task group to study P500 proposed subsidy as workers’ lose P3,900 a
month as daily wage buying power fell by 30% due to TRAIN inflation
Associated Labor Unions
February 10, 2018
QUEZON CITY –
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the creation of a small task group
that would set in motion the P500 monthly cash voucher government
subsidy and concrete steps in bringing down electricity rates being
proposed by the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the
Philippines (ALU-TUCP) to help minimum-wage earners cope with the
rising cost of living.
“During a dialogue with
labor groups last Wednesday, the President ordered the creation of a
small working group composed of four representatives from his
cabinet and four representatives from the ALU-TUCP to discuss how to
operationalize the subsidy and the proposed measures in bringing
down the cost of power,” said ALU-TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay.
Duterte’s order followed
after the group discussed the matter in a dialogue with labor groups
in Malacañang last Wednesday. The government’s task group is made up
of secretaries from the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of
Energy (DOE), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the
Department of Budget and Management (DBM). They are to meet with
ALU-TUCP representatives on March 15, 2018.
The proposed subsidy came
amid the country’s highest daily minimum wage fell by 30% due to the
inflation caused by the usual demand and supply hikes and by the
implementation of Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN)
excise taxes on fuel and sweetened beverages, the ALU-TUCP said.
In a monitoring being
conducted by the group, as of February 10, 2018, the purchasing
power of daily minimum wage of P512 in Metro Manila region fell to
P360.31 a day – an remarkable erosion of P151.69 a day.
“In sum, workers’ lose a
total of P3,943.94 a month to inflation. With this amount, a family
can buy additional food needed for them to stay healthy in our
society and remain productive citizen in nation-building. But it
looks like there is no immediate relief in sight coming from the
Duterte government to extend government assistance to those who are
immersed in poverty and no safety nets for those who are about to
fall into poverty,” said ALU-TUCP spokesman Alan Tanjusay.
The Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas (BSP) noted the inflation rate nationwide at 4% in January
2018. The ALU-TUCP is proposing to President Rodrigo Duterte a P500
monthly cash voucher subsidy for an initial 4 million minimum wage
earners to help them cope from rising cost of living and as safety
net for them from falling into further poverty.