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PIA Press Release

Safety nets, jobs up for affected workers, industries

by Jemin B. Guillermo

Roxas City (10 February) -- Safety nets and job generation are being put in place by the government to mitigate the impact of the current global economic crisis affecting workers and industries.

Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito Roque said that the government remains committed to promote business growth to preserve and create more jobs for Filipinos amidst the global meltdown.

In partnership with the business sector and other stakeholders, the government is committed to intently pursue concrete and workable solutions to provide an environment that sustains business viability and growth in order to strengthen the economy's capacity to preserve and generate jobs and provide support to affected workers.

Yesterday during the multi-sectoral summit, a Communique was signed by social partners and stakeholders representing the business, academe, church and government as well as non-government organizations, Roque in the DOLE online news disclosed.

He explained that the Communique expresses the social partners' commitment to cooperate and support business growth as a measure in helping workers and industries cope with the global crisis.

Contained in the Communique are the partners' specific support to efforts that would reduce the cost of doing business by, among others, automation of import/export processing and payment, reduction in the costs of business licenses and permits, and relaxation of criteria for extension of income tax holiday.

Roque stressed that the social partners believed that the current crisis could still provide new opportunities for investment areas that would be necessary in employment preservation and generation.

He hailed the social partners for agreeing to support efforts aimed at ensuring an environment that would promote business growth as this would, in turn, save and generate jobs as well as provide safety nets to Filipino workers affected by the crisis.

"The social partners also called for policies that would improve marketing of products especially in the herbal and health and wellness industry and other sectors which are expected to grow despite the crisis, " he said.

According to him, the government is ready to provide assistance on research and development to improve marketing of local products that would certainly boost employment generation.

In addition, social partners sought policies that would curb smuggling and at the same time ease access to credit and provide tax breaks and incentives to business particularly industries that have been affected adversely by the global financial crisis.

Roque said providing tax breaks to distressed firms would help industry preserve jobs while at the same time providing these firms the needed capital for them to surmount the difficulties brought about by the crisis, thereby, boosting efforts to sustain demand and the economy as a whole. (PIA) [top]

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