2022 senatorial aspirants bare plans on labor, science research

Jasmin Romero and Anna Gabrielle Cerezo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 28 2021 03:20 PM

Senatorial aspirants Sonny Matula and Leo Olarte. ABS-CBN News/File photos
Senatorial aspirants Sonny Matula and Leo Olarte. ABS-CBN News/File photos

MANILA — Two senatorial aspirants on Sunday bared policies on labor and research that they would implement if they win in next year's national elections.

Sonny Matula, a labor leader who is part of the Senate slate of Vice President Leni Robredo, said he would push for higher salaries and job security for Filipino workers.

"Usapin sa sahod. Paano natin mapapataas ang sahod ng manggagawa? Usapin sa kasiguraduhan sa trabaho, lalo na sa kontraktuwalisasyon na marami sa kasalukuyan, although ilegal na, na patuloy na ginagawa ng unscrupulous employers natin," Matula said on Robredo's weekly radio program.

(We will talk about salary issues. How can we raise the salaries of workers? We'll talk about job security, especially since many unscrupulous employers are still practicing contractualization even though it's illegal.)

Matula criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for breaking his campaign promise of ending contractualization after the chief executive vetoed the Security of Tenure bill.

Although the measure had "loopholes," it would have ended what Matula described as "exploitative contractualization."

"Endo" refers to the hiring and firing of workers in cycles to avoid granting them regular employment status and corresponding benefits.

Matula said he also supported vice presidential aspirant Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan's plan to boost the country's agriculture sector, saying this would help create more jobs.

Aside from labor issues, Matula's legislative agenda seeks also to address other social issues, such as on women, he said.

"Noong naging abogado na siya, ang pinagsilbihan niya talaga ay 'yong mahihirap pa rin. Ang advocacy niya talaga ay tumulong sa manggagawa," Robredo said of Matula.

(When he was a lawyer, he really served the poor. His advocacy is to really help workers.)

Meanwhile, Dr. Leo Olarte vowed to vowed to establish a science research center that would help in the country's COVID-19 response.

"Kailangan mapatayo iyan. Ba-budget-an 'yan so that we can gather all the doctors and mga mayroong kakayahan mag-develop ng vaccine o epektibong gamot para masugpo agad sa madaling panahon etong COVID-19," Olarte, a former president of the Philippine Medical Association, said in a forum.

(We need to establish that. We will invest in that so we can gather all our doctors and those who have the ability to develop vaccines or effective medicine against COVID-19.)

The center can also develop vaccines that will reduce the risk of getting breast cancer and tuberculosis, which are among the top causes of death in the country, he said.

Olarte said he would also push for laws that would provide free medical exams for senior citizens and meals for public schools students, and protect the country's natural resources in the West Philippine Sea.


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