Duterte administration should stop continuing attacks against indigenous people (IP)’s alternative schools. The EfD echoed calls by the SOS Network for military troops to halt operations in and pull out of indigenous peoples and farmers’ communities as these result in human rights violations including the right to education.

According to a report released by the SOS Campaign of the Lumad in Southern Mindanao, Caraga, Northern Mindanao and Soccsksargen, there have been 168 incidents of military attacks on 47 Lumad schools under the Aquino government’s Oplan Bayanihan and the Duterte administration’s Oplan Kapayapaan. More than 1,000 families and 5,000 students have been victims of forced evacuation, threat, harassment, intimidation, red-tagging, and surveillance. There have also been cases of extrajudicial killings, filing of trumped-up charges, and schools closure.

These have been perpetrated by 16 battalions and 2 brigades of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) with paramilitary troops and even some government agencies. More than half of total AFP troops are deployed in Mindanao, the report noted. State and paramilitary forces are known to secure big business and landlords interests over the resource-rich island.

To date, SOS has recorded 15 cases of military encampment affecting five Lumad schools since the president’s cancellation of the peace talks between government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The EfD lamented that AFP attacks against farmers and indigenous communities have only intensified and involved aerial bombings, shelling and strafing, as in Compostela Valley, Sarangani and even Abra. It was also during this period that Ramon and Leonela Pesadilla, a couple who had donated land for a Lumad school, were murdered in their home.

The EfD said that this rabid miliarization continues to put schools and their supporters in the line of fire and subverts the gains built by the Lumad in establishing educational facilities where government has provided none. The continued attacks against schools also tend to offset Duterte’s pro-Lumad pronouncements especially when he was Davao mayor. The administration should end these attacks and execute its duty to uphold the Lumad and every other Filipino’s right to education, said EfD. The group meanwhile vowed to amplify the call to help and advance indigenous people’s alternative schools and to gather wider support for this advocacy.


Ten thousand families in nine barangays inhabited by the Dumagat and Remontado indigenous peoples stand to be affected by the impending revival of the New Centennial Water Source Project (NCWS) in Rizal and Quezon

In forums and activities held around international commemoration of people’s action for rivers and against large dams and in pursuit of the right to water, advocates including the Water for the People Network (WPN) called on the public to support the clamor ‘people’s control over water resources and services.’

Government and private sector proponents, including international financial institutions, promote large dams allegedly as a means of providing cheap energy and water supply to poor countries like the Philippines. But many Filipinos still lack access to basic utilities, said WPN. Millions of people in Metro Manila – with or without water connections – have insufficient yet expensive water supply. Some areas in the country especially Mindanao continue to experience intermittent power services while increasing power rates constantly loom, noted the group.

WPN observed that many large hydropower dams such as Ambuklao, Binga and Magat are in fact underused largely due to heavy siltation brought about by the dams’ enormity. For the same reason, the Pantabangan power plant and the San Roque Multipurpose Dam also produce only 6% and 27% of their rated capacities, respectively. These dams range from over 200-1,000 meters in length and are 100 to over 200 meters high, occupying sizeable areas of land.

Aside from failing to provide cheap and accessible utilities, WPN said, large dams have been destructive to communities, particularly those of farmers and indigenous peoples.

For instance, due to heavy rains from Typhoons Lando and Nona in 2015, water was released from the San Roque, Binga, Ambuklao, Ipo, Angat and Magat dams. This led to wide-scale flooding and wrought approximately Php13.8 billion in damages to livelihoods and properties.

Megadams displace human settlements and drive communities away from livelihood and income sources, WPN said. The construction of Pantabangan Dam, for example, displaced an entire town with 13,000 people, seven villages, and 8,100 hectares of land of which 4,000 were residential. The 500-hectare Ambuklao Dam that was constructed from 1952-1956 in Itogon, Benguet dislocated some 200 families. Binga Dam engulfed 150 hectares of ancestral lands of the Bugkalot and Ibaloi. The San Roque Dam submerged 4,000 hectares also of Ibaloi and Bugkalot ancestral domains and physically displaced 600-741 families. The Pulangi IV HEP meanwhile submerged 1,400 hectares of agricultural lands and displaced four barangays in the municipality of Maramag, Bukidnon.

Meanwhile, ten thousand families in nine barangays inhabited by the Dumagat and Remontado indigenous peoples stand to be affected by the impending revival of the New Centennial Water Source Project (NCWS) in Rizal and Quezon, which pertains to the Laiban Dam (that includes Kaliwa Dam), according to the Bigkis at Lakas ng mga Katutubo ng Timog Katagalugan (BALATIK). On the other hand, the 500-megawatt Wawa Pumped-Storage Hydro Power Project by Olympia Violago Water and Power Inc. threatens to displace six communities of indigenous peoples and settlers in Rodriguez and Antipolo, Rizal.

According to WPN, megadams have only served and profited international financial institutions (IFIs) like the World Bank, big foreign and local construction and power companies, and their government cohorts. It is high time for government to heed the call of the indigenous peoples, farmers and people’s rights advocates to suspend the construction of large dams, and to take hold of the energy and water sectors primarily for public rather than commercial benefit, the group said.


Advocacy group Water for the People Network (WPN) said that looming water rate hikes are unwarranted since consumers have long been over-charged to ensure profits for the two water concessionaires. On World Water Day, the group said that the Duterte administration should rescind the onerous concession agreements (CA) with the Pangilinan-Salim group’s Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and the Ayalas’ Manila Water Co., and take initial steps to reverse the privatization of the country’s water utilities.

The Regulatory Office (RO) of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) announced in early this year that it has submitted its recommendation to raise water rates by Php0.70 per cubic meter for Maynilad and Php0.37 per cubic meter for Manila Water.  However, the proposed increases are pending the approval of the MWSS board, which has yet to be appointed.

According to the MWSS, reasons for the hikes are changes to the basic charge due to inflation and fluctuation in forex rates. Under the CA, water concessionaires can adjust the basic charge every January 1 to account for inflation as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) in July the previous year.  Meanwhile, the basic charge is also adjusted every quarter to reflect foreign currency changes which is listed in the water bill as FCDA or foreign currency differential adjustment.

WPN states that the CA is designed to unnecessarily adjust tariffs to ensure the water firms of profits. Water consumers are hit twofold at the beginning of each year since they have to bear the burden of both the rise in prices of basic goods and services, as well as the increase in water rates due to inflation. Consumers are also being double-charged for currency fluctuations through the FCDA and the fixed Php1 currency exchange rate adjustment (CERA).

Instead of the affordable water rates promised by the privatization of MWSS, consumers have been forced to pay for continuously rising onerous charges. WPN estimates that since 1997, water concessionaires have raised their basic charge by 973% for Manila Water and 583% for Maynilad.

WPN said that the Duterte administration should renege the dubious CAs with Maynilad and Manila Water. Government should instead protect and ensure the public’s right and access to water by reversing water privatizaiton, said the group.###








Prior to #WorldConsumerRightsDay, Filipino consumers including those for a #BetterDigitalWorld converged in a forum, expressed their woes and aspirations and vowed to continue working for #SocialEconomicChange

Various consumer groups gathered in a conference last Monday in Quezon City to tackle the social and economic reforms needed to promote consumer welfare. The event participants recognized the need to pursue real social and economic reforms in order to resolve current consumer issues and uphold consumer rights.

The forum dubbed “CASER: What Is In It For Consumers? A Conference on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms and Consumer Welfare” was attended by representatives from Alerta Mamimili (Gabriela), Bantay Bigas (Rice Monitor), Green Action PH, organic advocates group CHIMES, Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (KADAMAY), National Consumer Affairs Council (NCAC), People Opposed to Warrantless Electricity Rates (POWER), transport group PISTON, digital rights watchdog Text Power, and Water for the People Network (WPN). The event  was organized by IBON in partnership with Pilgrims for Peace and Kapayapaan Campaign for a Just and Lasting Peace.

IBON research head Rosario Bella Guzman kicked off the conference with a discussion of the adverse impact of neoliberal globalization policies that have led to worsening social inequalities, widespread poverty and hunger and thus increasing consumers’ woes.  This was followed by consumer testimonies from the above consumer groups. Raymond Palatino, Pilgrims for Peace convenor and former member of the Philippine House of Representatives then discussed the significance of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) in promoting and ensuring consumer rights and welfare.

The event culminated in the conference participants’ affirmation that continued peace negotiations between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) can lead to genuine and people-centered development.   In this light, the conference echoed the following calls:

–          People-centered reforms to replace the neoliberal economic policies that the Duterte administration continues to pursue;

–          The assertion and promotion of people’s right to effective participation at all levels of social, political and economic decision-making towards nation building;

–          Participation in activities towards advancing consumer rights and welfare such as public forums, media briefings, legislation and lobbying, mobilizations, and research and education campaigns, among others; and

–          urging government to resume peace negotiations with the NDFP.

The participants concluded the conference with the commitment to work together under a unified national network of consumers that will promote people-centered development as the basis of protecting and advancing consumer rights. ###

apaw dam

In commemoration of the International Day of Action for Rivers and Against Large Dams, Filipino groups opposed to large dams said that while megadams are supposed to supply cheap water and electricity to urban and rural communities nationwide, Philippine experience has proven otherwise.

Indigenous peoples and support groups Kalipunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan ng Pilipinas (KATRIBU), Bigkas at Lakas ng Katutubong Mamamayan ng Timog Katagalugan (BALATIK), Task Force for Indigenous People’s Rights (TFIP) and water rights advocate Water for the People Network (WPN) conducted a forum titled “Privatized Water: Profit over welfare” on Monday at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

In the forum, it was explained that Philippine megadams have been constructed in compliance with World Bank and other international financial institutions’ loan conditionalities under the structural adjustment program (SAP), also known as neoliberal policies. In the Philippines, transnational corporations (TNCs) such as those from the United States, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Italy have reportedly amassed profits from their roles in constructing the country’s largest dams.

According to the WPN, the SAP also saw the passage of the Energy and Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) and the privatization of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) during the Fidel Ramos administration. These policy decisions made it easier for the country’s richest including the Sy, Consunji, Ongpin, Cojuangco, Coyiuto, Aboitiz, Lopez and Alcantara families and Pangilinan group to diversify into the energy and water sectors as additional business opportunities.

Consumers present in the forum attested that consequently power and water rates have increased manifold while farmers have to pay exorbitant fees for irrigation. For instance, basic water rates in Metro Manila served by the Angat Dam have increased by more than 500 times. In Caloocan, more than 100,000 residents are obliged by the Maynilad Water Systems Inc. (MWSI) to pay even while water supply remains unsteady. Power rates in the Philippines are among the highest in Asia, claimed the groups.

Additionally, farmers lamented that contrary to a Water Code provision, irrigation often takes second priority to power generation as in the experience of Cagayan Valley and Pangasinan. Worse, they could hardly afford existing irrigation services as the National Irrigation Authority (NIA) charges as high as eight cavans per hectare during the wet season and private irrigation systems charge even higher.

There are 410 hydropower projects currently approved by the Department of Energy and NIA that are situated in rivers within indigenous people’s territories. Farmers and indigenous peoples’ communities have been adversely affected by megadams which have caused massive flooding, large-scale dislocation and environmental destruction. In light of this, the event participants vowed to heighten their campaign not only against large dams but the Duterte administration’s continued implementation of neoliberal policies that includes the privatization of water resources and services.


A Forum on Water Privatization, Large Dams, and Indigenous Peoples

In commemoration of International Day of Action Rivers against Large Dams


Water is very essential to support peoples’ basic needs and should be free, safe, and accessible to the people. It has a vital role in the country’s agricultural development and national industrialization. To ensure these, the government should take full control and responsibility over utilizing and developing water resources for the benefit of the majority.

Water privatization and exploitation of the country’s water resources through national policies such as the National Water Resources Act and the National Renewable Energy Act facilitates the entry and domination of private businesses in the water sector. International Financial Institutions such as the Korean Export Import Bank, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and World Bank through Official Development Aid (ODA) and big foreign and local corporations are encouraged to invest in water and energy. This paved the way to the influx of hydropower projects that privatize water resources.

In the country, one of the concrete manifestations of monopoly and control of water resources are hydropower projects and large dams owned and controlled by few companies owned by Aboitiz, Ayala, Lopez, and others. Former state-owned large dams are now in the hands of these corporations. These companies were also key players in the building of new dams, mainly for the purpose of producing electricity.

Indigenous peoples, peasants and other sectors in the countryside have suffered the effects of the construction and operation of large dams. Existing large dam projects such as those in Pantabangan, Binga, Ambuclao, Casecnan, San Roque and Pulangi, have resulted in displacement and loss of land and livelihood of indigenous peoples’ communities. It disrupted or destroyed the cultural practices of communities, including communal fishing, which is a traditional ritual for several indigenous peoples groups. At present, there are more than 410 hydropower projects approved by the Department of Energy and National Irrigation Administration situated in rivers within indigenous peoples’ territories.

The Duterte’s administration continuous to implement neoliberal policies that include the privatization of water resources and related services.

In the forum, indigenous peoples, advocates and other stakeholders will discuss issues concerning the water privatization policy and large dams, express their concerns, issues and aspirations, and strive to come up with a unified position regarding large dams.


Filipino consumers are reportedly optimistic.

Hear consumer groups discuss their plight from utilities to food, transport and more and where these stand in supposed peace talks’ substantive agenda on social and economic reforms.

What: A Conference on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms and Consumers’ Welfare

When: February 27, 2016 1pm

Where: Sikat Events Studios Place #305 Tomas Morato near Popular Bookstore

Request for coverage. Interviews and photo opportunities will be available.



Photo from Bulatlat

As thousands of farmers camp out in Davao City to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre and to demand land to the tiller and just peace, the multi-sector Green Action Philippines (PH) network called on the Duterte administration to prioritize agrarian reform in its development plan to achieve inclusive growth. The network stressed that this involves free land distribution to millions of landless and poor farmers and farm workers, which remains unfulfilled to this day.

More than 20,000 farmers rallied on the Mendiola Bridge in January of 1987 to assert genuine land reform under then-President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino. Thirteen farmers were killed and hundreds were injured when state forces opened fire at the protesters.

Quoting research group and Green Action PH lead convenor IBON, the network underscored that a genuinely equitable distribution of land and rural assets is the necessary starting point of rural development. However, the group commented that land distribution is not discussed as a component of the Duterte administration’s draft Philippine Developmemt Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 agriculture and fisheries strategy.

This will allow farmers’woes to continue, lamented Green Action PH. Today, landgrabbing and rural poverty is even aggravated by the rampant commercialization of agricultural land through land conversion and corporate plantations. Citing official reports, Green Action said that more than half a million hectares of arable land have been converted to non-agricultural use by local businesses and their foreign partners within the last three decades.Latest available Landbank information also shows that 75% of amortizing agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) cannot pay, while the rest of ARBs are still subjected to various forms of land distribution circumvention by landlords.

The network underscored that agricultural development starting with genuine land distribution should be undertaken by government. This can ensure that ample support to the sector will increase farmers’ incomes and improve their livelihoods, make more Filipinos capable of catering to the local market, and create extra revenue to put into national industry. This will not only enhance the dynamic relationship between agriculture and industry but will also promote rural industrialization, the network said.

Despite several extensions throughout 30 years, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) has failed to do this. Peasant group and Green Action PH member Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP or Peasant Movement of the Philippines also said that hundreds more farmers are being killed in their struggle for land and social justice.

Green Action PH spokesperson Sanshen Maglinte meanwhile concluded that the Duterte administration can prove its pro-poor stance by implementing meaningful reforms in assets, income and wealth – genuine agrarian reform included. This will be key in bettering the lives of majority poor Filipinos and thus to achieving inclusive economic growth, Maglinte said.

From Pinoychancepassenter.com


Despite about Php144 billion in funds, the Philippine government has barely delivered on the planned rehabilitation and reconstruction in Yolanda affected areas. The people are more vulnerable, poorer and hungry with uncertain livelihoods and security of tenure. 

For most farming communities in Eastern Visayas, production has not recovered. “Many farmers are only able to eat rice once or twice a day. Mostly now we eat root crops. With low incomes and high prices of goods, there are farmers that have to settle for just coffee or hot water”, shares 55 year-old Nestor Lebico, Sr., Secretary General of Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas (SAGUPA-SB), a regional farmers organization.

Similarly, many fisherfolk are also struggling to make ends meet. “After Yolanda, our situation has worsened. We usually only eat once a day now.  Sometimes we can only eat our rice with salt, or we settle for root crops”, says Arsemon Ocenar, a 22-year-old fisherman in Bgy. Himyangan, Villareal, Western Samar, and member of the local chapter of Pamalakaya, a national federation of small fisherfolk organizations.

Bgy.Himyangan is a coastal village comprised of over 1,000 families, half of which depend on fisheries for their livelihood. Arsemon said that typhoon Yolanda destroyed many of their boats and fishing gear, as well as damaged their homes.

According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute in 2015, only 3 of 10 families in the Eastern Visayas are able to eat adequately.

Production down

After three years, Yolanda-stricken farmers have not received the assistance they badly need to recover. SAGUPA’s initial scanning of their members’ state of livelihood shows a trend in production loss of 85-90% in Eastern Visayas, especially in Leyte, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar.

“Coconut farmers used to harvest 2,000 nuts for every hectare, but now we only harvest 200-500 nuts. Before we could produce 600 kilos of copra every quarter which is about Php16,200 at Php27 a kilo”, says Nestor. Aggravated by bunchy top fest infestation, the harvest of abaca fiber has also fallen from 500 kilos to just 50 sold at P57 a kilo. Nestor adds that their rice harvest has also fallen from 20 kilos to only 6-8 sacks sold at Php800/sack.

Arsemon meanwhile lamented that their fishing incomes have fallen from Php2,000 – 5,000 per month to less than Php1,000 per month. This is because fish catch has dwindled, forcing fisherfolk to go farther out to sea. He also said that more fisherfolk today do not have their own boats or fishing gear, and are forced to become workers on fishing boats under exploitative sharing arrangements.

Typhoon Yolanda significantly damaged the agriculture and fisheries sectors in the Visayas, which are the main sources of livelihood in the area. The Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY) estimates that around 600,000 hectares of agricultural lands were affected by the typhoon. There was a loss of 1.1 million MT of crops, 80% of which was in Eastern Visayas. Worst affected was Eastern Visayas coconut production, which went down by 26.6% in 2014. Of the more than 12 million coconut trees damaged, 11.3 million were in Eastern Visayas. From rank 9 in 2010, the Eastern Visayas agriculture sector dove to 4th lowest in 2014 and 2015. Its contribution to the country’s gross value added (GVA) in agriculture, forestry and fishing (AFF) has likewise declined from 5.1% in 2010 to 3.5% in 2015.

Neither have the regions’ fisheries sectors recovered significantly to date. In Capiz, Cebu, Leyte and Eastern Samar, cumulative losses in commercial fish production between 2013 and 2014 was estimated to be at Php1.4 billion. In 2015, losses add up to at least Php500 million, mostly in Capiz, Iloilo, Cebu, Western Samar and Eastern Samar. As for marine municipal fisheries, value of production in Capiz, Iloilo, Eastern Samar and Southern Leyte dipped by around Php875.6 million. In 2015, the highest loss was in Iloilo at Php400 million lost in value.

To address the extensive damage to the agriculture and fisheries sector, the government as of October 2016 has distributed farm tools and equipment, replaced or repaired 53,969 fishing boats, and distributed 131,091 bags of rice and corn seeds. Yet, it targeted only 100,000 hectares of coconut areas for replanting, despite over 400,000 reported damaged or destroyed coconut trees. Of this target, only 83.2% have been completed. Of the 282,000 hectares coconut areas targeted for intercropping, only 29.4% has been completed.

Beyond Yolanda

“What programs the government does have is still focused on Yolanda, not the other calamities that have come after”, says Nestor. He also noted that government programs do not necessarily adress the issue of agriculture backwardness and underdevelopment that should be the priority of action.

After Yolanda, three more strong typhoons (Ruby, Agaton, Senyang, Nona) ravaged many areas of Eastern Visayas, adding to the damage. Assistance has become all the more wanting; farmers suffered more losses. Three types of pest infestations also damaged coconut, abaca and rice farms. The recent long extreme El Niño added more woes to the farmers. As a result, people are going hungry and government help is not enough.

Yet it would be remembered that the region and most of its provinces have barely recuperated in July 2014 when former president Benigno Simeon Aquino declared that the Yolanda survivors have recovered and that government is ready to take over for rehabilitation and reconstruction. Foreign aid agencies and local and international non-government organizations (NGOs and INGOs) did not agree but were forced to pack up and leave one by one with only a handful left to finish their programs for rehabilitation including for housing and livelihood. From the start, despite the vastness of Yolanda’s impact areas, the Aquino government identified only 171 municipalities in 14 provinces and four regions, which are located within the 100-km storm track as priority areas for assistance. Government response in Eastern Visayas alone, the most affected, remains wanting, and much more in other areas within and outside the 100-km track.

Unfelt government assistance

Forty-year-old Ramil Teopinto, coconut and abaca farmer from Northern Samar, laments that all their crops were destroyed by Yolanda. They were only able to harvest their root crops 6 months later. It took one year before they can harvest bananas. They have to wait two years before they can harvest abaca, and 7 to 8 years for coconut.

Jefry Lacbayen and Reynaldo Solayao, coconut and rice farmers from Pinabacdao, Western Samar lamented the same. Both are members of Magdawat Organic Farmers Association (MOFA) in Pinabacdao, Western Samar. According to them, their repeated attempts to replant were wasted by typhoons Ruby and Senyang. Lack of capital and government’s slow response have created their families’ current and worsening hungry state.

Their farms were covered with mud; worms and rats infested their farms; cocolisap damaged their remaining coconut trees. It took them 4 weeks to clean up their farms and replant after Yolanda. They practiced Tiklos (bayanihan). Yet the subsequent typhoons even washed away much of the fertile topsoil from their farms. The El Nino in 2015 through 2016 aggravated their production woes. From Yolanda, Ruby and Senyang, Jefry lost Php50,000.00, Php 10,000 and Php30,000 respectively, while Reynaldo Php40,000.00, Php30,000 and 5,000.

According to Reynaldo, families need an average Php100/day per member for basic needs including transportation and education. They usually borrow for expenses their incomes cannot sustain. However, save for the three batches of relief of food packs and some vegetable seeds for planting, no substantial assistance from government has come. There were seedlings of coconut distributed but only to those close to the mayor.

Government reports providing 376,198 beneficiaries with livelihood assistance and cash for building livelihood assets (CBLA) as of October 2016. Various fishing and agriculture equipment were distributed including 79,105 fishing gears and paraphernalia, 24,643 farm tool sets, and 40,022 skills and livelihood trainings conducted, among others. However, these numbers do not show if affected families were able to fully recover and improve their livelihoods, or have been able to acquire stable and gainful employment. Worse, government’s provision of seeds for high value crops does not help in forging these agricultural communities’ resilience against repeated calamities. According to stories from the ground, farmers and workers in the Eastern Visayas region are still struggling.

Moreover, beyond wanting support for agriculture is the greater problem of falling agriculture contribution to the Philippine economy. Thus what is needed is a plan to strategically boost local agriculture and fisheries production to catalyze development that can help communities withstand and overcome natural calamities. Without it, the Eastern Visayas and the rest of the country will remain prone to battering extreme weather changes, and the Filipino people vulnerable socially and economically to climate hazards.


Experience the Punlaan land to the tiller food for all-themed music album at the People’s Bookshop Sale (starts November 23). Launched last October, Punlaan is a unique compilation of original Filipino farmers, indigenous and cultural groups’ compositions narrating the stories and struggles of the Filipino people in the context of a backward and underdeveloped economy and aspirations for a society of justice and peace.

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