Members of the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) and Labor Party-Youth (PM-K) held a symbolic dramatization of the plight of young Filipinos at Mendiola as youth and students around the world took part in the simultaneous actions on international students day (Nov. 17,2011).
The groups brought with them a scissor symbolizing their demand to stop budget cuts on education and an end to the policy of labor contractualization.
“Cut the corporate greed, not the budget on education.  End the policy of contractualization that denies young people of opportunity to live decent lives,” stated SDK spokesperson Vincent Abanes in a statement.
Abanes said the country’s budget for education is too small to send all our children to basic schooling, much more  our young people to college.  The United Nations had placed the ideal budget ratio to meet universal education at 6% of the country’s gross national product (GNP).
This, Abanses said, was the main reason why 1 out of 8 of the country’s youth is out of school, according to the latest survey.
Joyz Loyola of PM-K ,  on the other hand said that those who were not able to prepare themselves because of the high cost of education, face the harsh condition of unemployment and contractual employment in the world of work.
According to Loyola, unemployment is highest under the age group of 25 while the rise in contractual employment is prevalent among young workers under age 21-30.  Almost one third of the country’s labor force are considered “non-regular” workers, according the 2003-2004 survey by the Department of Labor and Employment.
Contractualization, Loyola added, is a plague that is killing the hope of the world’s young people to live a better future as more than 80% of the world’s unemployed and underemployed, especially in Asian nations, belong to the youth sector.
SDK and PM-K had been supporting the struggle of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) against outsourcing and contractualization.
The two youth groups believed that the PAL’s outsourcing plan is the country’s most towering symbol of corporate greed and the government’s abandonment of its mandated role of upholding the worker’s right to security of tenure, to have a union, and to collectively bargain. ###