Group: Poor work con­di­tions prompt con­struc­tion work­ers to leave PH

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -


Trade Union Congress of the Philip­pines (TUCP) said Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 15, the poor work­ing con­di­tions in the coun­try, not the lack of co­op­er­a­tion of con­struc­tion work­ers, is to blame over the de­lays be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced by the “Build, Build, Build” in­fra­struc­ture pro­gram of the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

In a state­ment, TUCP Pres­i­dent Ray­mond Men­doza said the short­age of Filipino con­struc­tion work­ers in the coun­try did not hap­pen by choice but by cir­cum­stances.

“Treated poorly with low pay, mea­ger ben­e­fits, un­safe and un­healthy work­ing con­di­tions, and poor ac­cess to cer­ti­fi­ca­tion are some of the rea­sons why the coun­try is hav­ing short­age of Filipino con­struc­tion work­ers,” said Men­doza.

“We are cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing skill and brain drain phe­nom­e­non be­cause of this bad treat­ment of our con­struc­tion work­ers. The na­tion is los­ing fast its vast and ex­cel­lent re­serves of con­struc­tion man­power to higher pay and at­trac­tive ben­e­fits of­fered by com­pa­nies abroad,” he added.

Men­doza said Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte can­not just blame con­struc­tion work­ers for the de­lays, stress­ing that they went over­seas out of ne­ces­sity.

“They pre­fer to work abroad af­ter a few months of train­ing and ac­tual field ex­pe­ri­ence here be­cause they are dig­ni­fied there, they are given higher salary and ben­e­fits there, and are given free de­cent hous­ing and paid va­ca­tion,” he said.

“(In con­trast) Con­struc­tion work­ers even pur­chase their own per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment used in work­ing, buy their own drink­ing wa­ter, pay for their food in­take dur­ing work break to re­plen­ish strength, and given a dirty and bad sleep­ing quar­ters dur­ing the whole du­ra­tion of the con­struc­tion project,” Men­doza added.

Duterte, on Thurs­day, Fe­bru­ary 14, blamed the lack of skilled work­ers in the coun­try for the sup­posed de­lays in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of in­fra­struc­ture projects of the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

He said his projects can­not be suc­cess­ful if the Filipino peo­ple will not co­op­er­ate with the gov­ern­ment.

To note, the Build, Build, Build pro­gram aims to spend around $158 bil­lion over the next five years for ports, air­ports, roads, rail­ways, en­ergy fa­cil­i­ties, ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems, and flood con­trol fa­cil­i­ties.

But the la­bor group said in­stead of blam­ing the con­struc­tion work­ers,

it urged the gov­ern­ment to make jobs in the coun­try more at­trac­tive to Filipino con­struc­tion work­ers by ad­dress­ing the poor work­ing con­di­tions.

“Duterte’s Build, Build, Build pro­gram is an op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress that and raise the dig­nity of our con­struc­tion work­ing peo­ple through a func­tion­ing and sus­tained gov­ern­ment pol­icy,” Men­doza said.

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