Anti-gov’t rallies could scare foreign investors away

MANILA Despite being open to protests, MalacaAang on Wednesday warned that some allied groups' activities could scare away foreign investors and eventually result to job losses.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo was reacting to the activities of allied groups, including Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), whose members marched through the streets on Labor Day to demand for better working conditions such as security of tenure, higher pay, and equal job opportunities, among others.

Panelo said these groups failed to realize the consequences of their actions and simply blamed the Duterte administration for their own faults.

The KMU criticizes the government for being anti-poor and anti-worker while blaming the government for the lack of jobs and alleged worsening labor conditions, Panelo said in a statement.

What seems to escape them is the truth that their anti-government activities could scare away foreign investors in the country, resulting in job losses to the people they are fighting for and vow to protect, he added.

Panelo pointed out that allied groups seemed to ignore President Rodrigo Duterte's pro-labor initiatives such as the signing of laws beneficial to Filipino workers.

Among these are laws and issuances protecting the right to security of tenure of all workers (Executive Order 51); increasing employees' compensation benefits in the private sector and career workers' allowance in the public sector (Executive Order 54) and granting of gratuity pay to job order and contract service workers in the government (Administrative Order 2).

Duterte also signed a law to strengthen occupational safety and health standards (Republic Act 11058); making work from home as an alternative work arrangement (Republic Act 11165); increasing female workers' maternity leave period (Republic Act 11210); providing a handbook on the rights and responsibilities of migrant workers (Republic Act 11227); and increasing the employment compensation funeral benefits for employees in the public and private sectors (Executive Order 33).

The Presidential Spokesperson also noted that it is only under the Duterte administration where the needs of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were given top priority including the establishment of a one-stop service center for OFWs, a 24/7 OFW Command Center and an Overseas Filipino Bank.

Philippines has also signed bilateral labor agreements with Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, among others, Panelo said.

More jobs

Panelo, meanwhile, described the Filipino workers here and abroad as the President's most valued resource, noting that the labor sector propels the country's growth and development.

The Administration's resolve is the promotion and protection of the rights and welfare of Filipino workers not only in the country but in foreign soil as well, Panelo said.

He said the Duterte administration will continue to create more jobs and be open to welcome more Filipinos in the workforce.

Panelo joined Filipino workers in the Labor Day celebrations, stressing how their hard work could contribute to overall progress.

May this occasion serve as a reminder that it is through our toil that we are able to improve ourselves and contribute to the nation's gains, Panelo said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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