Hontiveros to Malacañang: Develop comprehensive labor agenda to address income disparity, employment woes of Filipino workers

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday, November 30 urged Malacañang to heed the calls of labor groups and immediately come up with a framework that would address the worsening income and employment problems of Filipino workers.

Hontiveros said the latest Pulse Asia survey reflected the sentiment and concerns of many Filipino workers who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it is an urgent matter that we heed the calls of labor groups. The pandemic had an extraordinary effect on our economy," Hontiveros said.

"We really need serious government interventions," she said.

The senator said the Marcos administration should compel its all-star economic team to produce a concrete and complete economic recovery plan to assuage workers' fears.

"There must be a comprehensive plan to help workers cope with increasing inflation rates, declining job quality, and persistent unemployment,” she added.

As the country honors the sacrifices of one of its notable heroes, Andres Bonifacio, Hontiveros backed the NAGKAISA Labor Movement's call for policies that address the most important issues facing workers and for changes to labor laws.

Among the group's proposed initiatives were pay hikes and reforms in the country's wage-setting procedures, a public employment program, contractualization, trade union repression, and a summit on industrial and labor relations policies.

“I am in full support of Nagkaisa’s labor agenda... Their proposals are vital to understanding the most pressing issues of our economy," she said.

"If anything, these should be the first thing on the agenda. Inaasahan ng mga labor groups na magkakaroon ng diretsong dayalogo ang administrasyon sa kanila,” she said.

The senator further said the government should consider programs that guarantee income and employment.

"Anti-poor policies like contractualization need to be seriously reconsidered in this volatile economy,” she reiterated.