The National Sectoral Committee on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (NSC on GESI) pushed for the development and passage of a Magna Carta for Older Persons during its second regular meeting on June 14, 2024 held online.

The policy resolution, which will be addressed to the House of Representatives and Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, emphasizes the Magna Carta’s need to include provisions benefiting marginalized senior citizens in the agriculture and fisheries sector.

The Committee’s adoption of the resolution stemmed from a concern raised by Daisy Leones of the Lay Society of St. Arnold Janssen, Inc. Leones highlighted the generational gap in the needs of stakeholders, particularly in disaster risk response measures. She also underscored the importance of younger generations and other stakeholders understanding the specific concerns of senior citizens.

Department of Agriculture-GESI (DA-GESI) Office Director Annray Rivera assured the Committee that the DA actively caters to vulnerable sectors through its various programs, including the DA-Special Area for Agricultural Development Program and the DA-Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran ng Kababayang Katutubo.

In further promotion of GESI in the agri-fishery sector, the Committee also adopted four other policy resolutions during the meeting:

  1. Recommending to the Department of Agriculture the Creation of a Technical Working Group to Develop Agricultural Programs with Budget Allocation for Indigenous Peoples, Person with Disabilities, and Youth under the Office of the Undersecretary for Special Concerns (re-adoption of NSC on GESI Resolution No. 06, series of 2023);
  2. Recommending to the Department of Agriculture to Provide Budget Allocation to the DA-GESI Office to Facilitate its Conduct of Consultations with Vulnerable Sectors;
  3. Recommending to the Department of Agriculture the Creation of Volunteer Groups from the Private Sector to Review the DA Women and Social Inclusion Programs; and 
  4. Recommending to the DA Programs and Projects to Undergo the Harmonized Gender and Development Guidelines Assessment. | Joy Camille Luza