Senate Bill No. 684: Rural Employment Assistance (REAP) Act

It is our directive to ensure that as the Philippine economy grows and thrives, all Filipinos grow and thrive together. One of our mandates is to promote inclusive growth and spread wealth and opportunity across the country.

As such, we need to take a look at our rural communities and provide opportunities to those along the countryside and within our islands, beginning with our least fortunate countrymen.

Considering that almost 80% of Filipinos living in poverty reside in our rural areas1, we are in urgent need of measures to combat poverty and unemployment beyond our cities and urban hubs in the short and long term.

The Rural Employment Assistance Program (REAP) Act is one such policy for the short term, which aims to provide heads of poor families in rural areas fair wages for temporary unskilled work.

This bill not only addresses the issue of unemployment in rural areas, it also involves our less fortunate citizens in nation building as we provide other measures that will help them pursue permanent employment.

The REAP Act mandates the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to hire unemployed Filipinos to maintain, build, and rehabilitate shared, public facilities and livelihood assets within their community.

Let us bring opportunities, wealth, and capacity to the Philippine islands, especially in the countryside. Let every Filipino reap the fruits of our positive progress and development.

In view of the foregoing, the approval of this bill is earnestly sought.


Senate Bill No. 712: Right to Adequate Food Framework Act

In this day and age of technology, economic development, and social consciousness, it is inexcusable to allow our countrymen to grow hungry.

It is our duty to enhance the welfare of our citizens and ensure that every Filipino is given regular, permanent, and unrestricted access to sufficient food and nutrition.

The Adequate Food Framework Bill holds at its center this duty and responsibility, targeting the eradication of hunger across the Philippine islands in the next ten years.

In order to achieve this in a sustainable manner, this legislation will ensure that land devoted to food production shall be increased to 50% of all prime agricultural land in every region.

This measure also increases the coverage of school feeding programs, the public budget allocation for the marginalized and disadvantaged Filipinos who are unable to feed themselves, as well as research on agriculture, irrigation, and rural development.

To exercise due diligence, this measure proposes periodic reviews of compliance of set targets as well as the establishment of the Commission on the Right to Adequate Food, attached to the Commission on Human Rights, to ensure the proactive and efficient implementation of plans to achieve zero-hunger in the Philippines.

The least we can do for our poor countrymen is to actively pursue the eradication of hunger in the Philippines. I urge my colleagues to vote for the passing of this measure.

In view of the foregoing, the approval of this bill is earnestly sought.



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