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APRIL 27, 2016

NR # 4183

Magna Carta of Agricultural Development Workers urged


A lawmaker has proposed a bill assuring the rights of agricultural development
workers towards achieving food security and self-sufficiency by improving their living
and working conditions and terms of employment.
Rep. Ma. Lourdes Acosta-Alba (1st District, Bukidnon) filed House Bill 4141 or the
Magna Carta of Agricultural Development Workers to establish the agricultural
development workers rights and provide a mechanism for career development.
The agricultural workers play a vital role in the development and modernization of
the Philippine agriculture. They also provide the necessary assistance and professional
services to the farmers and fisher folks in managing the farms for increased farm
profitability and productivity, said Acosta-Alba in pushing for the bill.
The Magna Carta shall cover all who are engaged in agricultural development
activities, Department of Agriculture (DA) employees including its bureaus and attached
agencies, Local Government Units (LGUs), State Universities and Colleges (SUCs),
concerned private and government institutions regardless of the employment status.
Appropriate civil service eligibilities, professional license and required education
shall also be part of the qualification as an agricultural worker.
Under the bill, the provision of employment opportunities and career development
are guaranteed through educational institutions, registered and licensed by the
Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) and certified by the Technical Education and
Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Acosta-Alba also added that an agricultural development worker should not be
discriminated by reason of creed, sex, political belief, civil status and ethnic grouping in
the exercise of his profession.
Additionally, agricultural development workers shall also have the right to freely
join organizations or unions.
The Magna Carta provides the incentives and rewards system, which shall be
controlled by honorarium, incentive pay, performance bonus and other incentives that DA
and local government may create.
The bill also provides agricultural workers allowances such as hazard pay, clothing
and housing allowance, longevity pay, injury compensation and on-call pay.

Agriculturists, veterinarians, agricultural engineers and fisheries officers from all


provinces, cities and municipalities shall be granted a Representation Allowance and
Travelling Allowance (RATA).
On the other hand, subsistence allowance shall be given to workers who are
required to render services in the communities, institutions, animal and plant breeding
nurseries, plantations and demonstrations farms and other barrier programs and projects of
the DA.
HB 4141 shall also develop the agricultural workers skills, knowledge, orientation
and capabilities to provide a more responsive service for the agriculture development.
The DA, together with PRC, Commission on Higher Education (CHED),
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Department of Interior and Local
Government (DILG), shall implement comprehensive training programs for the workers.
Aside from the agricultural workers, students on agriculture, agricultural
engineering, fishery and veterinary medicine shall have full access and priority allocation
on the scholarship program of the government.
The Secretary of Agriculture shall create a Monitoring Committee, which shall
oversee the implementation of the provisions of this Act. (30) nap