Palace: Anti-government protests may spook foreign investors
MANILA, Philippines – The anti-government protests of labor groups could “scare away foreign investors,” Malacañang said Wednesday, as it slammed them for blaming government for the lack of jobs in the country.
In his Labor Day statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said labor groups “seem to ignore the pro-labor initiatives of the President that resulted in him signing into laws beneficial to our workers.”
Panelo specifically slammed the Kilusang Mayo Uno (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.”
“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,” he said.
He cited the achievements of the Duterte administration, which he said “has been in the forefront in improving the labor conditions of our workers.”
He said the President has signed laws and issuances 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), among others.
He said that during the current administration, “the welfare and concern of our overseas foreign workers (OFWs) were given priority,” citing the one-stop service center for OFWs, a 24/7 OFW Command Center and an Overseas Filipino Bank.
The Philippines, he added, has signed bilateral labor agreements with Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, among others.
“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,” he said.
“The administration’s resolve is the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of Filipino workers not only in the country but in foreign soil as well. We are committed in creating jobs as we look forward to welcoming more Filipinos in the workforce,” he said.
He reminded Filipinos workers “that it is through our toil that we are able to improve ourselves and contribute to the nation’s gains.” /gsg
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