Tag Archives: Trade Union Congress of the Philippines

[Statement] Pork Barrel Regime a bane to Filipino workers -NAGKAISA

Pork Barrel Regime a bane to Filipino workers

NAGKAISA! Labor coalition marched from España blvd to Mendiola bridge- File Photo by PhilRights

NAGKAISA! Labor coalition marched from España blvd to Mendiola bridge- File Photo by PhilRights

Official numbers and figures tell no lies—pork barrel, which include the Palace’s Special Purpose Fund (SPF) and Congress’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)–has reached all-time highs under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III. SPF, which are funds under the discretion of Mr. Aquino, is set to be pegged at more than P400 billion in 2014 and out of that, PDAF will be pegged at P25 billion.

The public coffer is overflowing with money, yet this huge amount of money is spent upon the discretion of whoever sits in Malacanang, with no transparency and direct engagement with the people in determining government projects. Such ill-transparency and fiscal dictatorship is ridiculously upheld through Mr. Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), a rip off from former dictator Marcos’ decree (PD 1177 of 1977) which seeks to fast track government spending, but again, under the discretion of one person that is the President, making him the chef of quick fry pork.

This has been the system in past administrations, and this, in the eye of Filipino workers, is the legacy of Mr. Aquino—the leader of the current Pork Barrel Regime fueled by the undemocratic spending of our hard-earned money.

With Mr. Aquino defending and upholding the pork barrel system in his nationally televised public address, and with him hitting anti-pork groups, we in Nagkaisa—the biggest labor coalition in the Philippines—join in the people’s call of scrapping ALL forms of pork barrel which, as government records show, is a major source of corruption in government.

We also the demand the filing of criminal cases against all government officials who have benefited, directly or indirectly, from the pork barrel. Justice and law enforcement must know no influence or position, and it must be dispensed without delay. Officials who determine the budget under the current system, such as Budget secretary Florencio Abad, Senate President Franklin Drilon, and House Speaker Sonny Belmonte must also be held accountable for crafting pork-filled budgets.

Instead of a Pork Barrel Regime, we want a government built upon genuine democracy, wherein working Filipinos who automatically pay their taxes are engaged in budgeting and policy making. Such participative budgeting system, in our view, is a major step toward combating corruption.

Finally, we in Nagkaisa demand the government to allocate our money, in the most transparent and democratic way, to social services and real jobs creation especially since the Filipino worker is getting poorer due to contractual labor and small wage.

Scrap all pork! Filipino workers, unite for a democratic, transparent, and accountable government! ###

NAGKAISA is the broadest coalition of labor groups in the Philippines to date composed of labor centers, federations and national unions, which include the Alliance of Filipino Workers (AFW), affiliates of the Associated Labor UnionsTrade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), members of SENTRO, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Confederation of Independent Unions in the Public Sector (CIU), Federation of Free Workers (FFW), Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN), National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU), National Mines and Allied Workers’ Union (NAMAWU), National Confederation of Labor (NCL), Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA), Philippine Government Employees Association (PGEA), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), Philippine Transport and General Workers Organization (PTGWO), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority-Association of Concerned Employees (TESDA-ACE).

NAGKAISA Statement
November 7, 2013

Contact Persons:
Leody De Guzman (BMP) – 09205200672
Joshua Mata (APL) – 09177942431

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[Press Release] PM slams P10 wage hike as a “cruel Napoles joke”

Group slams P10 wage hike as a “cruel Napoles joke”

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The militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) slammed the P10 wage hike in the National Capital Region (NCR) as a “cruel Napoles joke” inflicted on the workers. “Janet Napoles steals P10 billion from the people’s money and the government offers P10 in coins to workers as a consolation. While the people’s attention is focused on the billion peso pork barrel scam, the wage board thinks it can quietly dupe workers with a measly pay increase,” insisted Wilson Fortaleza, PM’s spokesperson.

Meanwhile PM called on the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) which had filed a P83 across-the-board wage petition to coordinate with other labor groups to protest the NCR wage board’s decision and launch a joint campaign for a living wage. “The TUCP’s rejection of the wage board’s decision is a good initial move. The next step should be to complement the TUCP’s appeal to the wage board with a call on workers to hold mass actions. If the middle class finds it necessary to call a Million People March for the abolition of the pork barrel, it is imperative on the working class to launch a mass movement to end the cheap labor policy,” Fortaleza argued.

He added that the P10 wage hike is a “dagdag-bawi scam.” “Government decides to give workers a P10 hike in wages but it will take it back with the proposed P10 increase in fares for the MRT and LRT. Further, prices of basic goods like rice have inflated so that in the end, workers are worse off than before,” Fortaleza explained.

“PM’s own study reveals that the cost of living in the NCR is already P1,200 as of April this year for a family of six and yet the new minimum wage adds up to only P466, which will not even buy half of the basket of goods and services,” Fortaleza said.

He continued that “This is the ugly reality of inequality in our country. The Philippines is the fastest growing economy in Asia yet only a few, the capitalist class, is benefiting from the increased wealth created by the working people. The assets of the ten richest Filipinos amount to some US$45 billion, which is equivalent to the yearly wages of 20 million minimum wage earners.”

PM contends that the wage boards have outlived their usefulness and should be replaced by a Wage Commission. Fortaleza stated that “The mandate of the National Wage Commission will be to fix wages based on the single criterion of cost of living. This is different from the wage boards which are bogged down by convoluted and contradictory 10-point criteria in fixing wages. The Wage Commission should raise the minimum wage to the level of the living wage by a mix of mechanisms such as direct pay increases, tax exemptions, price discounts and social security subsidies for workers.”

Press Release
September 7, 2013

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[In the news] Trade Union Congress of the Philippines revives wage hike | Sun.Star

Trade Union Congress of the Philippines revives wage hike | Sun.Star.

By JM Agreda
March 24, 2012

AFTER several months of waiting for supervening conditions, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) will be re-filing its petition for an P80 across-the-board wage increase.

TUCP regional coordinator Engineer Rey Lardizabal said the wage increase petition is needed for the labor sector to survive the surging prices of transportation and fuel, basic and prime commodities and cost of living.

Lardizabal said a wage hike is inevitable, citing previous increases in salaries have been overtaken by continuing price hikes.

In a petition by the TUCP, it said wage orders of P10 to P15 for cost of living allowance (Cola) in 2008 and the P12 additional Cola enforced last January 2011 have been overtaken by increases in prices of petroleum products, transportation and basic goods and commodities.

The group is now batting again for a P352 minimum daily wage in the region compared to the prevailing P272 minimum wage enforced in 2011.

The group also said it is time to enable workers to recover from the difficulties brought about by the global financial crisis a few years ago.

TUCP cited workers and their families, despite spectacular gains in the gross national product, production and productivity, have not been granted a single peso in real wage increase since 1989.

For them, increased wages would help sustain the economic recovery of the country as it will help bolster local demand, TUCP said.

The group also compared that from May 2008 to March 2011, the consumer price index in the region rose from 154.5 to 172.8 or the equivalent of a 12-percent increase in consumer prices or equal to a P31.20 excluding new price increases in transportation, fuel and basic commodities.

Discussing their previous petition, consumer prices brought about by unabated fuel and water and electricity rate increases according to the group are also expected to rise by as much as eight percent and more considering the increases in transportation and fuel experienced this year.

This, according to TUCP, is equivalent to an additional P20.80 increase in wages.

Read full article @ http://www.sunstar.com.ph/baguio/local-news/2012/03/24/union-revives-wage-hike-212904

[In the news] Labor group kicks out Ernesto Herrera -INQUIRER.net

Labor group kicks out Ernesto Herrera.

By Jerome Aning, Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 14, 2012

Long-time secretary general Ernesto Herrera of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines was formally expelled from the labor group, the TUCP said Tuesday.

The TUCP executive board, headed by president Democrito Mendoza, passed a resolution on March 7 ousting Herrera and two affiliate member organizations – the Alyansa ng Manggagawang Pilipinong Organisado (Amapo) and the Philippine Federation of Labor – for violating article VIII, section 4, of the TUCP constitution which refers to betrayal, dishonesty and acts inimical to the interest of the group.

The resolution was concurred in by the TUCP general council on the same day, making it final and closed to appeal.

Herrera’s expulsion was the latest chapter in the leadership struggle between two factions of the TUCP, said to be the largest trade union confederation in the country.

Read full article @ newsinfo.inquirer.net