In reaction to the declaration of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that bonuses should be given workers involved in family planning, the labor group Partido ng Manggagawa is pushing for paid leaves for employees availing of reproductive health (RH) services. The group believes that provisions of the controversial RH bill which provides for half-day paid leaves for pre-natal consultations would be a big relief to women workers.
“Hindi dapat na isasa-alang-alang ng kababaihang manggagawa ang kanilang kalusugan kapalit ng kalahating-araw na sweldo sa loob ng siyam na buwan na pagbubuntis,” asserted PM Secretary-General Judy Ann Miranda.
The passage of the RH bill is one of the demands to be raised by PM in the coming Labor Day celebration. Aside from the Mendiola rally at noon, PM will also lead Labor Day protests in Cebu City, Davao City, Bacolod City, Iloilo City, General Santos City, Iligan City and Dipolog City. Thousands of workers are expected to participate in the Labor Day protest.
While welcoming the DOLE’s support for the RH bill, PM disagrees with the department’s line of reasoning for pushing its passage. PM’s premise for supporting the reproductive health bill is rights-based rather than population management.
“Government officials should neither blame overpopulation for lack of jobs in the country nor believe that the RH bill is a solution to this problem. Unemployment is a function of bad economic policies not lack of family planning. Beyond use of bonuses as incentives to encourage family planning to curb population growth, PM would rather that DOLE actively educate and disseminate information on sexuality and reproductive health as a health and human rights concern to enable workers, especially women, to make sensible decisions with regards to their reproductive health and achieve their ideal family size,” explained Miranda.
She added that, “DOLE should refrain from using the population issue sa kawalan ng komprehensibong plano ng gobyerno sa job generation. The country’s high unemployment rate is not simply a population problem that will be resolved by the RH bill. Hind magandang gamitin ang baluktot na katwiran sa pagtahak ng matuwid na daan.”
“Ang direktang ganansiya ng isang minimum wage earner sa RH bill ay complete accurate and relevant information, and affordable and accessible family planning and reproductive health care services and commodities. Makakatulong din sa kanyang mga anak ang age-appropriate mandatory sexuality and RH education for Grade 5 to 4th year high schools – para makaiwas sa unwanted pregnancies at makapag-desisyon nang maayos para sa kanyang kinabukasan,” added Miranda.
Partido ng Manggagawa
26 April 2011