Makabayan bloc pushes for P750 national minimum wage

Marje Pelayo   •   May 28, 2018   •   5816



QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The Makabayan bloc on Monday, May 28, filed a bill that seeks to increase the daily minimum wage of workers to P715.

Bayan Muna Partylist Representative Carlos Zarate argued that the current P512 daily minimum wage for workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) no longer suffice the needs of a family of six considering the high cost of living in the region which averages to P1,160 a day.

Zarate also noted the growing impact of the implementation of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) Law on the prices of basic commodities.

Meanwhile, the Kilusang Mayo Uno calls on President Rodrigo Duterte to certify the measure as urgent for the benefit of Filipino workers. The group also urges the immediate abolition of the National Wage Board.

“Mula sa araw na ito, magiging tuloy-tuloy ang pagkilos ng mga manggagawa hindi lang sa Metro Manila kundi sa lahat ng rehiyon  (Starting today, labor protests will be continuous not only in Metro Manila but in other regions as well), said Elmer Labog, the group’s chairman.

The group is particularly pushing for the abolition of the National Wage Board (NWB).  Labog accused the current and previous administrations of using the NWB to keep the workers’ wages low. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue


Makabayan bloc condemns arrest of QC residents protesting alleged lack of food relief

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 1, 2020

The Makabayan Bloc has condemned the arrest of several residents of Sitio San Roque, Quezon City who staged a protest on Wednesday afternoon (April 1) for not receiving food relief from the government.

In a statement, Bayan Muna Rep. Eufemia Cullamat said it is the government’s responsibility to provide aid to the poor residents especially those whose jobs were heavily affected by the enhanced community quarantine.

She also called on the Quezon City government to take action and appealed for the 20 arrested residents’ release.

“Nananawagan ako sa mga pulis at kay Mayor Belmonte na pumagitna na sa usaping ito, bigyan ng kinakailangang ayuda ang mga tao ng Sitio San Roque, at pakawalan agad ang lahat ng kanilang hinuli, (We are calling on the police and Mayor Joy Belmonte to mediate in this issue and provide the needed aid for the residents of Sitio San Roque, and release those they have arrested),” she said.

Gabriela Women’s Party also condemned the said arrests and said that state forces are pushing poor families into a more difficult situation for continuing the mass arrests.

The partylist also said there was no need for an arrest since the residents were only asking for food from the government amid the month-long lockdown.

“Using excessive force and detention will not quell the empty stomachs of Filipinos who up to this day remains denied of the promised P200-billion cash aid for the poor,” their statement reads.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has warned anew against public assembly especially during the time of a national health emergency.

PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac reminded residents to just remain in their homes to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Government remains responsive to their concerns, no less than President Rodrigo Duterte has assured that the needy will benefit most of the P200 billion social amelioration program rolled out by the government,” he said.-AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

Makabayan Bloc slams transfer of 10 high-profile inmates

Maris Federez   •   September 6, 2019

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate

The Makabayan Bloc has blasted the move that transferred 10 high-profile inmates from the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) to a Marine Barracks.

The 10 high profile inmates included several witnesses against Senator Leila de Lima.

Bayan Muna Carlo Zarate said the transfer of the 10 is highly questionable.

“Bakit nandun sila sa marine barracks na ito? Ito ay nakapagtataka if not highly irregular, ano. Dahil these are convicted felons so dapat nandun sila sa Bilibid Prisons or sa custody mismo ng BuCor [Why are they at this marine barracks? This is something dubious, if not highly irregular, right? Because these are convicted felons so they should be inside the Bilibid Prisons or under the custody of BuCor],” said Zarate.

For the Makabayan Bloc, this can be considered a special treatment especially on bigtime drug lord Peter Co.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra, however, denied such thing happening.

 “As long as a court approval is secured I guess that should be okay because the intention is not to provide any special treatment but to secure precisely these people who are to my understanding or recollection will be or are witnesses in an existing case so it’s not for the purpose of giving them special treatment. But because their personal security is under threat,” the DOJ official said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

Makabayan bloc announces candidacy of Zarate for House Speaker

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 26, 2019

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate

The Makabayan bloc has formally announced the candidacy of Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate as speaker of the House of Representatives.

Zarate is the 6th congressman to express interest in becoming the next House Speaker in the 18th Congress.

According to outgoing ACT Teachers party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio, Congress needs a leader that will prioritize the interest of the people and not the interest of other countries.

“Kailangan ng speaker na ipaglalaban ang karapatan ng magasasaka, kababaihan, manggagawa, kabataan, lumad at iba pa. Tunay na lalabanan ang kurapsyon at titindig sa human rights, (We need a speaker who will fight for the rights of farmers, women, workers, youth, Lumad and others. He will truly fight against corruption and will stand for human rights),” he said.

READ: PDP-Laban endorses Velasco as House Speaker bet

Other lawmakers who are also vying for the position are Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, incoming Taguig 1st District Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzalez, and Leyte 1st District Rep. Martin Romualdez.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)


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