National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno slammed Senate President Zubiri for prioritizing efforts to amend the Constitution while bills to legislate significant wage increases remain languishing in the parliament.
Workers from KMU joined a protest in front of the Senate Building in Pasay to say “No To Charter Change, Yes to Wage Increase,” in time for the hearing on the Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 6 introduced by Senator Zubiri which seeks to amend parts of the Constitution on foreign ownership of several aspects of the economy.
“Last year ang palaging sinasabi ni Senator Zubiri ay deserve ng manggagawa ng wage increase. Pangako pa niya, pamaskong handog raw ng mga mambabatas ang P100 wage hike. Nagbago lang ang taon, nagbago na rin ang sayaw ni Mr Zubiri. Pang-uto lang ba sa manggagawa ang pangakong ginhawa?,” said KMU secretary general Jerome Adonis.
“Just last year, Senator Zubiri says workers deserve a wage increase. He even promised a P100 wage hike as a ‘Christmas gift’ from legislators. The year shifted, and so is his tune and dance. Mr Zubiri, did you just try to hoodwink the workers?”
Adonis also slammed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr for being the main architect of these concerted efforts to open up the Constitution to make way for greater foreign control in the economy. He said that Marcos Jr will also benefit from this move to install himself and his clique in power beyond the Constitutional limit.
“‘Yang si BBM, nanliligaw sa mga dayuhan. Ang hanap niyan, kickback mula sa mga pledges at investment na hangin hanggang ngayon. Bubuksan na lang niya ang likas-yaman at labor force natin matiyak lang na makaka-stay sila sa kapangyarihan at makakubra muli sa kaban ng bayan. Motto nila ng mga kapanalig niya: Sama-sama tayong kukupit muli.”
“BBM keeps on wooing foreigners. He seeks kickback from the pledges and investments that are still floating on thin air. He wants to open up our natural resources and labor force to foreigners so he could benefit and stay in power and take some more from the country’s coffers. Their motto: Let us rob together again.”
Adonis called on workers and the people to speak up and protest against these blatantly self-serving moves by the country’s politicians. He calls for bigger and more frequent protests to demand their rights to a living wage and decent livelihood.
“Mga kababayan, ka-manggagawa, sobrang busy ng mga tinaguriang lider ng bansa sa kakaprotekta sa kani-kanilang interes, habang tayo nagugutom. Ang taas ng presyo ng bilihin, kuryente, tubig, pamasahe – lahat na – pero sila abala sa pagkauhaw nila sa kapangyarihan. Marapat lamang na magpadagundong tayo ng mga protesta nang malaman nilang di natin papayagan ang ganyang kagarapalan.” Adonis ended.
“Fellow people, fellow workers, our so-called leaders are very busy protecting their self-interests while we experience daily hinger. Prices of goods, electricity, water, fare – everything – skyrocket but they only think of their thirst for power. It’s high time we launch big and loud protests to inform them that we will not allow their acts.”