Retirement benefits eyed for farmers and fisherfolk

THE DEPARTMENT of Agriculture (DA) is planning to implement a program that would provide retirement benefits for farmers and fisherfolk.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said in a statement released last week that the program was proposed to be pursued by the department through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC).

This, he said, is aimed to offer pension for the farmers and fisher folks.

“Last Tuesday (March 20), during the internal budget hearing of the DA, I asked PCIC president Jovy Bernabe to prepare the proposal for the farmers’ and fishermen’s pension fund (FFPF) so that it could be submitted to Congress for enactment into law,” Piñol said.

At present, the PCIC is designing the program to provide security to the retired agricultural workers. The proposal came about after the agency noted the successful launch of PCIC’s life and accident insurance plan.

The FFPF, Piñol said, should be implemented as the farmers and fisherfolk are not yet covered in any of pension fund.

“The proposal to establish a pension fund for farmers and fishermen follows the implementation of a life and accident insurance program two years ago, which provides financial benefits of up to P50,000,” Piñol said.

He said they are looking to pool funds from the tariffs and duties imposed on imported agricultural and fisheries products as source for the FFPF. This will be enforced by enacting a law, he added.

“I believe the time has come for the farmers and fishermen, often called ‘The Backbone of the Nation’ to be given the care and attention that they deserve,” Piñol said.

Posted in Business