Friday, May 3, 2013

Palace says government addressing concerns of labor groups May 1, 2013


Government at Work
Palace says government addressing concerns of labor groups May 1, 2013
The Aquino administration expressed its openness in addressing the concerns of the labor sector as long as those issues are “reasonable,” a Palace official said on Wednesday.

In a telephone interview with Palace reporters, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the President met with members of the labor sector Tuesday prior to his departure for Tarlac City to attend a job fair there.

There were 17 individuals, labor leaders, representing various organizations, including the public sector who met the President during the meeting, Lacierda said. The President was joined by his Cabinet secretaries.

Among the concerns of the labor groups include the minimum wage, end of contract, contractualization and taxation, Lacierda said an increase in salary from the minimum wage would mean additional tax, making it a concern for the labor sector, he explained.
To address the problem, the President instructed Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares to prioritize a study on the issue and find out how the government could encourage productivity without creating burden because of taxation.

The President also wants the BIR to make it a priority going after tax evaders.
The Cabinet members were instructed by the President to address the concerns of the labor groups through dialogue. Both sides also made a commitment to have another round of dialogue by the end of May, Lacierda said.

Lacierda noted that the dialogue last Tuesday also addressed the concerns of the public sector on job orders, he said, adding Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has addressed the issue.

After the meeting, both the labor leaders and the President’s Cabinet agreed to make the discussions regular to tackle concerns of the public sector, with Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz spearheading the meetings.

“Ang mahalaga po ay reasonable ang mga demands at saka something that the government can work with, for example, ang concern sa job order from public sector, ang pinag-usapan din Ang kanilang concern sa employment on the government sector,” he said.
“So ina-address ‘yan, at pag-aaralan pa rin natin. We’re open to solutions and options. And we asked them also, suggest your options to us.”

Lacierda said labor leaders were happy meeting with the President as they expressed their concerns to him. Among the Cabinet secretaries who joined the dialogue were Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, and Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

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