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Sabado, Disyembre 29, 2018

Beware of ‘holiday pork’ – labor leader

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
December 29, 2018

Beware of ‘holiday pork’ – labor leader

Labor leader Ka Leody de Guzman of Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) warned the public today against the “full force of patronage politics” as politicians casually give out gifts allegedly out of benevolence during the holiday stretch but are actually engaging in premature campaigning.

De Guzman issued this warning after an estimated 40,000 people endured long queues on Christmas Day in Davao City as they expected a present from President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Patronage politics rears its ugly head by donning a Santa Claus outfit. The yuletide holidays before an election year is a time for grand giveaways by traditional politicians”.

He alleged that the usual recipients are barangay officials and workers who would be expected to mobilize votes for them in upcoming polls.

De Guzman added that "holiday pork is deadly, not only the traditional fatty food associated with the holidays but more the lagresse by politicians who use the holidays to exploit the poverty, misery and desperation of the majority of our countrymen".

The labor leader condemned what appeared to be gift-giving sponsored by generous, incumbent politicians, but according to him is actually insulting because the gifts were actually derived from people's pockets via their taxes.

"Duterte could not boast of his popular support as showcased by the tens of thousands in queue in Davao. The long queues are reflective of the millions who live below the poverty line in the city that he once ruled for twenty-two years. Proof that his 'Change is coming' remains illusory to the workers and the poor," he furthered.

The PLM candidate for senator says he was not surprised that the Palace remained mum when the issue of pork barrel during the last sessions of Congress hit the headlines earlier this month.

“The Executive branch could have easily intervened by abiding by the Supreme Court decision prohibiting pork barrel allocations to legislators but even enabled them. They are just as accountable as the legislators. The president himself not only tolerates the scamming of the poor but is actually leading in the perpetuation of poverty, misery and desperation,” he pressed.

De Guzman likewise dismissed the recent Social Weather Station survey result which claimed that the president’s net satisfaction rating climbed to ‘very good’, gathering plus six points from his September rating.

He explained that the “shameless full-display of gift giving schemes that exhibit political patronage” at the highest levels of our government is the reason behind Duterte’s popularity ratings.

"No amount of chicanery and blinding survey results can fool a hungry mob as the air of hopelessness thickens as the new year approaches with the administration all set to unleash the second wave of oil excise taxes on January that will further aggravate prices of basic goods,” the labor leader concluded.###

Biyernes, Disyembre 28, 2018

Labor leader predicts brain drain to worsen with next round of TRAIN 1 oil excise taxes

Press Release 
28 December 2018

Labor leader predicts brain drain to worsen with next round of TRAIN 1 oil excise taxes

Veteran unionist and senatorial aspirant Ka Leody de Guzman of the militant Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) in a statement warned on Friday against the “imminent and increasing exodus” of young, talented and skilled Filipinos in search of greener pastures abroad in 2019 as the second tranche of oil excise taxes takes effect on January 1.

Citing results of a Gallup poll conducted from 2015 to 2017 which indicated that the Philippines’ potential net migration index (PNMI) stands at – 9 percent, the labor leader claimed that frustration has been building up alongside a restive labor front specially among the young adults.

Gallup, an American management consulting company says the PNMI measures the total potential net change to the adult population by subtracting those who would like to move out of a country from those who would like to move into a country.

"The best and the brightest of Filipinos have been leaving the country with the continued implementation of the neoliberal policies of deregulation, liberalization, privatization, contractualization ever since the Cory Aquino administration. But runaway inflation induced by the oil excise taxes of the Duterte administration since last year maybe the final straw to break the camel's back,” De Guzman said.

He explained that even if the poll was conducted from 2015 to 2017, before the meteoric rise in the price of basic goods but the rising inflation rate in 2018 which is expected to continue in 2019 with the second wave of oil excise taxes, will only give more reason for our young workers and college graduates to migrate to other countries.

The poll also revealed that 16 percent highly educated Filipinos will likely leave the country to work or live abroad. Also, about 13 percent of the Philippines' young population — aged 15 to 29 seeks to move out if everyone around the world could migrate where they wanted.

“Unfortunately, with the taxation shift from income to consumption, the tax burden is more felt by the the poor although they did not benefit from the increased exemptions to income taxes. Worse, they are overtaxed and yet they hardly feel the social services and safety nets that were promised to be part of the tax reform measures.

We could not blame the youth for opting to migrate abroad; bled dry by taxes, unserviced and abandoned by the state, and now further agitated by the recent acquittal of politicians charged with plunder,” De Guzman surmised.

However, the labor leader added that the suceeding administrations were not "alarmed over our brain drain as they all adhered to the tacit policy of labor exportation, as OFW remittances keep the consumption-based economy afloat".

He laments that the “ruling elite do not have a vision of sound national development based on industry and agriculture, that generates more jobs for the majority of our countrymen. They are mere rent-seekers who live on taxes created by migrant Filipino workers".

To prove this assertion, the BMP leader cited the utter failure of the government to produce one million jobs annually as mandated by its Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 as the practice of contractual employment remains prevalent.

He says that measly number of jobs generated is easily negated by the hundreds of thousands of workers who lose their jobs as their contract expires or as the principal employers replace their subcontractors.

In order to impede the brain drain, De Guzman proposes that government veer away from its falsified export-oriented, import-dependent economic path.

“We should pursue the modernization of agriculture and economic industrialization while ensuring living wages and regular jobs, in order to provide not only for the needs of the Filipino consuming public but also to the working class that created all social wealth," he concluded. ###

Linggo, Disyembre 2, 2018

Faulty economic and labor policies, not Chinese workers, to blame for unemployment and underemployment

December 2, 2018

Faulty economic and labor policies, not Chinese workers, to blame for unemployment and underemployment

To counter what it sees as “misplaced nationalism”, labor leader Ka Leody de Guzman today of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) said that “Chinese migrant workers are not the enemy” as netizens point to the influx of migrant workers from China as a cause to the prevailing problem of lack of regular jobs.

De Guzman clarified, “As a country with a proud history of anti-colonial struggles and as a responsible member of the community of nations, we should not tolerate encroachments of any foreign power to our sovereignty but neither should we approve of xenophobia and racism”.

“Senator Villanueva should be criticized for fanning the flames of hatred against the Chinese workers and its people. We should learn to demarcate between the government of China and its people. Chinese migrant workers, who come to the Philippines to work, are no different from overseas contract workers, who seek greener pastures abroad because of the lack of regular jobs with decent wages in the country”, Ka Leody, who is also seeking a Senate seat under the Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) added.

Sen. Villanueva earlier pressed for a crackdown on illegal Chinese workers as he also eluded that they are competing with Filipino workers in the domestic labor market. Senator Risa Hontiveros also issued the same sentiment.

“As a workers’ organization, the BMP extends its class solidarity with the Chinese migrant workers and calls on the Duterte government to guarantee their safety against racist attacks, verbal or otherwise, in the same way that we want host countries to protect and safeguard overseas Filipino workers,” he emphasized.

Ka Leody expressed deep sympathy with the Chinese workers in the country “because I am a worker and I know how they feel”. De Guzman was a garments worker from Aris Philippines before he served trade unions and labor organizations as a full-time organizer.

According to the Labor department, they have issued 119,814 special working permits to foreigners from 2015 to 2017. Of the total, 51,000 permits were issued to Chinese nationals, with some 2,000 related to jobs in the construction in the past three years.

He said that, “It is evident that the seething anger to Chinese migrant workers, as evident in various comments in social media, is rooted in the desperation of our countrymen for the lack of decent jobs in the country. The recent Social Weather Station survey points to eroding job optimism with an estimated unemployment of some 9.8 million Filipinos”.

“Some of our irate countrymen, unfortunately, are barking up the wrong tree. They should blame the Duterte regime and its predecessors for the tacit policy of labor export, which relied on OFW remittances to keep the economy afloat, and for the state abandonment of local agriculture and industry, sectors that traditionally composes the bulk of the jobs generated for our labor force”.

“But if they are condemning Duterte’s subservience to the Chinese government,  BMP will gladly join them in protests against onerous foreign loans and its aggressive expansionist drive in the Southeast Asia, with Malacanang as its witting accomplice,” he concluded. ###

May 1, 2013 rali

Das Kapital published on 14 Sept 1867

Das Kapital published on 14 Sept 1867

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November 1996