Sunday, 30 April 2017

Low Wages, Contractalisation, High prices of goods and services, why not make some noise against those?

Low Wages, 
High prices of goods and services, 
why not make some noise against those?

Notes after Labour Day

“…Today, in view of the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life”

- Pope Francis
"Laudato Si"

In this spirit of International Workers Day, greeting the workers is a must; for with all their hardships and struggles, celebrating that day means an honour for these toilers as they have contributed in the country's development with all their lives.

However, reality goes something like forgetting their contributions, or worse, maligning them because they are asserting their struggles be it for decent housing, a just and living wage, affordable prices of goods and services, an efficient and just governance, and a lasting peace based from justice; such issues, in spite of trying to be separated by authorities and vested interests, will always be tied with various national issues all knowing that these labouring folks are themselves part of a country: as taxpayers, as voters, as residents who afforded to take the hardest tasks of building, forging, tilling for the country.

And in speaking of taxpayers, these laborers are the ones who paid various taxes such as withholding tax, value added tax, and other dues while seeing price increases especially in commodities and services. These workers did contribute alot in the fields of manufacturing and service sectors while farmers did alot in agricultural work; but these are greatly affected by issues like contractualisation and low wages. Overseas Filipino Workers suffered greatly in low wages, unfair working conditions, and prejudices in spite of remitting money so as to stay the economy afloat.

For the ruling class, that kind of order benefits them thinking that in unfairness means efficiency to gain profits, that life as unjust and one has to "work hard" to keep in their proper place. Such nonsense, in the view of the laborers, makes them further justifiably oppose a their view which is totally based on the principles on globalisation, neoliberalism, what more of capitalism; and because of the inconvenient truths these laboring masses had to endure for years, is so permeated by social and economic ideals that these people will not accept, and rightly so, that society they are currently enduring: of low wages, expensive cost of living, reluctance to reforms, and maintaining an order based from injustice.
In fact, as according to news, thousands of workers and other protesters, including at least 8,000 in Western Visayas, will join Labor Day rallies to press for higher wages, job security and an end to labor contractualisation. The rallies will be held in Metro Manila and other areas like the cities of Bacolod, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Tacloban and Davao while the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) will host 54 job and business fairs throughout the country that offer more than 200,000 jobs.

And perhaps, these realities that created mobilisations hath showed that "progress" brought about by an unjust order is but an illusion if not a mere set of numbers that fail to reach everyone's stomachs. Last year, wages in Metro Manila remained 481.00 Pesos in spite of the government talking or even suggesting that 1000.00 Pesos as a daily living wage in order to have a decent living especially for a family of five members.

And unions like the yellow "Trade Union Congress of the Philippines" (TUCP) proposed an emergency P500 monthly cash subsidy for workers whose daily pay rate is below the 2015 government standard of P393 needed daily by a Filipino family of five to survive. That proposal will apply to all workers outside Metro Manila, where the daily minimum wage is P491. TUCP also plans to petition the regional wage boards to approve pay increases, including P157 across-the-board for workers in Metro Manila.
On the other hand, the militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), together with the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (CORUAGE), is seeking for a national daily minimum wage of P750 for workers in the private sector and a monthly pay of P16,000 for government employees to bring the “current poverty wages closer to living standards" such as the suggested wage from the government itself.

It is also according to the government that the employment rate is at 94% also meant that the remaining 6% percent are still unemployed. Quite questionable knowing that 70% of these employed workers are contractual, temporary, irregular all because of an unjust policy such as contractualisation all in spite of promises to put an end to the scheme. The fairs brought about by the Labour Department may suffice but not resolve the issue on unemployment as long as acronyms like "ENDO" (shortcut for "End of Contract") continues to be heard by many. 

There are various schemes that affected workers badly than for the better. Neoliberalists and globalisation aderents alike insist that contractualisation and low wages meant employment and efficiency in most multi-million profiting companies, but for third world country that needs immediate support for the laboring masses, how come unjust policies has to be tolerated even by a populist-led administration? Such nonsense has made the word "change" still as an illusion to prevent people from taking action, knowing that the latter are tired of an unjust order with those from high profited from it. Price increases, low wages, anomalies in social housing, and failure to create sound programs such as related to social services has made everyone resort to protest. Even the concerned cabinet officials acknowledge that fact that even afforded to make debates with the president and its neoliberal-oriented officials all due to those unjust socioeconomic policies.

And in it makes the concerned thinks how people, especially laborers are already burdened with taxes, as well as irate over inefficiencies of the administration and its corrupt officials with all its sweetheart deals apologetics wanted to justify as such. With salaries frozen on depressed levels, and increased prices of goods and services, what more of policies that rather justifies repression towards laborers, then this is double or even triple whammy! After all, with all these situations also showed how third world countries like the Philippines has not redeemed from the clutches of neocolonialism and semifeudalism what more of bureaucrat capitalism; of oligarchs and corrupt bureaucrats who chose to make development "at a snail's pace" enough to keep much in their interests;
that somehow made a nation's patriotism closely leaning to the labouring masses equating national liberation with social justice; and as in the past wherein workers chanted "death to imperialism" and "increase in wages" as well as "social justice", will always be the same chant knowing that same old bullshits brought by a rotten, unjust social order desperately continues to dominate. It will always be an urgent need to tackle this matter, in which every ruling class tries not to deal, or even show it to those who truly concerned not for themselves, but for the country that is in need of immediate help.

That's all for now.