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PH Congress urged to fund social protection for workers 

06 Sept 2021

As the Philippine Congress deliberates on the national budget for 2022, the Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines called on legislators to allocate funds for social protection programs such as P100 daily wage subsidy and paid pandemic leave which will primarily benefit workers in the formal sector. 

"Congress is currently tackling the proposed Php 5.024 trillion budget for  the year 2022. If approved this will be the biggest budget ever to be approved. Where will it go? While a big chunk should definitely go to the government's health response, we urge Congress to equally allocate a substantial budget for social protection programs that will benefit formal sector workers. Workers in the formal sector also bear the brunt of the impact of Covid 19 on our livelihoods," Julius Carandang, MWAP National Coordinator said. 

Workers hold Black Friday Protest of Mourning and Rage, calling on government to protect workers through speedy vaccination and economic support for those in quarantine and floating status. Read related news.

“If there is a will, there is a way. It should not be difficult for the government to allocate money for these programs. Particularly for the paid quarantine leaves of workers affected by the contact tracing, we are looking at around Php 27 billion and for those affected by floating, it can be as high as over Php 100 billion. It seems like a lot but the daily sacrifice of our economic frontliners is worth more than that. Not to mention the fact Congress is talking of several trillions of national budget,” Carandang said.   

The group added that these social protection schemes should be part of the government economic recovery plan. “Even before the pandemic, workers are already struggling to survive with high prices and meager wages. How do you think a minimum wage earner will recover from his debts if he is placed in no work no pay for 14 days of quarantine? How can she survive 60 days of floating with no pay at the same time that the labor market remains sluggish? Can we really expect our economy to recover if a substantial portion of our workers and their families live under these conditions?,” Carandang said. 

Alongside the calls for budget allocation, MWAP reiterated its call to legislators to fast-track the passage of paid pandemic leave bill and other proposals for social protection legislations. “As the pandemic situation continues to evolve due to new variants like Delta, more workers and their families become vulnerable to illness and loss of income. We hope Congress will tackle these matters with a sense of compassion and urgency,” Carandang ended.# 

Philippines kicks off young workers leadership training program

31 August 2021

The IndustriALL Philippines kicked off its first series of the 3-part webinar series as part of National Young Workers Leadership Training Program last 28 August via online. With the theme ‘Transformative Leadership and Unions’, the program gathered 42 young leaders, 75% of which are young women, from various trade unions aims to enhance knowledge and to increase leadership skills and capacity of young union leaders.

“Trade unions should recognize the importance of young workers in the world of work. Young workers possess great potential: they are in the prime of their productive years and they are natives to the new technologies that are constantly and quickly evolving.  These characteristics are important especially as we face the challenges posed by the pandemic,”  Gabriel Aranzamendez, national president of the Confederation of Filipino Workers (CFW) said.  

Read more here >>>

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