Sex-harrassed women rising in work places, says group on labor day

Photo courtesy: Bicolana-Gabriela/Arkibong Bayan
Photo courtesy: Bicolana-Gabriela/Arkibong Bayan

By Joey Natividad
Special Correspondent

LEGASPI CITY ( – Militant women’s groups in the Bicol Region, on the eve of the observance of Labor Day, May 1, decried the never-ending exploitation of Filipino labor and the rise of abuses of the Filipino women in work places.

BICOLANA-GABRIELA, the umbrella organization of militant women’s groups in the Bicol Region, urged all workers and the women workers sector to unite, and fight the oppressive exploitation of labor, which render the workers on sub-human wages, not enough to support a family of six decently.

The women’s group, in a statement, blasted at the government’s insincerity in addressing the plight of Philippine labor, the practice of contractualization which prevent workers from getting full benefits due them and non-security of job tenure.

BICOLANA-GABRIELA, based in Legaspi City, blamed the government’s embracing of globalization policy that rendered the national economy subservient to “U.S. imperialistic -designed monetary policies serving monopoly-capitalists interests” which farther lowered the country’s poverty-laden status.

“In Legaspi and Naga Cities, although there are no big export-import processing zones as compared to other regions, the practice of contractualization is already being practised openly by small and medium wholesale and retail establishments.” said in the statement.

The minimum daily wage of P247 pegged in the Bicol Region is not enough to support a family of six, after deductions for PhilHealth and SSS. Worse, if the Bicol workers want to get benefits from PhilHealth and SSS, they cannot avail the benefits on the reason that employers and companies do not remit the contributions, the group said in the statement. Agricultural workers get from P100 to P150 a day, which is a pittance in today’s high cost of living.

“Sexual harassment is on the rise in the women’s labor sector, a grave abuse which farther weighed on the sad plight of exploited women labor,” said BICOLANA-GABRIELA.

Every year on Labor Day, millions of members of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) , other militant workers and peasants groups nationwide, launched simultaneous indignation rallies calling for the upgrading of Philippine labor in terms of wages, benefits, and security of tenure. However, the moderate wing of Philippine labor also organized rallies asking the government for more wage increases, avoiding open confrontational posture with the government.

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