Labor group bats for income, employment guarantees

Published October 7, 2020, 4:42 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The Nagkaisa labor coalition on Wednesday pushed for the adoption of its agenda on income and employment guarantees to address the intensifying unemployment problem and consequent loss of incomes. 


The labor coalition’s State of Labor and its Agenda on Recovery (SOLAR) and its accompanying agenda on public employment called USWAG or Unemployment Support and Work Assistance Guarantee were unanimously approved by Nagkaisa’s local leaders on October 3.

In a statement, Nagkaisa chairperson Sonny Matula said SOLAR is their “recovery agenda” that pursues a combination of different programs such as protection of labor rights during health and economic crises, supporting key sectors, employment and income guarantees, universal and resilient public health systems based on equity and solidarity, just transition into safe and efficient transportation systems, and financing and resource mobilization for the recovery program.

He said USWAG on the other hand calls for a state-led creation of jobs, including green jobs, ranging from 100 days to 9 months, and to provide not less than P10,000 income guarantees to the unemployed, including OFWs, “to enhance aggregate demands that the economy badly needs for recovery.”

According to the group, SOLAR and USWAG aim to address widening decent work deficit amid the pandemic

Nagkaisa said the onset of the pandemic has “worsened decent work deficits in the Philippines and worldwide as hard lockdown and lousy health response forced businesses to shutdown and sent millions of workers out of jobs.”

“Decent Work, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO), ‘involves opportunities for work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men.'” said the group.

“Lacking any or many of these elements is what is called decent work deficit,” it added.

The latest report by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed that adult unemployment stood at 39.5% in September.