Gutoc warns Duterte against breaking promise to teachers
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s “broken promises” to workers, especially to increase the salary of public teachers, will reflect on the May 13 midterm elections, opposition senatorial candidates Samira Gutoc and Erin Tañada warned Wednesday.
“Mr. President, today is Labor Day, and today I ask you, have you forgotten your promises to increase the salary of teachers and to genuinely end contractualization in the country?” Gutoc said in a statement.
“I hope not, because amidst the natural and human-made calamities confronting the Filipino workers of today, they will not just stand their ground this day, but also on the May 13 midterm elections,” the peace advocate from Marawi added.
Tañada meanwhile urged workers to show their force in the upcoming polls.
“Ipakita ang lakas ng boses ng manggagawa sa darating na eleksyon,” he said.
In a separate interview before a dialogue with labor groups UNI Global Union Philippine Liaison Council (UNI-PLC), Kapisanan ng mga Manggagawa sa GOCCs at GFIs, and National Trade Union Center (NTUC), Gutoc called on Duterte to fulfill his promise to public teachers.
“Suportado kami sa teachers’ request kay Presidente na akyatin ‘yung kanilang sweldo. Dapat nga nauna sila eh, pero nauna ‘yung sundalo, pulis ganun po Mr. President ang priority ninyo,” she said.
“Pero bilang babae, I remind that the low quality of teaching output is also related to teacher’s pay kaya umaalis ‘yung napakaraming propesyunal, look at the OFW (overseas Filipino workers) numbers they are increasing by the day,” she added.
Former House deputy speaker Tañada meanwhile said important labor issues like the Security of Tenure bill to end contractualization, the repeal of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law, as well as the decreasing rate of job creation should be tackled in the Senate.
“Bigyan natin ng dangal ang ating mga boto sa darating na eleksyon. Nasa atin ang kapangyarihan ngayon. Ilagay natin sa senado ang mga tunay na kakampi at magbibigay ng regular na trabaho sa ating lahat, at hindi hanapbuhay na kulang ang sweldo at walang seguridad,” he added.
Exie Nidea, president of UNI-PLC composed of 11 labor groups from various sectors, stressed that they would continue to demand jobs, the security of tenure and rights of workers. He also said they would support the opposition candidates.
“Trabaho, kasiguran sa trabaho, karapatan sa paggawa, ‘yan ang isinisigaw ng manggagawang Pilipino,” he said.
After the dialogue, Gutoc, together with Erin’s father, former Sen. Bobby Tañada, joined the Philippine Savings Bank employees union’s Labor Day gathering in Makati City. /cbb
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.