Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Demon like effigy of PRRD burned by protesters on Labor Day, demanding gov't to end "contrualization"

Protesters burning the effigy of President Duterte on their May 1 rally / photo from Reuters (ctto)

A huge demonic effigy of President Rodrigo Duterte was burned by Labor Day protesters in the streets of Manila, demanding for better working conditions on May 1.

Some biggest labor unions joined forces demanding the government to end the “contractualization” in the country, which has been one of the government’s challenges, even in the past administrations.

These demonstrators burned multiple effigies of the president including Trumps’ near the Presidential Palace, commemorating Labor Day.

On the same day, President Duterte signed an Executive Order (EO) outlawing the practice of contractualization. However, protesters countered that the EO was for the employers not for the workers.

“If President Digong wanted to fulfill his promise of ending 'endo', he should have signed the 5th draft of the workers’ EO that would make direct hiring of workers to principal employers a norm in employment relations of his administration," said Rene Magtubo, Partido Manggagawa chairperson and Nagkaisa spokesperson.

The groups also claimed that the president "broke his promise and betrayed the workers."

Meanwhile, Julius Cainglet of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) said: “The cycle of broken promises continues. We are not happy with the EO. Nasaan ang Tapang at Malasakit? We wanted an order that is reflective of his sympathy for contractual and agency workers."

“What we got is the same as the previous issuances of government that has set aside direct hiring as the norm. Where is the tough guy stance against exploitative employers?” Cainglet added.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate also described the signed EO as “useless”.

“The EO signed is useless because the ban on labor-only contracting is already in the Labor Code. What we need is to release a policy that will ban all forms of job contracting,” Zarate said in a statement.

In response, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reminded Zarate that Duterte is well aware that his executive order could only do so much since Congress needs to amend the Labor Code.

“That’s why PRRD (President Rodrigo R. Duterte) reiterated the need for legislation. Policy-making is legislative. Executive is implementation,” Roque said.

In his speech delivered in Cebu City, the president said that although the EO could help “alleviate” the problems, he needs the Congress to make the changes in the provisions of the Labor Code.

“In order to implement an effective and lasting solution to problems brought about by contractualization, Congress needs to enact a law amending the Labor Code,” Duterte said.

“A mere executive order can only do so much because you have to change or modify or entirely aggregate some of the provisions,” he added.

At the Bayan Muna office, militant artists put finishing touch on President Duterte's effigy / photo from GMA News (ctto)

Source: PNA, Reuters