Monthly Archives: April 2008

Congress a Miserable Failure to Workers; No Help to Workers on Labor Day

A militant legislator criticized the leadership of the House of Representatives for their “extreme insensitivity to the plight of workers and employees as no single of legislation to immediately alleviate their plight has been passed.”
 
“Our country’s millions of workers and employees will get nothing from Congress on Labor Day. This is already expected since President Gloria Arroyo’s has ordered all her loyalists to block our efforts for a legislated wage hike. Congress has been a miserable failure to workers and employees on Labor Day,” Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño said.

“Our workers expect Congress to enact a P125 legislated wage increase for workers in the private sector (HB 1722) and P3,000 in the government service (HB 1962), effect an immediate tax relief for low- and middle-income workers (HB 3462), and remove the Value Added Tax on oil products (HB 3442). All of these bills have been excluded from the so-called House reform agenda of the current leadership,” Casiño said. The militant solon cited figures from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) showing that the cost of consumer goods are already rising while workers and employees suffer extremely low wage levels across the board.

“The DTI reveals that the prices of rice increased by 44%, fish 14.3%, pork by 23%, chicken and vegetables by 20%, fruits by 25%, and cooking oil by 56% since April 2007. The independent think tank IBON Foundation on the other hand ascertained that wages have only increased by a mere 18.6% since Arroyo assumed office in 2001 as compared to the 37.9% increase in prices of basic goods. Congress has to realize that an average Filipino family has lost P20,400,” Casiño said.

As workers' purchasing power continues to fall, the incomes of big companies in the Philippines have considerably risen.

“The profits of the top 1000 corporations in the country have risen by an astounding 327 percent. Manufacturing companies spend only 6.8 percent for labor costs. This is a clear reason corporations can easily follow a P125 legislated wage adjustment by deducting from their enormous profits instead of increasing the prices of their products. Congress should shake off its lethargy and insensitivity and rush the passage of House Bills 1722, 1962, 3442 and 3462.”

HB 1722 has been languishing in the House Committee on Labor and Employment headed by Valenzuela City Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo, HB 1962 is pending with the Committee on Appropriations headed by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, while HBs 3442 and 3462 are pending with the Committee on Ways and Means headed by Antique Rep. Exequiel Javier. #

(article from: bayan muna)

 

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Wages, High Prices to Take Center Stage in May 1 Rallies

The economy will be one of the hottest topics in tomorrow’s Labor Day protests.

“This year, the economic crisis is sharper and more intense. It is inevitable that Labor Day celebrations here and abroad will feature protests on rising oil and rice prices and demands for higher wages. Workers in the Philippines have every right to be angry and frustrated over the Arroyo regime’s economic policies,” said Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr.

There will be no wage hike announcements tomorrow despite widespread demands from workers groups.

“The Arroyo regime has avoided or diluted workers demands for a meaningful legislated wage hike. It has shunned calls for price controls on rice. It has also resisted calls for the suspension of the Value Added Tax on oil and power. It has opposed measures that aim to provide immediate economic relief for poor people,” Reyes added.

Workers belonging to the Kilusang Mayo Uno will be joined by the multi-sectoral Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) in a program at Liwasang Bonifacio and a march towards the historic Mendiola Bridge.

“For the past seven years, Filipino workers have had to face mounting unemployment, diminishing wage levels and an ever-escalating cost of living. The workers’ restlessness is aggravated by the fact that while they are poor, high government officials are indulging in stolen wealth,” Reyes said.

“Corruption in a time of severe economic crisis really adds insult to injury to workers and the people,” the Bayan leader said.

Bayan is also unconvinced that even the newly-approved Cheaper Medicines Bill will be enough to ease the economic burdens on many poor people.

“It’s not enough. It cannot be used as a substitute for a meaningful wage hike,” Reyes said.

“The so-called non-wage benefits being offered by Malacañang will hardly make a dent in the high cost of living due to rising fuel, power and food prices. Mrs. Arroyo doesn’t have anything to show for on Labor Day,” the Bayan leader added. ###
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May 1 Protests to Bolster Anew Oust GMA Movement

"We may be suffering from hunger, meager wages, and oppression, but our march to Malacanang will push through on May 1.” This was the statement of Elmer ‘Ka Bong’ Labog, KMU Chairperson regarding their plan this coming Labor Day.

Labog said the demand for wage increase, the rising cost of rice, food and oil, and the continued violence against workers and the people are national issues that demand the attention of Malacanang, so they will assert to hold a program at the Mendiola bridge near the palace.

“If PGMA will not immediately grant the demand for a P125 wage hike, halt the incessant increases in the cost of rice, food, and petroleum, and stop the widespread corruption in the government, then her ouster will come sooner.

“The massive nationwide protests of workers and people on May 1 will revive the momentum for the ouster movement.”

Labog added that several groups and personalities who unite with them on the campaign against corruption, hunger, poverty, and political repression will join them on the May 1 program at Liwasang Bonifacio.

These groups include organizations under the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, the Labor Day Committee, government employees under COURAGE, bank employees from the Concerned Makati Employees (CoME), movie industry workers led by Director Joel Lamangan and members of the Concerned Citizens Group headed by Josie Lichauco.

Former Vice President Teofisto Guingona, Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Jamby Madrigal, and Bong Revilla, among others, also signified their interest to join the protest.

KMU will have five converging points in Manila before trooping to Liwasang Bonifacio: UST at Espana, Quirino at Taft Avenue, Plaza Moriones at Tondo, and Stop N Sop at Sta. Mesa.

The KMU program at Liwasan will be at 1pm to 3:30pm. Afterwards, they will march to Mendiola where they are expected to be joined by EDSA 3 groups such as the People’s Movement Against Poverty (PMAP), and the Union of the Masses for Democracy and Justice (UMDJ).

Prestoline Suyat, KMU Spokesperson, assured that the protest at Liwasang Bonifacio and Mendiola will be peaceful, unless disrupted by elements of Arroyo’s police and military.

“To celebrate May 1 and to protest against the widespread hunger and poverty is very important to us, so we will not allow the Arroyo government, who cannot hide further the ills of the country, to hinder us.

“We already filed a permit and we hope Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim will be true to his promise that rallies will be allowed at Mendiola on holidays. We also had a dialogue with Acting Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and we hope he would cooperate with us in this special day of the workers,” Suyat said.

KMU and allied organizations are also set to hold protests at Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Bicol, Masbate, Tarlac, Baguio, Cebu, Tacloban, Iloilo, Bacolod, Davao, General Santos, Caraga region, and Cagayan de Oro, among others.
(article from: kilusangmayouno.org)
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Current Philippine Situation and Prospects of the NDFP

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chief Political Consultant
NDFP Negotiating Panel
It is fitting and proper that we are exceedingly jubilant over the 35th anniversary of the founding of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines on 24 April 1973 when its 10-point Program was promulgated. Since then, the NDFP has won great victories in the application and development of the policy and tactics of the united front in advancing the people's democratic revolution against foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
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Message of Solidarity to the People of Cordillera

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee International League of Peoples' Struggle
 
 
April 24, 2008 On behalf of the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS), I wish to convey warmest greetings of solidarity to the people of Cordillera, to the Cordillera People's Alliance (CPA), Kakailian Salakniban Tay Amin a Nagtaudan (KASTAN) and the Baay-Licuan Takderan Omnu a Karbengan (BALITOK), to the delegations from all chapters of the Cordillera People's Alliance and to all the guests from within the Philippines and abroad on the occasion of the 24th Cordillera Day Celebration.
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Ermita is Lying!

Geneva, April 11 - The Philippine UPR Watch denounces the outright lies that Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita has churned out in reporting to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Philippine human rights record for the universal periodic review.

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In Honor of Dr. Nemesio Prudente

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines Chief Political Consultant, National Democratic Front of the Philippines
4 April 2008

My family and I express sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Nemesio Prudente. We grieve his passing away. At the same time, we accept his well-deserved rest. We know that he has gone to a place of glory where he joins the patriots and heroes of the motherland. We honor him for his many achievements. We celebrate these as various speakers recount them.

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