DAVAO CITY,Philippines – Former lawmaker Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao of Anakpawis Partylist condemned as “anti-worker, anti-probinsyano and anti-Filipino” the House bill extending probationary employment of Filipino workers to two years.
The bill was authored by Probinsyano Ako Partylist Rep. Jose Singson Jr.
Casilao believes that this proposal will only worsen the poverty experienced by marginalized and impoverished sectors especially workers.
“Amid the nationwide demand of the Filipino workers to be regularized or secured in their jobs and to earn a P750 national minimum wage, we are hearing this regressive proposal, obviously coming from (someone who is) not a representative of the working class, but (one who) upholds the interests of rich capitalists,” Casilao said.
Casilao, who authored House Bill 556 or the Anti-Contractualization of Labor Bill and HB 7787 or P750 National Minimum Wage Bill during the 17th Congress, thinks that this proposal intends to make the Filipino labor more flexible to attract foreign big businesses to invest in the country.
“It is the anti-thesis of the aspiration of millions of Filipino workers for regular work and better job; this champions the interests of foreign monopoly corporations and oligarchs, to rake in giant profits. This is plainly anti-Filipino and undemocratic,” he said
Meanwhile, in the recent data of Ibon Foundation on Filipino workers revealed that there are some 8.5 million non-regular workers in the private sector, while 800,000 contractuals are in government agencies.
It said that, at worst, 7 out of 10 workers are non-regular or agency hired, particularly in the construction sector.
“It manifests in the data and it only means that this bill is immediately against the interest of more than nine million Filipinos,” Casilao added.
The promise to end ‘endo’
Casilao recalled the promise of President Duterte when he was campaigning for presidency that he will end contractualization in the country and give workers a significant wage hike if elected.
“The Filipino workers do not forget that it was Duterte himself who promised to end ‘endo’ (end-of-service scheme), but ended up signing the redundant Executive Order No. 51 in 2018. This was his submission to the dictates of foreign monopoly (capitalists) and a betrayal of the working class sector,” he said.
Casilao is confident that this measure will be rejected by the Filipino workers’ movement.
“The Duterte government is already paranoid of the mounting workers’ unrest across the country, the launching of strikes, setting up of picket lines and other forms of protests, all demanding regularization of employment and wage hikes. The real front lines for securing jobs are at the factories and communities. Ordinary Filipinos are all aware that nothing beneficial could come up from Duterte lackey house members, but (only policies) detrimental to the interests of Filipino and the majority of society,” he said.(davaotoday.com)