Villanueva: Fix PH employment woes first before passing Trabaho bill
Sharing fears of certain industries on possible loss of jobs, Senator Joel Villanueva on Thursday called on government to first address issues hounding employment in the country before finally approving the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities or Trabaho bill.
“With the ballooning inflation that has burdened our consumers, the Filipino people cannot suffer another blow through the loss of jobs that might be caused by the new tax reform package,” Villanueva said in a statement.
Labor Department Director Dominique Tutay acknowledged during a Senate deliberation that the Trabaho bill could likely affect employment in the industry and services sector, including technology-driven businesses.
The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippine Foundation Inc. in a statement said that 140,000 of their workers could lose their jobs because of the Duterte administration’s new tax reform package. It noted that multinational companies are thinking about moving out of the country because of uncertainty in tax incentives under the Trabaho bill.
Villanueva urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to ensure improvements on its employment adjustment programs should the Trabaho bill becomes a law.
“The thousands of jobs that are projected to (be lost) due to Trabaho bill is a serious matter. The DOLE, along with other concerned agencies, should be proactive in addressing this problem,” he pointed out.
Under the proposed measure, the Department of Finance allocates P500 million worth of cash grants for displaced workers and another P500 million for workers’ trainings and skills development.
But Villanueva said cash grants might not be enough as it would only serve as “band-aid solution” for displaced workers. He stressed that Trabaho bill should be cause job losses in the first place.
“Providing cash grants are just a band-aid solution for our displaced workers. It cannot sustain them for a long time, that is why we have to make sure that the Trabaho Bill will not result in unemployment,” he said.
Trabaho bill is the second package of the Tax Reform Acceleration for Inclusion (Train) Law. It aimed to cut corporate taxes to 20 percent from 30 percent.
The DOLE revealed that 30,000 jobs in the industry and services sectors were lost in the first quarter of 2018 as shown in their job displacement monitoring.
Aside from Villanueva, Senator Sonny Angara also wanted to delay Senate’s deliberation on Trabaho bill until the government shows a study regarding the impact of the proposed measure on the employment situation in the country. /kga
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