Gov’t urged for integrated solution to unemployment

The Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF) has urged government to craft an integrated solution to the massive unemployment problem in the country stressing that the usual minimum wage hike and benefits every Labor Day are no longer viable in this time of pandemic and uncertainty.

In a statement, FEF has called for a tripartite conference among government, the private business sector, and labor groups to come out with a whole of society solution to the massive unemployment problem caused by the pandemic.

“The usual increase in minimum wages and benefits every Labor Day is no longer viable during the present period of widespread joblessness and uncertainty whether businesses will survive,” FEF said in a statement.

“Reframing labor laws and regulations by all sectors concerned may be necessary to create an environment conducive to job generation while simultaneously protecting the rights of workers to decent livelihood. The framework of labor laws needs to be revisited and reframed to modern markets as these outdated systems may act as a barrier to growth of labor-intensive industries and reduction in high unemployment,” added the FEF, which is chaired by Finance Secretary Roberto De Ocampo during the Ramos administration.

According to the group, a whole of society approach to solving labor market imperfections is necessary not only because of the disruption to unemployment that the pandemic has caused, but also because the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe) is threatening the jobs of even those who have retained them during the pandemic.

The present crisis should be an opportunity to rethink policies from security of tenure to unemployment insurance and worker retraining.

“We therefore call on the government on the occasion of Labor Day to convene the concerned groups in order to forge a social contract that will benefit labor and capital alike,” FEF said.