Better alternatives



The Manila Times


Legislators and others in government should consider alternatives to helping those most affected by high inflation. The Employers Confederation of the Philippines, according to reports, recommended giving financial assistance to the poor, among other non-wage benefits. The better idea from the employers is to push policies that would generate employment. But that seems more like a longterm solution, not an intervention that can provide immediate relief. Still, the suggestion seems promising. Take the outsourcing sector, for instance. The typical pay there is much higher than the minimum wage, because of stiff competition among firms to hire call-center agents and other workers. Some outsourcing firms have been known to offer signing bonuses and other perks, just to attract the best applicants. Moreover, the economic managers of the Marcos administration are working to boost public spending to create more quality jobs. Legislators, even the populists among them, would be better appreciated if they craft more bills that support the government’s fiscal policies. Meanwhile, politicians and others should just let the regional wage boards do their job. And if legislators want to be helpful, they could consider introducing more safety nets for the most vulnerable people in society, rather than measures that would harm the country’s engine of growth, the private sector.