Saturday, May 1, 2021

Partido Manggagawa condemns arrest of 20 Labor Day rallyists in Cebu

The militant Partido Manggagawa (PM) condemned the arrest of 20 rallyists who assembled at the Plaza Independencia in Cebu City this morning. Police arrested 8 miners from Carmen Copper in Toledo and 12 fishers from Talisay City on alleged violation of quarantine protocols. “The government is using covid-19 as an alibi to suppress the right to peaceful assembly of workers who are airing their demands on Labor Day,” asserted Dennis Derige, spokesperson for PM-Cebu.


A third group of rallyists who were workers in the Mactan Economic Zone and other factories together with student supporters were finally able to hold a short program at Plaza Independencia. All three groups, who are affiliates of PM and Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), were supposed to commemorate Labor Day by marching around Cebu City. The arrests effectively scuttled the Labor Day plans of workers in Cebu City.


“Today’s arrests reveals the impunity of police against workers who are suffering under the economic crisis that has been spawned by the failed covid response of the Duterte administration. Similarly, the commemoration of Bonifacio Day was marred by the arrest of five union organizers who led a workers protests against mass layoffs in the Mactan ecozone. Covid is being weaponized against workers who are fighting for their rights and welfare,” stated Derige.


The workers in Cebu and in other major cities nationwide were to commemorate Labor Day with the theme “Tabakk ng Manggagawa Laban sa Palpak.” “Tabakk stands for Trabaho, Ayuda, Bakuna, Karapatan at Kasarinlan which are the key demands of workers in response to the economic crisis and the covid pandemic,” explained Rene Magtubo, PM national chair.


He added that “However, workers are also raising the political call ‘Palpak, Palitan.’ This means we are calling on the people to replace the inutile and authoritarian government with a new one which will respect political rights and respond to workers’ demand for social and economic reform.”


In Metro Manila, PM, SENTRO and other groups in the Nagkaisa labor coalition held a motorcade from the ABS-CBN headquarters to the People Power Monument to Mendiola and finally at Liwasang Bonifacio.


As of the time of writing, the release of the 20 rallyists in Cebu have been put on hold by the police despite the payment of fines for each of the workers arrested.


Photos can be accessed at


May 1, 2021

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Women’s Month celebration ruined by Duterte’s dirty hands

Aside from the killings of trade unionists and activists, the country’s celebration of Women’s Month is ruined by Duterte’s dirty hands, the labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) said in a statement.

“Definitely, that dirty act comes from a sexist mind,” declared PM Secretary General Judy Miranda.

Miranda insists that President Rodrigo Duterte’s act constituted sexual harassment of their kasambahay as the video clearly showed he was in the act of touching her. He was unsuccessful only because she stepped back just in time to avoid the contact.

PM likewise condemns Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s defense of the president saying it was just a joke, and that she’s been with the family since young and is used to these sorts of jokes from him.

“Time and again, we have deplored the President for his sexism extending to misogyny for degrading women in the way he speaks and acts. This is another similar incident that we cannot just disregard the way Roque wants everyone to do,” explained Miranda.

The fact that the video was uploaded without regard to the sexual harassment act, with such an act done right on the face of her wife, and so with the spokesperson justifying the harassment, are totally unacceptable in a society that claims to respect and guarantee women’s rights.

The group said it’s a double whammy against women, especially among working women represented by the president’s kasambahay, who are facing so much difficulties during this pandemic because of government neglect and incompetence. 

March 30, 2021

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Belittling new surge in COVID-19 is perpetuating ‘kapalpakan’ – labor group

President Duterte’s downplaying of the impact of the new surge in COVID-19 cases is unsettling rather than reassuring, the labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) said in a statement Tuesday, as the rise in new cases of infection is happening in the face of vaccine shortage and persistent unemployment.

“Kung ang kalapit nating bansa ay nakaalpas na sa pandemya matapos ang isang taon, tapos tayo ay tumataas pa ang kaso, meron tayong problema: MALAKI, hindi maliit,” declared PM Chair Renato Magtubo on his social media post.

Magtubo, who is also a City Councilor of Marikina, said this is no time for leaders to understate a lingering problem especially if this leadership is facing a backlash over its mishandling of the crisis over the last twelve months.

The President’s statement came after the #DutertePalpak hashtag trended online on Monday, coinciding with the anniversary of the declaration of hard lockdown in the National Capital Region (NCR).

It can also be recalled that when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic, Duterte even poked fun at the virus, saying it will die a natural death even without a vaccine.  He also introduced using gasoline for sanitizing facemasks.

“Mahirap nang bolahing muli ang mamamayan ngayon, lalo na ang milyong manggagawa na matapos ma-lockdown at mawalan ng trabaho noong nakaraang taon ay naka-lockout pa rin ngayon at nagtitiis sa gutom,” said Magtubo.

According to PM, aside from the 4.5 million jobless workers in 2020, many remain on a ’floating status’ after losing their jobs last year. And because they are out of work yet not being terminated, their status remains ‘employed but not at work’. The group said employers resort to floating their workers indefinitely to avoid paying them separation benefits.

Magtubo said the re-imposition of curfew, or worse, a new hard lockdown would discourage more workers to find new jobs or for businesses to resume full operations.

“So, hindi ito maliit na problema, Mr. President. Ang totoong nakita kasi ng manggagawa sa nakalipas na taon ay ang maliit ninyong solusyon,” concluded Magtubo.

PM, together with Nagkaisa labor coalition, have been pushing for balik-trabahong ligtas and the rollout of income and employment guarantees to address unemployment problems and enhance the capacity of the state on health and climate response.

16 March 2021

Monday, March 8, 2021

Extreme sacrifice, endless struggles by women under the pandemic – Partido Manggagawa


The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) said women workers suffered the most difficult year under the pandemic as the government, unconscious and unprepared to deal with the gender dimension of this combined health and economic crises, endowed families with only two months of ayuda during the past twelve months and treated everyone, old and children alike, as 'pasaway' under a militarized pandemic response.


“Bago pa man ang COVID-19 na pandemya, nasa disbentaheng posisyon na ang kababaihang manggagawa kapwa sa lugar ng trabaho at sa loob ng tahanan. Lalo lang lumala ang kalagayang ito nang umabot sa matinding krisis pang-ekonomiya ang COVID-19 pandemic dahil sa kapalpakan ng gobyerno ni Duterte sa pagtugon dito,” declared PM Secretary-General Judy Miranda, Monday, as her group joined the World March of Women at Plaza Miranda for celebrating International Women’s Day.


Miranda said the unemployment problem also hit the women hardest, forcing women to leave their jobs and stopped looking for new ones as they have assumed more domestic responsibilities at home, including aiding their children on their online schooling.


“Noong 2019, ang joblessness ay 30% sa kababaihan, 12% naman sa kalalakihan. Sa panahon ng pandemya nitong 2020, naging 47% sa kababaihan at 29% sa kalalakihan, ayon sa sarbey ng SWS. Pero hindi ibig sabihin nito ay nawalan ng trabaho ang mga babae dahil sa halip, dumami pa ang kanyang responsibilidad sa tahanan,” explained Miranda.


And for those who remained at work in essential services and the manufacturing sector, women workers fought back against mass layoffs and non-payment of wages and separation pay as employers made the pandemic an alibi to cut the benefits or bust the unions.


“Kalakhan ng ating frontliners sa health sector, food services, wholesale and retail ay kababaihan. Araw-araw nilang kaharap ang panganib, kawalan ng transportasyon, at mataas na presyo ng mga bilihin katapat ng kakarampot na sweldo,” added Miranda.


The group said it is this higher level of sacrifice and the daily struggle of women that helped families survive a year under the pandemic, thus, their roles must be recognized and appreciated by the government by formulating short to medium-term programs for women.


These include income support, public employment, day-long daycares for working mothers; and also the most important political demand of women today - democratic spaces and a  violence-free environment – in contrast to the prevailing state of killings and authoritarianism under the Duterte regime.

08 March 2021

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Women riders naglunsad ng unity ride laban sa diskriminasyon sa lansangan, trabaho at lipunan


Sa unang pagkakataon ay nagsagawa ng unity ride ang mga riders na kababaihan laban sa diskriminasyon na laganap pa rin umanong nararanasan ng kababaihan partikular sa lansangan, trabaho at sa buong lipunan.

Itinaon ang kanilang unity ride na may temang “Women Can Ride” sa bisperas ng pagdiriwang ng Pandaigdigang Araw ng Kaibabaihan.

Nagsimula ang unity ride Linggo ng umaga, Marso 7, sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas at nagtapos sa People Power Monument sa Edsa. Pinangunahan ito ng Women’s Collective ng grupong Kapatiran sa Dalawang Gulong o KaGulong.

Ayon kay Jonalyn Batugon, tagapagsalita ng Women’s Collective ng KaGulong, layunin ng kanilang unity ride ang ipahayag ang damdamin ng kababaihang riders sa nararanasan nilang diskriminasyon sa kalsada, sa trabaho, at sa buong lipunan at hilingin sa pamahalaan ang angkop na mga patakaran upang ito ay maibsan.

“Nagmamaneho kami ng motor, o bisekleta. O kaya ay nakaangkas sa aming mga mister o partner para makarating sa trabaho, makapunta sa palengke o saan mang lugar para sa maraming bagay at pangangailangan. Women rider kami, at katulad din ng kalalakihang riders na kalakhan ay manggagawa, nakikipagsapalaran din kami sa mapanganib na lansangan habang nilalabanan ang kahirapan,” pahayag ni Batugon.

Kapansin-pansin na bago pa man magkaroon ng pandemya ay dumarami na ang kababaihang riders at ang paliwanag dito ng KaGulong ay dahil ito sa malubhang krisis sa pampublikong transportasyon, di sapat na sweldo ng manggagawa, mahal na presyo ng mga bilihin, at kakulangan ng trabaho at hanapbuhay sa bansa.

“Mas matipid kaysa sa mamasahe, iwas-balyahan, at iwas-trapik ang pagmomotor. Nakakapag-enjoy pa sa ride kung may pagkakataon. Marami na rin sa amin ay nasa paghahanapbuhay gamit ang motorsiklo,” paliwanag ni Batugon.

Sinabi pa ni Batugon na nararanasan umano nila ang diskriminasyon sa kalsada sa harap ng mga macho at bastos na traffic enforcers, sa kapwa riders, at maging sa mga nakasakay sa apat na gulong. Sa trabaho naman ay marami nang uri ng diskriminasyon ang aming nararanasan tulad ng pahirapan sa hiring at paunahan naman sa tanggalan sa panahon ng krisis katulad ngayon.

“Sa loob ng bahay, ang mga women rider ay gumagampan ng tradisyunal na papel ng babae bilang nanay, yaya, at ngayon ay titser sa mga anak sa offline na pag-aaral,” pagtatapos ni Batugon.

Ang KaGulong ay isang rights-based na samahan ng mga riders kung kayat sa loob ng hanay nito ay nagtayo ito ng Women’s Collective upang harapin ang problema ng diskriminasyon sa kababaihan sa loob at labas ng samahan.

Kapatiran sa Dalawang Gulong

07 March 2021