Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said ordinary Filipino workers, especially those living outside Metro Manila, can expect better working conditions under their leadership.
They made this assurance before factory workers of the Mactan Export Processing Zone Authority (MEPZA) in their “Ronda-Serye” listening tour in Lapu-Lapu, Cebu, where they also explained their goal of promoting inclusive growth through regional development and federalism.
The duo cited workers’ concern over the lack of better employment opportunities for the poor. They then vowed to end the disorder in people’s lives by providing ordinary workers a living wage so they’ll have enough income for their basic needs.
To promote Cebu’s local economy, Cayetano said they also plan to allot more funds for micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) development, and to create more tourism growth centers in the province. This is apart from transferring some agencies to other regions, like the Department of Tourism and the Department of Fisheries to the province of Cebu.
“Cebu is an example of how regions can move. Through our call for federalism and regional growth, we aim to give more authority to the province to allow it to chart its own destiny and to change Cebuanos’ lives,” Cayetano stressed.
Duterte, for his part, said that if elected, he will put up economic zones in each region to create more jobs in the countryside. Though economic zones are already present in some parts of the country, he said not all ventures were beneficial to the workers, as some companies often violate the Labor Code by resorting to ‘labor only contracting.’
“Establishing economic zones and attracting investors are part of our platform. But unlike in the past, we will not allow big institutions to deprive our workers of their right to more secure working conditions,” Cayetano said.
The duo said they will ensure regular jobs for Filipinos by phasing out contractualization, which robs workers of additional benefits and prevents them from developing their skill set.
“Bolder solutions and swifter actions are needed to create real change. Magagawa lang ito ng mga lider na may tapang at tibay ng loob para tapusin ang gulo sa buhay ng tao at isulong ang tunay na pagbabago. Ito ang dadalhin namin ni Mayor Duterte sa eleksyong ito,” Cayetano ended.