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Philippine banana growers call for peace talks to save industry

The Philippine banana industry is strongly urging the government to return to the negotiating table with the rebels to save their sector.

“To me, I cannot see any solution apart from peace talks,” Ferdinand Marañon, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) president in Davao Region, told reporters on Monday, September 4.

Banana plantations in Mindanao have been a constant target of the New People’s Army (NPA), which farmers attest have been subjecting their companies to revolutionary taxes.

Previously, the Philipino Banana Growers and Exporters (PBGEA) said NPA attacks stunt the growth of the banana export industry, which is already saddled by calamities, export regulations, and competition from other crop exporting countries.

“We should always be talking to each other (to save the banana industry),” said Marañon

President Duterte himself called the revolutionary tax an extortion. "I refuse now to resume the talks with them until they stop this extortion... That is just a matter of semantics. Call it a revolutionary tax, actually, it's extortion. That's why we have this fight," said Duterte.

Source: rappler.com

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