Youth congregate in Cebu to promote agri issues in Presidential elections

Press release - March 19, 2016
Cebu City - Youth leaders from across the country have converged in Cebu on the eve of the 2nd Presidential Debates to demonstrate their support and solidarity with Filipino farmers, and to call on Presidential candidates to prioritize food, nutrition and ecological agriculture in their platforms of governance.

 “As a young person, I am deeply worried about our future if the government continues to ignore the needs of our farmers and the agricultural sector, especially now that they are experiencing the effects and impacts of El Niño. We need a President who will put importance on safe food and agriculture, and ensure that we and our children will have something to eat in the years to come,” said Paolo Martin S. Saberon, Chairperson of the #IAmHampasLupa Ecological Agriculture Youth Movement.[i]

The #IAmHampasLupa Youth Movement, a 2,000-strong ecological agriculture initiative supported by Greenpeace Philippines, is conducting a series of events, dubbed “#HampasLupaVote: Leadership Caravan on Ecological Agriculture,” which is aimed at directing attention to the challenges faced by the agriculture sector and farmers due to threats of extreme weather events, such as El Niño, La Niña, strong typhoons, and other climate impacts.

Highlights of events include the symbolic Oath Taking Ceremony of the HampasLupa National Officers at the break of dawn in a farm site in Naga City, Cebu, and the Presidential Debate Viewing Party. 

Youth leaders and farmers will stage a short ceremony to demonstrate their solidarity through an oath-taking together with members of Farmers for Sustainable Natural and Organic Agriculture (FSNOA) of Naga, Cebu, headed by Ms. Gloria Pocot. FSNOA is a group of organic agriculture practitioners that implement ecological farming practices to ensure safe and healthy food and sustainable livelihood.

“We wanted to call the attention of the Presidential candidates to support farmers through concrete programs that will cascade down to their communities. It is urgent that our farmers and ecological agriculture are placed front and center of each Presidential candidate’s agenda.  Once they win, we will be the watchdogs who will ensure implementation,” Saberon added.

Meanwhile, around 200 young voters, farmers and representatives from various groups will be grading the Presidential candidates using the #LeaderIWant Presidential Scorecard at the Presidential Debates Viewing Party, which hosted in partnership with the Cebuano Youth Ambassadors, Cebu Federation of Student Councils and Governments, and YouthVote Philippines.

For more information:

Greggy Pia Senados, #IAmHampasLupa Youth Campaigner
Mobile :  092-55023591│Email:                 

Angelica Carballo-Pago, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Philippines
Mobile: 0949-8891332 | Email:


[i] #IAmHampaslupa harkens back to the idea that tilling the land is a noble, proud profession and, hence, the term “hampas-lupa” should cease to be synonymous with poverty. Making this a reality though would require comprehensive support for the agriculture sector and farmers, who are among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts.