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15 million informal workers target of TUCP, gov’t and LGU partnership

By TUCP
May 30, 2013

QUEZON CITY – Around 15 million vendors, drivers, barbers, tailors, fishermen, barbers, plumbers, tailors and construction workers nationwide stand to benefit from a social protection program designed by the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), various executive departments and local government units.

A memorandum of agreement creating a national convergence program aimed at establishing social protection floor for workers in the informal sector will be signed today, Thursday, May 30, between TUCP, various government departments and agencies led by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and representatives from Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP).

“We are committing fully to this comprehensive but targeted approach in addressing the growing perceived needs of millions of informal workers’ immediate access to government services such as affordable housing, health and nutrition, skills development, job matching, loan and credit facilitation, expanded social security coverage and subsidies. We are going to collaborate with government and give our best effort,” said Gerard Seno, general secretary of TUCP.

The agreement is between TUCP, local government units, 23 government departments and agencies led by DOLE, DENR, DOH, DepEd, DPWH, MMDA, DILG, DSWD, DAR, CHED, HUDCC, Pag-Ibig, DA, DAR, DTI, NHA, PCSO, NSO.

“It’s like diverting government resources and labor group’s expertise towards informal workers who have no protection and access to basic government services especially if unemployment, disaster, or sickness strikes them,” explains Seno adding: “We really hope it will work out because informal workers desperately needs this kind of intervention.”

The MOA designates the DOLE as the program manager by ensuring that the program strategies are working and that respective partners are contributing their identified responsibilities.

Beginning next year, an initial target of 2.5 million informal workers will be benefited by the program’s expansion of SSS and Philhealth coverage by requiring membership of all government livelihood grants and subsidies, livelihood, training on safety and health in performing their jobs, skills training and labor market information for graduates of government’s Conditional Cash Transfer program.