Administration should ensure “good economic indicators” benefit workers–TUCP

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) today said that Government should ensure that the improvements in the country’s economic indicators should translate to lower prices of goods and services and creation of jobs.

TUCP stressed that the strong performance of the peso and the reported confidence of foreign investors in the country will remain on paper unless it translates to tangible benefits for Filipinos.

“TUCP appreciates these improvements, however, these will be rendered fruitless unless they trickle down to the masses particularly for low salaried workers and those without jobs”, TUCP said.

“For instance, the strong peso should result in a substantial reduction in general prices of goods and services, especially for products with high fuel and imported inputs”, TUCP said.

&nb! sp; The TUCP lamented that in the past prices of basic goods and services hardly move back to previous levels despite substantial reduction in prices of fuel. TUCP added that lower fuel prices is a natural consequence of a strong peso.

TUCP also pointed out that there is a need to lower prevailing costs of medical, legal, communications, and other professional services which heavily impacts on the living standards of working families.

TUCP prefers that the government go beyond stop gap measures and implement more sustainable programs to ensure economic improvements to millions of Filipino workers.

TUCP urged the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to use the P35 Billion savings in 2005 to create more jobs and livelihood opportunities for workers and their families.

“TUCP appreciates the rice and noodles program of the government and we firmly believe that it is necessary at this time given the increased number of people going hungry”, TUCP said.

“The government can do more by taking up the cudgels of jobs creation by putting more money into labor-intensi! ve investments which shall absorb some of the 4 million or more workers currently without jobs”, TUCP said.

The TUCP pressed that government should immediately undertake infrastructure programs such as improvements of roads and bridges, upgrade of airports and ports, funding for mass housing programs, improvement of tourist facilities, and funding of credit facilities for workers enterprises and informal sector groups.

These programs according to TUCP will result in the creation of more jobs and sustain measurable economic growth for the country.

It also pushed for the implementation of the private-sector led Jobs Corps program.

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