November 30, 2023

Labor group FFW welcomes signing of ‘Trabaho Para sa Bayan’ law, calls on Congress to restore P6.1B  budgetary cut for SUCs

THE Federation of Free Workers (FFW), a prominent labor center and leading advocate for labor rights and social justice in the country, warmly welcomes President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s signing of the Trabaho Para sa Bayan (TPB) Act, a significant step toward addressing unemployment, underemployment, and youth unemployment in the country.

The TPB Act’s commitment to creating a national master plan to combat these pressing issues aligns with FFW’s mission to empower Filipino workers and improve their economic prospects. 

“Tamang direksyon, ang hakbang na ito. We believe that meaningful employment opportunities are not just a necessity but a fundamental right, and the TPB Act represents a positive stride toward realizing this right for all,” said FFW National Vice President Jun M. Ramirez. 

“However, while we celebrate this milestone, we must also recognize that a crucial element of fostering gainful employment and a thriving workforce lies in education, particularly in higher education provided by State Universities and Colleges (SUCs),” opined Ramirez. He was also among the labor and industry  leaders who witnessed the signing of the newly minted law in Malacanang today.

SUCs and vocational, technical and engineering institutions have been instrumental in shaping the future of the Philippine labor force, and they play an indispensable role in preparing our citizens for the challenges of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

It is with this perspective that FFW calls on the Congress to reevaluate and restore the budgetary allocations for SUCs. The recent P6.1B reduction in funding for these institutions does not align with the spirit and objectives of the TPB Act, which envisions the development of human resources in the digital age. As we enter the 4th Industrial Revolution, it is imperative that our educational institutions are adequately funded to equip our youth with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a digital and rapidly changing world.

We agree that the country needs to address low quality jobs, job mismatch, unemployment and underemployment  SUCs including vocational and technical schools have been hubs of innovation, research, and development, producing graduates who are at the forefront of various industries. FFW holds that the government should not reduce but increase their lifeblood.

To ensure that our country remains competitive and responsive to the demands of the global economy and local needs, we must prioritize the strengthening of our higher education system.

FFW firmly believes that investment in education is an investment in the future of our labor force. 

“We urge Congress to recognize the indispensable role of SUCs in preparing our citizens for the challenges and opportunities of the digital age and to allocate the necessary resources to support their mission,” added Ramirez who is also the Union President of the Vishay Philippines, Inc. Employees Union-FFW.