UPHOLD THE RIGHTS AND PROTECT THE DIGNITY OF OUR FILIPINO LABORERS
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) states that the 6.6-percent economicgrowth in 2012, the highest in Southeast Asia, has not translated into opportunities foremployment.As evidence, there has been an increase in underemployment rate from 18.8% in 2012 to20.8% in 2013. Additionally, there has only been an insignificant decrease in unemploymentrate from 7.2% in 2012 to 7.1% in 2013. This rate translates to roughly 6.6 million Filipinoswith no jobs.Joblessness may be linked to poverty
but not always, for our government also takes partin improving the current situation of our economy. We do recognize the efforts of theAquino administration in its promotion of a better Filipino economy. However, despite theincrease in our Gross National Incomes and Gross Domestic Product, the trickle-down effectto the poor and to our labor sector is not tangible, as a matter of fact, poverty incidence hasremained unchanged in the past six years. Our economic gains are not translated to betterquality of life for every Filipino. Everyday struggles to access basic commodities prove thatindeed, we must call on concretized change.Thus, in recognition of the role of our labor force as essential contributors in nation building,we are one with them in their struggle for higher wages, better working conditions, and asafer and culturally-relevant working environment. We call upon the administration toprovide permanent solutions to the challenges concerning labor and employment. In thisregard, we propose the following:1)
Reasonable regulation of the market and of economic initiatives upholds the welfareof workers. The current daily minimum wage in the NCR of PhP 426.00 onlytranslates to a purchasing power of PhP 248.40. In solidarity with the labor sector,we then call for a Php125 wage increase. A just wage is the legitimate fruit of work.To refuse or withhold it is a grave injustice.2)
We need to put an end to contractual work as it is used as a scheme to depriveworkers of their security of tenure; we call for regularization of all labor to preventthe repeated abuse of fixed employment terms to bypass the Labor Code provisionson security of tenure. In this light, the UPM USC pushes for the HB 892, the Security
of Tenure Act, which will ensure permanency of worker’s employment.
Further, wesay no to non-wage benefits, for the workers' main struggle is to survive rising costof daily living and acquire basic needs despite drastically low wages.3)
There is an increasing vulnerability among migrant workers. As of now, 2,500 Filipinoworkers in Saudi Arabia are on camp out in front of the Philippine Embassy becauseof Saudi crackdown. We call the government to provide immediate repatriation of these stranded OFWs and more importantly, to ensure the protection of overseasworkers from exploitative practices not only during employment in the destinationcountry but also during the recruitment and pre-deployment phase both in thecountry of origin and destination as well as upon return and reintegration.