The Philippine Star

La­bor group seeks CITIRA safety nets for work­ers

- Philippines · Philippines Department of Finance · Congress of the Philippines · Philippines Department of Trade and Industry

The coun­try’s largest la­bor group yes­ter­day sought pro­tec­tion for the more than half a mil­lion work­ers to be af­fected by the Cor­po­rate In­come Tax and In­cen­tives Ra­tio­nal­iza­tion Act (CITIRA).

Trade Union Congress of the Philip­pines (TUCP) vice pres­i­dent Louie Cor­ral said the Depart­ment of Fi­nance (DOF) should meet with af­fected eco­zone work­ers and en­cour­age in­puts on how they are go­ing to be treated by the law.

Cor­ral also asked the Depart­ment of La­bor and Em­ploy­ment (DOLE) to con­duct a sur­vey to de­ter­mine the ac­tual num­ber of work­ers to be dis­placed so the gov­ern­ment could for­mu­late an ev­i­denced-based in­ter­ven­tion once CITIRA takes ef­fect.

The Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (DTI) has pro­posed three to six months monthly al­lowance to be al­lo­cated for dis­placed work­ers.

But Cor­ral said the DTI pro­posal is not fea­si­ble since the work­ers still need to prove they have lost their jobs due to CITIRA be­fore they can be able to get their al­lowance.

“The idea is de­void of sin­cer­ity and logic. We all know that with the kind of gov­ern­ment bu­reau­cracy that we have, work­ers would be un­able to get any­thing,” Cor­ral ex­plained.

He said it also seems that work­ers are beg­ging for alms from the gov­ern­ment af­ter los­ing their jobs.

With­out cred­i­ble pro­tec­tion, Cor­ral said, the coun­try’s eco­nomic man­agers are ex­pos­ing the work­ers in harm’s way in push­ing for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of CITRA.

“Our eco­nomic man­agers are hell-bent in push­ing thou­sands of work­ers and their fam­i­lies to­wards the fire by push­ing the ap­proval of the CITIRA with­out any cred­i­ble job pro­tec­tion mea­sures and be­liev­able safety nets for work­ers af­fected by the en­force­ment of this sec­ond tax re­form pack­age mea­sure,” Cor­ral said.

Busi­ness groups claimed that about 700,000 jobs will be lost with the im­ple­men­ta­tion of CITIRA.

“They’re say­ing work­ers will be pro­tected and new jobs will be cre­ated with CITIRA but if you take a closer look at the mea­sure, these pro­vi­sions are in­sub­stan­tial and vague when it comes to pro­tect­ing jobs and pro­vid­ing safety nets for work­ers,” Cor­ral said.

Other than al­lo­cat­ing P500 mil­lion an­nual bud­get for dis­placed work­ers, Cor­ral said, the gov­ern­ment seems not to care what will hap­pen to work­ers.

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