Nothing joyful about Labor Day, Bicol protesters say | BICOL TODAY

Nothing joyful about Labor Day, Bicol protesters say

Photo courtesy of Bayan Camarines Sur

By Joey Natividad

CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region – Nothing to celebrate cheerfully about on May 1, Labor Day, laborers and agriculture workers of Camarines Sur converged in Naga’s Plaza Rizal and lamented their hardship over how to feed their families with P42/per kilo rice from a meager P150/day labor wage.

With this expensive rice are the increased prices of basic foodstuff for a few grams of pork, a few pieces of small dried fish, a sachet of instant coffee and milk, sugar, cooking oil, vegetables, and others.

About five hundred protesters in jeepneys arrived in Naga to attend the Labor Day event.

About two or three jeepneys, loaded with protesters, were intercepted in military and police checkpoints in Calabanga, Sipocot, and Tigaon, but were allowed to proceed later, incidents that had caused the delay for the Naga City rally.

The demonstrators, mostly coming from the marginalized areas in Camarines Sur, did not show signs of prosperity and comfortable living, but more of hardship and poverty, had observed.

Nothing to be joyful about in celebrating Labor Day, several participants explained to during the assembly at Plaza Rizal.

Gone is the daily food basket which had been the measuring yardstick by economists in measuring the daily cost of living for the lowly Filipino.

Today is the age of the small Sando plastic bag which fit the daily foodstuff which the poor always buy.

Tess Pielago of Bicol’s women sector blamed the recent tax increases caused by Duterte’s TRAIN law (Tax Reform for Acceleration & Inclusion) that rendered 4-5% increases on all basic necessities and services.

Bert Autor of Bicol’s agricultural worker’s sector lamented low agricultural wages, including low daily wages in the service and labor sectors.

“Nothing substantial improvement in the labor sector, under the present Duterte Administration, local labor has suffered the most,” Autor lamented.

Nelsy Rodriguez called for labor, in general, for greater unity and engaged in broader coalition with other progressive sectors to fight monopoly and profit-driven capitalism.

The labor leaders warned about China’s economic aggression wisely masked as soft loans, grants and development assistance being dangled in the Duterte Administration, with the end result of subjugating the Philippine economy. []

Photo courtesy of Bayan Camarines Sur

Posted by on May 2, 2018. Filed under Bicol News,Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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