Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nagkaisa dismayed over Duterte’s non-mention of security of tenure in SONA

Nagkaisa Labor Coalition expressed dismay over the SONA of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for failing to address the issue of contractualization. "His silence is a great disappointment for workers as we were expecting him to announce the release of an executive order prohibiting all forms of contracualitzation," Nagkaisa said.

"For two hours, we were waiting for President Duterte to certify as urgent House Bills 4444 and 556 on Security of Tenure, but no announcement came," Nagkaisa added.

It could be recalled that during a dialogue with Nagkaisa and other labor groups on Labor Day in Davao City, President Duterte vowed to look into releasing an executive order. "That issuance would have superceded DOLE DO 174 released in late March that not only failed to prohibit all forms of contractualization, but abetted it," Nagkaisa said. He set a deadline of May 10 for labor groups to submit a draft EO.

"Nagkaisa, the National Anti-Poverty Commission, KMU and other labor groups submitted a common, unified draft two days before the deadline. Two and a half months later, we still haven't gotten any feedback," Nagkaisa said.

Nagkaisa also expressed deep concern over President Duterte's announcement of right-sizing in government.

"How can they talk about right-sizing when there are 595,000 job orders and contracts of service workers performing essential functions in government? They are the overworked and underpaid in government, many of whom are health workers and teachers," Nagkaisa said.

Nagkaisa is not pleased with the Tax Reform Package Bill in its present form, so it did not welcome President's Duterte's endorsement of it.

"Tax Reform Administration should be the first tax measure that Congress approves in order to improve tax collection and prosecute tax evaders. We also support the reduction of Personal Income Tax (PIT), but reject the lowering of Corporate Income Tax (CIT). It is the taxes on profits that should be increased," Nagkaisa added.

"Besides, adding on to the tax burden of workers at this point in time would be a double whammy as it seems our taxes will be used to fund the war in Mindanao," Nagkaisa said.

The President defended the extension of Martial Law for much of his SONA. NAGKAISA reiterates its opposition to the extension or expansion of Martial Law based on the following grounds:
1. It is not necessary;
2. It will be very expensive;
3. It is unproductive and is a disincentive to economic progress;
4. It weakens our democratic institutions; and
5. It strengthens the hands of the totalitarians.

"We believe that lawlessness in many forms can be addressed by a highly professional and effective military/police leadership. Ensuring professionalism and quality armed services is where Presidential powers are best exercised," Nagkaisa said.

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