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Lunes, Pebrero 25, 2019

Labor leader stresses need for "three-way debate" between HnP, Otso Diretso and LABOR WIN

PRESS STATEMENT 
25 February 2019

Labor leader stresses need for "three-way debate" between HnP, Otso Diretso and LABOR WIN

Leody de Guzman, senatorial bet of Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) and chair of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino clarified today his position calling for a "three-way fight between the dominant opposition slates and the LABOR WIN alliance".

"Kailangan ng public debate upang tulungan ang mga botante sa kanilang pagpili ng kinatawan sa loob ng senado. Subalit hindi magaganap ang totoong malusog na tagisan ng mga ideya kung ang mga magdedebate lamang ay ang kampo ng Hugpong at Otso Diretso. Dahil para sa LABOR WIN, walang substansyal na pagkakaiba ang balangkas at pundasyon ng kanilang mga plataporma. Ito’y sa kabila ng aming pagkakaisa sa ilang usapin na isinusulong nila Chel (Diokno), Erin (Tanada), at Samira (Gutoc-Tomawis) gaya ng kaparatang pantao at kalayaang sibil," de Guzman explained.

LABOR WIN, an electoral alliance for the candidacies of Ernesto Arellano, Neri Colmenares, Leody de Guzman, Sonny Matula, Allan Montano. It unites the various groups of the broad trade union movement in a single platform that is founded on a "labor first" development framework.

De Guzman furthered, "Both HnP and LP have the same development paradigm. Sa kanila, paunlarin ang negosyo at huwag makialam ang gobyerno sa pag-andar ng merkado hanggang sa pumatak sa mamamayan ang ganansya. It is the same 'trickle-down economics' and neoliberal economic doctrine that aggravated the poverty and misery of the workers and the poor. On the other hand, LABOR WIN is pursuing a different development model that requires the redistribution of social wealth for the common good, particularly to those who labored to create it," he said.

"We want genuine development and social change not just economic growth. It is measured not by statistics of wealth generation such as gross domestic product or gross national product but by data on the living standards of the Filipino people,” the lone senatorial candidate of PLM expounded.

Among the human development indicators he mentioned included but was not limited to, household income, employment and hours of work, adult and infant mortality, nutrition and malnutrition, calorie intake and hunger, the ratio of doctors and hospitals as to population, number of homeless families and units for mass housing, number of college graduates and school dropouts, etc.

"Labor first" and "people before profit"

He elaborates that the "labor first" and "people before profit" paradigm is the basis for the LABOR WIN platform of regular jobs, safe working conditions, living wages, trade union and human rights, industrialization and modernization of agriculture, protection to migrant workers, unemployment insurance, and opposition to the neoliberal and pro-trapo Charter Change.

"By placing primacy to labor and the people, we do not mean that private businesses should not flourish. Let private capital accumulate and compete in the market, with the government protecting and promoting the local economy, but not at our expense by keeping wages low and the workers meek though anti-labor schemes such as contractualization. For many years, we have succumbed to the cheap labor policy in order to entice foreign investors," he clarified.

The labor leader likened the "labor first", "people before profit" policies to the Filipino First policy of former president Carlos P. Garcia.

De Guzman says, "LABOR WIN candidates maybe not as polished as the leading contenders of the dominant parties but their track record of service to the toiling masses gives them the will and the skill to become the genuine representatives of the majority of Filipinos in the senate".

Angara- Tanada tiff

Meanwhile, in response to a Twitter conversation between senatorial bets Erin Tanada and Sonny Angara, where the latter arrogantly replied "not at my expense" to the former's challenge, De Guzman said, "Sonny Angara is hiding the fact that he was the principal defender of the TRAIN Law at the Senate.

“Tila naduduwag dahil may itinatago. He does not want the people to know that he is the culprit behind runaway inflation, which hit the poor in the second quarter of 2018 and will continue to aggravate their woes in the coming years with the yearly round of increase in oil excise taxes. Angara fears a remake of what happened to Senator Ralph Recto after the passage of the regressive and unpopular value added taxes.

Malamang na hindi magaganap ang debateng ninanais si Chel sa Plaza Miranda dahil umiiwas sa mga kontrobersya ang kandidato ng HnP na may humaharap sa mga kaso at alegasyon ng pandarambong gaya nina Enrile, Jinggoy, Revilla at Imee Marcos".###

Miyerkules, Pebrero 20, 2019

Right to education is universal, not a carrot on a stick– labor senate bet

Press Release
20 February 2019

Right to education is universal, not a carrot on a stick– labor senate bet

Labor leader and senatorial aspirant Leody de Guzman slammed National Youth Commission (NYC) chair Ronald Cardema for asking President Rodrigo Duterte to revoke the scholarships given to students who join protests against government policies. He said the Cardenas’ recommendation is “outright callous, irresponsible, self-serving and unbecoming of the Comission he heads”.

De Guzman, chair of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino also pointed out to other critics of Cardema which includes Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and members of Otso Diretso slate that it is not only the right to free expression that the NYC chair infringed but also the universal right to education of the youth.

He said that Cardema seems to be ignorant of the mandate of the NYC and is weaponizing the commission by going after student critics of the administration. He pointed out that the NYC mandate encourages the active participation of the youth in both governmental and non-govermental programs.

De Guzman disclosed that Cardema’s real motive behind his attacks against progressive partylists is because his wife, Ducielle Marie Suarez-Cardema is the number one nominee of Duterte-Youth partylist.

“If Cardema seeks the youth’s active role in nation building, the first order of business is to educate them in order to develop a keen political sense and arm them with the tools for critical thinking,” said the labor bet under Partido Lakas ng Masa.

“By promoting the opposite, he is only galvanizing their belief that this administration is tyrannical and vengeful of critics,” he added.

The labor leader also took a swipe at a statement of Otso Diretso bet Pilo Hilbay who said that scholarships should be based on merit.

“I beg to disagree with those holding an elitist perspective on who should receive state subsidies. Everyone should be government scholar. The right to education is universal. Anybody who seeks an education should be automatically provided for and not be discriminated against.

De Guzman stressed that the right to education should never be compromised even under the most autocratic form of government. “The right to education must have precedence for the very reason that the constitution guarantees that education should be receive the highest allocation in the national budget”.

In a survey conducted in April 2017, only a mere 23% of Filipinos have actually finished college.

Also, the labor leader argued that government subsidies for education cannot be used as a carrot on a stick to induce their desired behavior and opinion of the youth on the administration.

“The scholars owe nothing to the president, Cardema or the senators who have claimed to have championed free education or any other social programs of the government. Those funds the government spends is borne out of the taxes automatically deducted from employees wages,” De Guzman clarified.

The labor leader called on the youth to stand with workers – the real benefactors of their education.###

Martes, Pebrero 19, 2019

Labor bet in Senate race takes a swipe at new SSS Law

Press Release 
19 February 2019

Labor bet in Senate race takes a swipe at new SSS Law

Labor leader and senatorial aspirant Leody de Guzman expressed apprehensions at the recently signed RA11199, which amended the charter of the Social Security System (SSS).

He said that the contribution hike is unreasonable and untimely. De Guzman also questioned the provision in the new law that authorizes the SSS Commission to arbitrarily raise premiums without legislation or consultative processes involving its members. He claims this may lead to abuse of discretion if mechanisms are relaxed.

“Walang kasing palpak ang timing ng increase ng SSS contributions, De Guzman asserted, “hindi pa humuhupa ang inflation at nakaamba pa ang pagtaas ng presyo ng langis at kuryente ngayong buwan. Ito nanaman sila. Gagatasan nanaman nila ang mga manggagawa”.

The chair of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) adds that, “ang SSS contribution, gaya ng Philhealth at Pag-ibig ay anyo ng payroll tax na otomatikong binabawas sa take-home pay ng mga empleyado".

Under the new law, employees’ contributions will gradually increase beginning this year to 5% until 2025. Meaning, the present minimum contributions of workers of P110 will increase to P240 this year and reach P750 by 2025.

He was also alarmed at the blanket authority given by the new law to the SSS Commission to arbitrarily increase workers contributions to the social pension fund. De Guzman appealed to the SSS Commission to also look at the workers' capacity for increased payroll taxes, not just the projected life of the agency’s funds based on their actuarial studies.

“It must be stressed that minimum wage earners, who did not benefit from the tax exemptions but were hit by the oil excise taxes by the TRAIN law, will be affected gravely by this untimely and arbitrary decision for increased premium contributions. Workers have no problem with saving for our retirement but thinking of the future is futile if they ignore our urgent and present needs," de Guzman, who runs under Partido Lakas ng Masa on a pro-labor platform clarified.

The labor leader claims that the projections on the actuarial life of the pension fund has been the favorite excuse by SSS Commissions, even during the term of Noynoy Aquino when the SSS commissioners where wallowing in perks and bonuses.

He laments that workers are asked to sacrifice first in order to fill up a depleting fund but when SSS investments are gaining, we are also last to benefit as we have not experienced any lowering of employees contributions and would only be granted with loan rate adjustments and debt condonation programs.

“We demand transparency in all investments made by the social pension fund, after all it was built on the collective toil of the working class”, De Guzman insisted.

The labor leader also wants the SSS to fully disclose the status of their drive to run after delinquent employers who fail to remit contributions.

“The SSS commission should increase its collections before thinking of imposing more contributions. We have yet to see delinquent employers being punished or their properties expropriated by the exercise of the warrants of distrain, levy and garnishment, which should have been deterrents against fund depletion," the labor leader added.

De Guzman is calling on the SSS Commission to suspend the planned increase in employees contributions and pursue a nationwide, transparent, and democratic decision-making process, involving leaders from both the formal and informal labor.

"The SSS must also be reminded that it should first release the second tranche of the pension hike as approved by Congress almost two years ago before contemplating on further reducing workers' take home pay and enticing us with new services to appease us,” De Guzman concluded. ###

Lunes, Pebrero 18, 2019

Senate bet vow to push for riders’ electoral agenda

Press Release 
18 February 2019

Senate bet vow to push for riders’ electoral agenda

Speaking before thousands of motorcycle owners and enthusiasts, labor leader and senatorial aspirant Leody De Guzman committed to promote the interests and welfare of motorcycle owners who convened for the Assembly for Riders agenda held in San Juan City last Feb 17 Sunday.

De Guzman together with other senate hopefuls signed a covenant to pursue the establishment of a Riders Consultative Assembly that will ensure riders associations’ inclusion in the formulation of laws and policies involving the sector.

Among other demands include the enactment of a Motorcycle Road Safety Act, a legislation advocating for the prioritization of the safety and welfare of motorcycle riders as well as to institute regulations for ‘motorcycle taxis’.

“I am elated that motorcycle associations and enthusiasts have bonded together to formulate and pursue a common electoral agenda to ensure their interests. Empowerment requires unity and a common agenda. By their sheer number and organization, national transport agencies and local government units can no longer discount them,” De Guzman, chair of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino running under Partido Lakas ng Masa partylist said.

“The tally of thirty motorcycle accidents on a daily basis is staggering. The government must look into this and do everything in its power to prioritize its mitigation,” he adds.

Besides road safety, De Guzman is also supporting the legalization of motorcycle taxis to establish employment opportunities for riders. He says the establishment of motorcycle taxis can significantly relieve the woes of commuters, especially in Metro Manila.

Experts estimate around 70% of Filipinos do not own a private vehicle and Metro Manila’s day time population has swelled to more than fifteen million this year.

In a survey taken mid-last year discovered that transportation network vehicle service (TNVS) is increasingly popular among Metro Manila residents for their daily commute.

“For as long as our metro railway system remains underdeveloped and unprioritized by the national government, there is a pressing need to legalize and regulate motorcycle taxis for the safety of both riders and the commuting public,” De Guzman asserted.

Speaking before the assembly, De Guzman also pledged to fight for the suspension of value added and excise taxes on petroleum and other petroleum products in order to pull down costs of fuel and basic necessities.

“A great majority of riders are of working class backgrounds. We can easily relate with each other, our living conditions are practically the same,” he concluded.###

May 1, 2013 rali

Das Kapital published on 14 Sept 1867

Das Kapital published on 14 Sept 1867

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Slam Evil, Slam Apec

Slam Evil, Slam Apec
November 1996