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Advocating for the establishment of a comprehensive agriculture pension fund for farmers and fisherfolks

A party-list lawmaker urged the House of Representatives to establish an agricultural pension fund to provide elderly farmers and fisherfolk with social security payments upon retirement.

Image Source: PIDS

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reports a steady decline in the agricultural sector workforce from 11.29 million in 2015 to 9.69 million in 2019. As per the 2021 Philippine Institute Development Studies (PIDS) paper, the decline was attributed to population growth, diminishing farm size, and reduced incomes in agriculture.

Rep. Brian Raymund Yamsuan of the Bicol Saro Party advocated for the adoption of House Bill 7963, which proposes the establishment of the Agricultural Pension Fund (APF) to be managed by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC). The bill aims to provide lifetime pensions to small farmers and fisherfolk. PCIC is tasked with creating a pension plan and managing the APF to ensure its sustainability. Additionally, it authorizes the PCIC, in coordination with other relevant government agencies, to determine the eligibility criteria for prospective agricultural pensioners.

Rep. Yamsuan emphasized that farmers and fisherfolks are among the poorest in our society. They work so hard and make significant sacrifices to ensure the country’s food supply, yet they retire without receiving essential government assistance. The government should include lifetime pensions for farmers and fisherfolks to encourage more workers to stay or shift to the agriculture sector.

The current status of the bill is detailed as follows: pending with the Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization since May 10, 2023.

Reference: Cervantes, F. (2023, June 20). Bill on agri pension fund to benefit 9.7M farmers, fisherfolk. Philippine Institute for Development Studies. Retrieved June 20, 2024 from https://www.pids.gov.ph/details/news/in-the-news/bill-on-agri-pension-fund-to-benefit-9-7m-farmers-fisherfolk

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