KODAO ASKS: Tinanong ng Kodao ang mga manggagawang lumahok sa Pandaigdigang Araw ng Paggawa 2019 kung ano ang kanilang opinyon hinggil sa mga napakong pangako ni Duterte para sa kanilang sektor.
“As hardworking Filipinos who struggle to support our families through honorable means, we deserve no less than wages and salaries that would afford us humane living conditions. We say enough of the Duterte government’s neglect of our plight.”
By ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
MANILA – Workers from the public and private sectors joined forces as they once again push for national minimum wage on Friday, April 26.
Workers under the Alliance of Concerned Teachers-Philippines (ACT), Alliance of Health Workers (AHW), Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Workers (COURAGE) and Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) joined forces to demand for P750 ($14) per day minimum wage or P16,000 ($307) a month.
“We, working Filipinos who depend on wages and salaries for our families’ sustenance, call on the Duterte administration to decisively effect substantial pay hike for all workers and employees in the public and private sectors, regularly-employed and under contracts alike,” the group said in a statement.
They added that salary hike is “the only meaningful way for the government to commemorate the International Labor Day on May 1—honor the men and women from whose labor, skills, and talent our economy rests upon by addressing their dire economic situation.”
They lamented that workers have been enduring depressed wages for decades through wage regionalization. They slammed the gap of the minimum wage in the different regions compared with the National Capital Region (NCR).
Workers in the regions suffer the most with only P256 ($5) minimum wage in Region 1 while in NCR, minimum wage is pegged at P537 ($10).
Meanwhile, rank and file employees in the government sector receive P11,068 ($213) or P503 ($10) per day which is lower than the present minimum wage. They also decried the huge salary increase of uniformed personnel. In 2017, Duterte approved the salary increase of the military and the police, increasing the entry-level salary to P30,000 ($576) a month. This is higher than the entry-level salary of teachers and nurses in the public sector who receive less than P21,000. ($403).
“The move only served to distort further the already skewed salary scheme in government, leaving the great majority of civilian employees struggling with less than decent salary levels while top officials bask on scandalous pay levels, like the President himself who gets more than P400,000 ($7,684) per month,” the group said.
The AHW national president also said that there are health workers who chose to stay in the country because they are committed to serve their countrymen. However, the government continues to be deaf to their long time call for substantial salary increase; what’s worse is that they are being red-tagged.
“Health workers serve wholeheartedly. We stay in our jobs despite low salaries. We only want to serve our countrymen who are in need. In return, this administration does not give what we need. What’s worse, they suppress our rights especially our freedom of expression and tag us as leftists, which is a baseless accusation,” Mendoza said.
‘Poverty, hunger incidence decreased?’
ACT national president Joselyn Martinez meanwhile slammed the recent survey of the Social Weather Stations showing a supposedly drop in the hunger incidence among Filipinos.
The SWS survey showed that the hunger incidence among Filipinos dropped in 2019, from 10.5 percent in the last quarter of 2018 to 9.5 percent in the first quarter of 2019.
“Hunger and poverty are real, as evidenced by the deafening grumbling of our families’ stomachs. And the government ought to listen to our plight, instead of priding itself to complacency with these data,” said Martinez.
She also hit National Economic Development Authority (NEDA)’s data showing a decrease in poverty incidence in 2018. Martinez pointed out that in that year; inflation rate is at record high at 6.7 percent, the highest in over nine years.
“For instance, NEDA cites that poverty incidence for the first half of 2018 decreased by 16.1 percent for Filipino families and 21 percent for individuals compared to three years prior. NEDA interestingly fails to mention that the latter part of 2018 saw a record high inflation rate,” she said.
She said, the Duterte government’s pronouncement that the country is on track in its campaign to end poverty is “at best far-fetched and at worst a gross and deliberate misrepresentation of the country’s economic situation.”
Martinez said Filipinos are living in worse condition under Duterte especially with the additional taxes caused by the implementation of Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Law (Train Law) which eroded the value of workers’ salaries.
“As hardworking Filipinos who struggle to support our families through honorable means, we deserve no less than wages and salaries that would afford us humane living conditions. We say enough of the Duterte government’s neglect of our plight,” the group said who will be once again on the streets on May 1. #
Department of Labor and Employment undersecretary Joel Maglunsod said he did not receive notice of his dismissal before President Rodrigo Duterte made the announcement in a speech Tuesday in Catarman, Northern Samar.
“I was surprised, shocked even,” Maglunsod told Kodao, adding he only learned of the President’s statement when he opened his mobile phone after conducting two meetings Wednesday morning.
“Many journalists have sent me messages about PRRDs statement and that was how I learned about it,” Maglunsod said.
Duterte said he fired Maglunsod because of his association with the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) the President alleged was responsible for the upsurge in labor strikes throughout the country.
“[Si] Joel Maglunsod, pinaalis ko. Pinagbigyan ko sila noong bago ako kasi gusto ko nandoon sila sa opisina, Joel Maglunsod, sila lahat,” Duterte said.
Maglunsod said he immediately went back to the DOLE offices in Intramuros Wednesday afternoon to consult with labor and employment secretary Silvestre Bello III and other department officials.
“They too were surprised,” Maglunsod revealed.
Maglunsod said Bello asked him to “stay put” until Monday. “He told me he (Bello) will be able to know more in Monday when he meets the President during their Cabinet meeting,” Maglunsod said.
The beleaguered official also told Kodao that he called up special presidential assistant Christopher “Bong” Go to request for a meeting with Duterte.
“He said he will ask the President (about my request),” Maglunsod said.
Maglunsod, who also hails from Davao City, said he considered Duterte his friend but felt it would have been better for him if the President told him directly about his decision before the public announcement.
“But it is his prerogative as the President and appointing power,” Maglunsod said.
He added he is ready to leave his post.
“But I hold my head high. I can categorically say I did my best in performing DOLE’s mandate. I have been fair, even to the employers. I always told them that we only need to follow the law,” he said.
The country’s major labor federations, including the KMU, the Association of Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa, and Nagkaisa Labor Coalition unanimously defended Maglunsod as the official who consistently “bridged the ‘gap of trust’ between organized labor and the department by personally acting on complaints and facing mass actions of workers at the DOLE office in Intramuros.”
“I am grateful to the labor federations who expressed support. I have not had the chance to send them messages yet, but I thank them for validating my work as DOLE undersecretary,” Maglunsod said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno in Southern Mindanao (KMU-SMR) blamed President Rodrigo Duterte for “intensifying attacks on union workers” after two Sumifru Packing Plant union leaders survived separate assaults within a week.
KMU-SMR said in a statement Victor Ageas, Board of Director of Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farm (NAMASUFA-NAFLU-KMU), was ambushed by motorcycle-riding gunmen Tuesday, September 4, at about 6:30 am while he was bound for work at Sumifru Packing Plant 340 at Purok Uno, Barangay Osmeña in Compostela town.
The unidentified assailants fired at the labor leader six times but Aegas was able to escape, the group said.
The attack came a day after Sumifru workers staged a protest action against the company for refusing to recognize them as regular employees.
KMU said that, in July 26, two masked men also went to Aegas’ house and asked for his whereabouts but left when told their target was not around.
Another union leader, Melodina Gumanoy, Secretary of NAMASUFA-NAFLU-KMU, was also tailed by motorcycle-riding men last Thursday, August 30, KMU said.
Gumanoy was on on her way to work in Packing Plant 250 of Sumifru at Purok 8, Brgy. Osmeña, Compostela when she realized she was being tailed by her attackers.
She hid in a nearby house to evade her attackers.
The attacks on workers-unionists intensified in Compostela Valley after President Duterte declared the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) a “terrorist” organization and subsequently tagged KMU and other progressive organizations as legal fronts of the underground group, KMU said.
Farmers are also being attacked in Compostela, the labor center said.
Peasant couple Gilbert and Jean Labial, members of Compostela Farmers Association, were gunned down last August 19, 2018 in Bango, Compostela, after attending the wake of Rolly Panebio, a fellow CFA member and security personnel of the Salugpongan Learning Center in Bango.
“KMU holds the Armed Forces of the Philippines President Duterte accountable for these blatant violation of the workers’ economic and political rights. KMU believes that these attacks are the Duterte government’s move to protect the business interests of Sumifru and mining companies in the area,” KMU said. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
Nagsama-sama ang libu-libong manggagawa sa Araw ng mga Bayani sa tinaguriang nilang “Martsa ng Manggagawa” noong Agosto 27 mula Welcome Rotonda hanggang sa Mendiola sa Maynila.
Panawagan nila na itigil na ang kontraktwalisasyon sa paggawa, ipatupad ang pambansang minimum na sahod na P750, at wakasan ang iba pang porma ng pagsasamantala sa manggagawa.
Ayon sa Kilos na Manggagawa (KnM), sa nakalipas na dalawang taon, umabot na sa 40 milyon na manggagawa sa buong bansa ay kontraktwal.
Karamihan sa mga ito ay nasa sektor ng manupaktura at serbisyo na tumatanggap din nang napakababang sahod o mas mababa pa sa minimum na sahod.
Isang halimbawa dito ay sa Southern Tagalog na umabot sa mahigit 20,000 ang kontraktwal.
Dagdag pasakit din sa mga manggagawa ang mga patakaran na ipinataw nang gubyernong Rodrigo Duterte tulad ng Department Order 174 at Executive Order 51 na sa katunayan ay nagpapatindi lamang ng iskemang endo.
Dagdag pa nang KnM, malaking dagok din ang TRAIN law na siyang bumubutas sa bulsa at kita ng mga manggagawa.
Habang binabarat ang sahod, patuloy naman na pinahihirapan ang mamamayan sa mga dagdag bayarin at buwis.
Binigyang-pugay din nila ang mga manggagawa na siyang tunay na bayani at tagalikha ng yaman.
Malaking hamon naman sa mga manggagawa na labanan ang tumitinding atake sa mga manggagawa kagaya nang pambubuwag sa mga unyon, pagpaslang at pagsasampa ng mga gawa-gawang kaso sa mga lider unyonista. # (Ulat at bidyo ni Joseph Cuevas)
ni Rene Boy Abiva
Hindi ko alam kung saan yari ang iyong kaluluwa
kung ‘to ba’y yari sa sala-salabat na old fiber
o sa ipinagmamayabang mong new wireless fiber.
‘Di ko lubos maisip kung tao ka pa nga ba
at kung bakit ni katiting na hibla ng awa
ay ‘di mo kayang maibigay sa higit pitong libong manggagawa.
Gaya na lamang ni Atong Alagwa
na sampung taon mong pinagbuhat at pinaghila
ng dambuhalang bakal, kawad at linya.
Na kung umuwi’y turing nang biyaya
kung mai-abot nang buo ang sweldo sa may sakit na asawa.
At mukhang nag-iinis ka pa
sa bawat imaheng ‘yong ipinapakita
sa telebisyon, tabloyd at billboard sa mga kalsada
gaya na lamang sa mukha
ni Pia Wurtzbach at Kris Aquino na ngangang-nganga
habang sa gilid ay naka-ukit sa lona
ang mga katagang DSL, hacker at ultera.
Gaya mo rin pala ang NutriAsia,
na kung toyoin ang manggagawa’y anong saya.
Punyeta’t sarap na sarap pa,
sarap na sarap na binuwag ang barikada!
gayong sing-alat na ng patis at asim ng suka
ang pawis at luha
ni Aling Leticia.
Suma total ay gaya mo si Digong
who cares about human lives
but not human rights.
At ngayon sinasabi mong ‘yong babaguhin ang mundo?
Sa pamamaraang may iiyak at magugutom
hanggang sa sukdulan ng pagdanak ng dugo
at pag-atungal ng libo-libong balo.
At ngayong pinaboran ng DOLE ang mga manggagawa
sa unang pagkakatao’y anong ligaya nila,
ngunit anong kapal mo’t umaangal ka pa?!
hanggang islogan ka lang pala!
Agosto 1, 2018
Lunsod ng Queson, Maynila
“Ang kapitalista, mas gusto pang magbayad sa mga militar, sa mga pulis, sa mga security kaysa bayaran yung mga manggagawang pinakikinabangan niya.”—Nenita Gonzaga, Vice President for Women, Kilusang Mayo Uno
The Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) order to Nutri-Asia Incorporated (NAI) to regularize 80 of its workers is an initial victory of the ongoing strike at the country’s biggest condiment manufacturer.
“This is an initial victory of the workers’ strike at Nutri-Asia. The DOLE has been forced to come out with a decision to regularize 80 contractual workers because the workers are unionized and are militantly asserting their rights,” KMU chairperson Elmer Labog told Kodao.
In a July 5 announcement, the DOLE said it has ordered NAI to regularize workers contracted through Asia Pro Multi-Purpose Cooperative (AMPC) because it is engaged in an illegal labor-only contracting agreement.
In an report issued last June 24, DOLE Region 3 director Zenaida Angara-Campita said AMPC has no capacity to buy its own equipment and machines and is a mere NAI lessee.
AMPC also has no control and supervision over its contracted workers under the agreement it entered into with NAI, he agency said.
DOLE said the NAI violated Article 106 of the Labor Code that only allows labor-only contracting when the employer has insufficient capital or investment.
The agency added that the workers are directly involved in NAI’s core business and deserve to become regular workers of the company.
The order also said that the AMPC contracted workers who are assigned at NAI’s quality control and research divisions directly work for the condiment giant’s core business.
“In view of this, DOLE orders the AMPC to desist from its illegal activity and cease going into any more contracting agreement,” the agency said.
NAI manufactures ketchup, sauces and other condiments as well as cooking oil and juices that are dominant in the local market. The multi-billion peso company also exports its popular products abroad.
1.4k more contractuals
While welcome, DOLE’s order must also order the regularization of about 1,400 NAI workers more, KMU said.
The labor federation also said NAI must be punished for violating other provisions of the Labor Code such as the non-payment of the minimum wage and other labor standards as well as occupational health and safety.
“KMU salutes the workers of Nutri-Asia for their militant struggle to become regular workers, just wages, and right to unionize and launch strikes in the face of the brutal attacks by the conniving State and big capital,” the group said.
“The strike goes on! Until all the Nutri-Asia contractual workers are made regulars, until the laid off unionists are back, the strikers will only intensify their struggle,” it added.
KMU said it is calling on all fellow workers and the public to support the strike at Nutri-Asia as well as other labor strikes all over the country. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) must enforce its regularization orders instead of simply coming out with lists of companies practicing contractualization, militant labor federation Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) challenged the agency.
Reacting to the DOLE revelation that some of the country’s biggest companies are among the top implementors of the illegal contractualization scheme, KMU said the list may only grow longer without foreceful implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 51 banning labor-only contracting in many industries.
“In the first place, many names on the list came from the workers who filed them with DOLE. What we need to see now are final and executory orders for regularization of contractual workers,” KMU chairperson Elmer Labog said.
In a press conference Monday, DOLE revealed a total of 3,377 companies were found to be engaged and suspected to be engaged in labor-only contracting arrangements based on its initial list of non-compliant establishments.
“We are now providing you the top 20 non-complaint companies according to the number of workers that need to be regularized, from a list of 3,377 non-compliant establishments involving 224,852 workers from various parts of the country,” Bello said.
Among the top violators include giant Jollibee Food Corporation with 14,960 affected workers, followed by the Dole Philippines, Inc., with 10,521 affected workers, and the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) with 8,310 affected workers.
DOLE also identified Philsaga Mining Corporation with 6,624 affected workers; General Tuna Corporation with 5,216; Sumi Phils Wiring System Corporation with 4,305; Franklin Baker Inc., with 3,400; Philipinas Kyohritsu with 3,161; Furukawa Automotive System Phil. Inc., with 2,863; and the Magnolia Inc., with 2,248 affected workers.
KCC Property Holdings, Inc., with 1,802 affected workers; Sumifru Philippines , Corp. with 1,687; Hinatuan Mining Corporation with 1,673; KCC Mall De Zamboanga with 1,598; Brother Industries (Philippines) Inc., with1,582; Philippine Airlines and PAL Express with 1,483; Nidec Precision Philippines Corporation with 1,400; Peter Paul Phil. Corporation with 1,362; Dolefil Upper Valley Cooperations with 1,183; and the SOLE-Stanfilco with 1,131 affected workers are also included in the preliminary list DOLE submitted to Malacanan Palace last May 25, 2018.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the list was culled from the result of inspections of 99,526 establishments from June 2016 to April 2018.
DOLE said the list was just an initial report, considering the labor inspections covered only a fraction of more than 900,000 establishments nationwide.
Bello said SM Malls were not included in the list as it has already submitted a voluntarily regularization program, which targets an estimated 10,000 regularized workers by the end of 2018.
DOLE Department Order No. 174 prohibits labor–only contracting, which exist when the contractor merely recruits, supplies or places workers to perform a job for a principal under employment arrangements designed to circumvent the right of workers to security of tenure.
DOLE said a total of 176,286 workers have been regularized as of May 11, 2018 through the intensified labor enforcement system of the labor department.
‘Let it not stay a list’
KMU however said DOLE’s list will only grow longer without a more forceful and sustained implementation of regularization orders.
“In the case of PLDT, there were only about 7,400 contractual workers when KMU and Kilos Na Manggagawa filed a complaint with DOLE earlier. Now, it is saying there are already 8,310 affected workers. If DOLE does not enforce regularization orders, the numbers will only increase,” Labog said.
“Now that they have a list, it should not stay merely as a list. DOLE must immediately issue and enforce regularization orders for these workers,” Labog added.
KMU said that should DOLE’s list does not translate to the regularization of its number of affected workers, it becomes another mere palliative to the lack of a wage increase in the midst of runaway price increases of basic commodities and services due to the Duterte government’s tax measures.
KMU added it supports House Bill 7787 for a national minimum wage law filed by the Makabayan bloc at the House of Representatives Monday. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
Labor centers Kilusang Mayo Uno and Nagkaisa joined forces to hold the biggest May 1 protest action in the Philippines in several decades last Tuesday.
Long rivals that traditionally held separate Labor Day protest actions, KMU and Nagkaisa said as many as 50,000 workers marched to Mendiola Bridge in Manila in a show of force against the Rodrigo Duterte government’s failure to end contractualization of labor.
The groups said 100,000 more workers marched in various regional centers across the Philippines, despite efforts by the Philippine National Police to block protesters from joining. (Editing by Carlo Francisco, Videography by Jo Maline D. Mamangun)