“The holiday economy is not good for workers”

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Rhodina Villanueva – The Filipina Star

November 18, 2022 | 00:00

MANILA, Philippines – A labor coalition said yesterday that the government’s relaunch of the holiday economy will not benefit workers as their meager incomes are not enough to meet their basic needs.

The Nagkaisa Labor Coalition was reacting to Proclamation No. 90 signed by President Marcos on November 11, which aims to promote “the economy of spending at a time when workers need more jobs and sources of income to meet the basic food and non-food needs of their families. terms.”

“It is necessary to adjust these holidays in accordance with the principle of holiday economy that a longer weekend will help encourage domestic travel and increase tourism spending in the country,” Marcos said in the proclamation.

Partido Manggagawa Chairman Renato Magtubo said the latest statistics on rising numbers of underemployed underpin workers’ need for more income to fight soaring inflation.

“The most pressing concern of the working class today is their ability to spend beyond their basic needs, so poverty wages would prevent them from taking advantage of the holiday economy,” Magtubo said in a statement. communicated.

He added, “If President Marcos really wanted to revive the economy, he should join workers in calling on Congress to legislate higher wages and establish a strong public employment program to shore up the incomes of every Filipino. .

Annie Geron, from the Public Services Self-Employment Confederation, said: “The wage rise must also cover the tens of thousands of public sector workers under contract and casual schemes whose pay scales are still below the poverty line. 12,000 pesos per month.

The coalition also hit the inclusion of Bonifacio Day and Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) in the package, saying “it sweeps away the historical value of the two holidays on the country’s struggle for freedom in return commercial value that the tourism industry would gain”. of such a historical revision.

Nagkaisa Chairman Sonny Matula said that “there are many ways to promote local tourism, such as increasing government budget for green infrastructure development and creating green jobs in tourist areas. , but story review should never be part of that menu”.

“Like Labor Day, Araw ng Kagitingan and Bonifacio Day are important days dear to working people, and the labor movement is committed to commemorating the struggles on their historical dates and not on the revised marketed dates dictated by the holiday economy. “, said Matula.

CHR welcomes government aid to workers

Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has commended the government for providing financial assistance to workers injured or killed in service in the event of calamity or disaster.

Specifically, he commended the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) program which extends to public servants, private sector employees, self-employed, domestic helpers and overseas offshore workers.

For public servants, all mandatory members of the government service insurance system, including uniformed personnel, are qualified to receive financial assistance if they suffer an illness, injury or death related at work when responding or working during a calamity.

For those in the private sector, companies can apply for disaster assistance on behalf of employees through the social security system.

The benefit for government personnel is 200 pesos per day while private sector employees can claim up to 480 pesos per day. – Elizabeth Marcelo

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