TUCP on Coping with the Global Crisis

Published by rudy Date posted on March 10, 2009

These are extraordinary circumstances.
These times require extraordinary efforts, measures, determination, and will.

1.TUCP believes that the cheapest, quickest form of pump-priming would be a decision on a January 1, 2008 effectivity of the 2008 tax exemptions law.

The mechanism is in place. The administrative cost would be least. There would be immediate direct effects on workers’ purchasing power. There would be least leakages.

2.The bulk of the assistance to enterprises should go to SMEs.
They host many, many workers. They are most affected by the current difficulties.
They are the most in need of assistance.

3.There should be fair distribution of pains.
Retrenchment of workers, downsizing of operations, should be accompanied by retrenchment of officials.
Retrenchment of workers, downsizing of operations, should be accompanied by reductions in wages and benefits of officials of enterprises.
Assistance for enterprises should result in explicit commitments for workers in the enterprise, not only some vague reference to reduction of retrenchment or downsizing.

4.Training and re-training should be judicious.
They should be in areas where there are or there would immediate demand for skills.
These should be concentrated in critical skills which the tripartite sectors have identified in previous manpower/human resource summits/meetings/conferences.

5.Markets for skills and livelihood are the key.
Markets should be found for the products of those engaged in livelihood assisted by different government agencies, trade unions and NGOs.
Government (and trade unions and NGOs) should devote more resources for identifying and pinning down markets for products of assisted organizations and individuals.

6.SSS, GSIS, and PagIBIG should be authorized to grant additional and higher grants or loans for workers being displaced.
These would have better, direct effects on pump-priming and welfare of members than investment of these funds overseas or in financial instruments.

7.To forestall more difficulties for enterprises and workers, TUCP suggests that the Philippines declare a moratorium on further tariff reductions under CEPT and other international commitments.

At this time, our markets would not survive further inroads of dumping and influx of goods made cheaper by subsidies and non-market measures of exporting countries.

8.The efforts for databasing of affected workers and of available vacancies/skills would be fast-tracked if the Philjobnet form (or an improvement of it) were adopted by the tripartite sectors

This would have better value than separate, disparate databases.

9.The sectors could consider a short, temporary moratorium or a short, temporary reduction in the rate of contributions to the SSS, GSIS and PagIBIG funds.

Progressive Singapore has reduced the rates of contribution to the CPF funds.

It would be wise for the sectors to consider the same.

10.TUCP does not view kindly reductions in minimum labor standards.
In fact, they should be raised to improve social protection.

TUCP believes that decisions on wages and benefits over the minimum standards are best left to parties in the enterprises.

11.In these difficult times, some attention should be paid to the plight of those in the informal economy, women, youth and children.

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