Uring Manggagawa, Hukbong Mapagpalaya!

Sosyalismo ang Lunas! Ibagsak ang mapang-api't masibang kapitalistang sistema! Manggagawa sa Lahat ng Bansa, Magkaisa!

Linggo, Abril 5, 2020

21 veggie vendors arrested for trying to make a living amidst lockdown

Media Advisory
April 5, 2020

21 veggie vendors arrested for trying to make a living amidst lockdown

Twenty-one ambulant vegetable vendors were arrested by the Quezon City police yesterday afternoon in along the Elliptical Road and are presently detained at the QCPD Station 9 in Anonas. Old Capital Site Barangay Captain Rodelio Cabigas ordered the arrests for violating of quarantine protocols. 

The vendors claim that they were only forced to sell their wares for fear of going hungry as the government contemplates on extending the lockdown for another fifteen to twenty days, as revealed by National Action Plan chief implementer, Carlito Galvez.

Many of them claim that they were promised food and financial assistance by the local government but none has arrived.

“Unless this government finds a speedy way of delivering its promise of support to the people, the struggling poor will continue to find ways to survive on their own,” said Flora Santos-Assidao, leader of progressive group Sanlakas.

She adds that these people believe that they are more likely to die of hunger than to be infected by the COVID virus. 

The Metro Manila Vendors Alliance appealed to the QC police and the local government for the immediate release of the vendors.

“If the law enforcement agencies can extend compassion for the likes of Senator Koko Pimentel, why not provide the same treatment for those in the fringes of society,” they reasoned.###

Miyerkules, Abril 1, 2020

BMP condemns arrest of QC protestors

Press Statement
01 April 2020

BMP condemns arrest of QC protestors

The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) condemns the arrest and dispersal of urban poor residents of Sitio San Roque, who were holding a noise barrage near their community along EDSA this morning. The residents were seeking for food and assistance from the government.

In this time of crisis, food and state assistance are just and legitimate demands. Hunger and desperation are natural consequences of the state-imposed, ill-conceived enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). This is further exacerbated by the inept and disorganized response of agencies and local government units all over the country.

Fact is, these households already belonged to the poor and near-poor economic brackets even before the COVID 19 outbreak, the administration of President Duterte should have placed these communities on the top of their priorities and should heavily considered their plight when they decided to implement the ECQ.

To arrest hungry and desperate people is a new low for this administration. Not only did they dilly-dally in addressing the crisis in late February, the government treated the health crisis as a peace and order issue and deployed security forces instead of medical practitioners.

Protests similar to what was held in San Roque today will not be an isolated case. More and more people are questioning and rising up against the violent yet impossible implementation of ECQ in urban poor communities similar to the cases of Quiapo, Taguig and elsewhere. More community actions and marches shall burst open in the days to come as Duterte and minions continue to dismiss the calls for free mass testing and fail to guarantee food rations for all families.###

Lunes, Marso 23, 2020

Emergency powers for COVID19: The same politics of plunder and patronage but dressed in surgical masks and protective equipment

PRESS STATEMENT
March 23, 2020
BMP - SANLAKAS - PLM

Emergency powers for COVID19: 
The same politics of plunder and patronage but dressed in surgical masks and protective equipment

Today, March 23, we are expecting Congress to hold a special session and grant emergency powers to Duterte as requested by MalacaƱang. 

The supermajority in both Houses will ensure that the president will have his way, not out of deep concern for a people who face uncertainty due to the COVID19 pandemic but from a deeply-ingrained SOP (standard operating procedure) of opportunism and political patronage.

The crux of the request is for the Executive to juggle funds and cancel appropriations made by Congress in the FY 2020 budget, in an attempt to immediately channel finance into decisive steps to address COVID19, which includes the take-over of health services and facilities. 

We would leave the determination of this usurpation of the legislative power of the purse to the lawmakers, or to the Supreme Court, if the request, once accorded, is taken to the judiciary for interpretation for violations to the Constitution.

For the toilers and the propertyless, the question is “ Would the granting of emergency powers, as requested, lead to expedient and effective measures to address the health crisis”? Not really.

The president does not need more power to address this issue. Much power and privilege is already concentrated in his hands as chief executive. 

Even without changing the budgetary appropriations, Duterte could easily initiate the massive mobilization of logistics, finances and personnel to diligently follow the procedures by global health experts on how to combat the COVID19 scourge. He had the power to impose a travel ban from Wuhan/Hubei from as early as January. He had the discretion to declare a health emergency as suggested by the Health Department in latter February. 

He could have done all this but he did not; downplaying the virus as a little fire to be put out by his urinary excretions.

Then, in early March, he hurriedly imposed a quarantine/lockdown for NCR then and Luzon, without preparing the prerequisites for the successful implementation of his drastic presidential order (transportation and protective equipment for frontliners, income replacement and subsidies for temporarily displaced workers from the formal and informal sectors, steady flow of basic needs, etc).

Too much power yet too lacking not just in political will and decisiveness but more so in genuine concern to the safety and welfare of the Filipino people.

The regime may counter that this request for “emergency powers” represents a sudden turnaround from its past blunders (though they are too egotistical and arrogant to admit to mistakes).

However, the Marawi case is a starker revelation to the devastating effects of granting “emergency powers” to Duterte. The so-called restoration of the war-torn city did not materialize. The billions of rechanneled funds and foreign aid now untraceable. Emergency powers ultimately lead to brazen and unashamed plunder since the normal procedures of transparency, audit, and accountability are deemed inapplicable in ‘emergency situations’.

The legislators, mostly in the House supermajority, would not oppose the reallocation of the budget for the COVID crisis, through the emergency powers of the chief executive. They know too well that it would be coursed to local government units “through the intercession of their good offices to their almighty Tatay”. 

This is the same politics of plunder and patronage. Though this time with Duterte in front, handing out relief goods, wearing a surgical mask to hide his blush of shame for past misdeeds and blunders.

Yet, for the sake of the people, we propose the following adjustments to two major measures in the fight against COVID19: (a) social distancing and proper hygiene: not by draconian measures that regard the masses as the problem but by encouraging mass participation and initiative to dispel the view that Filipinos are inherently undisciplined, (b) mass testing in critical areas and eventual isolation, recovery and treatment of patients (which necessitates a rejection of VIP testing for its wasteful use of scarce and much-needed test kits, testing should prioritize frontline workers due to their proximity to the deadly virus) and (c) requisition of private facilities such as hotels and hospitals to serve as quarantine or isolation centers for those who have tested positive for the COVID-19 where proper medication and care can be afforded to them.

However, we call on our kauri and kamanggagawa to stretch ourselves, go beyond narrow struggles for economic gain, and tackle the questions of politics and governance to the millions of Filipino workers, as they face the ineptitude of the ruling clique (which will literally kill us all), the weak rival elitist faction, the looming economic slowdown locally and globally, and a pandemic that highlights all the contradictions of the prevailing capitalist global order. #

Huwebes, Marso 19, 2020

Ang Hasik ng Katipunan, ang Buklod ng BMP, at ang KASAMA ng KPML

ANG HASIK NG KATIPUNAN, ANG BUKLOD NG BMP, AT ANG KASAMA KPML
Maikling sanaysay ni Gregorio V. Bituin Jr.

May ninuno pala ang BUKLOD ng Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) at ang dating KASAMA ng grupong Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML). Ito ang HASIK ng KKK o Katipunan nina Gat Andres Bonifacio.

Sa aklat na "Kartilyang Makabayan: Mga Tanong at Sagot Ukol Kay Andres Bonifacio at sa KKK" na sinulat ni Hermenegildo Cruz, ay nabanggit ang pagbubuo ng Hasik na maihahalintulad sa pagbubuo ng Buklod ng BMP, at dating KASAMA (Kapatiran ng mga Sosyalistang Aktibistang Maralita), ng KPML na binago na't ginawa na ring Buklod na ibinatay sa BMP. Sa pahina 21 ng nasabing aklat ay nasusulat: 

25. - Sa papaanong paraan ginagawa ang pagkuha ng kasapi? - Sa bawa't pook ay nagtatayo ng isang wari'y lupon na kung tawagin ay "Hasik" na binubuo ng tatlo katao na paranhg tatlong tungko. Ang "Hasik" na ito ang siyang sa inot-inot ay nanghihikayat upang may sumapi sa "Katipunan". Pagdamidami na ng mga kasangayon ay saka pa lamang itinatayo ang "Balangay" na pinamumunuan ng isang lupon na ang mga tungkulin ay tulad din ng sa Kataastaasang Lupon. Ang mga "Hasik" na yaon ay di na ipinagpatuloy ng malapit na ang tangkang panahon sa paghihimagsik, pagka't ang mga taong baya'y halos naguunahan nang sila'y mapabilang sa "Katipunan".

Ang pagbubuo ng Buklod ng BMP ay naisulat ng namayapang Ka Popoy Lagman sa akda niyang PAGKAKAISA na nalathala sa magasing Tambuli ng BMP noong Disyembre 1998. Halina't sipiin natin ang ilang bahagi nito:

"Dapat ay mas madali ang magbuo ng grupo o sirkulong pampulitika ng lima hanggang sampu katao sa bawat kompanya (tawagin natin na mga buklod) kaysa magbuo ng unyon na kinakailangang dumaan sa mga ligal at teknikal na proseso. Upang mapatampok ang pampulitikang tungkulin at katangian ng BMP, mas wasto at mas mahusay na ang magiging ispesyalisasyon nito ay ang pagbubuo ng network ng mga grupo o sirkulong pampulitika sa pinakamaraming kompanyang maaabot nito na mas nakatuon sa pampulitikang pagkamulat, pagkakaisa, pagkakaorganisa at pakikibaka ng masang manggagawa bilang uri."

"Oryentasyon ng mga buklod na ito ang aktibong paglahok sa pang-unyong pakikibaka nang hindi binabago ang prinsipal na diin sa pampulitikang pag-oorganisa. Bawat lider, organisador at aktibista ng BMP ay dapat magkaroon ng mga target na kompanyang tatayuan nila ng mga buklod. Dapat ay walang tigil ang araw-araw na pagbubuo ng mga buklod na ito hanggang sa malatagan natin ang mayorya ng mga kompanya sa buong bansa ng ganitong network ng sosyalistang pagkakaisang makauri bilang preparasyon sa paglubha ng krisis ng globalisasyon at pag-igpaw ng kilusan ng uring manggagawa sa antas ng pampulitikang pakikibaka."

Sa bahagi naman ng KPML, binuo noon ang KASAMA upang maipalaganap ang makauring pagkakaisa ng mga maralita bilang proletaryado at ng uring manggagawa sa kabuuan. Katatampukan ang KASAMA ng pag-oorganisa at pampulitikang pagmumulat. Ayon sa Oryentasyon ng KASAMA: "Ang KASAMA ay isang pampulitikang grupo o sirkulo (mga 5-10 katao) ng mga mulat na maralita sa loob ng isang lokal na organisasyon at komunidad na kinikilusan ng KPML, o kaya'y mga indibidwal na maralitang wala pang organisasyon sa isang komunidad."

"Binuo ang KASAMA bilang katuwang ng KPML sa pagkokonsolidad sa ating mga kinikilusang komunidad. Pagkat sila ang mga mulat (may mataas na pampulitikang kamalayan) na maralita sa loob ng kanilang mga lokal na organisasyon, pangungunahan nila ang kanilang samahan sa mga pagkilos sa loob at labas ng kanilang mga komunidad, at magsasagawa ng pagmumulat sa hanay ng kasapian at maging sa iba pang organisasyon at mga kalapit pang komunidad. Ang mga KASAMA ang siyang magiging gulugod sa pag-oorganisa at pagkokonsolida ng ating organisasyon at mga komunidad na kinikilusan."

Sa ngayon, napagpasyahan na ng KPML na mas mainam na gamitin ang Buklod, at nawala na ang pag-oorganisa ng Kasama bilang pagtalima sa atas ng BMP, kung saan kasaping organisasyon ang KPML, na magtayo ng Buklod sa mga komunidad ng maralita upang palakasin ang sosyalistang kilusan.

Maraming salamat sa Katipunan, at may pinagmanahan pala ang BMP at KPML bilang mga mapagpalayang organisasyon tungo sa pagtatayo ng lipunang walang pang-aapi at pagsasamantala ng tao sa tao.

Mga pinaghalawan:
aklat na "Kartilyang Makabayan: Mga Tanong at Sagot Uklo Kay Andres Bonifacio at sa KKK" na sinulat ni Hermenegildo Cruz, (inilimbag, 1922), pahina 22
http://popoylagman.blogspot.com/2009/07/pagkakaisa-akda-ni-ka-popoy-lagman.html
http://kpml-org.blogspot.com/2010/10/ang-pagbubuo-ng-kasama.html

* Unang nalathala sa pahayagang Taliba ng Maralita, ang opisyal na publikasyon ng Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML), isyu ng Marso 16-31, 2020, pahina 18-19.

Sabado, Marso 14, 2020

Workers slam DTI and DOLE measures on Metro lockdown

Press Release
14 March 2020

Workers slam DTI and DOLE measures on Metro lockdown

Militant labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) criticized the prescriptions provided by both the Trade and Labor departments for workers during the month-long period Metro Manila will remain on lockdown which the group claimed were inconsiderate, grossly anti-poor and arithmetically improbable.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez stipulated in a press conference Friday that the more than three million workers living outside Metro Manila but working in the metropolis must find a place to rent and for the informal workers to sell their wares outside the Metro Manila during the duration of the lockdown which starts on March 15.

While Labor Secretary Silvestre Belllo issued Labor Advisory #9 which encouraged employers to implement flexible work arrangements. This includes the reduction of workhours and workdays, rotation of workforce and forced leaves.

“Like everybody else, workers and their families want to contribute to address the spread of COVID-19 but to take away our measly incomes for an entire month or ask us to make good with so little is already lethal if not fatal to our well-being,” said Dominic Dilao, vice president of the group.

He adds that ordinary folks, even employees with regular work status are already living in the fringes of poverty and will only sink further with the reduction of their regular incomes because most fall under the “no work, no pay policy”.

Besides being detrimental, Dilao continued that the advisories were not only carefully studied but also lacking of any form of consultation with the sectors affected.

BMP says that “social distancing” is not applicable and realizable with the present state of the metro’s transportation and urban planning. This they say is a consequence of the state’s reliance on the private sector.

They also argued that factories and workplaces are natural congregations, worse most of the factories in the metro maybe considered sweatshops – cramped and with poor working conditions to maximize profits.

The group claimed that there are even factories with no running water, poor sanitation and violate health and safety regulations. They want employers to provide free testing kits.

“We have toiled so much and are solely responsible for the profits and success of companies, its about time we are paid back as part of our fair share of the pie during these trying times,” he said.

Workers demanded that the both departments should ensure that their would be no diminution of wages and benefits of workers during the duration of the lackdown and that companies must not take it against the workers if they get tied up in traffic in checkpoints and testing centers to be set up at the entry points of the metropolis once the lockdown is enforced.

“The Duterte administration is making ordinary folk fully bear the adverse consequences of their delayed response to the outbreak and have taken nothing away from the employers in an effort to ensure that profit margins of companies remain high despite the COVID-19 outbreak,” Dilao declared.

To cushion the impact of the month-long lockdown, BMP wants the government to defer the collection of payroll taxes such as SSS, GSIS, PhilHealth and Pag-ibig and ensure that employers continue paying their contributions. They also seek the suspension of indirect taxes such as the value added tax and excise duties on petroleum and petroleum products under the Train Law.###

Miyerkules, Marso 11, 2020

BMP to DOH: Hire more nurses now or prepare body bags

Press Release
11 March 2020

BMP to DOH: Hire more nurses now or prepare body bags
Labor group pushes cutting health job mismatch to combat COVID-19

Labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) called on the Department of Health (DoH) to hire more nurses now amid the expected exponential increase of cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), adding that we have nursing graduates who are stuck in non-healthcare jobs.

“We call on Secretary Duque to propose emergency Congressional funding for personnel. This has to happen as early as this month. Pretty soon, the number of cases will overwhelm our fragile public health system, if we don’t mobilize enough people to attend to the sick,” said BMP Chairperson Leody de Guzman.

The labor leader cited a prediction by Harvard epidemiology professor Marc Lipsitch that 40% to 70% of all people around the world will have contracted COVID-19 by the end of the year.

“Let’s say that 50% of all Filipinos will have COVID-19. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 3.4% global death rate. This translates to around 1.8 million Filipinos dead, if our death rate is as bad as the global average,” De Guzman warned.

He added that WHO estimates 14% experienced severe disease and 5% were critically ill, translating to 7.7 million hospitalized and 2.7 million needing intensive care.

“How does DOH plan to attend to all of these? Given that the 2018 Labor Force Survey (LFS) only reports around 90,000 health professionals and 130,000 health associate professionals, there will be only 1 personnel for every 400-500 COVID-19 patients alone. We might as well prepare body bags,” De Guzman warned.

Attend Mismatch Now

De Guzman cited the 4th Graduate Tracer Study (GTS) from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) stating that while 21.6% of students surveyed took up nursing, only 52.8% of the nursing students were eventually matched to appropriate jobs.

Of those unmatched, 11% eventually worked as contact center information clerks, 8% went to retail and wholesale trade, and 9.7% either went on as general office clerks or cashier and ticket clerks.

“This is unacceptable. We badly need nurses to run our healthcare units, but our nursing graduates don’t end up in nursing jobs. Such a waste of tertiary education resources during a time of healthcare crisis!,” he said.

“The solution to the unemployment problem is in front of our faces the whole time. There are so many roles to be filled, and yet too many are unemployed. The state must transform these roles into decent paying public sector jobs, especially in critical services like healthcare,” De Guzman said.

The labor leader also appealed to young nurses aiming "to leave the country for greener pastures" to temporarily postpone their departure, arguing that their services are much needed here.

"It is tough times, we know, but I think it is better off for all of our families in the long run if they will stay here for now, and join the fight against COVID-19," De Guzman said.

The BMP leader appealed to the health department to fully implement the Supreme Court decision to peg government nurses’ to Salary Grade 15, following Section 32 of Republic Act 9173 or the Philippine Nurses Act.

“The Supreme Court can only interpret the law. The executive must propose an appropriate budget for nurses’ wage increase and Congress should approve it. The problem is that they keep on passing the buck to local government units, which does not have enough funds to pay their nurses,” De Guzman argued.

He said that the best way to encourage nurses to stay is by "paying them decent wages, commensurate to the risk they face everyday”.-30-

Contact person: Ka Leody de Guzman 0920-5200672

Linggo, Pebrero 23, 2020

Joint Statement of Sanlakas, BMP and PLM on the ABS-CBN issue

Joint Statement of Sanlakas, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino and Partido Lakas ng Masa

The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Partido lakas ng Masa and Sanlakas condemn the Duterte Government’s heavy-handed attempt to silence and shut down ABS-CBN.

This is the latest in a series of aggressive frontal attacks on media institutions to intimidate them into at the very least tamed reportage and at most, submission, eroding the people’s right to a free press. To date, 112 cases of attacks and threats have been documented under the Duterte Administration including at least 13 killings of journalists. The Philippines holds the record of among the world’s deadliest countries for media. That the attacks on media workers and institutions are increasing can only be attributed to the undeterred hostility of the Government towards media as highlighted by the moves to shut down ABS-CBN.

In plain view, the Duterte Government is cementing the path towards authoritarianism the hallmarks of which include media censorship. Shutting down ABS-CBN sends a chilling effect to all media institutions signaling an imminent scenario where socio-political realities of the day are defined by Malacanang’s propaganda gurus and spin doctors. Unlike Marcos who needed martial law to achieve this, Duterte is unleashing the entire might of the government - his supermajority in the House of Representatives, the Solicitor-General and his Supreme Court - towards this end.

In the process, 11,000 workers will be displaced. This could spell poverty and hunger to tens of thousands of Filipinos who rely on their breadwinner to ensure food on the table. In Duterte’s fascist arm-twisting of ABS-CBN fueled by his personal vendetta against the company, the workers and their families have been reduced to mere sacrificial lambs - the unavoidable collateral damage to the Government’s malevolent designs against media.

We lend our unconditional support to the struggle of ABS-CBN workers for continued and secure employment. This struggle for job security is intertwined with the defense of democratic rights as the threat of displacement comes from a regime that seeks to quell civil rights and political freedoms, not only in retaliation for the non-airing of Duterte's campaign ads in 2016 but also to prepare for its electoral plans in 2022.

It is in situations like these when the horrors of contractualization are brought to the fore. Thousands of contractual workers, in the event of ABS-CBN’s shutdown, will be booted out of work without the benefits enjoyed by their regular counterparts. We, thus, reiterate our call to regularize all workers, provide increase in wages and salaries, implement safe and humane conditions of work, and ensure the rights of workers to unionize and bargain collectively with the ABS-CBN employers.

It is worth noting that the Duterte cronies are salivating over the purchase of ABS-CBN and the equities of Lopez holdings, and with the House approval of total foreign ownership to "public service", including wire and wireless broadcast comminication, the stage is set for the total, unfettered, and open subjugation of mainstream media by foreign monopolies.

It is highly ironic that 34 years after the 1986 People Power that ousted a dictator, we are again up against an aspiring tyrant, who is in desperate attempt to have formal absolute power over the entire state apparatus. The little that was gained by a people's uprising that was hijacked by the anti-Marcos elite, is now being taken back by the Duterte regime. The sacrifice of the martyrs of the anti-dictatorship struggle will not be in vain. Onward with the struggle for democracy. Resist the attacks on press freedom. Uphold workers' rights. ###

Huwebes, Pebrero 6, 2020

Mensahe ng XDI sa ika-19 anibersaryo ng pagkapaslang kay Ka Popoy Lagman

MENSAHE NG EX-POLITICAL DETAINEES INITIATIVE (XDI)
Pebrero 6, 2020

MENSAHE NG XDI SA IKA-19 ANIBERSARYO
NG PAGKAPASLANG KAY KA POPOY LAGMAN

Kami, mula sa Ex-Political Detainees Initiative (XDI) ay taos kamaong nagpupugay kay Ka Popoy Lagman. Labinsiyam na taon na mula nang siya'y mapaslang at hanggang ngayon ay patuloy ang paghahanap ng katarungan.

Isa si Ka Popoy Lagman sa mga batikang lider na nakibaka upang palayain ang manggagawa sa kuko ng kapitalismo. Siya'y dakilang guro at lider-manggagawang nagpapatuloy ng pakikibaka sa tradisyon ng mga naunang lider-manggagawang namuno sa mga naganap, tulad ng Paris Commune at ng Rebolusyong Oktubre.

Si Ka Popoy ay isa ring XD o dating bilanggong pulitikal. Hinuli siya at nakulong noong Mayo 26, 1994, dalawang araw matapos ang isang rali sa Makati kung saan labingdalawang aktibista ang nahuli, at noong kasagsagan ng SLAM APEC Conference noong Nobyembre 1996. Siya'y isang masigasig na chairman ng Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) noong siya'y mapaslang noong Pebrero 6, 2001.

Muli, kami sa Ex-Political Detainees Initiative (XD) ay taas-kamaong nagpupugay sa magiting na lider na si Ka Popoy Lagman!

Hustisya para kay Ka Popoy Lagman at sa lahat ng mga dati at hanggang ngayon ay bilanggong pulitikal! Palayain ang lahat ng bilanggong pulitikal!


EDGAR DESACULA
Pangulo

EDWIN GUARIN
Ikalawang Pangulo

GREGORIO BITUIN JR.
Sekretaryo Heneral

JOVEN LIM
Ingatyaman

RONI DURAL
Auditor 

BMP Negros – Press Release: FREE COSMIC 10!

BMP Negros – Press Release

05 February 2020

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) Negros strongly denounces the violent course of action taken by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in dispersing the striking workers of Cosmic Enterprises, a company engaged in paper products.

Earlier this morning of 05 February 2020, the members of the Cosmic Enterprises Independent Labor Union (CEILU) who have been peacefully conducting their strike since 02 January 2020 were aggressively harassed by security guards and strikebreakers. The Police arrived during the midst of the commotion, but instead of resolving the conflict and acting as “agents of peace,” they aggravated the situation by dragging the strikers from the picket line and handling them roughly.

Their intervention resulted to the illegal arrest of 10 union members and labor organizers from the picket lines who are now being detained on fabricated charges.

This incident is a clear portrayal on how the Philippine National Police (PNP) exist to serve and protect the interests of the capitalists, despite that the majority of their workforce stemmed from the working class.

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) Negros calls for the accountability of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for their violent course of action and for the immediate release of the illegally detained union members and labor organizers!

FREE COSMIC 10!

Gilbert Benlot
Hernani Abirina
Arrius Bocal
Dominic Dilao
Alvin Jimenez
Lorenzo de Vera
Chadli Sadorra
Rafael La Vina
Richard Christopher Kahulugan
Roy Bacalso

SAMUEL GAVORO
Chairman BMP Negros

RESPECT THE UNION!

#FreeCosmic10

#StandWithWorkers

Martes, Pebrero 4, 2020

Labor wants Electric Coop to handle NGCP Transfer Grid Control from Chinese State to Filipino workers, Senate told

Press Release
04 February 2020

Labor wants Electric Coop to handle NGCP
Transfer Grid Control from Chinese State to Filipino workers, Senate told

Workers group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) calls on Congress to transfer ownership of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) from a consortium of Chinese and Filipino corporations to an electric cooperative "owned by consumers and managed by its workers".

This was following reports from a recent Senate investigation which revealed that the NGCP allowed Chinese nationals in the highest management positions, on top of the security problems surrounding the 40% ownership of grid utility by State Grid Corporation of China supposedly controlled by the Chinese government.

"We already have a workable model in the power industry - the electric cooperatives. Why not transfer the grid from the Chinese government to Filipino consumers and workers?," asked BMP President Luke Espirtu.

Espiritu noted that the "running" the power grid involves "technical problems like dispatch management on which Filipino engineers are already capable of, after doing so for decades before the privatization of power industry."

"Before the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, the running of grid services area already performed by Filipinos under the National Power Corporation (NPC). The problem then was generation, not transmission," Espiritu insisted.

He proposed a model wherein NGCP will be controlled by a "cooperative of electric cooperatives", engaging the NGCP workers union on a management contract.

"This will, of course, require a legislative action to amend EPIRA. And this is where the Senate investigation should proceed," the labor leader said.

Espiritu argued that with a consumer-owned and worker-controlled electric coop model, "we will have no problems with technical audits, cybersecurity and foreign ownership".

The BMP leader conceded that reforms are likewise needed to further strengthen electric coops so as not to make it vulnerable to corporate takeovers.####

For more details, Luke Espiritu 0995 9729969

Martes, Enero 21, 2020

Rallyists call Cha-cha "the worst man-made calamity to hit the Filipino people"

PRESS RELEASE
January 21, 2020

Rallyists call Cha-cha "the worst man-made calamity to hit the Filipino people"

HUNDREDS of rallyists from labor groups and cause-oriented organizations welcomed the opening of the Lower House Monday with a rally against Charter Change, labeling it as the "worst man-made calamity to hit the Filipino people". Batasan is set to tackle House Concurrent Resolution No. 1, which was introduced by Cagayan de Oro 2nd district representative Cong. Rufus Rodriguez.

The said resolution would proposed major amendments to the 1987 Constitution, which includes the term extension of legislators and local officials, the reversal of the remaining protectionist economic provisions by mere legislation, and the increase of Senate membership from 24 to 27 representing 9 regions. The amendment to the composition of the Senate is a prelude to a federal form of government.

The rally was organized by labor coalition PAGGAWA or Pagkakakisa ng Uring Manggagawa, and was joined by contingents from Sanlakas and Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM).

Ka Leody de Guzman, spokesperson of the PAGGAWA labor coalition and chair of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino declared, "Kaninong kinatawan ang mga kongresistang ito, na habang abala ang taumbayan kung paano tutulungan ang mga nasalanta ng bulkang Taal ay inuna pa ang pansariling interes ng kanya-kanyang mga angkan?".

He adds that the congressmen do not represent the people, especially the toiling and impoverished majority. They represent the selfish interests of their own political clans. More so, they represent the interests of foreign capital that seeks to plunder our resource for super profit. This version of Cha-cha is the worst man-made calamity to hit the Filipino people.

"Imbes na unahin ang kapakanan ng libo-libong nasasalanta ng sakuna gaya ng pagpapataas sa calamity fund at muling pagpapagana sa Project NOAH, ang mauuna pa sa adyenda ng Batasan ay ang pagpapahaba ng termino para mas matagal nilang mapakinabangan ang kaban ng bayan. Ang lakas ng loob at kapal ng mukha! Our lawmakers have the gall to call themselves the representatives of the people even if all they think about is how to preserve the dominance of their families in their respective feifdoms," Ernie Arellano of the National Confederation of Labor (NCL) added.

PLM chair Sonny Melencio furthered, "What would happen if the Constitutional limits to foreign ownership are removed by regular legislation? First, it means that the highest law of the land was amended by a mere branch of government - without the convening of a constituent assembly or a constitutional convention and a national plebiscite to ratify proposed amendments to the charter. Second, and more importantly, it opens the doors for the wholesale national plunder of our resources by foreign monopoly capital. We might as well treat the Filipino people as 'bakwit' (or evacuatee) in a Philippines that would be fully owned by foreigners. This version of charter change by self-proclaimed legal scholar Cong. Rodriguez is truly a calamity Cha-Cha".

Activist lawyer and Sanlakas secretary-general Aaron Pedrosa concluded, "The 1987 Constitution is not perfect. It aimed for the Filipinization of the economy while blurring the distinction between rich and poor Filipinos, which is one of its chief defects. In doing so, it did not place a bar against the concentration of ownership of our natural and man-made resources in the hands of a few oligarchs".

"We want an economy that serves the interests of the people, especially the working and propertyless millions. It is a people-first, labor-first economy, which should be enshrined in the Constitution because the welfare of the people should be the supreme law. Yet, the Rodriguez proposal would aggravate the current defects of the existing Constitution, by allowing the monopoly of the local economy not just by Filipino billionaires but by global corporations whose sole interest is to extract billions of profit without regard to our ecological, environmental and human resources".

The groups vowed to hold more protests against Cha-cha in the coming weeks.###

For more details, please contact: Ka Leody de Guzman, PAGGAWA spokesperson @ 0920-5200672

Linggo, Enero 19, 2020

Progressives to protest House manuevers to change charter

Media Advisory
19 January 2020

Progressives to protest House manuevers to change charter

As congressmen resume sessions after a month-long holiday break, they will be met with protests by progressive groups who oppose the proposal of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments to:

- ease restrictions on foreign investments by mere legislation

-tandem voting for the president and vice-president

-5-year terms for senators, congressmen and local executives with a maximum of 3 consecutive terms

-election of senators by region with 3 senators per region and the country divided into 9 regions

The group denounced the moves as "elitist and self-serving". They said Congress must prioritize the uplifting the conditions of Filipinos masses by addressing issues such as contractualization, high prices of basic goods, privatized utilities and overtaxation instead of the interests of foreign monopolies and.their domestic capitalist partners.

Labor coalition PAGGAWA or Pagkakakisa ng Uring Manggagawa will lead contingents belonging to Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Sanlakas and Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) at 1 pm tomorrow, January 20 at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Batasan Road before marching towards the South Wing Gate of the Batasan Pambansa Complex.

For more details, please contact:
Leody de Guzman, PAGGAWA spokesperson @ 0920-5200672

Miyerkules, Enero 8, 2020

Labor hits Palace siding with US, says it places OFWs in harm’s way

Press Release
08 January 2019

Labor hits Palace siding with US, says it places OFWs in harm’s way

Workers group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) criticized the administration after Palace officials said that the president will side with the United States if Filipinos are harmed once violence erupt in the Middle East.

The group said that the chief executive’s statement was “premature, reckless and unilateral and only aggravates” the perilous situation overseas Filipino workers in the entire Middle East are in.

“All the more. Such imprudent pronouncement shall place our overseas contract workers in peril and burden their families with increased anxiety,” said Luke Espiritu, president of the group.

The BMP president added that if the Palace is genuinely concerned for the safety and welfare of countrymen, then it would be better for the president to shut up and simply execute evacuation protocols and let the experienced diplomats do their work.

Espiritu averred that diplomacy and neutrality are the necessary political tools to ensure the safety our OFWs.

The group argued that such a statement may be misconstrued as a threat by Iran and its allies all over the beleaguered region and turn our overseas Filipino workers into nationals of a hostile nation.

The BMP reminded the Palace that of the more than four million Filipinos in the Middle East and the great majority of them reside in nations which hosts US military assets which may be targetted by Iranian allies in those countries.

Excise and Value added taxes

The group reiterated their call for the suspension of the collection of excise and value added taxes (VAT) on petroleum as the market prices soared further after Iran admitted to firing rockets on two American airbases in Iraq.

BMP maintained that indirect taxation in the form of excise and VAT is unjust because it burdens the poor for merely purchasing basic necessities. According to the group, levies must be based on income, profit and property.

Espiritu asserts that without the suspension of excise taxes an extraordinary surge in retail prices of basic commodities is inevitable.

“Malacanang has always been the first to admit that we are vulnerable to surges in the global oil market. Now that oil prices are rising and our oil reserves are depleting, Malacanang must do its share to shield the public from further aggravation,” he said.

“Its a simple as issuing an Executive Order like the president did in November 2018 to curb runaway inflation,” the labor leader added.

The group cited study released by the Philippine Institute of Development Studies in January last year that claimed that the TRAIN Law increased poverty in the most vulnerable sections of society due to higher commodity prices paid by the poor.###

For reference: Luke Espiritu – 0995 9729969

Sabado, Enero 4, 2020

As tensions rise in the Middle East, labor calls on Palace to suspend taxes on fuel and OFW protection

Press Release
04 January 2020

As tensions rise in the Middle East, labor calls on Palace to suspend taxes on fuel and OFW protection

Barely four days upon taking effect, labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) is already demanding from President Rodrigo Duterte the suspension of not only the third tranche of of excise taxes on petroleum and petroleum products the entire fuel tax package under the TRAIN Law and the value added tax on fuel to cushion the imminent impacts of a rise in inflation as the US-Iran conflict heats up.

The group in a statement said that Malacanang should protect the consumers and overseas workers “by acting quickly and decisively” to shield the them from inevitable price hikes on basic goods, a likely outcome triggered by a spike on the price of international oils from the Middle East.

The White House has announced recently that it deployed an additional 3,500 troops Marines in Iraq after Iranian officials vowed “harsh revenge” after a US drone strike killed Qasem Soleimani, a senior Iranian general.

“The president should quit dilly-dallying and immediately issue an executive order that will suspend the collection of excise and value added taxes on oil to avert inflationary impacts on commodities. He must have the foresight and diligence to act swiftly in behalf of our struggling countrymen”, said Leody de Guzman, chairperson of BMP.

Global crude oil prices have risen by over 4 percent—Brent rose to $69.16, while WTI increased 4.3 percent to $63.84 making investors increasingly anxious.

“Majority of Filipinos live in poverty. Any increase in prices would be harsh, if not fatal, not only to four-tenths of our labor force that belong to the informal economy but also to those in the formal sector who are already suffering from stagnated and starvation wages,” De Guzman reasoned.

“The Duterte regime is duty-bound to protect the welfare of the Filipino people, above all. It should sacrifice and share the burden for the sake of the people. But if apologists in the bureaucracy would argue against the suspension of oil taxes by pointing to losses in government revenue, then the BMP demands that it pursue other sources, particularly by increasing taxes on properties, luxuries, and corporate incomes,” he adds.

The labor leader argued that even if the Train Law indicated that tax increases may only be suspended once global crude oil prices reached or exceeded $80 per barrel, he says that the catastrophic outcomes of a full-blown US-Iran conflict will not limited to international oil prices.

De Guzman warned that a full blown US-Iran conflict may push global crude oil prices to $80 per barrel, which will have a compounded and multi-faceted effect on the local economy. Prices would shoot up, including the rates of the oil-dependent energy sector. OFW remittances would drop. Employers would cut losses by resorting to abusive practices. Hoarders and speculators would use the opportunity to rake in quick profits”.

OFW Dislocation

BMP also persuaded Malacanang to be ready in executing evacuation protocols once the US-Iran turns violent and to deploy emergency employment opportunities for workers to be displaced throughout the conflict-riddled region.

De Guzman said that as of 2016, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration recorded that there are only 679 Filipinos working in both Iran and Iraq but fears that there are thousands more undocumented Filipinos in the two countries.

He further noted that neighboring Middle East nations, which also houses American military bases, and installations such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Jordan and United Arab Emirates are top destinations of overseas Filipino workers, who may fall victim to a “proxy war” in the region.###

Contact person: Ka Leody de Guzman 0920-5200672

Besieged strikers decry food blockade as tension rise, appeals for humanitarian support

Press Release
04 January 2020

Besieged strikers decry food blockade as tension rise, appeals for humanitarian support

Entering their third day on work stoppage, employees of Cosmic Enterprises Inc. a paper products company based in Caloocan City today condemned the food blockade being imposed by their employer Anthony Von Ng and a private association of companies which owns and operates the industrial compound where the company located.

The strikers are also appealing for public support to pressure the association of employers to allow the entry of food, water and the access to their families and well-wishers. The refusal of passage in the compound has also made it difficult for them to relieve themselves.

The union allege that private guards under strict orders from their employer are denying the entry of basic neccesities in order to discourage the workers from carrying on with their work stoppage. The blockade is reported to be manned by Premid security agency.

The paper factory is located in NY compound in Bagbaguin, Caloocan and houses several other companies. The workers’ picketline is situated within the compound’s walls. Making the strikers virtually trapped and cut-off from the outside.

“Our strike is both just and legitimate. Despite our employer’s constant and undeniable undermining, interference and other illicit measures to disrobe us of our basic rights, we shall fight on. The continued harassment has only strengthened our resolve to carry on a righteous and principled struggle,” said Rico Marcellana, union president.

He reports that the blockade has increased the tension ten-fold and fear that the picketline maybe annihilated once their employer decides to use force against them.

The strikers, members of Cosmic Enterprises Inc. Independent Labor Union (CEILU), a duly organized union went on strike on seven in the evening of January 2 on the grounds of unfair labor practice and union-busting after the company terminated nineteen contractual employees in retaliation after a labor inspection findings determined that Cosmic Enterprises and Silvergreen Manpower Services were labor-only contracting, illegal under Secretary Silvestre Bello’s Department Order 174.

All nineteen laborers were employed in the company well beyond the prescribed six month probationary period. The shortest tenure was eighteen months and the longest pegged at eighteen years.

“No single worker would want to go on strike especially at the beginning of the year but the injustice and abuse inflicted on us and our families has become unbearable and has to see its end,” he explains.

The employees appealed to the public for support as well as patience and understanding from the company’s clients. They claim that they meant no harm with their strike. “We only seek the recognition of our constitutional rights and what is due to us,” the union president said..

CEILU is affiliated with Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino.###

For more details, please contact 0995 5818650

May 1, 2013 rali

Das Kapital published on 14 Sept 1867

Das Kapital published on 14 Sept 1867

Itigil ang Tanggalan!

Itigil ang Tanggalan!
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kagutuman sa kabila ng kahirapan

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Slam Evil, Slam Apec

Slam Evil, Slam Apec
November 1996