Philippines: SENTRO calls for income guarantees for all workers affected by the COVID-19 lockdown
SENTRO, the trade union center affiliated to the IUF through its food, beverage and HRCT membership, is demanding income guarantees for all workers affected by the nationwide lockdown, including informal workers and the unemployed.
Current government programs, even with the income assistance program adopted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development targeting 18 million households, offer only a small portion of the needed support. Less than 3% of the households would benefit from the DWSD program; The majority of these families would have to reduce their expenditure by at least 53% in a time of great need.
SENTRO General Secretary Josua Mata insists that income support for all affected working working families is the only solution in this crisis: “All workers hit by the lockdown should receive government support equivalent to the prevailing regional minimum wage,” says Mata, adding that the government will have to significantly increase spending during the crisis to expand the social safety net and provide support to the small and medium enterprises that employ the majority of the nation’s workers.