Vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. today said he is backing the call for higher wages for workers in the country amid the upcoming petition of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) to increase the minimum wage in NCR by P154.
“Having decent work to support one’s family is a basic human right and workers have long been suffering for sky-high taxes and very low income to begin with that does not support their needs,” he said.
The senator also said he is also pushing for the creation of a Jobs Creation Council which will be an inter-agency body that will focus on employment generation through partnerships with business leaders and local government units (LGUs).
The senator said that a review of whether the wages truly commensurate the amount of inflation and expenses of the workers should be done not only in the NCR but in other parts of the country.
“During my campaign sorties, I have talked to a lot of groups and they keep complaining about the same thing. No matter which province, no matter who I talk to, it always boils down to insufficient income for the amount of work they do and even before their salaries get to them, over 30 percent of it has already been deducted from taxes. So a wage increase should be given now,” he stated.
During the last vice presidential debates organized by CNN Philippines, Marcos said that if he was to be given a cabinet position if elected into office, he would want the Labor and Employment portfolio because he believes that this is one of the keys to solving the poverty problem plaguing the country for decades.
Marcos said that aside from the evaluation of wages, it is important to will establish a Jobs Creation Council which will prioritize an employment projection plan where high employment growth rate are met and negative employment outcomes are projected.
He pointed out that he has filed Senate Bill No. 1862 which is creation of an “Inter-Agency Council” composed of government “heavyweights” to arrest the plummeting employment rate in the country and serve as the overall advisory and coordinating mechanism that shall design policy program directions for all job creation endeavors in the country.
The bill also provides that the President will appoint a representative from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Employer’s Confederation of the Philippines, and recognized employee’s union.
It will also assist LGUs to map out business opportunities in their respective localities and tie them up to investors, as well as to receive investment complaints and refer them to appropriate government agencies for action.
“Job creation is a multi-faceted endeavor that requires the joint efforts of different agencies to provide effective and holistic employment creation strategies. This will be the answer to the current dismal situation of country’s employment,” Marcos said.
He added strict compliance of the laws governing the contractual employees should be monitored by the DoLE which should include among others the "right to working conditions and standards, service incentive leave, rest days, overtimes and holidays, health, safety and social and welfare benefits, self-organization and collective bargaining and security of tenure."