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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. ###

PALEA’s STRUGGLE is against the plan of the management of Philippine Airlines to terminate 2,600 regular employees and then be rehired by service providers (Sky Logistics, Sky Kitchen and SPi Global) as probationary (contractual) workers. As contractuals, they will be receiving less than half of their current salaries and will lose all the benefits enjoyed by a regular PAL employee.

THEY WERE DEPRIVED OF JUSTICE when President Noynoy Aquino affirmed the Department of Labor’s (DOLE) decision to recognize PAL’s plan as a management prerogative. Despite the fact that PAL earned a total comprehensive income of  US$ 72.5 MILLION (net income of US$65.5 Million plus other income) for the fiscal year which ended on March 31, 2011. Converted to Philippine Pesos, PAL’s income amounted to MORE THAN PhP 3 BILLION. PALEA decided to bring the case in the Court of Appeals (CA).

 SEPTEMBER 27 was the day when PALEA members decided to hold a protest action inside the airport to show its resistance on the illegal termination and implementation of the outsourcing scheme, PALEA’s message on the said protest was to put the outsourcing plan on hold while waiting for the CA decision.  On that day, the management accused them of holding an illegal strike, cancelled their job codes and announced to the public that all PAL flights were cancelled.  PAL’s response to the protest action only proved that they are ones responsible why a lot of passengers were  stranded. PALEA members were dragged out of the airport by force and some were injured because of that incident.

 THE PALEA PROTEST CAMP located in front of PAL In Flight Center near NAIA 1 and 2 is a manifestation of the continuing plight of the employees.  The camp is an expression of the resistance to PAL’s outsourcing and contractualization scheme and the illegal mass termination. The camp has also become the place were different sectors of the society, cause-oriented groups, and including the people from the religious sector shows their solidarity to PALEA.

 HARRASMENT AND DIRTY TACTICS were being employed by PAL management to discourage PALEA from fighting for their rights. At around 5:45 am on October 29, some 40 hired goons of PAL attacked the PALEA protest camp while women and children were still sleeping. Armed with long sticks and stones, the goons destroyed tents in half of the camp and injured seven PALEA members in the violent daybreak attack.

3 Reasons why PALEA’s Plight is OUR FIGHT

1. Supporting PALEA’s plight means supporting our dreams to have a better future. If PALEA is going to lose from this battle, regular and secured jobs will be thrown in the dustbin of history. It means the green light for other companies to retrench regular employees and hire workers as contractuals without limitation and restriction previously imposed by law. PAL’s outsourcing scheme will serve as the business model for capitalists to copy.

2. Because as students, we were taught not to become greedy. PAL’s scheme and the contractualization policy as a whole is a manifestation of “corporate greed”.  This policy is aimed  at grabbing more profit by sacrificing the workers and the people’s  right to live decently.

3. Youth as the heirs of this society must act and not just watch while our future is crumbling before our eyes. It is our responsibility to make sure that the future awaiting for the next generation will be a society that will really serve for the common good.

5 Things we can do to support PALEA’s plight and our future

1. After reading this flyer, pass it to your classmates and other students, you are also free to reproduce this flyer and distribute massively.

2. Talk to your friend and relatives and explain PALEA’s plight (especially those who frequently travel via plane). Ask them to BOYCOTT PAL and Air Philippines until the labor dispute is finally resolved.

3. Organize a forum or a round table discussion about PALEA’s plight and contractualization. You are free to invite resource persons such as representatives from PALEA and some support groups.

4. Visit the PALEA PROTEST CAMP located in front of the PAL In Flight Center along MIA Road, Pasay City or organize an immersion activity with your classmates or group mates. You are also free to bring some goods like food and others you and your group can donate for the camp.

5. Like the FB page I STAND WITH PALEA and tweet I Support #PALEA. You are also free to make a fan photo expressing your support to the cause and send it to us.

PALEA is the last line of our defense against contractual employment and for job security, LET THIS FIGHT BE ALSO OUR FIGHT.  A fight that will ensure a better future for all young student and workers.

Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK)

 

Email: sdk.info@gmail.com

FB Page: Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan-SDK

Twitter: @sdk2004

Weblog: www.sdkonline.wordpress.com

The 27th day of September will no longer be an ordinary day in the history. It will be remembered as the day when members of Philippine Airline Employees Association (PALEA) fought valiantly and demonstrated the real power

of the working class. PALEA’s protest action which resulted to the paralysis of Philippine Airline’s (PAL) operation for a day was a clear and strong message of resistance against contractualization.

While our country was devastated by typhoon “Pedring”, 2,600 employees of PAL will also suffer devastation through the company’s move to terminate them and outsource its services in the grounds. The said move was the most treacherous act of PAL under the ownership of Lucio Tan. After the workers suffered from a 13-year suspension of their right to collectively bargain, their sacrifices was rewarded with termination. Furthermore, they will be rehired under the service providers as probationary employees with a much lower salary.

We sincerely appeal to the public not to quickly judge PALEA members as bunch of hooligans that created mere disruption of PAL operation. We should extend our patience and deepen our understanding on their acts. The riding public might have been irritated for the inconvenience brought about by PALEA’s protest action, but for PALEA, PAL management’s move to take away their job is more irritating. The real culprit here is PAL itself, facts have been reported that they were the ones who issued termination to the employees and barred them from entering in their work premises. It’s PAL who was also the first to declare suspension of flights on that day.

Contrary to opinion makers and politicians who view PALEA’s action as economic sabotage, we view it as a response against PAL management’s act to sabotage the future of every son and daughters of PALEA.  Under contractualization policy, the future working class will never achieve better living conditions.

We affirm our support for PALEA’s plight; we will always stand by their side. We will march together for job security and for the future of the young people.

Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK)

Partido ng Manggagawa Kabataan (PMK)

September 29, 2011

Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) strongly opposed the proposal of some legislators to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility. The current minimum age is 15 years old under the Juvenile Justice Act.  The said proposal is a mere blame game on the government’s failure to address the problem of increasing numbers of children involved in crimes.

 Violation of the Child’s Rights

Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN-CRC), a child means every human being below the age of eighteen years of age.  The indicated age should enjoy his/her right to be free from any criminal responsibility (e.g. capital punishment, life imprisonment etc.) It is very clear that our government would be violating the said international convention of which we are a signatory if the said proposal will be adopted.

 Rehabilitation, not punishment

SDK affirm its belief that youth offenders do not deserve punishment, most of the said offenders who committed crimes belong to the poor and working class families who have longed been deprived of a decent life.  They were pushed to resort on illegal activities because they need to survive on a barbaric world of consumerism.  The real culprit on this menace is no other than the government itself, who failed to provide a real program to rehabilitate youth offenders for them to be reintegrated and assume a constructive role in our society. The proposal to lower the minimum age on criminal responsibility will only make the real culprit (the government) get out of its responsibility.  It will not solve a single problem on the issue of youth perpetrated crimes.

 They should be in schools, not in jails

Youth perpetrated crimes will be lessened or in the maximum be non-existent if the youth are enjoying their right to education. But in reality, drop-out rates in schools are increasing due to extreme poverty. Worst of all, the government continues to cut budgets in education and promotes commercialization. This is the government’s worst crime, depriving the youth of his/her right to be educated and build their capacity to live decently.

We call on the legislators to stop this non-sense blame game and focus on creating policies that will ensure our right to education and to live with dignity. Lowering the minimum age on criminal responsibility will never create a substantial solution. But ensuring our rights will definitely generate a more progressive, responsible, empowered and dignified citizens in the future.

September 15, 2011

The Office of the President (OP) denied the motion for reconsideration of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) and affirmed its earlier ruling allowing Philippine Airlines to lay off 2,600 employees and make them contractual workers in third-party service providers.  This decision will become a strong basis for all capitalist to outsource its labor force and worst of all, fire its regular workers if they feel the need to gain more profit by hiring contractual workers.

The Aquino administration only shows how insensitive it is to the welfare of the majority, particularly the workers. It indeed revealed its anti-worker and pro-capitalist stance.

This is the kind of job waiting for the youth as future labor force of this country. A job that is not secured and unstable because it will only last for only 6 months and then you have to look for another one afterwards.  A kind of job that will break every young student’s dream of having a stable living after they graduated from college or university.  A kind of job that violates our human right to live decently.

The Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) pledge its utmost support to the struggling workers of Philippine Airlines (PALEA) in defending their jobs and asserting their right to collectively bargain. If their fight is the last line of defense against contractual employment and for job security, LET THIS FIGHT BE ALSO OUR FIGHT.  A fight that will ensure a better future for all young student and workers.

 

WE SHALL OVERCOME!

August 21, 2011

Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) supports the call for amendments of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – University of the City of Manila (PLM) Charter to pave the way in installing a student representative in the Board of Regents (BOR).   This is also in compliance with the Higher Education Modernization Act (HEMA LAW 1997 Sec. 2 No. 7) that requires all state universities and colleges to have a student representative to the BOR via student election.

It is of vital importance that the student must be represented at the BOR. Aside from the corporate duty of the BOR, this governing body is entitled to do its functions as policy making body, fixing and arrangement of the school fees/charges and faculty salaries, concerns of curricula and other academic matters, appointment/recommendation of school president and scrutiny and approval of joint ventures and donations for the school (as mandated by the HEMA Law). These are concerns that a voice of the students must be heard and considered.

But since the creation of the said charter, students of PLM have remained marginalized and powerless in asserting their positions and concerns to the governing body. The lack of student representation bred numerous incidents of campus repression which never attained fair trial and justice.

We are for campus democracy, we struggle for student empowerment. Not because we want to rule the campus but because we want to have a voice that will make the authorities listen to our needs and most of all, we are stake holders of these schools. Our parents pay taxes to make this school operational.

Education should primarily work for the emancipation of the individuals, the educational institution such as PLM should teach the students of things that will make the youth understand its role as the future nation builders and make themselves empowered to participate in affairs concerning their future. But the absence of student representation in the BOR only teaches the students to remain marginalized and become apathetic.

August 16, 2011

Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) joins the workers and the poor today in marching towards the Batasan (Congress) for the 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III.

SDK believes that within President Aquino’s first year in office, nothing has change and elite democracy remains. While he continually boast of his straight path to good governance, this administration continues to walk on the old path of neo-liberal globalization.

Despite the absence of wang-wangs, despite the resignation of Merci Gutierrez and despite the initiative to prosecute GMA for plundering the country, it is undeniable that the number of poor and hungry Filipinos has remained the same if not worsened. And it is because there is not social reform being implemented under the Aquino administration despite the so-called social contract with the people.

The Filipino youth have been longing for a change from a commercialized education system and abandoned as a social service.

Budget cuts in the state colleges and universities continuously increased while President Aquino promised that his government will invest on education. 281 colleges and universities have increased their tuition this year with the approval of the Commission on Higher Education. Of 2.9 million additional jobless Filipinos this year, about 36% are youth (probably fresh graduates).

Therefore,  SDK pushes for the 4 basic demands to immediately address the basic problems of the youth:

  1. Stop Budget Cuts on State Colleges and Universities
  2. Regulate Tuition Increases and ensure genuine student participation on consultations.
  3. Allocate 6% of GNP to education budget.
  4. Ensure secured jobs for all fresh graduates.

President Aquino’s communication advisers said the President’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) will focus more on ‘social transformation’.  How will these happen if the majority of the Filipino youth will never finish college and will not be able to land a secured job in the future?  Social transformation will only be realized if the President will be able to address the basic problems of the Filipino workers and the poor. This will entail major policy changes like rejecting the neo-liberal policy and replacing it with the policy that prioritizes the poor rather than profit.

A video coverage of the World Population Day 2011-Philippines. Dubbed as the “PURPLE MARCH”. With interviews from students, NYC Officials and celebrities such as Lolita Carbon (Asin), Aya De Leon (Imago) and Ebe Dancel (Sugarfree).

Saying they are no longer too young and dull to understand sexuality and reproductive health, students and out-of-school youth members of Partido ng Manggagawa-Kabataan (PMK) and the Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK) joined the Purple March today as the entire world celebrates the World Population Day.

Carrying posters with the message, “Hindi na kami bata para sa RH”, members of PMK and SDK linked with the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network – Youth (RHAN-Youth) in a Purple March and Parade from Raja Sulayman Park in Malate to the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Pasay City where many other networks converge in renewing their call for the passage of the RH bill.

“Despite the fact that the world of seven billion today remains sharply divided between the rich minority and poor majority, we believe that young people still have a chance for a better future if we know better – especially when it comes to our sexuality and RH needs,” said Karol Hernandez, PMK spokesperson.

 “Hindi nakatulong sa gaya naming mga kabataan ang pag-iwas ng lipunang pag-usapan ang mga usapin sa sekswalidad at RH. Imbes na alam namin ang gagawin dahil sa kakulangan ng impormasyon, mas marami sa amin ang nag-eeksperemento at nakikinig sa kapwa naming kapos din sa kaalaman sa RH,” added Hernandez, explaining how skirting the issues concerning sexuality made the youth, specially young women, dependent on ‘sabi-sabi’ or superstition on one of the most important aspect of their lives – their reproductive health.

According to Ms. Hernandez, because of the lack of relevant and accurate information: 30% of Filipino women become mothers before they reach their 21st birthday; 11 mothers die every day due to pregnancy and child birth complications; 2 out of 5 teenage pregnancies are ‘unwanted’; 46%  of these unwanted pregnancies turn into ‘induced abortions’; 1 out of 4 teenage mothers stop schooling to concentrate on child rearing; and 10% of children of teenage mothers, 1 out of 5 die due to various reasons.

“The RH bill’s passage is an urgent issue for the Filipino youth.  Attached to the compulsory education for the youth – among Grade 5 to 4th year high school students – is the opportunity for a brighter future for us, the youth.  In this issue, we believe that, this time, the conservative adults should listen to the youth,” asserted SDK spokesperson, Ernest Abanes.

Abanes said young Pinoys are also aware of the many problems facing today’s youth such as high cost of education, unemployment and deteriorating labor standards — concerns which they want President Aquino to address in his upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“But PNoy should never forget the equally tall order of getting the RH bill approved by Congress,” ended Abanes.

Alam namin ang totoong nangyayari

1. 30% ng mga babae ay nagiging ina (teenage

mother)bago sumapit ang kanilang 21st birthday;

2. Labing-isa ina ang namamatay araw-araw bunga ng

komplikasyon sa pagbubuntis at panganganak;

3. Dalawa sa bawat limang teenage pregnancies ay ‘unwanted’,

46% nito ay nauuwi sa ‘induced abortion’;

4. Isa sa bawat apat na teenage mother ay tumitigil sa pagaaral

para atupagin ang pag-aalaga sa bata;

5. 10% ng mga anak ng mga teenage mother ay

malnourished, ayon sa medical studies; 1 sa bawat 5 sa

kanila ay namamatay bunga ng ibat-ibang kadahilanan.

 Nangyayari ito dahil bukod sa hindi handa ‘mentally & physically’ para magsilang ng sanggol, ang mga teenage parent, na karamihan ay galing din sa mahihirap na pamilya, ay walang kaalaman sa reproductive health, at wala ring batas sa RH na nangangalaga sa kanilangkalagayan. KAYA…

 Ang Kabataan ay para sa RH

 1.  Dahil karapatan naming mabigyan ng

kaalaman sa sekswalidad at reproduktibong

kalusugan;

2. Dahil ayaw naming marami pang pamilyang

maghirap, lalo na ang mga ina at bata;

3. Dahil hindi na kami bata para matutunang

pangalagaan ang aming reproduktibong

kalusugan…at planuhin ang pagkakaroon ng mas

makabuluhan at mas masayang buhay.