A church group in the Philippines called on President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday to exert efforts to help the labor sector before his term of office ends next year.
In a statement, the Church People-Workers Solidarity said the president seemed to have forgotten his campaign promise to end the practice of “contractualization” and to improve labor conditions.
“Contractualization” refers to the hiring of employees under a fixed-term contract, which is prevalent in various industries and a cause of concern for low-income Filipino workers.
Duterte also promised free land distribution when he campaigned for the presidency, but the church group said “not only has he failed to implement a genuine land reform program, he has also cracked down on those who dared to fight for it.”
The group also scored the killings of workers, farmers and fisherfolk during the president’s six-year administration.
“President Duterte’s campaign slogan promised the Filipino people that ‘change is coming,’” read the group’s statement.
“Five years would have been more than enough to fulfill that promise. However, the promised change never happened,” it added.
“With one more year in office, can we still expect fundamental changes to happen, especially now that the 2022 election is looming?” said Catholic Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos, the chairman of the group.
He appealed to the president “to address the workers’ woes” and “let justice prevail and truly serve the interest of the Filipino working people.”
“Perhaps, he may still redeem himself if he takes our challenge to put the dignity of the human labor at the center of his efforts in his last year as president,” said the prelate of San Carlos in the central Philippines.