Bill seeks more benefits for agri dev’t workers

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THE House’s deputy speaker has filed a bill calling for additional benefits and compensation for agricultural development workers.

Deputy Speaker Sharon S. Garin’s House Bill 6329 or the Magna Carta of Agricultural Development Workers seeks to increase the profession’s benefits in terms of compensation and working hours, and outlines other incentives.

Workers under this category include agricultural technicians, agriculturists, aquaculturists, nutritionists, agricultural engineers, agricultural technologists, and fisheries officers in the city, municipal, and provincial levels.

“With the great contribution of agriculture to our nation’s development, it is proper that the government give prime importance to projects and programs that support this sector,” Ms. Garin said in a statement.

The agriculture sector employs more than a third of the country’s work force but contributes about a fifth to the economy.

The basis for benefits will include civil service eligibilities, professional license and required education.

The statement noted that local government units opt to leave positions for local agricultural development workers vacant in order to cut costs.

Such practices has been blamed for the ineffective and slow delivery of agricultural support to farmers in various provinces and regions, in turn weighing down on production.

“A better and more efficient delivery of government assistance would lead to a more vibrant agricultural sector,” Ms. Garin added. — Janina C. Lim