TUCP welcomes charter changes, but calls on political leaders not lose focus on improving economy

26 July 2005

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) today welcomed the call for charter changes made by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday but at the same time cautioned on the country’s political leaders and policy-makers not to lose sight of the need to strengthen the economy and to improve the lives of the masses.

The TUCP announced that it supports amendments to the Constitution, particularly a shift from the present presidential into a parliamentary form of government. The TUCP also bats for provisions to further strengthen workers rights in the country.

The TUCP said that the current political system results in many gridlocks in decision-making and is prone to patronage politics which breeds corruption in government. The TUCP also cited the need to introduce electoral reforms, especially on the need to prevent political dynasties.

The TUCP however said that discussions on charter changes should go hand-in-hand with programs sustaining a people-centered economic growth focusing on job generation and preservation.

TUCP stressed that on top of political changes it is an imperative to provide jobs to some three million workers and to improve the working conditions and incomes of another 4 million underemployed workers.

TUCP also called on Congress to enact laws that will exempt minimum wage earners from paying withholding taxes and the passage of the third phase of the Salary Standardization law increasing salaries and benefits of government employees. TUCP is also pushing for measures to strengthen workers right to self-organization and collective bargaining.

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