Published June 30, 2022, 2:16 PM

by Faith Argosino

Wilbert Lee: The voice of the farmers, fisherfolk

AGRI Party-list Representative Wilbert T. Lee (Photo taken from the LKY Group of Companies Website)

A long-time advocate of the agriculture sector, Wilbert T. Lee is the representative of AGRI party-list, also known as AGRI-AGRA Na Reporma Para Sa Magsasaka ng Pilipinas in the 19th Congress. 

The AGRI party-list represents the crop sector and is the voice of the farmers and fisherfolk nationwide. 

The group also seeks the welfare of every Filipino worker, advocating for their equal access to necessities such as food. Moreover, AGRI also promotes open communication within the agriculture community to learn more about the workers’ needs and determine ways to help the industry prosper.

In reply to Manila Bulletin’s interview questions, information sent by AGRI Partylist office said Lee was born on Oct. 12, 1970, and finished a degree in commerce, majoring in Business Administration at the University of Santo Tomas, where he studied from 1987 to 1991. He founded the LKY Foundation and served as the chairman of the LKY Group of Companies. 
To date, the foundation provides medical assistance to children fighting leukemia and other terminal illnesses.

Currently, Lee spearheads the party-list activities and initiatives, aiming to help farmers and even locals in disaster-hit provinces nationwide, providing medical assistance and relief operations for locals affected by the eruption of Mount Bulusan in Sorsogon. 

The group has also donated books and magazines to kids in Sto. Domingo, Albay, as part of the celebration of the Feast of Nativity of St. John the Baptist last June 24.

AGRI has also partnered with local government units (LGUs) nationwide and non-government organizations (NGOs) such as PAWA Youth Organization to deliver similar initiatives to other provinces. 
Lee, as AGRI partylist representative, supports the enactment of laws that “promote and safeguard employment and access to cheap and adequate food, health care and educational assistance, and other measures to raise the living standards of every Filipino.” 

The party-list organization has had different representatives in Congress since 2005 who have co-authored more than 225 bills, and was one of the principal authors of over 210 bills and resolutions.

According to AGRI Partylist, among the  16 laws its representative has supported and were passed are: Republic Act (RA) 10931 or Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act (Free Tuition Act); RA 10969 or Free Irrigation Service Act; RA 11039 Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund Act (Electric Co-op); RA 10929 or Free Internet Access in Public Places Act; RA 10816 or Agricultural Tourism Development Act of 2016; and RA 10845 or An Act declaring large scale Agricultural Smuggling Economic Sabotage, Prescribing penalties therefore and for other purposes (Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Law), among others.