Labor Senate bet hits Tulfo for calling Filipino workers 'lazy'
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Labor leader and senatorial candidate Leody de Guzman hit special envoy to China Ramon Tulfo on Sunday, March 10, for calling Filipino workers "lazy" unlike the Chinese.
De Guzman said Tulfo is all talk while Filipino workers toil for the country's growth.
"Kaya nga tinawag na manggagawa, kasi nga gumagawa. Walang ibang dahilan ng pag-unlad ng ekonomiya ng bansa liban sa manggagawang Pilipino (That's why they are called workers, because they work. There is no other reason behind the improvement of the economy but the Filipino workers)," De Guzman said in a statement on Sunday.
He added: "Kung masipag man itong si Tulfo, ito ay kasipagan niyang magsalita at mang-intriga. Malayong malayo sa manggagawa na lumilikha ng produkto at serbisyong may pinakikinabangan ng lahat ng tao (If Tulfo is hardworking, it's about talk and intrigue, which is far from workers who create products that people use)."
In explaining the influx of Chinese workers in the Philippines, Tulfo had described Filipino workers as "lazy," and said they "talk too much and smoke heavily." He refused to apologize for his remarks despite calls from various labor groups.
De Guzman and his party, Partido Lakas ng Masa, reminded the envoy to China that his search for skilled laborers does not match present labor policies which "discourage" Filipinos from choosing to work in the country.
"Wages are at starvation levels, just enough for workers to return the following day to be enslaved all over again. Contractualization remains prevalent and the administration is also actively goading Filipinos to apply for work in other countries instead of generating sustainable jobs locally," said the party's chair Sonny Melencio.
Another senatorial bet, Erin Tañada, blasted Tulfo for his remarks.
"Masipag ang Pinoy (The Filipino is hardworking)," Tañada said in a statement on Sunday.
He said the past few decades have proven that employers abroad seek overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). "Huwag namang kapwa Pilipino at opisyal pa ng pamahalaan ang maglalaglag sa ating mga manggagawang Pilipino," he said. (I hope it's not a fellow Filipino and an official of government who will betray our Filipino workers.)
"Ginoong Tulfo, magtrabaho ka po para sa ating mga mamamayan, bigyan mo ng tamang serbisyo ang ating mga OFWs, kasama dito ang trabaho at kabuhayan kung gusto na nilang bumalik sa ating bayan at sa kanilang pamilya," he said. (Mr Tulfo, please work for our countrymen. Give the right service to our OFWs, including jobs and livelihood if they want to return to our country and to their families.) – Rappler.com