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Rough Cuts | Enslaving the Filipino workers

Now here is this most stupid idea from someone who claims representation in Congress of people from the provinces through the country’s Partylist system.

We are referring to Probinsyano Ako partylist representative Jose Singson Jr.’s bill seeking to extend newly-hired worker’s probationary period from the current six months to two years.

It is really difficult to fathom the rational of Singson’s belief that the six months probationary period is not enough for employers to determine a worker’s qualification for regular employment.

What a way for this lawmaker to underestimate the learning capability of his fellow Filipinos on the job they are seeking to work on! What a way for this lawmaker to show his debt of gratitude to the burgess class — the ones lording over the country’s economy — that he is willing to ingratiate himself to the people who put him in his present position! And to think that it is without even having him undergo the probationary period for his job as congressman!

Of course this Probinsyano Ako lawmaker must take the cue from himself. That is, that the Filipinos of working age can very well learn the trade in even less than six months if they really put their hearts in their job.

Singson should look at himself. He is barely four months old in Congress and already he appears an expert in making himself a robot for his benefactor corporations or landlords – whichever suits you well. At what cost?

Good thing that no less than Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has openly expressed his objection to the proposed bill. At least there is already an assurance that should the Probinsyano Ako representative’s bill reaches the Committee level for discussion, the Filipino working men can already count a strong ally from within the government bureaucracy.


As we move around the city (Davao) and even in its neighboring areas we have observed that the “experts” in certain government agencies have continued to find “innovative” ways of skirting the law and other policies adopted on the execution of government projects. Specifically we are referring to the law, policy or whatever, that requires putting up of billboards in conspicuous areas near a government infrastructure project undergoing implementation or about to be implemented. And the so-called government watchdog, the Commission on Audit (COA) seems to have tolerated such “innovation” in the information to be supplied in the billboard on any particular project.

Before, the billboard simply is to contain such data as the name of the agency implementing the infrastructure project, the name of the project itself, the name of the contractor, the budget, the winning bid, and the period within which to complete the project.

The latest that we have noted is that the billboard now is to include a progressive report of the amount spent for the budget at a time not clearly specified. And this is in addition to all the other information previously required as indicated in the billboard.

Very close similarity of course. But what is one hundred percent similar is that the billboards in almost all the projects we have the opportunity to pass by and taken a look on is that the information most needed to be seen by the public are not being supplied. The spaces below the itemized data needed are nowhere to be found.

And the Commission on Audit has the gall to advise the public that should it have questions on the project they can call a particular COA hotline and the answers shall be given.

Well, if that is the case why require the putting up of such billboards in the first place? Is it just a matter of compliance of certain legal mandate?

Or could it be the scheme of corrupt officials in the government agencies and their cohorts in making big money in terms of commissions, overprice, or plain grease money in ensuring awarding of the implementation of the project to whoever meets the unspoken rules?

Now, should we be surprised if school buildings and other government office infrastructures collapse like accordion or crack like soda biscuits even with a magnitude 6.3 or lower?

Yes, by denying the public with such critical information on a project like its contract cost, the implementing agency or those who have hands in the implementation might be thinking they can hoodwink the public into believing such denial has nothing to do with the quality of the finish project itself. They are wrong.

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