Thursday, October 6, 2016

Workers on 100 days of Duterte: Killings overshadow social programs of the administration

It was a deadly 100 days.  To say otherwise is creative imagination.
This was the very brief description made by Partido Manggagawa (PM) when asked about its assessment of the first 100 days of the Duterte administration, noting that the number of killed in the war against drugs is obviously more graphic and chilling than the number of jobs created, number of endo lords neutralized, and number of landlords subjected to land reform.
“It cannot be denied that President Duterte’s deadly war on drugs overshadowed his social programs during his first 100 days in office.  His energy is there 100 per cent, leaving the social programs walk the business-as-usual course,” stated PM chair, Renato Magtubo.  
Magtubo said that as early as now, important social programs for workers such as contractualization and living wage were in danger of being completely compromised as powerful local and foreign business groups closed ranks to oppose such measures. 
“These powerful interests inside and outside the administration were behind the push for the win-win solution on endo and the removal of leftist officials in government,” said Magtubo.
The labor leader said, 100 days were clearly not enough to deliver on social programs, “But to be compromised is also recipe to a failure.”
Tomorrow marks the 100 days in office of the Duterte administration. It also coincides with the celebration of the World Day for Decent Work.
The Church-Labor Conference (CLC) where PM is a member is holding a rally tomorrow at the Mabuhay Rotonda to reiterate its call for a change in labor policies particularly on ending contractualization and the realization of living wage.
The group said that in the next five and a half years, it wanted the policy shifted to “Kabuhayan hindi Patayan”, in sharp disagreement with the recent pronouncement made by President Duterte that he will be happy to slaughter three million more in his relentless war against drugs.
In contrast Magtubo said:  “Mr. President, we have 100M Filipino lives to protect, 40M good jobs to create, and 26M people to lift out of poverty. If you will only consider the drug problem as both eco-social and public health issues, war against poverty is a better war to wage.”
The county has a population of over 100 million. Poverty incidence remains at 26%.  Most of the 40 million labor force is in non-standard employment affected by the chronic problems of contractualization, low wages, and the rising tide of informalization.

October 6, 2016

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