PHILIPPINES: Absent major policy reforms, there will be no social transformation

Anonyme, Saturday, July 30, 2011 - 08:17

Koalisyon Kontra Kontraktwalisasyon (KONTRA)

Philippine President Aquino’s communication advisers said the President’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) will focus more on ‘social transformation’. What would that mean in real sense, however, largely depend on how Filipinos would view their lives today and in the immediate future. And for the Filipino masses who have been used to hearing nice words from their leaders, this new buzzword assumes no meaning at all unless accompanied by major policy reforms.

For unemployed workers, their ‘transformation’ would mean having stable and good paying jobs. For contractual workers, that would mean regular and secured jobs. For the homeless, that would mean decent homes for the family. For the poor, sick, and old, that would mean universal healthcare and pension systems. For the youth, that would mean free education and brighter future. For migrant workers, that would mean a secured environment back home. For women, that would mean more freedom and equal opportunity.

For the economy, that would mean a departure from the old system and the creation of a new roadmap for development. In politics, that would mean an end to elite rule and the establishment of a truly democratic government.

Absent these policy changes, the much-hyped ‘social transformation’ would remain an empty phrase. And unfortunately during Aquino’s first year in office, the economic and labor policies that he upholds are more of the same. He still clings to the free market economics of neoliberal globalization and upholds the policy of cheap labor and contractualization as manifested clearly in the case of Philippine Airlines and Hanjin.

Thus, different labor groups gathered today in Mendiola and in Batasan to challenge the President that major steps must be done beyond his tuwid na daan battlecry. So beyond the push for good governance, the Filipino workers are asking Aquino to:

(1) put an end to contractualization;

(2) push the passage of Security of Tenure bill;

(3) implement a public guaranteed jobs program;

(4) declare a moratorium on demolitions; and

(5) formulate a social protection package for displaced workers in the form of unemployment insurance and the like to address the problems of the displaced workers.


Philippine Airline Employees Association (PALEA)

Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Hanjin (SAMAHAN)

Partido ng Manggagawa (PM)

Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)

Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN)

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)

National Union of Building and Construction Workers-National Confederation of Labor (NUBCW-NCL)

Church-Labor Conference (CLC)

Urban Missionaries (UM)

Archdiocese of Manila Labor Center (AMLC)

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