Swift passage of Magna Carta for Agri Workers urged

March 30, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 111 views

IN a bid to uplift the living condition of the farmers and fisherfolks, a lawmaker is urging Congress to expedite the passage of the proposed Magna Carta for Agricultural Workers.

The poor state of the farmers and fisherfolks motivated Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman to file House Bill 5601 or the Magna Carta for Agricultural Workers which main task is to provide solution to the worsening condition of the Filipinos in the agricultural sector.

Citing the 2021 poverty statistics of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Roman stressed that the farmers and fisherfolks remain the poorest sector in the country.

“It is highly unacceptable that farmers and fisherfolks are still barely surviving despite us being considered as agricultural country,” Roman said during a consultative assembly with different sectors in Cebu province.

Based on the 2021 poverty statistics of the PSA, fisherfolks have the highest poverty rate with 30.6 percent, followed by farmers with 30 percent.

“By helping out the agri workers, we make food security strong and if we have the produce, people can buy cheaper by patronizing our own agri products,” Roman added.

The bill is still pending at the House committee on agriculture as of posting.

Under her bill, farmers and fisherfolks will be registered under the Kadiwa program that will also be beneficial to consumers by letting them buy vegetables and other produce at a lower price.

Roman is also pushing for a concrete farm-to-market roadmap to improve the mobility of agricultural goods throughout the country.

A pricing scheme shall also be in place for the registered agricultural workers to prevent losses being incurred by the farmers and fisherfolks because of low prices set on their goods.

“Panahon na para gawin nating prayoridad na mapabuti ang sitwasyon ng ating mga magsasaka at mangingisda,” Roman added.

Through this initiative, it will help the agricultural workers alleviate the poverty they are experiencing by providing a stable stream of income to their families, alongside improving the growth of the country’s economy and food security.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has started reviving the Kadiwa program.