KMU hits big business groups for RH bill support

Posted at 11/18/12 2:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) on Sunday took a swipe at big business groups who throw their support for the Reproductive Health bill.

In a statement, KMU chairperson Elmer "Bong" Labog warned the public against the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines, the Makati Business Club, the Management Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Business for Social Progress, saying these groups are more interested in increasing their profits than in reducing poverty or upholding women's reproductive rights.

"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 Labog.

"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.

Labog said these big companies only “want to sell contraceptives to as many consumers as possible and boost their profits in doing so.”

Labog also tagged the big business groups as hypocrites for projecting 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.

Labog also lashed out at these companies' 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.