November 30, 2009
A national debate on policy matters is what could make this coming national and local elections more interesting and relevant than the usual play of expensive political ads dominating the national scene prior to the 2010 elections.
This was according to the labor party-list group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), which today commemorated Bonifacio Day with marches and rallies calling for the reversal of anti-labor and anti-poor economic policies. The workers’ demonstrations in many parts of the country were also held on the eve of the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacies for national and local candidates.
PM chair Renato Magtubo, said that with the persistence and the deepening of the global economic crisis coupled with the rise of environmental problems, the need for new ideas and the review or throwing away of the usual solutions to age-old problems are the most relevant matters that the people would desire during the election season and beyond.
“Let this coming elections become a national debate. Those who favour the preservation of liberalization, deregulation and privatization program should come ready to defend these against those who advocate for the reversal of those policies. In this kind of a scenario candidates from the opposing camps may win or lose after the elections, but the voters win by gaining higher political consciousness,” said Magtubo.
The labor leader argued that the cinematic play of political ads may boost the image of a politician but if this remains personality-oriented, this will blunt the content of the whole electoral exercise.
PM led a contingent of some 600 workers and urban poor who marched from Zapote in Las Pinas all the way to the historic Mendiola Bridge. The marchers made a short stop over at the Baclaran Church to meet with other contingents from the southern, eastern and northern part of Metro Manila. They also held a short program and candle-lighting at the Department of Justice building to demand justice for the victims of the Maguindanao massacre.
The PM contingent later merged with other labor groups under the KONTRA WTO at the Mehan Garden in a march towards Mendiola. The labor groups are calling for the reversal of liberalization, deregulation and privatization policies.
“These policies led to the country’s chronic state of underdevelopment, promoted the contractualization and casualization of labor, and created a huge army of unemployed, informal and impoverished people," concludes Magtubo.
PM has also been calling for a bailout package for the workers and the poor in the midst of the global economic crisis and a new housing program that addresses the urgent need for decent shelter of millions of homeless Filipinos.