LEGISLATORS have fled a bill requiring landowners to test for safe levels of pesticide before allowing farm workers to work on their sites.
Representatives Horacio P. Suansing Jr. and Estrellita B. Suansing filed House Bill 1088, which if passed will become the Farm Workers’ Protection Act in order to protect agricultural workers from the dangers of pesticides.
“In recent years, pesticide poisoning has become a more prevalent international public health issue, with an estimated 200,000 people dying each year worldwide because of intentional, accidental, and occupational exposure to pesticides,” according to the bill’s explanatory note.
According to the bill, farm owners will be required to test for pesticide levels a week before the workers arrive on site.
The bill also requires them to supply personal protection equipment to be worn during work. On-site washing facilities for clothing and showers for workers should also be provided.
The measure also requires housing for farm workers to be located at least 50 feet away from any sites treated with pesticides.
The bill calls for fines of P100,000 for violations. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras