For the fifth straight year, the Philippines has been named by an international labor union federation as among the 10 worst countries for workers in the world.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has revealed in their 2021 global index that the Philippines received a rating of five, meaning there is “no guarantee of rights” for workers.
The global index cited the country’s implementation of laws which “severely violate civil liberties and labor protections” and an “escalation of violence” against employees, among others.
“Workers and their representatives in the Philippines remained particularly vulnerable to violent attacks, intimidation, and arbitrary arrests. Trade unionists, maliciously red-tagged by President Duterte with even extrajudicial killings sanctioned in his speeches, remain under immediate threat of the police and the army,” ITUC said in the report.
The ITUC also found that the call for workers’ rights will “likely worsen,” citing the Anti-Terrorism Act, which was signed into law by Duterte in 2020.
Aside from the Philippines, the other countries included in the list are Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, Myanmar, Turkey, and Zimbabwe.
The global index also named the Middle East and North Africa as the worst regions for working people.
“Governments and employers exploited the pandemic to exploit the people the world depends on by increasing surveillance, breaking agreements, laying off workers, blocking and intimidating unions, and resorting to violence and murder,” said ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow in an official statement.
The 2021 edition of the ITUC Global Index ranks 149 countries based on the treatment of workers’ rights, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Philippines has been part of the list since 2016.
Banner photo by Boy Santos/The Philippine STAR