Tuesday, April 7, 2020

May pondo para sa ayudang sapat para sa lahat, Mr. President – labor group

WATCH: Duterte addresses the public March 30 on COVID-19 crisis ...

There is money that can accommodate ‘Ayudang Sapat Para Sa Lahat’, the labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) insists in reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte’s public address Monday night. 

“Hindi ko alam kung saan ako kukuha ng pera. Hindi ko alam kung ano ang ipagbili na kung may magbibili,” Duterte told the nation in a televised address. 

But for Partido Manggagawa, the image of being penniless, if that is what the President would like to impress upon our people, should not be taken lightly as it can be used to justify delays and inequity in dispensing cash aid, or even bankruptcy during this period of emergency. 

”Siya (Duterte) nga ang nagsabi noong una na may pera tayo. Siya ang pumirma para maging batas ang P4.1 trilyon 2020 budget. At siya rin ang humingi ng emergency power sa Kongreso para sa magalaw ang badyet na ito.  Ibig sabihin, hindi kawalan ng pondo kundi tama at mabilis na paggamit nito ang usapin ngayon,” stated PM Chair Renato Magtubo. 

The group maintained that the 2020 budget can even accommodate a more universal rather than targeted system of dispensing cash aid as the allotted P200B for social amelioration cards (SAC) is but a little fraction (4.87%) of the P4.1 trillion budget. 

“Kung maitatama lamang ang paggamit sa 2020 budget ay kayang punuan maging ang ekstensyon ng subsidy lagpas sa panahon ng lockdown para naman sa recovery ng mga tao at ng buong ekonomiya,” said Magtubo. 

The group argued further that except for automatic items in the budget that cannot be realigned such as personal services, retirement benefits, internal allotment for LGUs and other essential projects, the bigger part of the budget should be re-worked or overhauled in favor of Covid-19 healing and recovery programs. 

“BBB projects and those funded by pork barrels are better discontinued and shifted toward the most pressing needs at this point in time and beyond, while debt servicing can take a back seat until the country and whole world recover,” said Magtubo. 

Partido Manggagawa is with Nagkaisa! labor coalition in pressing for the universalization of dispensing social subsidy. The coalition has earlier called for P10,000 quarantine subsidy.

07 April 2020

Monday, March 30, 2020

Thousands of workers without aid from employers, gov’t

Private firms urged not to fire employees unable to work due to ...


Thousands of workers still have not received assistance from either their employers, the government or both according to labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM).

“The no work, no pay policy is a recipe for hunger. We call on employers to grant quarantine subsidy to their workers and for the government to mandate companies to provide such assistance,” argued Rene Magtubo, PM national chair. PM and other group are calling for P10,000 quarantine subsidy for formal workers affected by the covid pandemic.

Based in the groups monitoring of several factories in the ecozones of Cavite, majority have received not a single centavo of support since firms shuttered. A few received some assistance from their employers. However, all of the workers surveyed have not received the P5,000 CAMP subsidy from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The Cavite Economic Zone (CEZ) 1 and 1 in Rosario, Tanza and General Trias Cavite shutdown on the night of March 19.

“The Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) in Lapu-Lapu shutdown last Sunday, throwing out of work some 100,000 workers which will add to the conservative figure of 500,000 DOLE Sec. Bello reported as affected by covid lockdown. Unfortunately, except for one electronics company in MEZ, we know that foreign locators let go of workers without substantial assistance,” Magtubo explained.

According to PM, a giant garments company in MEZ that supplies to global brands is refusing to grant quarantine subsidy to some 17,000 employees and instead only gave a token 5 kilos of rice with some canned goods. A large car parts supplier in Cavite employing some 9,000 workers gave pro-rated 13th month pay to their workers. Both these companies in Mactan and Cavite applied for the CAMP from DOLE assistance but workers have not received the P5,000 subsidy.

Magtubo averred that “Foreign investors should shoulder temporary losses due to the covid pandemic. Employers have benefited from recent economic growth without sharing the bounty with their workers. This was revealed in a Department of Finance study showing labor productivity grew by at least 50 percent, yet real wages were stagnant from 2001 to 2016. Moreover, foreign investors in the ecozones enjoyed tax breaks and other privileges for years. Now that there is a crisis, employers are morally obliged not to pass on the burden to their hapless workers.”

He added that “A survey of five factories in the Cavite ecozone revealed that all did not grant any assistance to their workers and also none have received any support from the DOLE. Four of these are garments factories while the last is a metal firm. In total, the five factories employs at least 2,000 workers. Eleven days into the lockdown, they all face increasing difficulties due to the lack of support.”

Magtubo insisted that “We also know of three companies, two in Silang, Cavite and one in Dasmarinas, which applied for the DOLE CAMP but again none of the workers have received the P5,000 assistance. The Dasmarinas firm and one of the Silang companies did not grant any support to their workers while the last one gave seven days paid quarantine.”


March 30, 2020

Sunday, March 29, 2020

P10k quarantine pay for 100,000 laid off Mactan ecozone workers—labor group


Press Release
March 29, 2020
Partido Manggagawa
Contact Dennis Derige @ 09224633109

The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) called on employers to grant paid quarantine of P10,000 per month to some 100,000 workers affected by the closure of Mactan ecozone  as Lapu-Lapu City is locked down today. They join more 100,000 workers in the Cavite Economic Zone that shuttered a week earlier. “Foreign investors should shoulder temporary losses due to the covid pandemic,” asserted Dennis Derige, PM-Cebu spokesperson.

“As far as we know locators in Mactan ecozone are throwing workers out of work without paid quarantine except for Fairchild Semiconductor (Philippines) Inc. which gave wages for the next 20 days that employees will be out of work. Even the giant garments conglomerate Sports City that supplies to Adidas, among other global brands, is refusing to give quarantine subsidy to some 17,000 employees and instead only gave a token 5 kilos of rice with some canned goods. The firm is also applying for the DOLE assistance for formal workers. This is a giant company that can very well afford to bear losses by granting quarantine subsidy.” Derige explained.

He added that “Employers have benefited from recent economic growth without sharing the bounty with their workers. This was revealed in a Department of Finance study showing labor productivity grew by at least 50 percent, yet real wages were stagnant from 2001 to 2016. Moreover, foreign investors in the ecozones enjoyed tax breaks and other privileges for years. Now that there is a crisis, employers are morally obliged not to pass on the burden to their hapless workers.”

Derige insisted that “We cannot accept that workers are the last to benefit from economic progress but the first to sacrifice in time of crisis.”

The group is proposing the following mitigation measures to lessen the impact of covid on workers and the people:
1.      Living pension for senior citizens since the elderly are more prone to infection;
2.      Shift build-build-build budget to health in order to build more hospitals, provide testing and treatment facilities, hire more health workers;
3.      Health tax on the wealthy—as part of CITIRA—to fund universal health care.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

P10k quarantine pay asked as ecozone, businesses close in Cebu


House committee okays Northern Cebu Ecozone Bill - SUNSTAR
Photo by SunStar

The labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) called on employers to grant paid quarantine of P10,000 per month to workers to be affected by the impending closure of businesses in the province and city of Cebu, and the Mactan ecozone in Lapu-Lapu. “Local employers and foreign investors should shoulder temporary losses due to the covid pandemic,” asserted Dennis Derige, PM-Cebu spokesperson.

The province of Cebu is imposing a lockdown starting tomorrow while Cebu City is doing so on Saturday and Lapu-Lapu on Sunday. The shutdown of the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) alone will lead to the loss of jobs of some 100,000 workers.

“There are already a number of locators in MEZ that are closing ahead of Sunday and all are throwing workers out of work without paid quarantine except for Fairchild Semiconductor (Philippines) Inc. which gave wages for the next 20 days that employees will be out of work. Even a giant garments company that supplies to global brands is refusing to give quarantine subsidy to some 17,000 employees and instead is applying for the DOLE assistance for formal workers. This is a giant company that can very well afford to bear losses by granting quarantine subsidy.” Derige explained.

He added that “Employers, including tourism businesses, have benefited from recent economic growth without sharing the bounty with their workers. This was revealed in a Department of Finance study showing labor productivity grew by at least 50 percent, yet real wages were stagnant from 2001 to 2016. Moreover, foreign investors in the ecozones enjoyed tax breaks and other privileges for years. Now that there is a crisis, employers are morally obliged not to pass on the burden to their hapless workers.”

Derige insisted that “We cannot accept that workers are the last to benefit from economic progress but the first to sacrifice in time of crisis.”

The group is proposing the following mitigation measures to lessen the impact of covid on workers and the people:
1.      Living pension for senior citizens since the elderly are more prone to infection;
2.      Shift build-build-build budget to health in order to build more hospitals, provide testing and treatment facilities, hire more health workers;
3.      Health tax on the wealthy—as part of CITIRA—to fund universal health care.

March 26, 2020

Sen. Pimentel’s action a test to “Bayanihan”

Makati Med denounces Pimentel's 'irresponsible, reckless' protocol ...

If ‘we heal as one’ is the real objective of the recently enacted Bayanihan Act, then Sen. Koko Pimentel’s irresponsible action at MMC can never lift the bayanihan spirit of a nation in crisis. He and the many politicians who enjoy VIP treatment represent the most disgusting form of social distancing in this age of pandemic. His refusal to take full responsibility for what he did only shows he continues to maintain a feeling of entitlement exposes another meaning of handwashing in the time of Duterte's lockdown.

Yet, as cov-positive himself, Sen. Pimentel needs to be treated with utmost care, his wife and his child as well.  But as a lawmaker who knows how to play power in jabbing people to follow the rules of a strong government, he also must be held accountable for what he has been preaching.

#GamutinPeroPanagutin

26 March 2020