Eyeing DOLE, Bongbong Marcos woos labor unions

Patty Pasion
Senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr, who says he will focus on workers' rights if elected vice president, vows to end contractualization

ENDORSEMENT. Labor groups endorse Senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr for vice president on May 1, 2016. Photo by Jasmin Dulay/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr made full use of the Labor Day celebration on Sunday, May 1, to further his platform of fixing the labor sector, which he wishes to handle should he win.

The poll front runner graced the events of 3 labor unions: the Philippine Trade and General Workers Organization (PTGWO), the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), and the Lakas Manggagawa Labor Center.

Marcos stressed his intention to head the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to end contractualization and create more local jobs.

Kaya po lagi kong sinasabi na aking hihingin yung DOLE para matapos na ‘yung kanilang polisiya na pikit-mata sa mga ‘end of contract,’ sa mga 5-5-5, sa mga contractualization. Itigil na natin ‘yan at ibalik na natin ang karapatan ng mga manggagawa sa Pilipinas,” he said.

(That’s why I always say I want to request for the DOLE post, so I can end the inaction on “end of contract,” 5-5-5, practices of contractualization. We will stop that and we will revive the rights of laborers in the Philippines.)

All 3 labor unions which hosted Sunday’s events endorsed Marcos for vice president. Of the 3, PTGWO is the biggest with at least 100 affiliated labor groups.

‘End contractualization’

Several workers who attended the rally expressed high hopes that Marcos would be the key to finally ending companies’ abusive practices. (READ: SM Investments Corp: We don’t practice contractualization)

Pangarap kasi namin diyan tanggalin ‘yung mga endo-endo, gusto namin ‘yung mare-regular ‘yung mga tao,” said driver Roy Tanaman of the Union of Filipino Workers.

(We hope to stop “endo.” We want the workers to be regularized.)

Tanaman said that Marcos’ father, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was pro-workers during his administration.

“President Marcos loved the labor sector. He was the one who gave the 13th month pay, holiday bonuses. So we believe he [Senator Marcos] also loves the labor sector,” Tanaman said in Filipino.

Madeline Cramano is hopeful that Marcos will deliver on his promises. Cramano, mother of a graduating college student, wants an additional job so her son would not have to go abroad to work.

That is something former overseas Filipino worker (OFW) Boy Pitit also aspires for.

“Stop labor export policy. Our dream is that Filipino laborers will only work abroad because he or she wants to,” he said. – Rappler.com 

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.