The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) calls on our economic managers to ensure that the ₱9 trillion-worth of infrastructure projects approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) will create permanent and decent jobs rather than temporary and ‘ENDO’ jobs.
“We cannot leave the task of ending precarious work and ENDO to mere chance. The Government must be at the forefront in uplifting the lives of millions of our working poor trapped in precarious work—contractual dead-end jobs, endo work, low-end gig work, and worse, job-sharing/job rotation schemes—that persist to this day. The ‘Build, Better, More’ infrastructure program is the golden opportunity for the Marcos Administration to be the model in decent work, job security, and full employment,” stated TUCP Vice President Luis Corral.
The TUCP attributes cyclical unemployment and underemployment to the lack of a comprehensive national employment plan to create new quality jobs. “Precarious work—especially the modern form of slavery that ENDO is—condemns workers to become a permanent class of poor people— has no place in the modern and modernizing administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.,” asserted TUCP VP Corral.
The TUCP stepped up the call for the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to fast-track the badly needed and long-overdue Labor and Employment Plan (LEP) which is 7 months late into this Administration and expected to be further delayed since the DOLE has yet to conduct nationwide consultations, workshops, and dialogues.
“Where is the roadmap that identifies where the jobs are, under what terms and conditions, and with what paycheck and benefits? Where is the playbook to ensure living wages and permanent decent jobs? What now, DOLE?” asked TUCP VP Corral amid the lack of sense of urgency in shifting gears from restoring jobs lost during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to creating new jobs towards addressing the growing inequality in the country.
“Unemployment, underemployment, and inflation numbers are all up. Squeezed into intermittent poor-quality jobs, working Filipinos and their families struggle every day for their bare necessities. Perpetuation of precarious work as a benchmark is a gravely erroneous and futile approach to having a full-blown employment plan. Enough therefore with the wishful thinking and window dressing of precarious work as ‘employment’. The rosy picture—robust employment and inclusive growth—falsely painted by our economic managers is a great disservice to the Marcos Administration and our people,” exclaimed TUCP VP Corral. “Only the right critique and correct assessment of the problem can bring us out of the rut of ‘ENDO’ and precarious work,” explained Corral.
“That is why we strongly urge our economic managers to consider the TUCP Jobs Agenda centered on constructing a national railway system connecting regional and provincial agri-industrial hubs for sustainable long-term economic development. This is the intergenerational project which will ensure that the Marcos Administration’s ‘Build, Better, More’ infrastructure program will also be the main driver for massive and sustainable decent jobs creation,” emphasized TUCP VP Corral. “In the near term, it will generate millions of construction jobs with significant multiplier effects of creating jobs throughout their supply chains. For 2022 to 2023 alone, the TUCP projects 4 million sustainable decent jobs from this national endeavor,” added Corral.
“Once the national railway system and agri-industrial hubs are already established, its benefits will be immediately felt. It ensures food security by significantly reducing the time and distance between agricultural production and the markets. Philippine agriculture will then grow into a highly productive industry. Ease of transportation also revitalizes both domestic and international tourism. It will usher in the democratization of wealth creation in the country by decongesting urban metropolitan areas and promoting rural development and job generation, especially with respect to industries where regions and provinces have a comparative advantage,” added the TUCP official.
“Ultimately, it will lower the cost of doing business throughout the countryside, incentivizing the entry of foreign direct investments (FDIs) to the country. This should be the narrative in the President’s tireless efforts in making the Philippines a priority investment destination,” explained TUCP VP Corral.
“As the Marcos Administration’s partner in labor, the TUCP fervently believes that this national railway system connecting regional and provincial agri-industrial growth hubs best embodies President Marcos, Jr.’s call for unity because this is the physical, social, and economic manifestation of unity for a far more decent and equitable Philippines. This is the Philippines where ordinary Filipinos and their families can get decent jobs, justice, and fairness, assuring all their fair share of the gains of a sustainable, truly prosperous, and genuinely inclusive economy,” said Corral.