Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
April 27, 2009
April 27, 2009
GMA's May Day Gift: A Job Fairytale!
As May Day celebration fast approaches, GMA's government is in a frenzy mood to find ways to appease the growing desperation and anger amongst the Filipino workers due to rising rate of job losses. Many find the initiatives of the government inadequate in addressing the gigantic task.
The volume of jobs that could come from initiatives such as NARS, government agency employment plans, and others are bring outstripped by the rate of job losses, which according to official sources could balloon to as high as 1.5 million job losses, both from domestic and overseas employment, by the end of the year.
Even the much exalted job fairs, which the government is making the centerpiece of its May Day celebration, adds insult to the already swelling injury of the Filipino workers. Studies from municipal and provincial tripartite boards and workers affairs centers show that only a measly 2-3% out of the total applicants gets employed out of a job fair. A clear manipulation on the part of the government to deceive the workers of this nation, that indeed they are doing their best on the task at hand - a job fairytale. But unlike all fairy book tales, this one does not end happily ever after!
The government's plan in addressing the plight of the Filipino workers is a recipe to disaster. The solutions that are being put forward by the government are not enough. Our nation needs a major surgery, and not band aid solutions. What we need is a total reversal of the economic development path that has been perpetuated by the elite and governments of this nation, coupled with immediate, concrete and viable programs that put interest of the people rather than the few and powerful - people over profits. Programs that stimulate domestic market, generate jobs and are directly beneficial to the marginalized section of our society, those most vulnerable to the impacts of the global crisis - the workers and the poor.
Neo-liberal policies and programs like unregulated opening up of the economy to international trade and finance, reliance on imports and concentration on export production, privatization of public utilities, to mention a few, need to be reversed or scrapped. This policies and programs have made our nation vulnerable to the global economic crisis.
Our nation needs to put in place key national policies. Policies that give priority to social spending, and to protecting productive and natural resources - that defend the welfare of the workers and the poor. Policies such as:
(a) The nationalization of banks and the financial institutions under popular power to ensure that the funds are used not for profits but to fund social development that creates jobs. The nationalization of banks, not its continued privatization, is the only step forward to prevent the collapse of the banking system and the entire economy.
(b) The banks' books must be opened; bank oversight must be strengthened as must the mechanisms of strict regulation which make the real situation of national banking systems transparent for they are public service institutions into which the populations' savings are deposited.
(c) Massive increase in budgetary allocations for social spending. Priorities are employment security, a living wage, public health, education and housing.
(d) The repudiation of public debt and an immediate moratorium on debt payment.
(e) An end to the war and the war spending in Mindanao and the shifting of the war money towards productive endeavor and job creation.
(f) For the migrant, an immediate social fund to be set up with a plan that includes giving them decent jobs and means of livelihood, decent wages, and substantial welfare projects that provide for the needs of public health, education and housing.
(g) For farmers and agricultural workers, implementation of genuine agrarian reforms that include a land-to-the-tillers program, access to agricultural credit and assistance, job security and market access.
(h) Withdrawal from the IMF, World Bank and the ADB.
We call on all our fellow Filipino workers to act now! We need to change the system - the system that has brought us into this dire state. We need to put in place a new system. A system that places the interest of the workers and the people at the forefront. A system that defends our jobs and welfare.