by Jhesset O. Enano, Inquirer, Jan 18, 2018
The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) is considering the proposal of the Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of Philippines (ALU-TUCP) to provide minimum wage earners P500 in monthly subsidy, according to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
Bello told reporters in a press briefing on Wednesday that the subsidy would have to do for now, as the wage increase also being sought by workers was not feasible.
The labor secretary said the funds might come from the national government’s appropriation for its conditional cash transfer program.
“It would be given to minimum wage earners who are regular employees and are regularly paying their Social Security System dues,” he said.
While the Dole would work to fast-track the process, Bello said the proposal was yet to be approved by the Department of Budget and Management and by President Duterte himself.
He said that the subsidy program could help ease the blow of possible price increases on goods for low-income workers amid the implementation of the new tax law, the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act.
Bello said, however, that an increase in wages—P157 daily, as proposed by ALU-TUCP— was “unlikely” at this point.