Worker’s welfare should be prioritized in economic recovery plans, says Villanueva

As chairperson of the Senate labor committee, Sen. Joel Villanueva underscored the importance of focusing on the welfare of workers amidst the legislations being discussed regarding financial assistance to businesses.

According to Sen. Villanueva, only 657,000 individuals or around 25% of the 2.6-M workers in the formal sector received financial assistance under the Department of Labor and Employment’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP). Moreover, the Senator said that 330,000 workers in the informal sector availed of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) cash-for-work program.

"The tough economic climate is already punishing workers with layoffs left and right. How do we expect our people to provide for their families if they are jobless? Our government cannot simply look away from their plight, and keep on overlooking their condition," he added. "We urge our policymakers to consider the welfare of workers as they draw up the economic recovery plan of our country. After all, it is our workers who will fuel the engines of our economy,” the Senator said.

Sen. Villanueva argued that as much as assistance to enterprises are necessary, it is of equal importance to ensure that workers hold on to their jobs despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Tingi-tingi ang binigay na pondo sa Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) para sa mga programa nito. Talo ang manggagawa. Binuksan po natin ang ekonomiya simula noong Hunyo nang walang sapat na transportasyon. Talo ulit ang mga manggagawa,” Sen. Villanueva further explained.

Sen. Villanueva asked the government to infuse more funds into programs that would generate livelihood for those displaced due to the pandemic.

Under the proposed Bayanihan 2 Act,  a Php 21-B fund would be allocated for assistance to displaced workers while Php 18-B for the extension of DOLE’s TUPAD program.

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