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Ang Probinsyano calls for Magna Carta for agricultural workers: ‘Sila ang naghihirap at walang makain’

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In order to improve their plight especially in this time of the pandemic, a measure seeking to institutionalize the rights of agriculture workers was recently filed in the Lower House.

According to House Assistant Majority Floor Leader Alfred de los Santos, there is an urgent need to address the gaps in the agriculture sector, which has the highest poverty incidence at 34 percent based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Latest figures from PSA disclosed the latest situation in the agriculture sector as it accounts for approximately 40 percent of the country’s underemployment and 29 percent of unemployment amid the current health crisis brought by the global coronavirus pandemic.

“Nakalungkot pong isipin na as an agricultural country, our farmers are experiencing poverty and underemployment. It is the main source of livelihood and food for a lot of Filipinos pero sila po ang naghihirap at walang makain,” said De los Santos, representative of Ang Probinsano Party-list.

De los Santos recently filed House Bill No. 7133 or the proposed Magna Carta for Workers in the Agricultural Development Sectors which he hopes will address the needs of the farmers and the support to boost the sector, as he lamented the low contribution of agriculture to the gross domestic product (GDP) over the years.

“Sa pamamagitan po nito, mas mabibigyan po natin ng tamang atensiyon ang kalagayan ng ating mga magsasaka, mapangalagaan ang kanilang mga karapatan, at para maisaayos ang pagbibigay ng karampatang mga benepisyo na nararapat para sa kanila,” he said.

Delos Santos emphasized the importance of the agriculture sector which was further highlighted in the face of the public health crisis due to COVID-19.

“Nakita po natin kung gaano kahalaga na magkaroon ng food security ang ating bansa lalong-lalo na sa panahon ng sakuna or emergency tulad ng nararanasan natin ngayong pandemiya,” said de los Santos. (CMC)