MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday called on the business sector to give workers “stable career and humane working conditions” in observance of Labor Day.
Duterte made the appeal, as he said that Filipino workers must reap the rewards of their contribution to the country.
“I thus remind everyone in the business sector of their shared responsibility in improving the lives of our workers by providing them stable career opportunities and humane working conditions,” he said in his Labor Day message.
The President also extended his “warmest greetings” to all Filipino workers in the country and abroad.
Duterte said Labor Day, which is celebrated every May 1, reaffirms the government’s commitment to upholding the rights of the labor force.
He also acknowledged the Filipino workers’ hard work which “serves as the very foundation of our nation’s prosperity and growth.”
“Globally renowned for its professional excellence and unmatched diligence, our workforce continues to benefit communities and industries across the world,” Duterte said.
Duterte ensured that his administration would safeguard the rights of our workers through the “humanization of laws and the equalization of social forces.”
“As all work is vital in forging a more inclusive and more progressive Philippines, may each and every Filipino rightfully enjoy the fruits of their labor and lead more productive and dignified lives. I wish everyone a meaningful celebration,” he said.
Over 2.3 million workers have been displaced due to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), according to the data from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
As of April 28, some 87,301 establishments reported that more than 1.6 million of their workers have been affected by the temporary work suspension, while around 797,728 have been on the alternative work arrangements due to the quarantine protocols imposed by the national government.
On Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government will launch a recovery plan for workers, as the country grapples with the Covid-19 crisis.
Roque said the recovery plan would be implemented, alongside other packages that intend to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
DOLE has realigned PHP1.5 billion of its 2020 budget to help more displaced formal workers.
The realignment seeks to provide one-time assistance of PHP5,000 to an additional 300,000 workers already processed under the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).
DOLE has provided assistance to 407,300 under CAMP.
DOLE is also set to start this month its regular Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged or Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program in areas that are not placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
The TUPAD program will utilize a separate PHP1 billion realigned regular funds of DOLE.
DOLE has also exhausted PHP1 billion to fund emergency TUPAD Barangay Ko Bahay Ko to assist 275,000 workers in the informal sector.
DOLE has provided PHP10,000 cash assistance to over 700,000 displaced overseas Filipino workers, which is close to 50 percent of over 297,000 targeted beneficiaries of the PHP1.5-billion AKAP Assistance Fund. (PNA)