Cebu News

BONIFACIO DAY RALLY: National minimum wage law pushed

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — A hundred members of various cause oriented groups have joined the march to the regional office of the Department of Labor and Employment along Gorordo Avenue corner General Maxilom Avenue in Cebu City on the occasion of Bonifacio Day yesterday.

The participants were members of Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino-Cebu and its allied organizations, Partido Lakas ng Masa-Cebu and Sanlakas affiliates.

In his speech, Teody Navea, BMP-Cebu chairperson, articulated that the government must decisively act on the high inflation rate resulting in the daily high cost of living.

“As such, the prevailing minimum wage law can no longer sustain the lives of the workers and further subjugate them to the quagmire of poverty and helplessness. The government must enact a National Minimum Wage Law that will ultimately solve the unabated high prices of basic commodities,” said Navea.

Apart from the issues of workers, other speakers during the rally discussed the problem of housing, climate crisis and the solidarity call for support to the Palestinian people victimized by the genocidal act of the Israeli government.

On the other hand, Partido Manggagawa-Cebu in the wake of the devastating consequences witnessed in conflicts such as the ongoing disputes between Israel and Palestine, Ukraine and Russia, Syria, and numerous other smaller conflicts worldwide, issued a stern warning.

“It is imperative to stop these wars so that focus is redirected to more immediate and pressing concerns faced by the world’s people, particularly the urgent battles against poverty, inequality, and the climate crisis," said PM-Cebu spokesperson Dennis Derige.

Joining PM-Cebu the march from Plaza Independencia to Colon St. organized by Nagkaisa Labor Coalition and the Network Opposed to War (No to War) on Bonifacio Day, PM emphasizes the need for secure jobs and increased wages to combat the ripple effects of unemployment and the rising cost of living.

“However, the realization of these aspirations, echoing the Katipunan dreams of ‘kalayaan at kaginhawahan’ remains elusive 160 years after the birth of Gat Andres Bonifacio. This persistence is attributed to anti-worker economic policies, such as cheap labor, endo, and privatization, coupled with the enduring structural flaws of ilustrado governance in the form of trapo politics,” said Derige, in a statement.

Addressing the potential outbreak of new conflicts, Derige expresses concern over increasing tensions between global superpowers vying for hegemony and expansionism, as highlighted in the analysis of Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.

The labor group has emphasizes the devastating impact on working people, drawing parallels with historical events like the two world wars, scores of civil wars, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Palestine due to Israel's campaign of siege and genocide. — /GMR (FREEMAN)

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