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Martes, Enero 21, 2020

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

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

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Slam Evil, Slam Apec

Slam Evil, Slam Apec
November 1996