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PIA Press Release

PGMA launches 'Diskwento: Presyong Pang-Empleyado'

by A. Lumaque

Roxas City (5 August) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has launched a non-wage benefit project which aims to improve the workers' access to basic consumer products at very affordable prices.

The project dubbed "Diskwento: Presyong Pang-Empleyado" also intends to involve the private sector in delivering affordable basic and prime commodities to employees.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Marianito D. Roque said the Diskwento project aims to ease the burden of high and rising prices of basic consumer products on the employees' purchasing power and to improve employees' access to basic and prime commodities through the mobilization of retail outlets selling basic food and non-food consumer items at low, low prices.

"The provision of non-wage benefits to our workers is our agency's immediate response to the clamor of minimum wage earners for another possible wage increase due to the erosion of purchasing power brought about by inflation and the continuing price increase in oil products and other commodities," Roque said.

The labor secretary said the provision of a package of non-wage benefits was also in line with Administrative Order No. 232-A issued recently by President Arroyo to further strengthen the clustering of social welfare reforms into a national social welfare program.

The AO directs visible frontline departments and agencies of the Palace -- such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the Social Security System (SSS) and the DOLE to launch the national social welfare program which includes the provision of non-wage benefits for the labor sector.

Meanwhile, National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) Executive Director Ciriaco A. Lagunzad III said the first Diskwento project would be conducted every first and fifteenth of the month for 2008 in different areas of the country.

The DOLE has also mobilized its regional offices for the adoption of the non-wage benefits program by private companies. (PIA) [top]

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