THERE’S an urgent need to fast-track economic recovery so businesses can absorb the workers’ pressing demand for wage hikes after both sectors were pummeled by the pandemic, according to presidential candidate Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.
Acknowledging that the labor sector badly needs a “shot in the arm” in these trying times, Marcos Jr. vowed, if elected in the May 2022 elections, to push for measures that will immediately improve economic conditions.
He, however, explained that any wage hikes at this time might meet some opposition from business owners, considering the current state of the economy still trying to get back on its feet after being crippled by the pandemic.
“We are aware of the labor sector’s need for salary increases, but because we have not fully recovered from the pandemic, we must focus on growing commerce and industry,” he said, mostly in Filipino.
“Tiyakin muna natin ang pagbubukas ng mga kumpanya at ang pagbabalik sa trabaho ng ating mga kababayan. Mula sa ganung konsepto ay titiyakin natin ang kaluwagan at pagbibigay ng maaaring mga benepisyo sa ating mga manggagawa,” Marcos added.
[Let’s first ensure the smooth reopening of companies and the restoration of jobs. From that context, we can ensure there’s enough room to give workers substantial benefits].
He stressed that economic growth is driven by consumer spending and business investment and “it is, therefore, necessary for people to have jobs to be able to spend and pump up the economy.”
“Alam ng management (ng mga kumpanya), ng pamahalaan, at mga manggagawa ang kalagayan ng ekonomiya kaya lahat ay nagtitiis. Kahit nakikita na natin ang unti-unting pagbangon ay kailangan pa ding patatagin muna ang kalakalan at iyan ang ating pagsisikapang gawin,” Marcos said.
[The companies, the government, and the workers all know the state of the economy, and are making sacrifices. Even though we are seeing the start of a recovery, we still must ensure the stability of industries, and that’s what we will strive to do].
Economic experts have noted that the business sector is cautiously waiting for the result of the May 2022 elections before venturing on business expansions or before investors pump in new capital.
Marcos said the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will be the backbone of his economic program, as majority of the workforce come from this sector.
Progress, he stressed, has an apparent “domino effect,” adding, “we must help first the sectors that are economic pillars and others will follow. A progressive economy will result in a progressive nation and citizens with better lives,” he said, partly in Filipino.
CAPTION: Presidential bet Bongbong Marcos waves the flag as he acknowledges supporters’ cheers in the recent grand rally in Balayan, Batangas, where he was joined by running mate Inday Sara Duterte and some of the Partido Federal’s senatorial candidates. BM FILE PHOTO BY ROY DOMINGO