Otso Diretso bets, labor groups discuss Chinese workers' influx

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 01 2019 10:17 AM | Updated as of May 01 2019 12:04 PM

MANILA -- Labor groups on Wednesday raised the alarm on the influx of Chinese workers in a meeting with senatorial candidates from the opposition ticket Otso Diretso.

Otso Diretso bets Erin Tañada and Samira Gutoc said they would "champion" the concerns of labor if elected to the Senate. Fellow candidates Mar Roxas and Bam Aquino sent representatives to the breakfast forum.

"Aming mariing kinukundena ang pagpapahintulot ng gobyerno na kunin ng mga Tsino ang mga trabaho sa loob ng bansa na maaari namang gawin ng mga manggagawang Pilipino," said UNI Global Union Philippine Liaison Council president Exie Nidea. 

(We condemn the government's move to allow Chinese nationals to take jobs that can be done by Filipino workers.)

Otso Diretso candidates have questioned the government's dealings with China, the minimum wage and the tax reform law.

"Unang-una ang isyu ng security of tenure, ang ating Pangulo cinertify as urgent pero inupuan ng mga senador, ang tanong bakit?" Tañada asked.

(First of all is the issue of security of tenure, our President certified it as urgent but senators sat on it. Why?) 

Gutoc criticized candidates who are leading in surveys despite their supposed silence on labor issues. 

"You’re on top of the survey. You think you can buy people and I think you do. You’re buying the election process when you do not appear and give credence to issues, to platforms, you do not give dignity to the labor force,” she said. 

Of the 8 opposition bets, only Aquino has a statistical chance of winning, according to an April 10 to 14 survey by Pulse Asia.