THERE’S now a snowballing move in Congress to set up a social security and pension program for farmers and fishermen, who comprise the bulk of the Philippine population.
Leading the move is Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, who filed a still unnumbered bill which seeks to establish the “Farmers and Fisherfolk Social Security Program.”
“Kinikilala ng panukalang batas na ito ang mahalagang papel at kontribusyon ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda sa araw-araw nating pamumuhay,” said Pangilinan.
Senator Pangilinan added: “Ang benepisyong matatanggap nila ay pasasalamat at pagkilala sa kanilang serbisyo at sakripisyo para mapakain ang sambayanang Pilipino.”
The proposed “Pensyonadong Magsasaka at Mangingisda Act” provides agricultural workers a reliable source of income security and secured retirement benefits in their old age.
Under the measure, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) and the Social Security System (SSS) are the primary agencies tasked to implement the provisions of the law.
The average age of farmers in the Philippines ranges from 57 to 59 years old. And studies show that many farmers believe their children won’t have any future in farming and consider tilling the soil as a last resort for earning a living.
Admittedly, many farmers and fishers, particularly those in far-flung and mountainous communities across this Southeast Asian country, are poor and unlettered.
Thus, like Pangilinan, we urge the government to ensure better quality of life and provide a substantial and reliable source of retirement benefits and social security to farmers and fishers.
Tulungan natin ang mga taong nagpapakain sa sambayanang Pilipino.