MANILA, Philippines – Seeking to craft legislation that would protect laborers' welfare, lawyer Allan Montaño is running for senator in the 2016 elections. He is a candidate of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance, led by Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Montaño has served as a labor movement lawyer for 22 years and is supported by several labor coalition groups, including the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), where he is president emeritus.
He also sits in tripartite dialogues and technical working groups responsible for crafting draft labor policies.
"Walang ni isang kandidato ang tunay na magdadala ng issue para sa mga manggagawa (There isn't one candidate who will truly represent Filipino workers)," he said in a speech after filing his candidacy.
As part of Rappler #PHVote's "The Leader I Want" series, we look at Montaño's stand on key issues that the next batch of senators will have to address.
Montaño became involved in fighting corruption in 2011, after he was appointed officer of the National Tripartite Efficiency and Integrity Board (NTEIB), an agency established by the Department of Labor and Employment to curb corruption in labor-related agencies.
Montaño is in favor of reinstating the death penalty for heinous crimes such as murder, rape, and drug trafficking.
He also said that those proven guilty of corruption involving P10 million and above should be sentenced to death. "That is people's money, and whoever commits that one means it's really intentional," he explained.
In one senatorial forum, Montaño emphasized the need for OFWs to use their hard-earned money wisely. "Ang laki ng perang hindi nagagamit (There's a lot of unused money). Encourage them to invest their excess money with sovereign guarantee."
Montaño aims to put an end to abusive contractualization, which he sees as the main cause of imbalance in economic growth and development.
He intends to make Productivity Incentive Sharing mandatory by engaging workers and businessmen in a dialogue to help capitalists realize laborers' contributions to the success of businesses.
Montaño also said that issues on trade unions, wages, retirement, and contractualization may be resolved through labor policy reforms.
On the issue of traffic management, Montaño said in a UNTV interview that the problem lies in the poor managerial skills of the administrators of the different mass transport systems.
For him, trams – a rail vehicle which runs on tracks along urban streets – would be the best solution for the country's traffic problem. He added that creating a separate lane for long-distance travel would help improve traffic, as he has seen this in other countries.
Mindanao peace process
A native of South Cotabato, Montaño is in favor of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).
In an interview with GMA, he said that the BBL is acceptable as long as its provisions are all constitutional.
As for a preferred form of government, Montaño opts for parliamentary. He believes that if laws such as the BBL function well in Mindanao, then these will work in the rest of the country. – Rappler.com
Montaño is among the senatorial candidates who will participate in Rappler's #TheLeaderIWant Senatorial Debates at the Far Eastern University on Friday, April 22, from 3 pm to 5:30 pm.
Arleth Myka Cledera is a Rappler intern.