Thursday, April 27, 2006

Two more reasons to rally on May 1

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006
Tel. # (+632) 431-6615 Email:
URL: http://

April 27, 2006

Two more reasons to rally on May 1:
Unjust and insensitive DOLE wage freeze and deceptive 'poverty-alleviation' schemes

Millions of workers throughout the Philippines will have all the more reason to rally on May 1 because of the Department of Labor and Employment's (DOLE) recent announcement that no support for a wage hike should be expected from them this Labor Day, Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran said.

Isssuing the message from Room 427 of the Philippine Heart Center (PHC), where he is being treated for various cardiovascular diseases. Beltran slammed DOLE Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas for her statement that there would be no wage hike on Labor Day and that Filipino workers should just leave the issue of wage increases to be arbited upon by the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Boards (RTWPB).

"This announcement by Sec. Sto. Tomas smacks of utter insensitivity and callousness to the plight of Filipino workers, who can not even manage to bring home decent food on the table and send their children to school. The DOLE is passing the buck to the regional wage boards, which are neither that intent or interested in granting much-needed salary increases for workers," Beltran said.

The veteran labor leader soundly slammed the "Arroyo administration's thick-faced denial of the long-delayed demand for wage increases". "Sto. Tomas is practically endorsing a poorer and harder life for millions of Filipino workers in the private sector," Beltran said.

The Anakpawis solon observed that "before, the Arroyo government used to issue false and empty promises of a wage hike before Labor Day. Now, it has shed off all pretense at upholding workers' interests and has thrown all semblance of protecting workers' rights to a living wage out of the window".

"Pres. Arroyo should not be surprised if millions of Filipino workers decide to reject her administration in the same way that the DOLE has rejected the possibility of a wage hike," Beltran said.

Beltran added that "there is little comfort or consolation to be derived in the Arroyo government's much-flaunted 'Trabaho Muna! Labor Day Jobs and Livelihood Fair' held simultaneously with the International Labor Day rallies; these are only deceptive opportunities that skirt the basic issue of the workers' six-year demand for a P125 wage increase".

"The job fair is a drop in the bucket in terms of addressing the country's massive unemployment problem faced by 4 million jobless Filipinos. The Arroyo government itself estimates that only 30,000 jobs will be generated through this job fair. And it still adheres to the framework of temporary exporting workers as a poverty-reducing strategy," Beltran observed.

"These infuriating schemes will only give workers more reason to rally on May 1. Whatever show of outrage and clamor poured on the streets on the Labor Day rally is justified because of the oppressive and unbearable policies of this administration," Beltran said. ###


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