The Philippine Star
Labor group seeks CITIRA safety nets for workers
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.