MANILA Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday said he is considering to propose amendments on the Official Development Assistance (ODA) Act to ensure employment protection of Filipino workers in foreignassisted projects.
Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate committee on economic affairs, made the statement after the announcement of more than USD12 billion worth of new investments and trade deals during President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to China this week.
"Meron tayong isang batas, ito yung ODA na binibigyan po ng kapangyarihan ng Pangulo para pumasok at umutang para sa mga mahahalagang proyekto at imprastraktura pero gusto rin nating dagdagan para protektahan ang ating mga manggagawa at mga local employees natin kung tayo ay umuutang (We have a law called ODA wherein the President is given the power to enter into loans for key projects and infrastructures. I want to propose an additional protection for our local workers and employees under these foreign loans)," Gatchalian said.
Gatchalian also noted that the payment for these ODAfunded projects could be sourced from the national budget to alleviate the public's burden of paying taxes.
"Sa mga susunod na mga taon ay ipapasok ito sa ating budget at ikakaltas sa mga buwis na ibinabayad natin so at the end of the day, utang pa rin po ito at dapat makinabang tayo sa mga proyekto at pinagkakautangan natin. Ang pinakamabilis na pakinabang natin dito ay ang trabaho na malilikha nitong mga imprastraktura (In the next few years, we plan to include this in the national budget so that the taxes paid by our Filipinos would be reduced. At the end of the day, we will benefit from the projects under foreign funding. The immediate benefit of this is the creation of new jobs)," he said.
The investments China committed during the Belt and Road Forum include infrastructure, energy, petrochemical, and industrial park projects, which are expected to create more than 21,000 jobs for Filipinos. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency