[Press Release] Labor NGO urges DTI to put on hold price increases | EILER

#HumanRights #Workers

Labor NGO urges DTI to put on hold price increases

A Labor NGO urges the Department of Trade and Industry to put on hold the price increases of basic necessities which are set at 3-5 percent.

The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) emphasizes that instead of price increases, the government should immediately provide additional support to MSMEs, improve vaccine roll-out, provide wage relief to the workers, and ayuda for all affected as ECQ will be implemented by the end of the week.

“The number of jobless Filipinos has increased in June. Given the spread of the Delta variant and considering that many workers have not recovered from losing their jobs, the price increases will make it more difficult for the workers and the working poor to live decently,” said EILER Executive Director Rochelle Porras.

EILER noted that under the Duterte administration, there has not been any significant increase in workers’ wages. According to government data, the real value of the current minimum wage is P100 less amid inflation and additional tax on consumer goods.

“While prices are skyrocketing, the government remains mum on the calls of workers for additional aid and wage relief of P100. Insufficient ayuda, poor households will not be able to buy basic necessities to cope with the impacts of the pandemic,” Porras added.

EILER recognizes that local small, micro, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are also in a tight spot due to the increase in production costs in addition to the loss of income. The labor NGO nonetheless emphasizes that the consumers should not be the ones carrying the burden. Ample financial support may be generated by rechanneling unused funds towards subsidies to MSMEs so that they can thrive amid tight competition and increasing production costs.

“Government should prioritize support to MSMEs, wage relief to the workers, and ayuda, instead of only favoring big and foreign businesses. These will revive our domestic economy and provide quality jobs to Filipinos,” Porras ended.

Reference: Ms. Rochelle Porras, EILER Executive Director, +63 927 493 5747

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