By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — According to Vicente Dilem, the regional spokesperson of the Kilusang MayoUno (KMU) Cordillera, the workers here continue to suffer from unfair labor practices, low wages, and inhumane working conditions, and to make it worst is the inability of government to act decisively to uplift the quality of the workers’ living conditions.
Dilem said that they were critical of the past administrations because they prioritized the welfare of the employers and big businesses while ignoring the workers’ pleas as a sector for government to be true to its mandate and serve its people.
He said that they expected something different from this administration under President Rodrigo Duterte because of his promises for change, “but it seems to be just the same story, that the workers and their families will remain hungry until the next administration whoever that will be,” he added in Ilocano.
The labor leader who is a former mineworker said that the approval of an additional P1000 to the SSS pension is laudable but criticized the approval of a 1.5 percent increase in the SSS members’ contribution. An added burden as the institution passes the cost of the pension to its members instead of charging it to the efficiency of their collection work and management of the workers’ SSS contributions.
Dilem said that before thinking of increasing the contribution of the members because they think that the SSS pension hike will affect the insurance fund life, the people in charge should first instituted reforms. “Bumayag a ti pondo ti SSS nu maisigurado da kuma ti collection efficiency ti ahensiya,” (The fund life of SSS will last long if the collection efficiency of the agency will be ensured) he said.
He said that the SSS should aggressively go after delinquent employers and businesses who did not or do not remit the workers’ contributions and their employer’s share, and file cases against them. He also said that government must illegalize this kind of management action and return the huge bonuses the SSS executives gave themselves.
Dilem challenged Duterte’s administration to be of help to the Filipinos especially to the impoverished workers and not to be part of their burden. # nordis.net