MANILA, Philippines – Anakbayan and its various chapters in universities and urban poor communities rallied in front of the Department of Labor and Employment’s main office in Intramuros to assail the regime’s anti-worker and anti-poor policies.
“We declare Rodrigo Duterte persona non grata for the working-class and the youth,” said Alex Danday, Anakbayan spokesperson. “He has committed innumerable crimes against the poor—especially the workers who have long endured, under three years of Duterte’s presidency, worsening contractualization and plummeting wages.”
Anakbayan highlighted Duterte’s inutility and silence over workers’ strikes all over the country—NutriAsia and PEPMACO workers in Laguna, Zagu workers In Pasig, and Sumifru workers in Mindanao, among others. “Duterte has long promised to put an end to contractualization, but the recent spate of workers upping the ante of their resistance proves how much the regime has failed,” continued the youth leader. “What is worse is that the regime has remained in connivance with big business to amass gargantuan profit from the exploitation of workers. It has been more than a month since workers’ unions in NutriAsia, PEPMACO, and Zagu have started their strike but Malacañang has hidden under deafening silence.”
“The socio-economic crisis suffered by the Filipino people has reached new heights three years into Duterte’s presidency. The dearth of viable jobs forces over 6,000 Filipinos to leave the country daily in search of work abroad. Those who stay are hit with excessive taxes which go to the pockets of the rich. Inflation broke past records, while wages remain at an all-time low. Farmers and local rice producers were bankrupt by immense imports. Urban poor communities face the brunt of Duterte’s Build, Build, Build as the regime rids them of their homes and livelihood for the sake of big businesses. Social services—from education to mere access to clean and potable water—remain elusive for the poor majority,” furthered Danday. “All of these issues are tied up by Duterte’s tighter cling unto its neoliberal economic dogma.”
Anakbayan ended the demonstration by hitting a five-by-five-feet image of Duterte with makeshift hammers. “This symbolizes the anger of the youth and the working-class against the Duterte regime. We say, ‘OUST DUTERTE’ for the economic crises that continue to plunge the majority of the Filipino people deeper into poverty. This coming State of the Nation Address, we will mobilize in thousands for the rights and welfare of workers and the Filipino youth,” ended Anakbayan.
Anakbayan Media Liaison
Photos courtesy of ANAKBAYAN