Bill seeks farmers’, fishermen’s pension

Farmers and fisherfolks may no longer have to worry about retirement should a bill seeking to provide them with a continuous income stream to meet their necessities and give them a pension and social security benefits becomes law.

House Bill 2420, or the “Agriculture Pension Act,” if enacted, will create the “Farmers and Fisherfolk Social Security and Pension Program,” a pension scheme that will help agricultural employees after they retire.

AGRI Rep. Wilbert Lee, said that this should consist of a comprehensive set of objectives, targets, and a holistic approach to providing farmers and fisherfolk with sickness, maternity, disability, retirement, death, and funeral benefits.

“In the trials that our country has gone through, farmers and fishers continue to work to support their families and ensure adequate food supply in our country,” he said, adding that the measure would make farmers and fishermen feel valued for their hard work and sacrifices.

Farmers and fishermen, according to the solon, had the greatest poverty incidences among the basic sectors in 2018, and farm employees were paid an average daily income of P331.10 in 2019, the lowest daily wage compared to workers in the industry and service sectors.

Under the bill, the pension scheme must be commensurate with the package benefits provided by the Social Security System’s existing social security program as well as relevant programs of the Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation.

The PCIC, an attached DA agency, and the SSS shall be the primary implementing agencies.

However, the funds required to implement the measure’s initial implementation will be derived from the national government’s savings.

The funds required for the program’s continuous implementation shall be generated from 10 percent of the total annual duties collected from agricultural product importation, with the supplemental amount necessary for its implementation included in the DA’s annual appropriations.

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