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Sunday, August 18, 2019
BACOLOD

Labor sector expects 'realistic' Sona; biz wants gains on macro economy



THE labor sector in Negros Occidental expects a "realistic" fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, July 22.

Wennie Sancho, secretary general of the General Alliance of Workers Associations (Gawa), said the Sona should be based on the standpoint of the real conditions of the people whom the President vowed to serve.

Sancho asked "was there a significant economic upliftment in the lives of the poor. As to whether the people exercise of their basic rights are safeguarded and protected as guaranteed by the constitution?"

"The Sona should assure us that sovereignty resides in the people and should be about the real state of the people -- workers, farmers and masses," he said, adding it should be less about statistics that only technocrats and economists could understand.

The local labor group said it should be the result of a hands-on assessment and not the work of professional public relations and communications group to protect and build the image of the President.

Its official said Duterte should fulfill his covenant with the workers as he had promised to end labor contractualization or endo.

Sancho said it is high time that wage increase should be granted substantially, including nurses and teachers in the government.

The labor sector also expressed optimism that the President should categorically stop the proliferation of Chinese workers particularly in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation operated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).

"Job preference should be given to Filipino workers not Chinese," Sancho added.

For the business sector, meanwhile, the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) is expecting the President to report the achievements of the country on macro economy.

MBCCI chief executive officer Frank Carbon, though, said they are hoping that Duterte will announce major reforms or redirection of major development investments to the provincial level.

Carbon said the vaunted industrialization in export-oriented industries have stagnated for some time and no major investments that will bring growth, jobs and higher wages.

"The service sector is growing, so it's time that the agriculture and fishery, as well as small business will be supported to compliment the growth," he said.

Hopefully, progress will be brought in the rural and shoreline barangays, the business leader added.


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