The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) asked the government to implement a wage hike, cash aid and jobs program in response to the spike in food prices. “Price control is an initial step that falls short of the total package needed. To ensure that price control works, grassroots organizations deputized to monitor prices and violators must be heavily penalized,” asserted Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.
A few weeks ago PM had demanded a P100 across-the-board salary increase together with a new round of ayuda amounting to P10,000 for the informal sector and the unemployed. The group is also supporting the labor coalition Nagkaisa’s call for an emergency jobs creation program called unemployment support and work assistance guarantee or USWAG.
“Even if food prices are frozen now, the purchasing power of workers’ wages have already depreciated by P100 in Metro Manila and elsewhere. Workers, both formal and informal, are suffering from the double whammy of high prices and mass layoffs. The government itself admitted that half of the 400,000 workers reported as retrenched last year were fired in the last quarter. This means the economic crisis is still worsening and the government should act fast,” Magtubo added.
He furthered that “In the long-term, support for farmers must be accelerated, food sovereignty must be promoted and land conversion must be stopped. Local programs that connect farmers to consumers and workers’ communities must be encouraged.”
February 2, 2021