A MAJOR UNION said Sunday that the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) needs to be ready with measures to deal with job losses resulting from the passage of legislation that will become the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA) if signed.

Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) Vice-President Luis M. Corral said that the labor department should have studies ready to “tell us how many workers are really going to lose their jobs in order to formulate an evidenced-based intervention once CITIRA is enforced.”

The TUCP said that economic managers need to provide safety nets for the 700,000 Filipinos who will lose their jobs once CITIRA is enacted. The 700,000 estimate was given by the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) for job losses from CITIRA, which hopes to rationalize incentives and forms the second major round of tax reforms.

CITIRA aims to lower the corporate income tax rate to 20% from 30% by 2029. The Philippines has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the region, where the average is about 22%. The bill was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives last month and is currently being discussed at committee level in the Senate.

“Our economic managers are hell-bent in pushing thousands of workers and their families towards the fire by pushing the approval of the CITIRA without any credible job protection measures and believable safety nets for workers affected by the enforcement of this second tax reform package measure,” Mr. Corral said.

TUCP added that the annual budget of P500 million allocated for displaced workers is not enough, adding that the government needs to focus on longtime security of workers after they get displaced and not just providing temporary aid.

Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua has said that contrary to the JFC’s estimate on potential job losses, CITIRA will eventually produce 1.5 million jobs from business expansion spurred by the reduction in corporate tax rates. — Gillian M. Cortez