The worsening economic situation in the country makes the workers the “biggest losers,” labor leader Wennie Sancho said Sunday, March 14.
“The labor sector are among the biggest losers, as factories and plants are closing. A falling peso in terms of purchasing power robs the Filipino workers of their income as more business companies closed shop, resulting in shattered lives,” Sancho, secretary-general of the General Alliance of Workers Association, said.
He said that more workers have lost their jobs and faith in a government that could not provide them with employment opportunities.
“Workers are moving from high-paying jobs into lower-paying jobs which contribute less in income taxes. The worsening economic situation is compounded by a deepening crisis in agriculture due to liberal importation of rice and the adverse effect of the African swine fever, while prices of pork, meat and chicken have skyrocketed followed by the unabated increases in the prices of petroleum products,” he pointed out.
Free trade puts the demand of consumers ahead of the duties of citizens, the unbridled freedom of unscrupulous businessmen and traders in the marketplace is given priority ahead of all claims of family, community and country, he said.
“We spend more than we earn, we consume more than we produce. We are assured of deficits in our income if any. Tariffs raise the prices of goods. But all the taxes are factored into the final price of the goods we buy. We would be happy if these taxes flow back to us in terms of basic services, but it does not seem to be the case,” he said.*