On Labor Day, Senate reaffirms vow to defend worker's rights

On Labor Day, Senate reaffirms vow to defend worker’s rights

/ 10:32 AM May 01, 2024

On Labor Day, Senate reiterates commitment to fight for worker's rights

On Labor Day, the Senate stresses to defend worker’s rights. Outdoor workers composite image from INQUIRER file and stock photos

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate on Labor Day emphasized its commitment to fight for every worker’s rights, including higher compensation and protection at work.

READ: Marcos vows to continuously support working class on Labor Day


In time for Labor Day, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri recognized the unparalleled contributions of the country’s workforce.


“They power our industries, and any economic gains that we make as a country [are] thanks in large part to their labor,” said Zubiri in a statement. He then lamented that, despite their vital role, workers remain “undervalued.”

“And so we in the Senate stand with every Filipino worker in fighting for their rights, from better wages to safer workplaces,” he underscored.

READ: Workers groups welcome Senate’s pay hike measure

He then pointed out that the Senate has passed the P100 Daily Minimum Wage Increase Act, and he hopes that it will also get the House of Representatives’ approval.

“Sama-sama nating ipaglaban ang kapakanan ng bawat manggagawang Pilipino,” said Zubiri.

(Let us fight together for the rights of our Filipino workers.)


Ease the burden of laborers

For his part, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva acknowledged the dedication of Filipino laborers, assuring them that senators are drafting measures seeking to “strengthen the protection, welfare, and skills” of Filipino workers.

In addition, he called on employers to consider several working arrangements to ease the burden on employees.

“Batid po natin ang kalagayan at kapakanan ng ating manggagawa lalo na po sa panahong ito. Panawagan po natin sa ating mga employer na tignan ang iba’t ibang alternatibong working arrangement kagaya ng telecommuting o work from home para maibsan ang kalbaryo ng ating mga manggagawa na nagtitiis pumasok araw araw sa gitna ng matinding init at traffic na kanilang kinakaharap,” said Villanueva.

(We are aware of the plight of our workers, especially during this time. We call on employers to look at alternative working arrangements like telecommuting or working from home to ease the burden of our employees, who endure every day’s sweltering heat and traffic to work.)

In terms of legislation, Villanueva said the implementing Rules and Regulations of the Trabaho Para Sa Bayan Act—which he principally authored and sponsored—have already been signed.

This measure specifically seeks to address the unemployment, underemployment, and seasonality of jobs in the Philippines.

Magna Carta for Public School Teachers

Meanwhile, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian called on the passage of the Revised Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, which, according to him, would uphold teachers’ welfare and provide crucial benefits, including calamity leave, educational benefits, and longevity pay.

The Revised Magna Carta for Public School Teachers, or Senate Bill No. 2493, also aims to specify the conditions for granting a special hardship allowance, enhance salary criteria, and protect teachers from out-of-pocket expenses.

“Alalahanin natin ang dedikasyon sa trabaho ng ating mga guro. Sila ang humuhubog sa galing at kakayahan ng ating mga mag-aaral kaya itaguyod natin ang mas mataas na sahod at mas maayos na kabuhayan para sa kanila. Tiyakin din natin na nasa mabuti silang kalagayan upang ipagpatuloy ang hindi mapapantayan nilang sakripisyo,” said Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate’s panel on basic education.

(Let us remember the dedication of our teachers. They are the ones who shape the talents and abilities of our students, so let us promote higher wages and a better livelihood for them. Let’s also ensure they are in good condition to continue their unparalleled sacrifice.)

Expand reach of labor laws

Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros, on the other hand, said it is high time to “expand the reach” of the Philippines’ labor laws so that all employers can “grow together” regardless of their job titles.

“Formal man o informal, public man o private, digital man o face-to-face. Yan na ang kwento ng manggagawang Pilipino ngayon,” said Hontiveros.

(Formal or informal, public or private, digital or face-to-face. This is the story of our Filipino workers now.)

This prompted Hontiveros to call for additional protection and benefits for delivery rides, construction workers, and workers in the agriculture sector.

“Napakahalaga ng kanilang serbisyo sa ating mga komunidad, ngunit nagiging mapanganib na ang kondisyon sa labas— ang kanilang mismong lugar ng paggawa,” she emphasized.

(Their services are vital in our community, but the conditions outside are becoming dangerous— their very place of labor.)

Hontiveros appealed to the Department of Transportation to increase its support for jeepney drivers in light of the government’s controversial Public Utility Vehicle Modernization program.

Raise the standard of living of PH workers

Senator Jinggoy Estrada, chairperson of the Senate’s panel on labor, employment, and human resources development, noted that the upper chamber is continuously working to raise the standard of living of every Filipino.

However, the Senate’s endeavors do not stop with the passage of the P100 Daily Minimum Wage Increase Act.

“Katunayan, nagsumite na ako ng panukalang batas para itaas ang basic salary ng mga kawani ng gobyerno. Napaso na ang Salary Standardization Law noong nakaraang taon, kaya’t minabuti ko na itulak ang panibagong batas para unti-unting tumaas ang buwanang kita ng ating mga civil servants sa mga susunod na taon,” he said.

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(In fact, I have already submitted a proposal to increase the basic salary of government employees. The Salary Standardization Law expired last year, so I decided to push for a new law to gradually increase the monthly income of our civil servants in the coming years.)

TAGS: Filipino workers, Labor Day, Senate

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