SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
House Committee on Labor and Employment Chairperson Enrico Pineda (Party-list, 1-PACMAN) on Wednesday lauded the proposed wage subsidy program of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), noting that it will stop employers from further retrenching their workforce.
“Ang proposal natin at ng DOLE is to subsidize the salary of workers between 25 and 50 percent,” Pineda said during the weekly “Ugnayan sa Batasan” media forum.
He added: “Isa po ito sa pinaglalaban natin sa Bayanihan 3 na sinusulong ni Speaker Lord Allan Velasco. Kung merong subsidy ang gobyerno sa mga employee, it will prevent the businesses from taking them off the workforce.”
Velasco earlier filed House Bill 8628 or the proposed Bayanihan to Arise As One Act, which seeks to provide funding of P420-billion—including P52 billion in wage subsidies—to stimulate the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The measure received strong bipartisan support in the House, with 224 lawmakers from the supermajority, minority and independent blocs signing on either as principal or co-authors.
Pineda revealed that since March 2020, more than 400,000 workers from the formal economy lost their jobs due to the pandemic, while more are displaced from the informal economy.
At the same time, Pineda underscored the need to expedite the rollout of the government’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program.
He urged the Department of Health to speed up the negotiation on the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Sa hirap po na dinudulot nitong pandemic na ito, ang solusyon po talaga sa atin, i-roll out po kaagad ‘yung ating vaccine,” Pineda said.
According to Pineda, the vaccine could not only allay fears of workers to return to work but also prompt businesses to reopen.
“Kapag meron tayong vaccine, kahit papaano meron tayong level of protection,” he pointed out.
“Although it is not 100 percent effective, pero at least malaking pagbabawas ito sa pangamba ng ating mga empleyado na lumabas at magtrabaho and also for our employers to open their business again 100 percent,” he added.
The party-list lawmaker also emphasized that more businesses in the country will fold up if there are no vaccines until June.#