MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) Some 100 workers from the provinces of Cavite and Laguna picketed the Department of Labor and Employment Wednesday against the massive lay-offs, which employers have blamed on the global financial crisis.
Earlier in the day, a smaller number of protesters went to the Social Security System office in Quezon City to protest the decision of its president Romulo Neri to release P12.5 billion of SSS funds as aid to the government to ease the impact of the economic crunch.
Hermy Marasigan, spokesman of the Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Timog Katagalugan (United Workers of Southern Tagalog, Pamatnig-KMU), said that multinational companies in the region have been using the “financial crisis” as an excuse to fire their employees without due process.
Marasigan said there would be upcoming movements from the workers of Southern Tagalog against the unjust lay offs by these companies and the continuous corruption in government.
“This is a loss of job security for workers in the region,” Marasigan said in Filipino during the protest in DOLE.
Meanwhile, Joel Palacios, SSS spokesman, said that the protesters’ accusation was “speculative” since the release of the P12.5 billion has not yet been approved.
Palacio said certain criteria have to be met before the money could be released and used as potential investment.
“It is our duty to protect that [money] and make it grow,” Palacio added.