The measures would ensure the success of the "Balik Probinsya" initiative being advocated by Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, said MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.
“Seriously, I cannot understand why rural workers should receive lower salaries than those who work in the cities. Personally, I see this discriminatory wage rates (whose constitutionality could be challenged) as one of the reasons why many job seekers flock to the urban centers,” Piñol said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
Go said the government should learn from the experiences being encountered in the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis, and provide long-term solutions to recurring problems in urban areas, especially Metro Manila.
The senator said these recurring problems accelerate the spread of diseases due to densely-populated communities in urban growth centers.
If the government increases wage rates and incentives for companies to establish processing facilities in the provinces, Go said there will be massive reverse migration to the rural areas.
Piñol agreed, saying workers will be earning more because they could do some food production activities on the side while processing companies would realize more profit because they no longer have to haul raw materials from the rural production areas to their factories.
MinDA also proposed an action plan supported by legislation to ensure the sustainability of the "Balik Probinsya" program.
Pending the passage of legislative action, Piñol said an executive order directing the preparation of a national framework for the Balik Probinsya program and direct the cooperation of all agencies and sectors involved to jumpstart the initiative.
He added that MinDA may be tapped for the implementation of this directive for Mindanao as provided for under Republic Act 9996. (PNA)
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