Labor groups press for P750 national minimum wage

THE militant groups in Negros Occidental called on the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to increase the minimum wage to P750 nationwide and to end the contractualization or endo in the country.

At least 3,000 members of various labor and militant groups in Negros Occidental joined the massive Labor Day protest Wednesday afternoon where they marched from the Capitol Park and Lagoon towards Araneta Street.

Noly Rosales, secretary-general of Kilusang Mayu Uno, said President Duterte should address the problem of the workers because at present, they are still receiving a very low salary.

He said the government should increase the minimum wage to P750 nationwide.

“It’s part of the promises of President Duterte to provide more jobs and to end the contractualization, but for his three years, he’s still failed to do his promises,” he added.

Rosales said that Duterte has hastened the implementation of the imperialist dictated neoliberal policies of liberation, privatization and deregulation that has wreak havoc on the Philippine economy.

He said Duterte has maintained and worsened Philippine labor as an adjunct to an international system of cheap, docile and perpetually-contractualized industry to ensure super profits for big locals and foreign business.

“Since last year, we are calling President Duterte to step-down because of his failure to address the problems of the country, especially the problem of the poor,” he added.

John Lozande, secretary-general of National Federation of Sugar Workers (NFSW), said that President Duterte proves himself as anti-poor and anti-working class.

He said that Duterte passes laws and memorandum orders that prove himself the main representative of the big landlords and oligarchs as totally oppose to his stance during presidential election campaign.

“His anti-people, anti-workers and anti-national legacy could clearly be seen in passing laws like the Train Law that sets the unabated rising of prices of basic commodities, the passing of anti-farmer Rice Tarrification Act and the threat of including the sugar industry for importation liberalization, the strengthening of Endo and job contractualization by implementing DO 174, the rising of unemployment which has reached to 10.6 million in March 2019 from 6.1 million before July 2016, the influx of Chinese workers estimated to be at 600,000, who displace jobs opportunities for Filipinos, who are already reeling from job scarcities in the country,” he added.

The program ended with burning of President Duterte’s effigy, a sign of their protest against his administration.


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