By ALDWIN QUITASOL
Many Filipino workers had high hopes when the yellow president was seated in the palace more than two years ago because of his “walang mahirap kung walang kurap” and “walang wangwang” slogan. They thought that this former legislator who passed no law was better than his small yet destructible predecessor, and to all of their dismay.
The plight of the Filipino workers became worst last year. The president seemed to be saying “walang mahirap sa paningin ko”, so he did not see his impoverished kababayans instead his eyes are busy with the welfare of the big capitalists. This present administration of the present social system wreaked havoc on the rights of the workers, on jobs security of tenure, labor as well as human rights.
The workers have for more than a decade now, demanding for a P125 wage hike across the board nationwide. Pnoy instead of listening to the poor Filipino workers and analyzing why they need the raise to cope with the rising prices f basic commodities, he told them in a speech he delivered on Labor Day that the country has a higher minimum wage than the other neighboring countries so there’s no need for such increase.
The House Bill 375 that seeks a P125 wage hike remains at the level of the House Committee on Labor and Employment.
On his blessings, the labor agency implemented the two-tiered system that imposed a floor wage lower than the minimum wage in some regions. The workers of Calabarzon suffered from this.
Labor leaders who stood for the workers were persecuted by the government with trumped-up charges. The recent victims were Ronald Ian Evidente, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)-Negros spokesperson, Hermenegildo Marasigan, KMU-Southern Tagalog chair, Roy Velez, KMU-National Capital Region chair, and Amelita Gamara, KMU-NCR deputy secretary-general, all members of the national council of KMU. Some of the union leaders were even gunned down.
The Filipino people were surprised because of the implementation of a “DOLE-DILG-PNP-DND-AFP Joint Guidelines on the Conduct of the AFP/PNP Relative to the Exercise of Workers’ Right to Freedom of Association which gave authorization to the elements of the military to meddle and interfere in labor disputes.
Labor policies that curtail labor rights remain in place. Contractuali-zation and retrenchment among others intensifies.
These are the few of Pnoy’s debts to the Filipino workers and their families. Election is nearing this year and many of his cohorts are aiming for high positions. But he and his gang only showed the Filipinos their true colors and will display them again this 2013. This only proves that there are no new years and new hopes without a change in the governance system of the country. # nordis.net