Solon seeks repeal of IRRI presidential decree
Dennis Carcamo (Philstar.com) - August 12, 2015 - 9:45pm

MANILA, Philippines — A party-list congressman filed a bill seeking to repeal a presidential decree that gives international status to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), giving it immunity from law suits.

Anakpawis Rep. Fernando Hicap said his House Bill 5990 seeks to rescind the martial law era- Presidential Decree 1620.

"Ginawang laboratoryo ng IRRI ang buong bansa pero hindi ito pwedeng papanagutin sa masamang epekto ng kanilang mga produkto dahil lang sa PD 1620. Matagal na itong dapat ni-repeal," Hicap said in a statement.

Hicap's proposed measure claims that the IRRI, based in Los Banos, Laguna, has not contributed anything significant to the country's food security.

The lawmaker alleged that the research institute has failed to help achieve rice self-sufficiency as the country continues to import rice.

He said that the IRRI is known to be funded by Ford and Rockefeller foundations and has for its partners several giant agro-chemical giants such as Bayer, Syngenta and Monsanto.

HB 5990 took note that besides IRRI's role in the continued sorry state of Philippine agriculture, the institute "has been abusing its international status through its seemingly endless list of violations of its workers' rights to organize, to collectively bargain and negotiate, and to hold strikes."

The IRRI managements carried out mass lay-offs, unfair dismissal of regular employees, and the policy of union busting, Hicap said.

"Laging bigo ang mga manggagawa ng IRRI sa paghahanap ng hustisya sa mga korte dahil nga raw immune ang IRRI. Dahil dito ay nabibigo rin sila sa paghahabol ng komensasyon sa pagkakasakit na idinulot ng pagiging exposed nila sa mapanganib na mga chemical sa kanilang pagtatrabaho sa IRRI," Hicap said.

The IRRI is yet to release a statement addressing Hicap's allegations.

ANAKPAWIS REP BAYER FERNANDO HICAP FORD AND ROCKEFELLER HICAP HOUSE BILL INTERNATIONAL RICE RESEARCH INSTITUTE IRRI LOS BANOS PRESIDENTIAL DECREE SYNGENTA AND MONSANTO
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