‘Please, wala munang Christmas party’ — VP Robredo

Ngayong nalalapit na ang holiday season ngunit hindi pa rin nakakaangat ang Pilipinas sa gitna ng COVID-19 pandemic, nanawagan si Vice President Leni Robredo sa mga government offices at private companies na ipagpaliban muna ang magagarbong Christmas parties at ilaan na lamang ang perang gagastusin sa mga mas importanteng bagay.

Sa kanyang Sunday radio program, nabanggit ni Robredo na ang mga regalo at iba pang materyal na bagay na kadalasang ipinamimigay sa mga Christmas parties ay i-convert nalang daw sa kung ano ang makatutulong sa mga mahihirap na pamilyang Pilipinong apektado ng pandemya.

Sayang lang ang gastos kung magkakaroon ng Christmas parties ang mga kumpanya at opisina ng gobyerno na gaya noong wala pang pandemya, ayon sa bise presidente.

“Parang instead na magregaluhan, papunta na lang doon sa… ang regaluhan na lang iyong mga kailangan talagang regaluhan na mga mahihirap. Sana doon muna,” dagdag niya.

May pahayag din si Robredo ukol sa nais ng Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) na hayaan ang ilang kumpanya na labis na naapektuhan ang kita dahil sa COVID-19 na ipagpaliban muna ang pagbibigay ng 13th month pay sa kanilang mga empleyado.

Sana raw ay hindi ito samantalahin ng mga kumpanya na may sapat na pondo naman para makapagbigay ng 13th month pay benefit.

“Tingin ko alam ng mga manggagawa kung aling mga kumpanya ang nawalan talaga ng capacity na ibigay at this time iyong 13th month pay, so sila iyong makakapagsabi kung pinagsasamantalahan ng employer iyong oportunidad,” sabi ng bise presidente.

“Pero sa akin lang … sana lahat tayo mag-share ng burden. Lahat magsakripisyo, lahat parang mag-belt-tightening. Kasi talagang mahirap iyong panahon,” panawagan niya.

Senate Committee on Labor to probe increasing number of illegal Chinese workers in PH

Following reports about the proliferation of illegal Chinese workers in the Philippines, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said that the Senate Committee on Labor would launch an investigation about the matter.

“Please know that we are studying this matter carefully,” Zubiri’s office said in response to advocacy group Pinoy Aksyon for Governance and Environment after the organization urged the Senate to scrutinize further the emergence of undocumented Chinese workers in the country.

The group cited for example the nearly 50 Chinese nationals who are working in steel plant in Misamis Oriental without work visas.

Pinoy Aksyon Chairperson BenCyrus Ellorin stressed that the “incessant, unabated, and illegal influx” of Chinese laborers in the Philippines are depriving Filipino workers of livelihood.

Ellorin said that the increased presence of undocumented Chinese workers in the country is “grossly unfair and unjust.”

“Reports reaching us that ‘forced labor’ is being employed by Chinese companies with projects here in the Philippines. Allegedly, prisoners are sent here for involuntary labor,” Ellorin bared.

“If true and left unchecked, this could make the country complicit to this blatant violation of human rights laws and International Labor Organization conventions,” he warned.

Ellorin also emphasized that Chinese workers involved in construction projects in the country are not specialized in technical work and are providing menial jobs which he said is a violation of Philippine laws.