There is systemic continuity in labor rights violations under different administrations and under the ‘tuwid na daan’, these violations have simply gone worse.
In a statement, the partylist group Partido Manggagawa (PM) condemned the unabated problem of extrajudicial killings in the country but at the same time it underlined the need to recognize forms of human rights violations that are more systemic and pervading in nature.
PM joined the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) in celebrating the International Human Rights Day in a march of several hundred rights defenders and advocates from Espana UST to Mendiola. Some of the rallyists were dressed in bloodied shirts and dresses to symbolize the persistence of human rights violations in the country.
The group said the country’s compliance to the UN clusters of economic and socio-cultural rights (ESCR) is very dismal as most of its policies dealt with trade and investments rather than with raising the Filipinos’ quality of life.
“Labor rights, which include the rights to enjoy freedom and quality standard of living are undermined by economic policies that provide utmost partiality to business and the free market, said PM spokesman Wilson Fortaleza.
According to Fortaleza, labor conractualization as one form, is an epidemic that kills the freedom of workers to associate and to get fair share of economic benefits from their bosses such as the living wage provided under the Constitution.
He explained further that the harsh picture of inequality in the country, with a handful of families in control of more than half of our GDP, is the logical outcome of this systemic failure to uphold human rights.
“Precarious employment is not as controversial as the 700 or 1,700 souls that suffered under Rodrigo Duterte’s hand but it is as lethal as other policies that deny millions of people the meaning of good life,” said Fortaleza.
More than half of the country’s 41 million labor force work under precarious working conditions characterized by low paying, irregular, and informal work arrangements. They also are burdened by high prices and the poor state of social services in the country.
10 December 2015