Sunday, September 26, 2021

Labor groups: Duterte's 1st year in power a 'failure'

LABOR groups said the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte failed in its first year, claiming it has failed to stop the practice of contractualization while wages remain low and regionalized.

In a statement, the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro) said the first year of Duterte was simply a year of failed and unfulfilled promises for the labor sector.

"We tried to rate the President's performance as objective as we can, but the outcomes for labor over his first 365 days have been generally wanting, have given us false expectations, and given us many unfulfilled promises," said Sentro.

It said the Department Order 174 issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) was not the fulfillment of his promise to ban all forms of contractualization as it continues to permit contractualization and allows manpower agencies to take a cut from workers' salaries.

On the other hand, Sentro noted how a draft Executive Order, which would impose a prohibition of all forms of contractualization, it submitted to Duterte remains unattended to.

"The President has done no executive action to address the rampant contractualization," said Sentro.

As for wages, the workers' group pointed how with the regional wage setting mechanism still in place, discrimination in terms of wages still persists across the country.

It added that while Duterte has said he was for a national minimum wage, such policy pronouncement has not translated even to a working paper from Dole.

"In the meantime, the real value of wages continues to drop as power rates and prices of basic goods and services continue to climb, making it more burdensome for the working class," said Sentro.

The labor groups, then, strongly urged Duterte to steer away from his bloody war against drugs already and instead face the problem of workers.

"Failure is expected when a leader quickly descends into a wrong war that only resulted to thousands of unsolved killings, while surveys have consistently showed that inflation, wages, and employment remain the top concerns of every Filipino," said Sentro. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)

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