Labor group airs concern over salary subsidy plan

LABOR group Defend Jobs Philippines Saturday expressed concerns over the announcement of DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Friday regarding its latest proposal to start a new “Salary Subsidy” program.

Bello said that under the said proposal, the Labor Department is planning to subsidize around 20-25% of the workers’ minimum wage to aid employers under small, medium and micro businesses in order for them not to terminate their employees this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thadeus Ifurung, Defend Jobs Philippines spokesperson, said DOLE’s plan to implement a new cash subsidy program drew anger of affected Filipino workers who did not receive any of DOLE’s previous CAMP and TUPAD programs.

“Before starting new rounds of salary subsidy, cash assistance measures or programs, the Labor Department must first report to our workers and people how the billions of public funds were spent and distributed considering that majority of our affected workforce did not receive any assistance,” said Ifurung.

Defend Jobs Philippines said posting names of the beneficiaries online can serve as fact-checking and verification mechanism of our workers.

The group said new programs of DOLE in giving aid to workers must be inclusive, non-selective and easily accessible to all workers especially to those who are covered by the no work, no pay policy. According to Defend Jobs Philippines, around 11M-18M workers have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic across the country.