Surge in Activism Seen This 2021!
By: Ricardo Sia, CPM
MANILA, PHILIPPINES — There will be a surge in unity, mass actions, and activism among unions, progressive groups, and human rights advocates in the coming days amidst the worsening situation in the country brought about by the pandemic and misplaced priorities and inaction of the government to the real needs of the people.
This is one of the telling conclusions in the webinar conducted by Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) Friday (12 February 2021) dubbed “Mas Mapanganib na Virus sa Gitna ng Pandemya”, (A More Dangerous Virus Amidst Pandemic).
Central to the discussion is the presentation of the stark realities in the country’s economic situation, the deteriorating living condition, a massive increase in unemployment caused by lockdowns, and how the government ineffectively responds to these challenges.
CTHUR noted that the recent actions of the Department of Labor (DOLE) and the Duterte administration barely answer the problems confronting the workers but rather uses the Pandemic as a cover to further suppress workers’ rights and red-tag anyone critical to the government.
Under scrutiny from both local and international human rights watchdogs, the government is brimming with controversy on the way it handles the pandemic, from procuring vaccine to being hard on ordinary Juan violators while being soft on politicians and members of the administration. More recently, the abrogation of UP and DND Accord is perceived by the academe as an attack on academic freedom, the closure of ABS-CBN, and the president’s latest final verdict that it will not open under his watch an attack to press freedom and the Anti-Terror Act as a legal instrument to silence dissent and opposition.
CTUHR warns that this 2021 the economy will worsen, more violations will be perpetuated against workers in their rights, safety, and economic condition, corruption will rise due to the forthcoming election, the government will continue to be ineffective in handling this crisis, and that public support for the government will waiver as its inability to govern and manage the nation becomes very obvious. CPM
EDITOR’s NOTE: For the full version of CTUHR webinar, please click the link: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=840663253165190