Home Headlines Observing ECQ, workers celebrate Labor Day via online protest

Observing ECQ, workers celebrate Labor Day via online protest


Fist raised, labor leader Elpidio Avellanosa makes online statement.

ITY The Workers for People’s Liberation (WPL) in Bataan on Friday, out of respect to the enhanced community quarantine, did not go out on the streets to rally in commemoration of Labor Day but used the digital platform instead to voice out their appeal.

WPLBataan spokesperson Elpidio Avellanosa said participating in the social media protest were members of the Alyansa ng Manggagawa ng BataanBataan labor Alliance (AMBABALA), Freeport Workers League (FWL), and transport group Kasakbayan.

Empty pot, emptier stomach. Woman worker protests. Photos courtesy WPL-Bataan.

The workers resorted to online protest through their social media accounts posting pictures with
the slogan “Kalderong Walang Laman, Sikmurang Kumakalam! Ayuda at CAMP Kagya’t Ilaan!”

Avellanosa said the workers wanted to show their predicament during the ECQ:

“Dati nang kulang ang kita at benepisyo ng mga manggagawa bago pa man ang Covid19. Pilit itong pinagkakasya para sa pamilya pero ngayon, walang trabaho, walang sahod, lalong lumala ang kahirapan at ang pangakong ayuda ng gobyerno inabot na ng siyam-siyam!

He noted that since Day One of the lockdown last March 15, they have been asking support from government, especially from the Department of Labor and Employment, to cope with their daily needs as they have no source of income and were forced to stay home.

But Avellanosa claimed that DOLE through its Covid19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) has only approved the benefits for few workers employed in small, medium enterprises but seemed to have forgotten the big companies employing more than 500 workers.

CAMP provides P5,000 to each laborer.

Mariveles Mayor Jocelyn Castaneda has written DOLE to provide cash assistance to more than 40,000 workers employed in 97 enterprises in the Freeport Area of Bataan.

“Paano naman kaming mga manggagawa na hindi pa nakakatanggap ng ayuda mula sa DOLE? Halos dalawang buwan na kaming walang hanapbuhay, bukod sa pagkain, saan namin kukunin ang pambayad ng upa, tubig, ilaw, at utang?” said Jomari Bertillo, president of DLX Union.

Avellanosa claimed that the government’s Covid-19 response has made it more difficult for the workers and their families to protect themselves from the virus.  He charged that food aid came late and random while work, pay, savings and alternative livelihood are unavailable during ECQ.

Furthermore, under these extremely difficult circumstances, AMBA-WPL believes that uncertainty of work conditions, dislocation and the lack of occupational safety and health measures would get worse when factories resume their operation as ECQ is lifted on May 15 due to a crisis that the COVID19 has revealed,” Avellanosa said.

Meanwhile, Kasakbayan stood resolute in claiming their benefits promised to them by the government either through the Social Amelioration Program or CAMP.  

Leaders of the transport group expressed their demand for the continued support as the new adjustments to public transport, they said, would greatly affect their daily income.  


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