Friday, July 22, 2022

SO Pano NA? - NAGKAISA Labor Coalition Statement on the First State of the Nation of Address of the Marcos Jr. Administration

Filipinos deserve working systems, especially in times of crises. Each and every family should not have to worry about their commute, how to afford basic necessities, healthcare, and quality education. Our government not only has the resources, but is morally and politically responsible to ensure that all Filipinos enjoy a dignified, secure life. States that cannot guarantee a decent life for their citizens quickly lose the legitimacy for their power.

The NAGKAISA Labor Coalition calls on the Marcos Jr. administration to respond to the multiple crises we Filipinos are facing with urgency and seriousness. More than two months since the 2022 national elections, Filipino workers need answers for our pressing needs, not just empty promises of “unity”.

With soaring inflation, high gas prices, and the persistent threat of Covid-19, we cannot afford a government that is not decisive, or at the very least clear about what it plans to do. NAGKAISA challenges Marcos Jr. to be faithful to his call for Filipinos to unite. Rather than a blind unity that is based on loyalty to a politician, we workers understand unity as bayanihan, the cooperation of Filipinos with each other towards a common goal.

However, it is impossible for us to unite if the working people are not included in decision-making processes. We cannot work together based on empty words and silence. The government must allow the labor and progressive movements to be involved in making the decisions, setting the policies, and identifying ways forward to collectively overcome our present situation. The people’s question is simple, if Marcos Jr. is quiet, if the public is not informed of the government’s plans, thenano na?

To this end, NAGKAISA demands concrete plans from the administration of Marcos Jr. to respond to the multiple crises working people face.We call on his government to respond to our demands and act on our recommendations. Our proposals include the revisiting of the oil deregulation law to curb oil prices, adequate support for frontliners, service contracting for transport workers, as well as a public jobs program, among others.

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