Makati-based businesses vow to ease workers’ burden

Published April 30, 2022, 9:45 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

In a rare tribute to workers on Labor Day, the Makati Business Club salutes Philippine workers and vowed to work for policies to improve the plight of workers.

“We will work with the government to ensure better work conditions, expand healthcare and social security, and develop unemployment insurance,” said MBC in a statement.

In the immediate term, the Makati-based business group said they will work with the government to mitigate the effects of rising inflation by protecting or increasing production and addressing supply bottlenecks.

MBC acknowledged the “outsize burden” workers faced during the pandemic in the past two years. Some workers were “essential and frontline workers risking Covid exposure so others could live safely. Others were among the first — and longest — to lose their jobs. Many remain unemployed.”

“We will join other members of the business community in working with the new administration on policies that will accelerate job creation and improve the skills and productivity that are key to sustainable growth in workers incomes and benefits,” the group said.

MBC noted of a 2021 report by the Asia Development Bank, which showed the Philippines spent 2.98 percent of its GDP on social services which is significantly lower than the global average of 12.8 percent.

On skills, MBC vowed to work with the government on education and training reforms to prepare Filipinos for better jobs.

According to at least one estimate, MBC said 2.4 million skilled jobs may be left unfilled if there will be no immediate reforms to reskill and upskill Filipino workers as well as improve the education system for the future labor force.

“We believe these will help create a strong, skilled, upwardly mobile workforce, which is essential to the globally-competitive, job-creating economy we aspire for the Philippines to be,” the MBC statement concluded.