PH among worst countries for workers — global index
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is among the ten worst countries for working people, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Global Index 2019 showed.
The Philippines received a rating of 5, which means there is “no guarantee of rights” for workers.
Aside from the low rating, the Philippines was included in the list of ten worst countries in the world for workers alongside Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Zimbabwe.
The index noted that trade union members were killed in the country and that “shrinking democratic space was witnessed” as freedom for speech and assembly are “denied or constrained.”
The index also cited “violence and murder, brutal repression of public protests, and repressive laws.”
“Workers and trade unionists in the Philippines faced violent attacks and intimidation. Protests were brutally repressed by police forces in an attempt by government forces to suppress political dissent,” the index stated.
“With martial law in Mindanao extended for the third time until the end of 2019, the threat of an escalation of violence and abuses grows,” it added.
The index also noted the death of nine sugar cane workers and members of the National Federation of Sugar Workers (NAMASUFA) who were shot dead by an unknown group of men in October 2018.
“Over the past year, authorities in the Philippines have repeatedly made public statements accusing NAMASUFA (National Federation of Sugar Workers) of being ‘fronts’ for illegal armed groups,” the index stated.
“This attack came just before President Duterte made a statement on October 28 stating that any further occupations of land by farmers should be dealt with harshly: ‘My order to the police is to shoot them. If they resist violently, shoot them, and if they die, I do not care,'” it added.
In the 2018 index, the Philippines was also given the rating of 5 for “intimidation and dismissals, violence, and repressive laws.”
INQUIRER.net has reached out to the Department of Labor and Employment for a comment but has yet to receive a response. (Editor: Eden Estopace)