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TUCP hopes PBBM’s meeting with POTUS bolsters creation of decent jobs in the country

Representatives of Philippine labor
Representatives of Philippine labor, composed of officials of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), and other various trade union centers, labor federations, and workers’ organizations met with the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and US Ambassador to the Philippines Mary Kay Loss Carlson on 18 April 2023 to discuss the plight of Filipino workers as it relates to evolving a stronger Philippines-United States trade relationship with solid foundations in safeguarding labor rights and promoting good labor relations. (Photo Courtesy: ILO Manila)

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) expresses optimism that His Excellency President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.’s pitching of the Philippines as a US priority investment destination would result in the creation of permanent decent jobs for Filipino workers.

“Workers are hopeful that the meeting between Presidents Marcos and Biden will intensify focus on the Philippines as a preferred country in which to invest, unlocking export market access to the US and also Europe,” said TUCP President and House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza. “This is the key to creating new, permanent, and decent jobs,” explained Deputy Speaker Mendoza.

“President Marcos’ leadership in bringing in foreign direct investments should translate to decent jobs. We trust that under his watch, instead of workers who are employed in precarious temporary work, we will have workers who will have security of tenure. Instead of poorly paid, low-end gig jobs, we will have decent jobs with living wages. Congress and TUCP are prepared to partner with President Marcos in realizing this vision,” said Deputy Speaker Mendoza.

“We understand that the President is the ‘best salesman’ to pitch to the world that the Philippines is ‘open for business’ once again. Leading from the front, the President is promoting the Philippines as a competitive destination for foreign direct investments which, from the TUCP perspective, should create sustainable businesses and decent jobs in the country,” explained TUCP Vice President Luis Corral.

“The President’s pitch to the world should translate to job creation that addresses the quality of jobs we have and the double-digit underemployment figures that have become a permanent fixture. We expect translation of the President’s efforts by the concerned agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), which has yet to come out with the long-overdue Labor and Employment Plan (LEP), and the economic managers who tend to just window-dress precarious work as robust employment,” emphasized Corral.

“The TUCP looks forward to President Marcos’ meeting with President Biden which coincides with Labor Day and hopes that both Presidents will also discuss the reauthorization of the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for the Philippines with a clear stamp of the Biden Administration’s worker-centered trade policy. This will open up tariff-free access to the American market for potentially 3,500 product lines from the Philippines, and open up new job opportunities,” said Corral.

“During the labor meeting with United States Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai on 18 April 2023, the Ambassador articulated US President Joe Biden’s commitment to place workers front and center by promoting trade unionism and advancing worker-centered trade policies. Under the overarching vision of the Biden Administration for worker-centered trade, Ambassador Tai expressed America’s firm commitment to fundamental labor rights and core labor standards premised on our common belief that for growth and prosperity to be inclusive, no one should be left behind. It is only right and just that workers, who create the wealth of our nation, get their fair share and reap the fruits of their labor. We trust that we will soon realize our vision for both the workers of the Philippines and the US as our leaders and peoples revisit both our enduring historic ties and shared values as well as overcome common hurdles and explore new opportunities between our two economies,” stated Corral.

“In line with the battle call—”sama-sama tayong babangon muli”—the TUCP supports President Marcos in seizing this golden opportunity to be the modern and modernizing President who will positively change the labor rights record of the Philippines in cognizance that ensuring labor rights leads to more investors and wider markets that will create new, permanent, and decent jobs,” underscored Corral.

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