MANILA — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Thursday hoped that the incoming 19th Congress would finally pass the measure addressing the plight and concerns of the country’s informal economy.
Lawyer Karina Perida-Trayvilla of DOLE's Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns said the Magna Carta of Workers in the Informal Economy failed to get the green light under the 18th Congress.
“Mayroon po tayong Magna Carta of Workers in the Informal Economy, ito po ay tinalakay sa 18th Congress kaso nga lang hindi ho tayo pinalad," said Trayvilla in a televised briefing.
(We have a Magna Carta of Workers in the Informal Economy tackled by the 18th Congress but it wasn't passed.)
"Ito na sana iyong bill para sa kabuuan. Integrated na ito, holistic approach on addressing the concerns of the workers in the informal economy. Particularly ay nakalagay na doon ang basic labor rights, maayos na working conditions or working environment, and access to resources like access to credit resources, credit facility, capacity-building trainings, and of course mataas na kita,” she added.
(This is a bill that covers everything. This is holistic and integrated in terms of the approach in addressing the concerns of workers in the informal economy. Among the issues covered are basic labor rights, proper working conditions, working environment... and high wages.)
The official noted that the government's different livelihood assistance programs were already integrated in the measure, which includes the emergency employment assistance.
“Hindi nga ho tayo pinalad kaya inaasahan po natin na sa susunod na administrasyon, under President Marcos, ito po ay muling isusulong dahil ito po ay para sa kapakanan ng mga manggagawa sa impormal na sektor.”
(We did not succeed now. So we are hoping that the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will push for this because this is meant to help workers in the informal sector.)
According to DOLE, 36.2 percent of the total 47 million employed Filipinos, or 17 million workers, belong to the informal sector.
These include self-employed workers such as ambulant vendors, small transport workers, as well as unpaid family workers who assist in micro businesses of their families, while other informal workers belong to the agriculture sector.
“So niri-recognize po natin ang kanilang contribution lalung-lalo na po sa sektor ng agrikultura. Malaki po ang nai-contribute nila sa ekonomiya,” Trayvilla said.
(We recognize their contribution most especially in the sector of agriculture. They have contributed a lot in our economy.)
Aside from earning below the minimum wage, many informal workers have little or no access to social protection, as well as to decent and safe working environments, she said.
These workers may also be exposed to violence and harassment given their work environment.
“Kasi po karamihan ng ating informal sector ay nandoon din sa kalsada at iyong oras ng pagtrabaho ay normally lumalagpas po sa itinakda ng batas na 8 hours," she said.
(Many of our workers in the informal sector are in the streets, and they work for more than 8 hours.)
“So kailangan po iyong malaking ugnayan ng ating partners, social partners, private sector pati na po iyong ating mga government agencies para po maisulong po natin iyong Magna Carta of Workers in the Informal Economy.”
(We need to cooperate with our partners... so we can push for this Magna Carta of Workers in the Informal Economy.)