Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno announced today that workers will be joining a camp-out in Mendiola which will start on Dec. 6 to voice out calls for radical social change amidst intensifying hunger and poverty in the country.
The protest, dubbed “Kampuhan Kontra Kaltas, Krisis at Kahirapan,” aims to bring together various sectors who are fed up with the country’s economic situation and the government’s policies.
It is one of the Filipino people’s responses to the Occupy protests in the US against extreme inequality, corporate greed and worsening poverty.
“Workers are fed up with the country’s economic policies denying them the fruits of their labor while siphoning these off to the pockets of the country’s elite. We are fed up with growing hunger and poverty for those who work hard and with growing wealth and power for those who don’t,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“Even the immediate relief that we have been fighting for – a significant wage hike and and the junking of contractual employment – have been refused by this government. A change that is infinitely more radical and genuine than what was promised by this government is needed,” he added.
In line with the Occupy protests in the US, which condemned the wealthiest 1% of the American population composed of financial oligarchs owning the biggest banks, workers will call for the repudiation of the country’s odious foreign debts.
KMU said payment for country’s foreign debt, which currently stands at $61.4 Billion, goes to the world’s financial oligarchs and wreaks havoc on the lives of workers and poor people.
“The huge portion of the national budget which is being allotted to paying the foreign debt should go to social services like education, health services and housing for the poor. Year-in and year-out, workers and poor people are being robbed of social services,” Labog said.
“Many of the debts incurred by the government did not benefit the people but went to the pockets of the few in government. Despite this, the granting of loans to the government has been used to force us into accepting anti-people economic policies that lenders dictate,” he added. Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU Chairperson