NAGKAISA! is in one mind with Rep. Salceda in pushing for a universal approach in dispensing government assistance during emergencies. His proposal for a universal basic income (UBI) approach resonates with our “AyudangSapatParaSaLahat” demand which consists mainly of income guarantee approximating the current minimum wage levels. We hope that his economic foresight on this subject can influence the policy direction of the Duterte administration during this period of extended lockdown and beyond.
Although NAGKAISA! is not yet calling for UBI as the concept is far radical than the P1,000 per month of emergency subsidy in the congressman’s mind, it is in this universal approach where we can unite so we can address the gridlock and patronage implementation of cash aid programs to differentiated sectors.
NAGKAISA! presumes that Rep. Salceda’s P1,000 per head proposal can only make a slight improvement in the current P5,000 –P8,000 level of government support, if not lower for some. UBI, on the other hand, is about providing living wage for life to everyone in society, especially the poor. It is a radical idea that everyone will surely be happy to support, except the wealthy. After all, UBI would require a massive redistribution of wealth that members of Congress, we doubt, will be willing to support.
It is for this reason that NAGKAISA! in the meantime is pushing for income guarantee equivalent to the prevailing minimum wage as a stepping stone towards UBI. It is for the same reason that we are seeking for social dialogue with the DOLE and hopefully, with Rep. Salceda.
NAGKAISA! is also demanding that government rework the budget for 2020 and craft the budget for 2021 with people’s participation to ensure that a universal income guarantee is realized.