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On Labor Day, Duterte reminds employers to provide 'humane working conditions' for Filipino workers

Philstar.com
On Labor Day, Duterte reminds employers to provide 'humane working conditions' for Filipino workers
Displaced jeepney drivers place a countdown of the prevailing enhanced community quarantine on one of the passenger jeeps as they appeal for help from passers by along Nagtahan in Manila a day before Labor Day, April 30.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — On Labor Day, President Rodrigo Duterte reminded employers to provide Filipino workers “stable career opportunities and humane working conditions.”

Duterte, in his Labor Day 2020 message, recognized the excellence and diligence of the Filipino workforce that help communities and industries across the globe.

He reaffirmed “the government’s commitment to uphold the dignity of labor by safeguarding the rights of our workers through the humanization of laws and the equalization of social forces.”

“I thus remind everyone in the business sector of their shared responsibility in improving the lives of our workers by providing them stable career opportunities and humane working conditions,” the president, who once vowed to end “endo,” said.

Ending labor-only contracting or “endo,” a Filipino-coined term for “end of contract,” is one of Duterte’s key campaign promises.

“As all work is vital in forging a more inclusive and more progressive Philippines, may each and every Filipino rightfully enjoy the fruits of their labor and lead more productive and dignified lives,” he added.

Last April 29, the government funnelled additional funds to its two flagship programs meant to assist formal and informal workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

An additional 530,000 workers will get assisted by the combined P2.5 billion new allocations for the COVID-19 adjustment program (CAMP) as well as the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD) program, officials from the labor department said.

A qualified applicant receives a one-time P5,000 cash aid under CAMP.

DOLE earlier said that 2.3 million workers had been displaced by the pandemic. — Kristine Joy Patag with report from The STAR/Alexis Romero

LABOR DAY NOVEL CORONAVIRUS RODRIGO DUTERTE
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: May 1, 2020 - 11:43am

President Rodrigo Duterte vows to safeguard the rights of Filipino workers through the humanization of laws and the equalization of social forces.

In his Labor Day message, the president reminds the business sector to provide stable career opportunities and humane working conditions to workers.

"As all work is vital in forging a more inclusive and more progressive Philippines, may each and every Filipino rightfully enjoy the fruits of their labor and lead more productive and dignified lives," Duterte says.

May 1, 2020 - 11:43am

Caritas Philippines urges the government and business owners to initiate just and concrete actions for the country's labor force amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The humanitarian arm of the CBCP calls on the government and conglomerates to provide compensation packages during the quarantine period for informal workers; ensure safety, provision of equipment, transportation, temporary shelter, full meals and hazard pay to medical workers; and guarantee emergency employment assistance to stranded overseas Filipino workers.

"Rerum Novarum, the first social encyclical reminds us of the Catholic Church’s teachings on labor which enjoins us to protect and respect the dignity of labor, encourages equitable participation and just compensation, and challenges the capitalist norm with generosity and kindness. COVID-19 is presenting us the perfect opportunity to do justice, and to promote genuine solidarity," Caritas Philippines national director Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo says.

May 1, 2020 - 11:10am

The National Anti-Poverty Commission formal labor and migrant workers sector calls on the government to focus on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through mass testing and redirecting all funds to health care, food and other essentials.

Noting that the quarantine in several areas in the country limited mobility to gather during Labor Day, the NAPC says this does not prevent the formal labor and migrant workers sector from uniting and calling on the government to strengthen workers' rights.

"This experience is a reminder that capital is nothing without the moving force that keeps the whole world alive and hopeful in these trying times — the workers," the group says in a statement.

May 1, 2020 - 10:33am

Agricultural worker group Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) accuses the Duterte administration of "exacerbating" the dire situation of the people during the COVID-19 crisis.

UMA chairperson Antonio Flores said the enhanced community quarantine imposed in several parts of the country for the past one and a half months had not deterred the spread of the disease, which has so far infected 8,488 in the Philippines.

The group also described the government's economic aid to the people as "dismal."

"The Duterte regime though should not underestimate the simmering resentment among the people including agricultural workers in the country. It should not add fuel to the fire with more threats on the people unless it wants to end up like the Marcos dictatorship which Duterte and his militarist government fully adores," UMA says.

May 1, 2020 - 10:03am

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines expresses solidarity with Filipino workers, particularly frontliners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawyer Domingo Cayosa, national president of the IBP, hails health workers and other frontliners in his Labor Day message.

"Kasamang manggagawa, nawa'y ramdam ka ng Abogadong Pilipino. Pagpaumanhin kung kulang ang among pagkilala at kalinga sa iyo. Kaming mananaggol ay maki-isa, manguna at maghubad balatkayo upang sa iyo'y may saysay ang pinagdidiinan naming rule of law," Cayosa says.

May 1, 2020 - 9:53am

Sen. Nancy Binay says the Senate is ready to help temporarily displaced Filipino workers by crafting measures to supplement the government's existing funds and help create opportunities for new jobs and investments.

The senator urges the Department of Labor and Employment to continue and improve its programs for displaced workers, its emergency fund for overseas Filipino workers and its assistance program for those in the informal sector.

"Uncertainty may grip the labor sector, but it is critical that that we in government—together with movers in the private sector—support the Filipino workforce as they face new challenges in this trying time. We must be enablers, not disablers, who will strengthen our workers' competitive edge," Binay says in her Labor Day statement.

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