Admin’s economic agenda, rejected by workers at DOLE’s labor summit




Attending today’s Labor Summit hosted by the Department of Labor and Employment, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno expressed its rejection of the Duterte administration’s 10-point Socio-Economic Agenda saying it is detrimental to workers.


“The administration’s 10-point economic agenda is detrimental to Filipino workers. It’s main thrust is to assure super-profits for foreign and local big capitalists by undermining Filipino workers’ rights to regular jobs and living wages,” KMU chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog said.


The KMU sees the administration’s economic agenda as the main reason behind the labor department’s recent rejection of the proposal for a P125 across-the-board wage hike and its lack of decisive measures towards ending contractualization.


“The people who are strongly opposing workers’ demands for a significant wage hike and the junking of contractualization are the same pro-contractualization and pro-cheap labor oligarchs who drafted the administration’s economic agenda. We believe that the main reason why the DOLE rejected proposals for a significant wage hike and why it failed to take concrete steps in ending contractualization is because these are against these 10 points.” said Labog.


KMU also claimed that the administration’s economic agenda beclouds President Duterte’s promise of change as it is a mere continuation of the previous administrations’ economic framework of promoting cheap, contractual and docile labor to guarantee the profits of foreign and local big businesses.


“Change may not come as promised if the current administration would continue its predecessors’ policies of undermining the rights and welfare of the Filipino workers and people to promote the interests of foreign and local big businesses. The framework of the administration’s economic agenda is the same framework that caused our workers’ current woes,” Labog said.


The labor leader also insisted that the agenda pushed by the administration’s economic managers and foreign big businesses directly negates the President’s assertion of an independent foreign policy.


“The administration’s economic managers are directly defying the President’s assertion of an independent foreign policy. The framework of the 10-point economic agenda is to remain subservient to neoliberal policies imposed by the US through onerous free trade agreements,” said Labog.


Meanwhile in a protest held outside the Labor Summit’s venue, leaders of various labor unions, people’s organizations and pro-labor institutions vowed to oppose any attempt to integrate the 10-point economic agenda on the administration’s labor policy.


“We will not allow these anti-worker agenda to be reflected in the DOLE’s labor policies. We challenge Secretary Bello to stand with workers against the big businesses asserting the 10-point agenda by heeding our demands to junk all contractualization schemes and implement a national minimum wage” Labog said.


The KMU also called on President Duterte to reject his economic manager’s 10-point agenda and instead adopt national industrialization and genuine land reform as his economic development program.


“We strongly urge President Duterte to junk his administration’s 10-point economic agenda. Instead, he must heed the 15-point people’s demands which have been presented to him in Malacanang on his first day in office. It states concrete proposals on how he can choose the path towards genuine, pro-people and self-reliant national development by adopting national industrialization and genuine land reform as his economic policy.” Labog said.