TUCP: ‘Balik Probinsya’ program bound to fail

By: Jovic Yee - Inquirer.net - Inquirer.net | May 17,2020 - 10:58 AM

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s largest labor group said the Duterte administration’s “Balik Probinsya” program was bound to fail unless the wage disparity between the capital and the provinces was corrected.

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said the government should first implement a national daily minimum wage of at least P850 before it talks of a program that would encourage workers to return to their home provinces.

TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay stressed that any program that seeks to entice workers to stay in their hometowns was bound to fail if there’s a disparity in wages.

Workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) enjoy the highest minimum daily wage of P537, while those in the provinces are paid anywhere from P290 to P404.

“Whatever program that may be, if you do not raise wages in the provinces and make their benefits attractive, it will not last long. It may be easy to attract many workers [to come home] during a crisis like this, but once the situation normalizes, they will come back to NCR where wages are high,” he said.

The National Housing Authority earlier said that around 10,000 residents had already signed up for the program.

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