Sunday, April 19, 2020

Questions for the two Joeys: Do you have a better plan for the workers?

Are the two Joeys trying to become the ‘corporate white knights’ of the Duterte administration?

They seem to be, according to the labor coalition Nagkaisa! which presumes businessman Joey Concepcion and Albay Rep Joey Salceda to be the corporate voices in the Duterte administration.

Nagkaisa! said, it was Joey Concepcion who, in the dead of the night, proposed to the President the use of rapid antibody testing for workers whom business crave to return to work to revive their industries.

Rep. Joey Salceda, on the other hand, has proposed a P350B bailout package for big corporations with another proposal to grant a special emergency power for the President to fast track the build-build-build (BBB) projects.

“It’s all business that we hear from the two as they clearly were advancing corporate interest as top priority in the government’s recovery plans at the expense of workers’ safety and well-being in the immediate and long term,” said the group.

Nagkaisa! argued that the Concepcion proposal will send millions of workers back to work as unprotected herds subjected to unreliable antibody tests to be conducted at workplace level.

“Only the world-tested PCR-based testing method can give that reliable assurance. Without this method of mass testing, the Concepcion proposal can only be considered as safe for business but not for the workers,” said the group.

To labor group said it would be better and more cost-efficient for big business to help fund the national and local governments in establishing and operating additional PCR-based testing facilities that are accessible to workers all over the country.

As to the Salceda proposal, Nagkaisa! said state funds are much needed for income and employment guarantees for workers, support for MSMEs, and the building up of our healthcare system and hiring of additional health workers.

“Why bailout big business when they forever have access to local and international capital markets? Likewise, we see no need for new emergency powers for the President as the BBB budget, we demand, is better realigned to priority programs stated above as subways, railroads and airports are not the pressing needs of our people at this point in time,” concluded Nagkaisa!.

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