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Linggo, Disyembre 2, 2018

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

PRESS RELEASE
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. ###

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