Published: November 19, 2012
Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno warned the public today against the motives behind big business groups’ support for the Reproductive Health Bill, saying the big capitalists leading the said groups are more interested in increasing their profits than in reducing poverty or upholding women’s reproductive rights.
KMU said the public should be wary of the support given to the RH Bill by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop), Makati Business Club (MBC), Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP).
“Big capitalists’ support for the RH Bill stems from their anti-poor sentiments and greed for profits. They have never shown genuine concern for the plight of the poor or for women’s reproductive rights,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“Big capitalists have always blamed the poor for poverty, always asserted that it’s the poor who have to do something to reduce poverty. They refuse to admit that widespread poverty is built-in to the system which they rule,” he added.
“They want to sell contraceptives to as many consumers as possible and boost their profits in doing so. The big pharmaceutical companies and their local suppliers must be lusting for a bigger market,” he said.
The labor center also called the big capitalists behind the groups “hypocrites” for trying to project that they are pro-poor and pro-women.
“They want to project themselves as pro-poor but they have consistently rejected calls for a P125 across-the-board wage hike nationwide, for the junking of contractual employment, and for respect for workers’ rights. They have been demolishing urban poor communities so they can build their businesses,” Labog said.
“They want to project themselves as pro-women, but they have through the years refused to give maternity benefits to women contractual workers. In many special economic zones in the country, women contractuals who get pregnant are automatically booted out from work,” he added.
KMU also hit big business groups’ promise of promoting family planning as part of their corporate social responsibility programs.
“The big capitalists want to make it appear that they being nationalist and are giving back a lot to society with their CSR programs. If they really are being nationalist and want to give back to the country, they should hike workers’ wages and benefits, recognize job security and uphold trade-union rights,” said Labog.
“Big capitalists are resorting to so-called CSR programs because these make them look humane while actually giving a lot less than actually improving their employees’ lives. Big capitalists’ CSR programs will not accomplish half of what those pro-worker measures can do for the country’s poor,” Labog said.