Need to protect informal workers cited

December 4, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 807 views

RIZAL 4th District Rep. Fidel Nograles on Sunday vowed that the House committee on labor and employment which he chairs would do its best to come up with and pass a measure that would protect and uphold the welfare of at least 17 million Filipino workers.

“We see the need for the Magna Carta for informal workers, who are growing in number as a result of the pandemic. Panahon na para paigtingin ang proteksyon at isulong ang mga karapatan nila, at makakaasa po ang ating mga kababayan na tututukan ng komite ang pagpasa nito,” Nograles, a stalwart of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), said.

The labor committee has started last week its deliberations on 11 separate bills proposing the Magna Carta of Workers in the Informal Economy (Macwie).

The Macwie covers various issues such as basic labor rights, proper working conditions and benefits, access to resources like credit facilities and capacity-building trainings, and decent wages, among others.

Data from the Department of Labor and Employment shows that 36.2 percent of the total 47 million employed Filipinos, or 17 million workers, are from the informal sector.

These include self-employed workers such as ambulant vendors, small transport workers, construction workers, unpaid family members who assist in micro businesses of their families, and farmers.

Nograles lamented that since there is still no law that recognizes their rights, many informal workers fall prey to violence and abuse in their workplaces.

“Dahil wala silang mga pormal na dokumento para patunayan na sila’y empleyado, walang mga benepisyong natatanggap ang mga informal workers, at hirap rin silang hingin ang tulong ng pamahalaan kung sila’y naaabuso,” said the lawmaker.

“Kung mapapasa natin ang Magna Carta, masasaklaw ang mga informal workers sa mga social protection programs at mabibigyan ng mga benepisyo kagaya ng maternity benefits. Ginagarantiya rin nito na hindi basta-basta mapapalayas ang mga informal workers sa mga lugar na pinagtatrabahuhan nila,” Nograles added.