Manila


Sonny Melencio, chairperson of the Partido Lakas ng Masa, reflects on the politics of class and catastrophic climate change in the wake of the 2012 Manila floods.

Australian mining companies, already ravaging the traditional land of Indigenous peoples in the Philippines, are now pushing for ratification of a military agreement that would allow Australian troops to enter the Philippines for "combined training, exercises, or other activities mutually approved by the Parties". Protests broke out in Manila on June 6, 2012 as the Philippines Senate was deliberating the ratification of this controversial 'visiting forces' military pact with the Australian government, signed by the disgraced former President Gloria Arroyo in 2007.
Members of the Philippines Air Lines Employees Association (PALEA) have been engaged in three weeks of pickets at the Philippines Airlines (PAL) terminal at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. About 2600 ground crew have fought against forced contractualisation — the replacement of permanent, secure jobs with contract labour. PALEA president Gerry Rivera told Green Left Weekly the dispute had its origins in 2009 when PAL management declared their intention to outsource the roles of the 2600 ground crew.
On March 25, much of the community in Maharlika Village in Manila turned out after Friday prayers to protest against the Western powers’ military attacks against Libya. Maharlika Village is a predominantly Moro community in Taguig City, in the south-east of Metro Manila. The protest was organised by the local council, community leaders, religious leaders from the community’s 16 mosques, the Bangsamoro Solidarity Movement and the Anak Mindanao Party (Amin).
About 10,000 people marched on the Philippines Congress on March 8 to mark International Women’s Day (IWD) and demand passage of the Reproductive Health Bill before Congress. The bill would allow greater access to modern contraceptives and sex education. The bill proposes more maternal health services, raising the number of midwives to one for every 150 deliveries. Contraceptives would also be funded for poor women and would be included in the standard supplies of medicine in hospitals. Modern family planning methods would be provided in all accredited health facilities.
See also: Philippines: regional conference discusses socialist solutions The streets of Ayala, Manila, were taken over by about 5000 people on November 25 in a protest against the growing use of contract labour. Philippine Airlines (PAL), owned by the Philippines second richest man, is the latest company to sack 2700 of his workers and rehire them as outsourced contractors. Contracting out workers allows bosses to pay lower wages and less benefits, and denies workers the security of a permanent job.
See also: Philippines workers protest contract labour A successful 2010 Southeast Asia Socialism and Feminism conference was held at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Metro Manila over November 27 and 28. The conference, organised on the theme of “Capitalist Crisis, Socialist Alternatives”, was organised by the Party of the Labouring Masses and the feminist group Transform Asia. It was attended by 100 PLM delegates from Metro Manila, as well as representatives from other organisations.
The streets of Ayala, the old financial capital of Manila, were taken over by about 5000 people on November 25 in a protest against the growing use of contract labour. Philippine Airlines, owned by the Philippines second richest man, is the latest company to sack its workforce and rehire them as contract workers – with lower wages and without the benefits and security guaranteed to formal, permanent workers.

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