Farmers, fishermen know nothing: Cynthia Villar draws flak for climate change remark

After criticizing nurses, the middle class and researchers, bilyonaryo Senator Cynthia Villar recently belittled fishermen and farmers, saying they know nothing about climate change.

At the hearing of the Department of Agriculture’s 2023 budget proposal, the wife of ultra bilyonaryo Manny Villar said the agency shouldn’t rely on fishermen and farmers to address climate change.

“Huwag mong aasahan yung fishermen at farmers because they don’t know anything… They will protect themselves? Di nga nila naiintindihan ang problema eh,” she said. “’Wag nyong iaasa sa farmers at fisherfolk kasi sila, hindi naman nila naiintindihan yang climate change.”

Villar said the DA should be more proactive in addressing the impact of climate change instead of providing livelihood assistance to affected sectors.

“Palagi kang tinatamaan ng bagyo, anong gagawin mo para mabawasan yung damage ng bagyo sa particular na lugar na yun? ‘Wag livelihood (project),” she said.

Netizens slammed Villar for being haughty and out of touch.

“Cynthia Villar claims to be a “champion” for the environment yet she belittles the ability of farmers and fisherfolk to understand climate change. These vulnerable sectors understand climate change better than her as they experience its impacts everyday,” one Twitter user said.

Many tried to educate Villar instead using on-the-ground inputs, while farmers’ groups called her out for belittling the sector.

In 2013, Villar drew flak for saying nurses don’t need to obtain an undergraduate degree because they supposedly only work as “room nurses” overseas.

Six years later, she castigated the DA for allocating a considerable budget to corn research, saying she doesn’t see the point of conducting studies.

Villar also questioned the grant of financial assistance to the middle class at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the poor are “deprived” of aid if the government will also help those who have regular jobs.

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