Pension plans for aging farmers and fishermen?
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) has started designing a Pension Program which would provide retirement benefits to millions of people who produce food for the country.
Initially called the “Farmers and Fishermen’s Pension Fund (FFPF), the program is aimed at providing security to farmers and fishermen in the country who “retire” from food production work because of old age.
“This is a program which I have long advocated even when I was still Governor of North Cotabato and this is based on my realization that when the farmer gets too old to still be able to work in the field, he usually ends up sickly and too poor to even buy medicines for rheumatism,” Piñol said.
“I have always emphasized that while government workers have the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and private company employees and self-employed workers have the Social Security System (SSS), farmers and fishermen are not covered by any pension fund,” he added.
The FFPF could be funded through the tariffs and duties imposed on imported agricultural and fisheries products and this could be done through Congressional action, Piñol said.