Position Paper on the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Law: Repeal the Unnecessary and Anti-Worker

AFTER A CAREFUL REVIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE Barangay Micro Business Enterprises Law, the Alliance of Progressive Labor finds it not only unnecessary but fundamentally anti-worker!

IT IS UNNECESSARY, since the incentives it provides, except for the exemption from the Minimum Wage Law, are already available, either in existing laws or in practice, particularly the exemption from income tax. The so called special loan windows from the LBP, DBP, SBGFC, and PCFC are likewise unnecessary as there are some other financing institutions and government programs that can provide better interest rates while asking for simpler loan requirements. More importantly, we believe that these government financial institutions could provide better interest rates than other lending institutions and simplify their loan requirements even in the absence of the BMBE law, if only government is really serious in assisting small business-persons.

The worst part of the law is its provision exempting BMBEs from the minimum wage law. The numerous minimum wage statutes issued by the ineffective Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards (RTWPBs) around the country have one thing in common: they are not sufficient to provide for the basic needs of the working people and their families. Thus, providing a legal instrument for BMBEs to pay their workers BELOW the practically inutile minimum wages is a direct attack against the worker’s constitutional right to enjoy the fruits of his or her labor which would no doubt lead to super exploitation of the working class.

Adding insult to injury, it even further undermines the already flawed wage setting mechanism by calling on the RTWPBs to issue wage advisories exempting BMBEs from the minimum wage laws.

Therefore, the BMBE law, if truly implemented, will intensify the exploitation of workers in two ways: it will provide unscrupulous employers the authority to abuse their workers; and, it will render an already ineffective RTWPBs patently useless!

Premises considered, the APL therefore strongly opposes the BMBE law and demands for its immediate repeal.

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