Saturday, August 13, 2011

RH bill, labor protection pushed on International Youth Day

Partido ng Manggagawa-Kabataan
12 August 2011

The youth arm of militant labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) called on Congress to end debates on the reproductive health bill and finally pass the measure so that efforts and energies are now shifted to finer details for its implementation to bring immediate impact on poor women and their families.

“Measures such as the RH bill and new labor protection policies are needed in the face of the catasthropic impact of the global economic crisis on the working class especially women and youth,” Partido ng Manggagawa – Kabataan  (PM-K) said in a statement as it joins other youth groups in a rally today at the House of Representatives and the Occupational Safety and Health Center (OSHC) in Quezon City in time for the celebration of International Youth Day.

 At the House of Representatives youth groups pressed for the immediate passage of the RH bill saying the measure has already been overly debated while women, especially young mothers, suffer daily from unattended reproductive health needs.  Later at the OSHC, the groups demanded strict enforcement of safety and other labor standards in the country, citing the case of a Korean-owned shipyard Hanjin where workers die due to work-related accidents.  All of the company’s 21,000 workforce also work as contractuals.  The youth group is opposed to the policy of contractualization.

“We want a change in the prevailing environment of joblessness, deteriorating working conditions and lack of social protection for the present and future generation of young workers, especially women,” said Carol Hernandez of the PM-K, referring to this year’s International Youth Day theme, “Change Our World”.

Hernandez said President Aquino’s “matuwid na daan” to be relevant to the present realities of the youth must be translated into “bagong landas” as old rhetorics of “change” or “wang-wang” cannot undo the damage done to people and the environment by economic and social policies under the regime of privatization, deregulation and economic liberalization which all favor the interests of rich nations.

“There must be change in policies.  Without it the young generation will continue to suffer the life of indignity under the harsh environment of poverty and desperation.  We want jobs, a regular good paying jobs.   We want a secure and ecologically livable future,” concludes Hernandez.

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