PH tag as one of 10 'worst countries' for workers' rights dismays Palace

Published July 6, 2021, 4:15 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government is hopeful for the improvement in the plight of Filipino workers amid its efforts to strive for a safe reopening of the local economy.

A Manila resident receives a coronavirus vaccine at the vaccination hub located at SM Manila on July 6, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/Manila Bulletin)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after expressing dismay with the country’s inclusion on the list of 10 worst countries for workers’ rights in the world.

According to Roque, when more people get vaccinated against the coronavirus, the economy could further reopen and spur job growth and business activities in the country.

“Well, nalulungkot po tayo diyan pero sigurado po ako na iyong estado ng mga manggagawa ay apektado rin po ng pandemya dahil papunta na po tayo sa pangalawang taon ng pandemya (We are saddened by the report but I am sure the pandemic has affected the state of our workers since we are going on the second year of the pandemic),” Roque said during a televised press briefing Tuesday, July 6.

“At naniniwala tayo na habang dumadami ang hanay ng nababakunahan at nabubuksan ang ating ekonomiya, mas bubuti rin ang kalagayan ng mga manggagawa sa ating bayan (We believe that as more people get vaccinated and our economy reopens, the plight of our workers in the country will also improve),” he said.

READ: Duterte urges Filipinos: Get vaccinated, follow health protocols

An international trade union has released its annual report showing the Philippines as among the top 10 worst countries worst in terms of treatment of workers. Other countries included in the list made by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) are Bangladesh, Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, Myanmar, Turkey and Zimbabwe.

Manila was on the same ITUC Global Rights Index last year. The countries are scored based on guarantee of rights of workers, violation of rights, among others.

The pandemic has taken a toll on the peoples’ lives and livelihoods of since last year. The outbreak has drove the country into recession last year while job losses and hunger incidence have been reported.

The government has been struggling to put a balance on public health and economy by reinforcing health care systems, stepping up vaccination, and enforcing quarantine protocols. So far, more than 2.8 million have been fully vaccinated in the country.

READ: Vaccination of Filipinos a priority in Duterte’s final year