Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is seeking to improve the lives of construction workers involved in housing projects by providing them with social benefits in the form of Social Security System, PhilHealth, and Pag-ibig membership.
“They build our houses pero sila mismo walang sariling bahay,” Cayetano said during the plenary debate on the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development’s (DHSUD) 2024 budget on November 14, 2023.
“What I am lobbying for is [similar to the US standard where] they get 3% of the project cost to monitor. Ang sabi ko sa Department of Public Works and Highways, baka naman ang simpleng pwede nilang i-monitor ay y’ung pagkuha ng contractor nila ng Pag-ibig, SSS, PhilHealth, et cetera for the construction workers,” the senator told the housing officials.
“For housing, if you can find in your heart an administrative way of ensuring this, we will make the workers’ lives a little better,” he added.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, as sponsor of the DHSUD budget in the Senate, said Cayetano’s proposal was “very well taken” by the department.
DHUSD Secretary Jose Acuzar also expressed commitment that the department will require this in its development contracts.
Cayetano said the government should look after the welfare of construction workers in the same way it takes care of farmers.
“My point is making the conditions better for them will actually be a two-in-one. We will have happy workers and better houses because the status of workers is better,” he said.
“And later once they have saved enough, sooner or later they can build their own houses,” he added.