b y Jeff Crisostomo
Students joined various labor organizations and unions in the recent May 1 Labor Day mobilization. More than 20,000 workers from the recently-launched Sentro ng mga Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO) and NAGKAISA! labor coalition, made up of 40 major trade unions and federations in the country, marched all the way to Mendiola to call for decent work, higher wages, and security of tenure.
In solidarity with workers were student organizations from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Ayo Lapid, Director for Education, Training, and Research of BUKLOD CSSP, a leadership formation in the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, said that “in this fight, the students are the workers are one.”
“We have to understand that in the near future, students will also become workers of this country,” he added. Lapid also highlighted the urgency of the passage of the Security of Tenure Bill (House Bill No. 4853), a measure that seeks to put an end to unjust labor contractualization, which is still pending in Congress. The bill is authored by Akbayan Representatives Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao.
BUKLOD CSSP Director for Students’ Rights and Welfare Nica Manalo emphasized that “it is essential for us students of social sciences and philosophy to actualize and practice theories we learn from the four corners of the classroom to the streets in solidarity with sectors that are being marginalized by repressive policies.” She added that BUKLOD CSSP marched with the laborers in solidarity with the security guards and janitors “who work within the halls of UP, and are under the threat of unfair treatment due to contractualization.”
Also present at the Labor Day march were the CSSP Student Council led by Chairperson Carlo Brolagda and UP ALYANSA and its member organizations led by Chairperson Ace Ligsay. Collectively, the group from UP Diliman comprised the largest delegation of school-based youth in the mobilization.
In conclusion, Lapid said that “BUKLOD CSSP, together with the students, will continue to be one with the labor sector in the fight for justice and fairness in fulfillment of our role as Iskolars para sa Bayan.” #
*BUKLOD CSSP is a leadership and service formation in the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy in the University of the Philippines – Diliman. Read BUKLOD CSSP’s statement released before the Labor Day rally here: http://on.fb.me/IFSK47.
Here is a video of Labor Day