#Halalan 2022: Leody De Guzman bares agenda for Filipino wage workers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 30 2022 04:53 PM

MANILA - Presidential aspirant and labor leader Leodegario "Ka Leody" de Guzman bared on Saturday his agenda for the country's wage workers if he wins in the 2022 national and local elections. 

"Bumibilang ng 26.3 milyon ang sahurang manggagawa sa bansa, mula sa kabuuang 41.5 milyong employed. Ang kanilang pinagsamang sipag at tiyaga, talino at talento, husay at abilidad ang nagpapainog sa lokal na ekonomiya," De Guzman said in a post on Facebook. 

"Ngunit sa kabila ng kanilang kontribusyon sa progreso, hindi pumapatak sa kanila ang pag-unlad na ipinangako ng 'trickle down economics.'"

To resolve various labor issues in the country, the labor leader laid out the following agenda: 

1. Karapatang mag-unyon at mag-welga (Right to unionize and go on strike)
2. Pagpapatupad sa mga konstitusyonal na probisyon ukol sa paggawa (Implementation of constitutional rights about labor)
3. Pagsulong ng mga standard at benepisyo ng manggagawa (Pushing for standards and benefits for workers) 
4. Reporma sa labor, justice, representasyon, at partisipasyon sa pagugubyerno (Reforms in labor, justice, representation, and participation in government)

Under the first agenda, De Guzman said that he would remove laws that restricted unionization, criminalize labor violations, and abolish the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or NTF-ELCAC.

He also pledged to push for the establishment of national trade unions in sectors of the economy like agriculture, construction, transportation and others. 

Under his second agenda, De Guzman said he would work to ensure workers got a living wage and and abolish the Wage Rationalization Act. He would also work to get full employment for workers and help them engage in collective bargaining with employers. 

"Kung ang karapatang bumoto ay ginawa ng estado na obligasyon ng mamamayan, kahit ito ay simpleng pagpili lamang kung sinong dinastiya’t angkan ang susunod na magnanakaw sa kaban ng bayan, dapat ay maging obligasyon din ang karapatan sa pag-uunyon at pakikipag-negosasyon," he said. 

For his third agenda of pushing for standards and benefits for workers, De Guzman said he would aim to get them a 50 percent overtime rate, one month separation pay, 14th month pay, as well as 126 days of paid maternity leave. 

He would also push monthly pensions, tax breaks, and housing benefits for workers. 

Under his fourth agenda of refoms in labor justice, representation, and participation in government, De Guzman said he would have the Labor Code amended and reorganize the National Labor Relation Commission to expand protection of workers and impose heavier penalties on labor officials collaborating with abusive employers. 

Workers would also be encouraged to participate in government and be represented in government as well. 

Though not among the leading presidential candidates in pre-election surveys, De Guzman has drawn public attention with his platform of improving workers' rights. 

Earlier this month, guns were fired while De Guzman and his camp met with local leaders in Bukidnon, leading to five people getting injured.