15 June 2012
Aquino’s K+12 pulls down workers’ wages — Anakbayan
Militant youth group Anakbayan assailed the Aquino administration and the Department of Education (DepEd) for implementing the K to 12 program, saying it will further pull down Filipino workers’ wages. It also said Aquino and the Dep Ed are turning schools into factories that will churn out cheap and semi-skilled young laborers who will eventually join the sea of unemployed.
Anakbayan, a national organization of young workers, out-of-school and community youth and students, also slammed Malacañang’s USD 2.5 billion (PHP 100B) American and British investments in the country, calling it a “massive sell-out of Filipino workers and the youth’s future.”
Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan National Chairperson, said “the Aquino government is heavily dependent on foreign investments and labor export to create employment. Aquino is implementing the K to 12 program with desperate haste to make Filipino labor cheaper to win out the growing competition for foreign investments between backward, agrarian and non-industrial countries.”
Aquino, whose delegation included representatives of big businesses, returned home with PHP 100 billion-worth of “done deals” after a week-long visit to the UK and US. He met with American and British executives of multinational and transnational corporations such as Royal Dutch Shell, Nestle, Glencore, GazAsia, Sithe Global, Denham Capital, GN Power and Underwriters Laboratories.
Under the K to 12 program, the re-engineered education system will have the youth graduate and join the labor force at a younger age. The increased number of young graduates seeking employment and competing for scarce jobs will pull down and lower the value of Filipino labor. The two-year old Aquino administration registered a record-high 11.6 million unemployed and underemployed.
“The Filipino workers and youth will be subjugated to greater oppression and exploitation by profit-hungry foreign and domestic big capitalists and businesses. Contrary to Aquino’s ‘it will mean more jobs and food on the table,’ it will leave workers living in grinding and abject hunger and poverty,” Crisostomo said.
Anakbayan said the Aquino government does not intend to resolve the long-standing problem of domestic unemployment and its thrust is to push Filipino workers to become contractual workers here and abroad. To date, at least 4,400 Filipinos leave the country everyday to become overseas contractual workers.
The K to 12 program is an effort to comply with International Monetary Fund impositions requiring overseas workers to complete a 12-year education cycle; and vocational and technical education focusing on the needs of the international labor market, on skills needed for overseas employment.
Young workers, out-of-school and community youth and students will mobilize on June 26 at Mendiola, Manila as youth leaders and teachers hold a dialogue in Malacañang.
Anakbayan National Chairperson