By Leslie Aquino
Workers may have something to look forward to as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is mulling the possibility of providing them with non-wage benefits.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said this is to help workers cope with the increasing prices of basic goods and services.
“The cluster of DOLE Undersecretary Ciriaco Lagunzad said they will come out with their own recommendations. It is non-monetary,” he said in an interview Wednesday.
The Labor chief did not provide further details on the non-wage benefits that they are looking into.
On Wednesday, the Nagkaisa Labor Coalition denounced what they said as the government’s inadequate action in addressing inflation and its effect to workers.
“Clearly as the sun the rise on the east, government fails to effectively address inflation and its effect especially to the poor working people,” Nagkaisa Spokesperson Rene Magtubo said in a statement.
The basic staple of galunggong and rice then on the poor family’s table, he said is now a “luxury” and is replaced by shrimp crackers (Kropek) and rice to make both ends meet.
The labor group said the government should do more to address the effects of continued rise in inflation by strictly monitoring and imposing price controls on basic commodities such as rice, sugar, poultry and meat products, and canned goods.
Through the DTI, Nagkaisa said the government should make available to low income wage earners NFA rice and other basic commodities at “discounted prices” through a “rolling stores” stationed daily in as many poor communities and factory belts in the country”.
Magtubo said Congress should also start the process of conducting public hearings on proposed measures pending before it which are aimed to effectively address the gap between workers’ wages and the rising cost of living.