Monthly Archives: November 2010

SSS Held a Dialogue with Workers and Global Network

The Social Security System’s Management and Corporate Planning division Vice President, May Ciriaco, and the labor sector’s representative to the system’s policy-making body, Daniel Edralin, consulted the workers on labor’s policy issues and directions relating to the country social security system. The dialogue was held during the Alliance of Progressive Labor’s 3rd National Conference on Precarious Work last October 28, 2010 at the LEARN Worker’s House, Quezon City. The dialogue was part of the on-going efforts of the current government to bring its services closer to people, as well as APL’s continuous labor education initiative.

The forum opened with Edralin introducing his role as one of the policy-makers in the said government financial institution. Ciriaco immediately followed with a presentation of SSS’ background, functions including the services it offers, and the current status of the corporation. The dialogue concluded with an open forum. Among the issues discussed were related to the benefits provided and future policy directions to be taken by the institution.

The Global Network managed to have a closer discussion with Edralin before the forum on SSS as regards the issue of social protection. The commissioner disclosed his views on SSS and how he can help in assuring the less privileged people’s right to social security benefits.

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APL lambasts South Korean gov’t for deporting alternative G-20 activists

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They and many other activists throughout the world were invited by several Korean civil society organizations under the Korean People’s G20 Response Action, including the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), to participate in different programs of a “parallel forum” to the official G-20 Economic Summit on Nov. 11-12.

Immigration officials detained the Philippine delegation immediately after deplaning at Incheon International Airport telling the Filipinos that they were “blacklisted” and were forced to board the 9:30 p.m. flight back to Manila. But the Korean authorities failed to present any written explanation on the blacklisting.

The Korean hosts of the Filipino delegates also protested the detention and deportation of their guests.

“President Lee Myung-bak and the G20 will never succeed in stifling voices of the people from the Global South,” Bustillos declared. APL will heed the call of the People’s Action Against the G20 to intensify actions against G20.

G-20 is officially called the Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from 20 economies – 19 countries and one representative from the European Union. While it comprises a large chunk of the global economy, the G-20 – like the WTO, IMF and the WB – is effectively controlled or heavily influenced by governments of a few rich nations and their transnational corporations, thus proposed policies are usually biased to the latter. And just like in the WTO, the G-20 is also beset by concerns on lack of transparency and its prejudice on anti-poor neoliberal economic programs.

LEARN and PMA Link up with Indonesian Metalworkers’ Fed

On November 3 and 6, six members of the Indonesian Metalworkers’ Federation FSPMI or Federasi Serikat Pekerja Metal Indonesia visited the Philippines to discuss and exchange ideas about the recent wave of various issues and threats that confront the labor movement both in Indonesia and the Philippines. These issues include the increasingly rampant and unregulated contractualization of workers and outsourcing of manufacturing services.

In a short Council of Leaders meeting with their local counterparts – Philippine Metalworkers’ Alliance leaders and officers – FSPMI delegates led by Mr. Vonny Diananto, FSPMI Senior Vice President, shared their union’s achievements and strategies and presented numerical data and graphical presentations to describe their current situation. PMA and LEARN, on their side, brought the guests to several of their member unions’ automotive and manufacturing plants in Batangas, Laguna and Rizal and facilitated a discussion with SSS Commissioner and LEARN Chairperson Daniel L. Edralin.

A member of the Global Network – Asia, FSPMI has been working with the Labor Education and Research Network for years around a number of issues such as decent work for women and domestic workers, strengthening the labor movement, social security, labor justice, among others. The union is now eyeing the consolidation of the Philippine metalworkers’ movement in order for the two federations to have more formal engagements in the coming years. PMA’s response is nevertheless characterized by a positive reception of FSPMI’s strategies and advocacies and an anticipatory attitude toward larger discussions in the future.

G20: A Threat to Peoples’ Economic and Political Rights!

The G20 and its global economic agenda are an affront and a threat to people’s rights and welfare.

The detention and deportation of Filipino activists from Seoul and the harassment and intimidation of a number of other activists at the hands of Korean immigration authorities are manifestations of the undemocratic and anti-people nature of the G20 and further exposed the illegitimacy of this group of self-proclaimed caretakers of the global economy.

The protests and mobilizations in Korea of tens of thousands of people in clear defiance of the Korean governments security measures, is an indication of a clear disconnect between the agenda of the governments of the G20 countries and the interests and aspirations of their people.

The G20 Summit in Korea was supposed to address the issue of the growing gap between the rich and the poor in the wake of the global economic crisis. The G20’s prescriptions for economic recovery and development, however, anchored on the perpetuation of a flawed corporate driven, export-oriented development model would further exacerbate poverty and inequality and undermine social cohesion across the world.

The whole point of the Peoples Conference in Korea, and the reason why the deported Filipino activists came to Korea, is to articulate the peoples’ opposition and resistance to the G20 and to collectively discuss and put forward alternatives to the failed model of development that the G20 is so desperately trying to preserve.

We say NO to the G20 and the policies that continue to threaten jobs and peoples livelihoods, and erode workers’ rights and welfare;

We say NO to the G20 and policies that cause the expulsion and repatriation of migrants in the name of restrictive and Draconian migration policies and rules;

We say NO to the G20 and the policies that use women as safety nets in crisis, and is blind to the differential decision-making powers in the household and economy in general;

We speak out against the free trade agenda and the push of the G20 governments for more ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreements disguised as economic partnerships but are really instruments of economic domination and control by the rich over the poor within and across countries and regions;

We speak out against the development agenda of the G20 which threatens peoples’ right to food, destroys the environment, and perpetuates unequal access and control over natural resources in support of the profit-driven motives of corporations;

We say NO to the G20. It does not represent the interests of the peoples of the world and it cannot speak on our behalf.

We call on the peoples of the world to come together against the G20 and to intensify the struggle for a better and more just and peaceful world.

Action for Economic Reforms (AER)
Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
Aniban mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
Focus on the Global South
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)
Jubilee South – APMDD
KAISA-KA
Kilusang Mangingisda
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center
Migrants Forum for Asia (MFA)
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)
Task Force Food Sovereignty (TFFS)
World March of Women – Pilipinas