DAVAO CITY — Women’s groups expressed their disappointment against the Aquino administration’s labour policies on contractualization affecting women workers in the country.

The Center for Women’s Resources disagreed on the statement on the global projection of government that Filipino women gain equal labour rights and enjoy economic empowerment.

CWR said that the policy “shows that the contractualization scheme hurts women workers most since majority of them are hired as contractuals.”

Jojo Guan, CWR executive director said that the “so-called” economic opportunity given by the government consists of temporary and low-skilled jobs for women.

“They receive a per-day below minimum wage. So on the contrary, such condition spells insecurity therefore disempowering to women,” Guan said.

CWR discovered from the record of the Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics (BLES) that the number of seasonal or temporary workers and daily/weekly workers has increased faster than the number of hired permanent workers.

Since 2010, the number of those employed in permanent jobs has gained 4.43 percent only, while the seasonal or temporary workers have posted a 16.35 percent increase and those employed on a daily or weekly basis have increased by 72.87 percent.

This means that the offered jobs lack security and just offer temporary employment.

The group said that notorious implementors of contractual work belong to large companies with businesses in wholesale and retail, manufacturing, and services where 75 percent to 85 percent of the workers are women.

CWR stated that among the 1.74 million women employed in establishments with 20 or more workers, only 117, 965 or 6.8 percent are union members.

Guan said that contractualization scheme goes well with the companies’ policies since the number of regular women workers decreases, thereby resulting to lesser members in the labour unions.

“The real empowerment for women can only be felt with regular jobs and decent wages. I advised the Aquino government to prove its genuine social contract for the last time by scrapping the contractualization scheme of the companies,” Guan said.

Challenges to the candidates

Meanwhile, Gabriela Women’s partylist challenged the election candidates and called for “social protection”.

“Let us address the issues of working class, unite against the enemy and save our country from six years of high taxes, joblessness, and plunder by foreign and local capitalists of our public services and natural resources,” said Arlene Brosas, nominee of Gabriela Partylist.

“As mothers and daughters, we appeal for a movement of national salvation to take back our country from Aquino’s disastrous reign,”  Brosas said.

Rep. Emmi De Jesus of Gabriela said “the most urgent national agenda for a post-Aquino unity program for workers is creating nationalized heavy industry in all regions, and at the same time a national wage standard for all workers to address income inequality and poverty.”

De Jesus called on voters to choose leaders who are willing to “dismantle Aquino’s pro-big business programs that punished our nation for six years of incompetence and greed.” (davaotoday.com)

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