Duterte's 6-month contract failed to bring change
corruption and killings still rampant despite Digong's statements
By Sanlakas Youth
December 29, 2016
QUEZON CITY – Student
activists from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao castigated President
Rodrigo Duterte given the absence of genuine change six months under
"While the contracts of
contractual workers who started their jobs with the President last
July have already ended, contractualization still persists under the
President's administration," said Rara Ada of Sanlakas Youth -
Mindanao. "It is quite a shame that already, Sec. Bello of the
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is boasting that 'endo' has
already been abolished, when in fact, regular employment and benefits
are still far from the reach of workers of companies who circumvent
rules and laws through the use of agencies," she said.
Ending contractualization is
one of the promises showcased by the Duterte administration. DOLE has
since come up with a so-called 'win-win' solution, where employees
will be considered 'regular,' but under the agencies which employ
them. "Under this scheme, the hiring company would still be able to
relieve a worker from employment after a given period without giving
them the benefits they are due," said Ada. "It is obvious who lost in
the win-win solution posed by the Department of Labor and Employment:
the workers," she added.
Ada also blasted Duterte for
his 'two-faced' stance regarding corruption. "During his campaign, the
President has also promised ending corruption in the government. And
yet, in under six months, we have seen the release of former President
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and a hero's burial for the late dictator
Ferdinand Marcos, two of the most notorious plunderers in our
country's history," she stated.
Youth groups also condemned
the upsurge of drug-related killings under the administration.
"Already, more than 6,200 Filipinos have died under the reign of
terror brought about by the administration's war on drugs," said Zaira
Baniaga of KAISA-UP Diliman. "Instead of an atmosphere of security,
the lawless killings of suspected criminals and innocent citizens has
left Filipinos in greater fear for their own lives and the security of
their families," Baniaga added.
Baniaga said that the
continuation of unlawful killings is a statement that the drug war is
failing, not succeeding.
"On top of this, the
President's allies in the Congress are scrambling to pass death
penalty and lowering the age for criminal liability, blind to the
failure of the law to secure innocents, especially children, from the
discriminatory flaws of the justice system and the sociological roots
of crime," she said.
developments in the realm of education have been criticized by the
youth sector as well.
"Until this administration
ceases to insitutionalize automatic appropriation for education,
accessible and quality education for Filipinos will remain as an
illusion," said Aivan Lloyd Calonia of Sanlakas Youth - Visayas.
"Problems and faults exist in all levels of education, from the poor
implementation of the K to 12 program, the lack of quality facilities
in public schools, the poor wages of teachers, as well as the
curricula designed to make cheap overseas workers or contractual
workers domestically," Calonia continued. "While increasing the budget
for education alone will not solve all its problems, raising the
standard for spending on the sector to the international standard of
6% Gross National Product will be a step in the right direction," he
Calonia also criticized the
proposed embankment project in Tacloban as part of the rehabilitation
and development program in Yolanda-affected areas.
"The proposed project will
only bar small fishing communities from reaching their source of
livelihood, not far from the massive displacement experienced by
poverty-stricken communities under the rehab efforts of the previous
administration," he said.
Calonia urged the President
to distinguish himself from predecessors by refraining from the
neoliberal path of development. "In the six months that have passed,
we are only seeing more of the same policies: privatizing public
services, catering to business interests and keeping wages low," he
Calonia also warned the
public of questionable shortcuts which may be undertaken by the
President and his administration in solving perceived problems.
"We cannot afford a repeat
of the wasted trust and optimism from the part of previous
administration," he stressed. "Especially with voices inside and
surrounding the administration who threaten to steer its popularity
for their own interest," he stressed.
"While a large number of
Filipinos remain optimistic about this administration, being vigilant
and critical of the obvious shortcomings from the administration is
essential for the People to truly lead the changes they want to see in
our society," he concluded.