Around 100 workers from the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) and a cause-oriented group marked Bonifacio Day on Wednesday with a protest march around the commercial district in Mariveles, Bataan.
Calling for a stop to labor contracting, the marchers in face mask carried a big streamer with words that read “Trabahong Marangal at Progresibo at Hindi Kontraktual” and shirts with “Hindi Stop ENDO ang Solusyon kundi Stop Contractualization” and “ENDO Ako Ngayon Bukas Ikaw Naman”.
Nora Celis, a sewer of Dong-In Group of Companies, said there are more than 30,000 workers in FAB but only more than 10,000 have regular status. In her own company only 188, of the more than 1,000 workers, are regularly employed.
The South Korean firm Dong-In manufactures bags for exports.
Celis said a regular worker receives P500 a day while a contractual one gets only P364 and does not enjoy company benefits that regular workers have. Usually, a worker lasts for five months with the principal company and then transferred to an agency.
Emily Fajardo, secretary-general of Workers for People’s Liberation Bataan chapter, said their mass action is to call on the President Duterte to make good his pronouncement to stop the contractualization policy of businesses.
Delfin Ansaldo, assembler at the multinational company Bahrain Fiber Glass, said he remained a contractual worker for two years receiving a salary of P364 daily.
Celis, Fajardo, Ansaldo and the other rallyists asked the President to fulfill his campaign promise to ensure their security of tenure by ordering the regularization of workers.
Marcos LNMB burial denounced
Also on Bonifacio Day, factory workers and members of a cause-oriented group in Bataan, a youth organization in Albay and protesters in Quezon took to the streets to denounce the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).
Derek Cabe, Bataan chapter head of the Kilusan Pambansang Demokratiko, enumerated the “sins” of Marcos and the evils of martial law as members of the Anakbayan youth movement voiced their protest in Legazpi City, Albay.
Cabe said they will continue their mass actions even if the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Marcos’ burial at the Heroes’ Cemetery.
The anti-Marcos rally in Legazpi shortly before noontime on Wednesday was led by Angel de Mesa, 4th year journalism student of Bicol University College of Arts and Letters and current provincial coordinator of National Union of the Students of the Philippines in Albay.
De Mesa’s group held their protest at Freedom Park before heading to the Pinaglabanan Monument in downtown Legazpi where high school and college students joined the protest before the afternoon anti-Marcos rally initiated by the martial law victims and survivors.
De Mesa said the anti-Marcos protest should not be tainted with politics but must focus on the injustices the Marcos regime committed.
“We’re strongly opposing the Marcos burial at the Heroes Cemetery. We are calling the people to join our cause but we don’t want it to have any political leaning. We don’t want to join other protests with inclination to Vice President Leni Rodredo,” she added.
She said the anti-Marcos protest initiated by the Anakbayan youth movement is specifically aimed at seeking justice for martial law victims in the countryside.
Similarly in Quezon province, Len Len Escultura Calabano and her sons marched to the provincial capitol as the country celebrated Andres Bonifacio’s heroism in Lucena City on Wednesday.
They were part of the anti-Marcos groups who convened from different parts of Quezon, pulling along a black coffin as they marched along Lucena City’s main avenue.