DOLE to Review Calls for Wage Subsidy in the Private Sector
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced to revisit the proposals from various labor groups regarding the wage subsidy in the private sector in the Philippines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III expressed that the proposal for wage subsidy, instead of a wage increase, is better since employers will have trouble sustaining the adjustment.
Bello stated, “If we receive a formal request from the labor groups, first, we will discuss this with the concerned government agencies and explore possibilities on how we can address this proposal. It will all depend on the capacity of the government.”
Labor groups such as the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) called the government’s attention to provide a wage subsidy for employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bello continued, “We will have an in-depth consultation with other agencies of the government especially for those who will shoulder the expenses of the subsidy such as the Department of Finance (DOF), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). We need to know if the government can shoulder all of these because we are talking about millions of workers.”
Additionally, the Labor Secretary disclosed that he had submitted a proposal on a wage subsidy on the said agencies to retain the jobs and prevent terminations of the existing workforce in the Philippines.
Bello expressed optimism that the Philippine economy will soon regain its strength and strong trade, resulting in businesses returning to normal.
He further stated, “We will find a way to address this problem if it’s a wage subsidy or an adjustment. My colleagues in the government are very hopeful with a projection that business will grow soon because when we have good business, then we have good employment status.”