THE country’s biggest labor group will strongly oppose any move by the Social Security System (SSS) to increase the monthly contribution of its 14 million members from the private sector amid inflation induced by a new tax reform law that further reduced workers’ take-home pay.
Alan Tanjusay, spokesman for the Associated Labor Union-Trade Congress of the Philippines, on Friday said workers were already having difficulty coping with inflation caused by the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law in all food and non-food necessities, and any additional deductions from their take-home pay would push them deeper into poverty.
But Tanjusay said they would support the planned additional increase in SSS contribution if the government granted their demand for a P500 monthly cash subsidy for all minimum wage earners and if needed reforms were implemented, such as improved collection and prosecution of delinquent employers.
The subsidy proposal was among the issues brought out by leaders of organized labor during their recent meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang.
The group said the P500 subsidy would help the 4 million minimum wage earners cope with the rising inflation and surging cost of living.
Under the group’s proposal, the subsidy should only be limited to minimum wage earners who are members of good standing of the SSS for at least six months.
The government needs P2 billion a month or P24 billion a year to provide the P500 monthly cash subsidy.
The President, according to labor leaders, was receptive to the idea and instructed the labor group to form a study group on the proposed subsidy.