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Probe urged on impact of global crisis on displaced workers
In The Press Posted on July 29th, 2009.
SAYING that the government’s response to retrenchments in several economic zones of the country as a result of the global economic crisis does not address the current plight of Filipino workers, militant legislators are seeking an investigation into the impact of the global economic crisis on these workers, particularly those who were dislocated.
Party-list Reps. Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan said the purpose of House Resolution 1123 is to recommend measures that would provide immediate relief to workers and ensure that their rights and welfare are protected.
The resolution, urging the House Committees on Labor and Employment and on Women and Gender Equality to investigate, would also address the national impact of such massive work displacement, said Maza and Ilagan.
Citing reports from the Department of Labor and Employment, the legislators said some 11,000 Filipino workers have lost their jobs from January to March this year.
Maza said the 2005 data of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority revealed that 75 percent to 80 percent of all workers in the economic zones are women.
“The Kilusan ng Manggagawang Kababaihan believes that the government’s response, through the stimulus program, does not address the current plight of the Filipino workers, especially those retrenched and dislocated workers of whom women comprise the majority,” Maza said.
The group claims the government’s job- creation programs are gender-biased, where the biggest chunk of the budget is allocated for infrastructure projects employing mostly male workers and only an insignificant number of female workers.
“There is really a need to recommend measures that would provide immediate relief to the workers and ensure protection of their rights and welfare,” Maza said.
Ilagan, for her part, said that most of the companies have been implementing the Guidelines on the Adoption of Flexible Work Arrangements which include the compressed workweek, reduction of workdays, rotation of workers, forced leave, broken-time schedule and flexi-holidays schedule.
“These schemes aim to do away with the benefits due of the workers that are mandatory as provided by existing laws,” Ilagan said.
Other authors of the measure are Party List Reps. Rafael Mariano and Joel Maglunsod of Anakpawis; Satur Ocampo, Teodoro Casiño and Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna; and Raymond Palatino of Kabataan.