Groups call ILO attention to harassment, issues in informal sector

Groups call ILO attention to harassment, issues in informal sector
This photo taken on May 11, 2020 shows a driver installing seat dividers in his passenger jeepney to comply with government-imposed social distancing rules against the COVID-19 coronavirus in Manila.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — Groups representing the country’s informal workers are calling on the delegates of the International Labor Organization’s High-Level Tripartite Mission in the country set for next week to hold state forces accountable for violations against labor rights.

Transport group PISTON (Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide) and KADAMAY (Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap) on Thursday also criticized the government for going on "lavish trips" as commodity prices continue to rise, instead of providing support for workers and for public welfare.

The groups are also asking for recognition of the informal workers’ freedom of association to allow them accessto negotiate with government agencies for social protection and other policies that may improve their living and working conditions.

"Small-capacity passenger transport workers and community-based informal workers make up most of the organized labor in the Philippine informal economy. They provide essential services for millions of Filipinos across the country," PISTON and KADAMAY said in a joint statement. 

"Yet they face job insecurity, low incomes, no access to social security, brutal police harassment, illegal detention, extra-judicial killings, and other human rights violations."

The groups cited PISTON’s report of "numerous cases of state-sanctioned harassment," illegal detention, attempted murder, among others. 

They also noted that there were efforts to silence them and stop their efforts to collectively bargain with state authorities over the planned Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program (PUVMP) of the government, which seeks to replace traditional jeepneys with modern vehicles. 

The modernization plan has received criticism over its expensive operating costs, which would be too much for the drivers to bear without government support.

“Instead of heeding their demands, the government has threatened and cancelled the franchises of operators who joined the protests and strikes and those who refuse to partake in the PUVMP,” their statement read. 

Both transportation workers and informal community-based workers also mentioned that they have been red-tagged by state forces. 

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with