Signing of EO on Labor Day is tokenistic, fraudulent
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines expresses its utmost support to the heightened militancy of Filipino workers across the country.
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte succumbed to the intensified mass movement of Filipino workers, pushing him to sign an executive order that prohibits illegal contracting and subcontracting on May 1, Labor Day.
“The militant mass movement of the Filipino people forced Duterte to sign the executive order. This is a victory not only for Filipino workers but also to the mass movement devoted in forwarding the democratic rights of the people,” said Jose Mari Calling, national president of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines.
“In fact, this is only a matter of optics. Legal contracting and subcontracting will still be allowed even if the EO is already signed,” Callueng added.
The signed EO will not bear great significance as long as it continues to favor the interests of corporations and big capitalists.
For the first time in Philippine protest history, rival labor federations Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and Nagkaisa Labor Coalition (Nagkaisa) rallied together on May 1 to call for an end to contractualization and to fight for a national minimum wage.
More than 60,000 protesters from various sectors in the National Capital Region and at least 150,000 nationwide joined today’s celebration of Labor Day, condemning President Rodrigo Duterte’s broken promise to end contractual job schemes and his continuing fascist attacks against the Filipino people.
“Contractual working schemes have since bedeviled the working class of the country after the passage of the Herrera Law in 1989. Instead of heeding to workers’ rights, it has only led to a parlous level of employment, denial of the right to union and association and further exploitation,” Callueng said.
Currently, Filipino workers’ salaries have flunked to an unimaginable abridgment to rev up the interests of foreign investors. Minimum wage in Metro Manila is at Php 512per day, while regional wages drop even lower in several provinces in the country. This is not even half of the Php 1,168 standard family living wage needed daily to support a family of six.
In February, Duterte said he was thinking to compromise on labor contractualization and admitted that he could not force businesses to provide all benefit to workers. This only means that Duterte only favors the heeds and demands of oligarchs and big business capitalists instead of listening to the legitimate demands of Filipino workers.
Most recently, Duterte called for Kuwait-based workers to come home. Ironically, unemployment figures in the country are extremely high which pushes millions of Filipinos to work abroad. Unemployment rates remain an encumbrance to the Filipino people and schemes such as contractualization continue to deprive workers of their rights.
The government planned to launch a job fair today, a poor strategy to lure the real issue concerning Filipino workers. KMU heavily criticized it and called it a “smokescreen” to conceal the numerous anti-worker programs and policies enacted since Duterte assumed presidency.
“Filipino workers’ and other sectors have no other choice but to fight against the repressive and exploitative policies. They have to raise their militancy to bring demise to capitalism and the current deceitful and ruthless economic system,” said Callueng.
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines supports the struggle of Filipino workers in their call to end contractualization and to fight for a national minimum wage. Duterte is only as strong as his bawdiness and vulgarity. He cannot halt the growing resistance, anger and disgust of the Filipino people against his tyrannical and murderous regime.