Tag Archives: Partido Mangagawa

[Press Release] Workers to Philhealth: Extend full cost coverage to COVID-19 patients beyond April 14 -PM

The labor group, Partido Manggagawa (PM) is asking the Inter-Agency Task Force (AITF) to flag down the plan by Philhealth to stop its full cost coverage in the treatment of COVID-19 patients beyond April, saying that the program must be ‘need-based’ rather than tied on the lockdown calendar imposed by the President.

“The massive testing will only start by April 14, but here is Philhealth running away from the program at the time it is most needed. We demand that it extend its full cost coverage program for COVID patients as needed, especially for the poor who were outdistanced by VIPs in the first round of testing and treatment. Masama kung pati sa Philhealth ay may nauna pa rin sa pila,” stated PM Chair Renato Magtubo.

In a letter to all accredited hospitals and health care facilities accommodating COVID-19 patients, PhilHealth President and CEO Ricardo Morales said Philhealth will shoulder the full cost of treatment for all COVID-19 cases until April 14, 2020. After that, the health fund is going back to the case rate system.
The labor group, however, argued that at present Philhealth is the only health financing institution that can provide poor people that kind of assistance as most of the healthcare programs under the Universal Health Care (UHC) law remain underfunded. The rest are for-profit high-end private facilities.

Experts likewise project an increase in the number of patients as a result of massive testing and they are one in saying that the Philippines may yet to reach its peak by May or June this year.

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[From the web] Labor groups slam PNP for anti-union stations at ecozones, call on DOLE to enforce FOA -PM

The Philippine National Police (PNP), including its commander-in-chief, the President, cannot infringe on the right of workers to form unions. Doing so will be a clear violation of the Constitution, the Labor Code and international conventions that guarantee freedom of association (FOA), the labor group Partido Manggagawa (PM) said in a statement sent to media.

The reaction came after the PNP regional office in Central Luzon on Friday launched the Joint Industrial Peace and Concern Office (JIPCO) in the Clark Freeport Zone that will serve, according to Central Luzon police Chief Brigadier General Rhodel Sermonia, as “the first line of defense from radical labor infiltration of the labor force and the industrial zones.”

The launching had as guest speakers, presidential adviser on the peace process Secretary Carlito Galvez, newly installed Philippine National Police (PNP) Direcor General Archie Francisco Gamboa, and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director Charito Plaza.

PM, a member of the country’s biggest labor coalition Nagkaisa!, demanded that the PNP, PEZA and OPA withdraw the program and for DOLE to enforce labor laws in ecozones, educate officials of the bureaucracy and security forces on labor rights, and prosecute the violators whether they are state officials or owners of capital.

“These officials were appointed to their offices to promote and defend the Constitution. But the launching of JIPCO is very clear on its purpose – to violate the Constitution. Therefore under the context of ecozones, it is clearly the first line of defense of foreign capital and not of the labor force,” lamented PM chair Renato Magtubo.

He added that “Even before the launching of JIPCO, ecozones in Central Luzon have been militarized. Soldiers harassed union leaders and held anti-union meeting with workers of the FCF Manufacturing Corp., a factory in the Freeport Area of Bataan that makes high-end leather bags.”

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[Press Release] Labor group calls for re-nationalization of public utilities amid manifold crisis -PM

A labor group, Partido Manggagawa (PM), on Wednesday called on the government to consider re-nationalizing public utilities involved in the delivery of essential services in the face of deteriorating condition particularly in water and power services.

The call was in response to President Duterte’s pronouncement that he may utilize his emergency powers, which include taking over a public utility, to address the looming water crisis in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

“We agree that the President has that power granted solely to him by the Constitution, but utilizing it by piecemeal to confront manifold crisis situations may not be the best solution. Worse if that immense power is utilized, all by himself, to advance a private or another nation’s interest against the failed incumbents in the industry,” stated PM spokesman Wilson Fortaleza.

Fortaleza said his group is for the re-nationalization of the essential public services particularly water and power which have been privatized in the late 80s and 90s.

“Escalating rates and diminishing supplies can best describe the situation in these industries and two decades of privatization has failed to address these problems,” explained Fortaleza, adding that “it is both a supply, access and affordability crises that the whole government must head on.”

According to the group, aside from cost which is among the highest in the region and in the world, some 10 million Filipinos are still without access to electricity, while nearly seven million out of 105 million Filipinos, rely on unimproved, unsafe and unsustainable water sources and more than 24 million lack access to improved sanitation, according to published reports.

“We have long been under a water and energy emergency and it was the whole government and its long time economic adviser, the World Bank, who advised this confused nation to bite the bitter pills by embracing privatization and liberalization so that this crises, including chronic poverty, will end. Where we are today is therefore the full responsibility of the whole government,” stressed Fortaleza.

Congress, too

The group also called on Congress to make its own moves to address this problem otherwise it prefers to be presumed by the people as a constant ally of industry oligarchs. Fortaleza said it was all Congress who paved the way for the privatization of the Manila Water and Sewerage System (MWSS) in 1997, oil deregulation in 1998, and power privatization in 2001.

“It is time for Congress to conduct a summation of our privatization experience, draw hard lessons from it, and bind the President to a judicious exercise of emergency powers when needed. We will not challenge our lawmakers to repent. But they may consider this demand for re-nationalization as institutional redemption to rectify decades of injustice,” said Fortaleza.

New model of re-nationalization

The Partido Manggagawa, however, is pushing for a new concept of re-nationalization and not simply a return to the old corrupt setup of state monopoly.

“By re-nationalization we mean of more social control over utilities as against monopolization and superprofit motivation; of more democracy rather than policies imposed from the top,” argued Fortaleza, adding that, “Current and future developments in these sectors are leading towards more local, decentralized and distributed systems.”

A nationalized utility, the group said, must now involve democratic participation of unions, cooperatives, and communities that they serve.

Fortaleza, who is also a fellow for Center for Power Issues and Initiatives (CPII) which promotes the shift to renewable energy and energy democracy, argued finally that manifold crisis situations is better addressed with more people being involved in the conceptualization, planning, implementation, and decision-making processes.

Partido Manggagawa
Contact: Wilson Fortaleza
09452182693

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