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Lunes, Agosto 17, 2020

Labor Group to Roque: Your Toxic Positivity is Toxic and Revolting

Press Release
17 August 2020


Labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) lambasted Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque for his comments on the recent SWS survey that showed that 45.5% Filipino adults  - or 27.3 million people - were jobless.

The survey - conducted last July 3-6 - found that 21% of adults lost their job/livelihood during the COVID-19 crisis. Another 21% lost their job/livelihood before the pandemic. 

"By expressing his delight that the unemployment rate did not reach 100% and by further asserting that this was due to our supposed resilience, Mr. Roque deeply insulted the 27.3 million unemployed Filipinos who are currently at a loss on how they are going to survive the foreseeable future. His toxic positivity is stupid and revolting," BMP President Luke Espiritu said.

Resiliency fetish

"Mr. Roque's disgusting remarks is yet another attempt by the Duterte regime to downplay the severity of the situation that millions of workers are facing while also giving themselves an unwarranted pat on the back for their incompetent pandemic response!" the labor lawyer added.

"The data provided by the SWS isn't evidence of the FIlipino people's resiliency in handling the pandemic-induced crisis. Rather, it is evidence of the Duterte regime's inability or blatant refusal to sufficiently address the plight of the working masses," Espiritu said.

The BMP had previously slammed the Duterte administration's stingy stimulus program that aims to aid workers and MSME's only with a mere P162 Billion allocated to the Bayanihan to Recover As One 2 (HB 6953) as opposed to the at least 1 trillion recommended by several economists, think tanks, and trade unions.

Massive public employment program

Espiritu bared that "45% is not just a number. It represents 27. 3 million suffering Filipinos. What makes Mr. Roque's callous indifference more infuriating is not only his disregard to the poverty and misery of the nearly half of the labor force, he also did not present any plan on how to alleviate their suffering. As with the Duterte regime's plans for our health system's sufficient capacitation against the pandemic, they are silent on a comprehensive plan to generate jobs for the unemployed."

The BMP advanced that a public employment program anchored on generating jobs in the healthcare and food-manufacturing sectors would be required to reduce the unemployment rate. They also emphasized that the program could also focus on generating climate jobs, enabling just transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean renewable energy, from ecologically harmful extractive export industries to economic activities that cater to our people's needs.

"Continuous social amelioration for the toiling, unemployed and indigent Filipinos is needed, along with public investment in strategic sectors of the economy to create employment. To reverse the worsening recession, we must reverse the current import-dependent export-oriented economy towards one that prioritizes the production and distribution of the basic needs of our people. Ayuda at trabaho! Unahin ang pangangailangan ng mamamayan!", Espiritu concluded. #

For reference, please contact: Luke Espiritu

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