The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) stands ready to partner with the incoming Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Ralph Recto on the imperative of bringing down skyrocketing prices of basic goods and services, attracting more and better foreign direct investments, and realizing the investment pledges made that should translate to better quality of life and new, permanent, and decent jobs for Filipino workers and their families.“
“With his long proven track record in fiscal and economic policymaking both in the Executive as NEDA Director-General and in Congress as Chair of the Senate Committees on Ways and Means and on Trade and Industry as well as of House Committee on Economic Affairs, among others, we trust that our good colleague and friend, then-fellow House Deputy Speaker and now-Finance Secretary Recto, will engage all stakeholders and spearhead reforms to get to the roots of food and electricity inflation and solidify the Philippines as a global investment hub where the purchasing power, decent employment, and full rights of working families are safeguarded,” stated TUCP President and House Deputy Speaker Raymond Democrito C. Mendoza.
The TUCP calls on Finance Secretary Recto and the entire economic management team of the Marcos Administration to promote progressive, worker-centered, and race-to-the-top labor relations to attract investors to set up shop here and generate more and better jobs for all because trade is inextricably tied to the full and free exercise of workers’ rights, such as the existing EU GSP+ as well as the US GSP to be reauthorized.
“Sec. Recto’s flagship fiscal reform program should be amending the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises” (CREATE) Act so that fiscal incentives are tied to compliance with core labor standards. Investment incentives and tax breaks should only be given to enterprises that uphold their workers’ right to security of tenure, to organize, and to collectively bargain, among others. This is a win-win for both workers and employers as it will both ensure decent work and business viability,” explained Deputy Speaker Mendoza.
“We look forward to working together with Secretary Recto on following through on the fruitful mission of Philippine labor leaders to Washington, D.C., where we met with key officials of the US President Joe Biden’s Administration on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and the US Global Labor Strategy that clearly set forth compliance to labor rights, such as addressing all the recommendations of the ILO High-Level Tripartite Mission and passing long-pending priority labor legislation on security of tenure and freedom of association, as prerequisite for the Philippines to enjoy tariff-free privileges to nearly 10,000 product lines in the US and EU markets and attract foreign direct investments under the overarching US worker-centered trade policy,” explained Deputy Speaker Mendoza.
The TUCP trusts that Sec. Recto will prioritize the allocation of public funds for the Marcos Administration’s “Build, Better, More” infrastructure program anchored on the establishment of our proposed national railway system interconnecting regional and provincial agro-industrial hubs. “Under Sec. Recto’s watch, we hope to see such huge public infrastructure push massively create new jobs, ensure food security, decongest urban metropolitan areas and democratize wealth creation by promoting rural development and job generation. It will ultimately lower the cost of doing business throughout the countryside, incentivizing the entry of foreign investments. This should be our whole-of-society response to the directive of President Marcos that we must not only grow the economy but ensure that such growth is inclusive and felt by our people,” underscored Deputy Speaker Mendoza.
“With Sec. Recto at the helm of the Department of Finance and together with the entire economic management team, the TUCP remains steadfast as the Marcos Administration’s partner in labor towards the end of the beggar-thy-neighbor policy wherein it is always workers who are left to sacrifice with their measly salaries amid headwinds at home and abroad. May this new secretaryship usher in a new social contract for all—employers, Government, and workers—to share in the burden and share in the sacrifice of building a far more decent, prosperous, and equitable Philippine society—tungo sa Bagong Pilipinas para sa Mamumuhunan, Manggagawa, at Mamamayang Pilipino!,” underscored Deputy Speaker Mendoza.