The Unchecked Prevailing Labor Practices in the Philippines
By Apolinario Villalobos
Even without citing provisions in the Labor Code, there is a general knowledge about the abusive practices of many establishments and homes in the country some of which are the non-payment of overtime due to extended duty in the workplace, non-remittance of SSS, Philhealth, as well as, Pag-ibig contributions, verbal and physical abuse, and worse is the commission of rape!
A popular burger joint for instance, is squeezing its employees for more revenue despite the consistent monthly increase. Appointed Team Leaders or supervisory staff, are most often overzealous in carrying out their responsibilities to the point of verbally abusing their subordinates. The poor subordinates on the other hand, have no choice but to keep their cool instead of complaining as they might lose their job.
Those working in stalls owned by both the Filipino and Chinese employers are in no better situation. I have talked to many of the sales girls and has been told about the Php150 or Php100 per day wage that they are forced to accept, not even enough for two meals and fare every day of their duty. Some are lucky if they have kind employers who provide free lunch.
Worse is the plight of teachers in many schools that periodically file for tuition fee hike. The planned increase wage for teachers and the rest of the personnel are used as among the reasons, aside from improvement of facilities. Unfortunately, when their request is approved, the poor school personnel are left with the same low wage and the planned improvement of facilities is not implemented.
Unionism has become a thing of the past as the government seems to be discreetly tolerating the rampant occurrence of contractualization. There are complaints but the big question is how many of these have been properly handled by the Department of Labor and Employment? Even the provisions in the Labor Code are full of technicalities that favor investors more than the labor sector.
The Philippines is heavily dependent on her “labor export” and those left in the country due to lack of financial capability for document processing are at the mercy of greedy employers, due to lack of choice. If this dependence shall go on, the nation shall remain haplessly impoverished for decades to come.