Marcos calls for more relief measures for workers

Senator Imee Marcos (File photo)

MANILA – Senator Imee Marcos pushed for more relief measures designed to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Filipino workers, including those in the informal economy.

During the Task Group on Economic Recovery and National Employment Recovery Strategy Job Summit on Saturday, Marcos noted that most of the job losses have occurred in the “very hard to reach” informal sector, upwards of 80 percent have really been in the lowest-paid brackets.

She said the failure to provide adequate social protection, as well as medical cover further compounded one of the world’s longest lockdowns.

“In fact, that bitter choice that we have compelled our employees and workers to make between life and livelihood is not only absurd, [but] it is [also] completely and utterly cruel,” Marcos said.

She said one of the lessons that can be picked up from the experience is the need to expand subsidies, particularly “thorough” wage subsidies even ensuring that new hires are covered.

Marcos also stressed the importance of expanding the unemployment insurance benefits of the Social Security System so that it would “truthfully” cover the labor sector.

She said the government should itself provide the generation of jobs that is “green and digital”.

“Let us take this opportunity indeed to transform a government that has merely used its emergency powers to control the virus and progress to allow government to push forth job generation, cash for work, and every manner of employment, particularly for hard-hit sectors,” she said. “[Let us put forward] a change that will bring about sustainability, the digital revolution that crosses that poverty divide once and for all.” (PNA)

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