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Ka Bel would have been a good Labor Sec for Duterte

May 20, 2016

Today is Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran’s eighth death anniversary. A champion of the working-class, Ka Bel is probably protesting in his grave because the conditions of workers have worsened. According to independent think-tank Ibon Foundation, minimum wage has barely increased. Precarious working conditions continue. Contractualization is still being practiced. Will this change under the administration of Rodrigo Duterte?

This is why we support the call of workers and labor organizations to end contractualization by repealing Department Order No. 18-A Series of 2011, together with the provisions legalizing contractualization in the Herrera Law and the Labor Code. Duterte should ban job contracting, as well as labor-only contracting. Contractualization continues to victimize our workers, as can be seen in the cases of Kentex, Manila Cordage, and Manco Synthetics workers. We hope that he will focus on the case of Kentex workers who died in a fire more than a year ago.

If he were still alive, Ka Bel would have made a great Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment. He would have done away with contractualization. He would also have shown how a servant leader should conduct one’s self, due to his renowned work ethic and humble demeanor. But then again, he would have been overqualified for the position. So instead, let us remember not only his life, but also what he lived for. Let us gain inspiration from his principles. If not, he will have died in vain.may202016