Cong Roman takes up cudgels for argi workers, cites pending bill

At a glance

  • Bataan 1st district Rep. Geraldine Roman (In photo) places the spotlight on her pending measure, House Bill (HB) No.5601 or the prosposed Magna Carta for Agricultural Workers.

  • (Photo from the MANILA BULLETIN)

Bataan 1st district Rep. Geraldine Roman has made a pitch for the passage of her pending bill, which she said would be of great boon to agricultural workers in the country.

Speaking in a consultative assembly with the different sectors in Cebu, Roman highlighted the results of a Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) survey, which revealed that farmers and fisherfolks remain the poorest sector in the country.

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.

As such, she asked the House Committee on Agriculture to prioritize her measure, House Bill (HB) No. 5601 or the prosposed Magna Carta for Agricultural Workers.

“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 explained.

Under Roman’s bill, farmers and fisherfolks will be registered under the Kadiwa program. This is also seen as beneficial for consumers since it allows them to buy vegetables and other produce at a lower price.

Roman is also pushing for a concrete farm-to-market roadmap to easen 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.

"It is highly unacceptable that farmers and fisherfolks are still barely surviving despite us being considered as agricultural country," the lawmaker from Bataan added.

Through this initiative, Roman plans to alleviate poverty in the agriculture sector by providing a stable stream of income to their families, on top of improving the growth of the country's economy and food security.