Kilusang Mayo Uno ignores Duterte benefits for labor -- Palace

Workers - Demonstration
Thousands of workers waving banners and placards march as they pull a carriage with an effigy representing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during a demonstration marking Labour Day in Manila on May 1, 2019. / AFP / Ted ALJIBE

MALACANANG lambasted Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) and allied groups for blaming the Administration for the labor ills of the country.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo yesterday lamented that KMU and allied groups seem to ignore the pro-labor initiatives of the President that saw him signing laws beneficial to workers.

Panelo also hit back at KMU for criticizing the government for being anti-poor and anti-worker while blaming the government for the lack of jobs and alleged worsening labor conditions.

According to Panelo, “what seems to escape them is the truth that their anti-government activities could scare away foreign investors in the country resulting in job losses to the people they are fighting for and vow to protect.”

The Palace spokesman cited as the Administration’s initiatives that improved the labor conditions of Filipino workers such as laws and issuances signed by President Duterte that strengthen occupational safety and health standards (RA No. 11058), making work from home as an alternative work arrangement (RA No. 11165), increasing female workers’ maternity leave period (RA No. 11210), providing a handbook on the rights and responsibilities of migrant workers (RA No. 11227), increasing the employment compensation funeral benefits for employees in the public and private sectors (EO No. 33), protecting the right to security of tenure of all workers (EO 51), increasing employees’ compensation benefits in the private sector and career’s allowance in the public sector (EO No. 54) and granting of gratuity pay to job order and contract service workers in the government (AO No. 2).

“It is also during the current government when the welfare and concern of our overseas foreign workers (OFWs) were given priority. We now have a one-stop service center for OFWs, a 24/7 OFW Command Center and an Overseas Filipino Bank. We have signed bilateral labor agreements with Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, to name some,” Panelo said.

Panelo said the Filipino worker is the President’s most valued resource as labor is one of the engines that will propel the country’s growth and development.

“The Administration’s resolve is the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of Filipino workers not only in the country but on foreign soil as well. We are committed in creating jobs as we look forward to welcoming more Filipinos in the workforce.”