Intensify the workers' and people's anti-imperialist struggles

Editorial
Ang Bayan
April 21, 2012

In the face of the relentless and prolonged crisis of the international capitalist system, the imperialist countries have stepped up the exploitation and oppression of the workers and the people,. especially in neocolonial countries like the Philippines.

The ruling reactionary regime has become even more subservient to the dictates of US imperialism, the International Monetary Fund and foreign monopoly corporations as the crisis of the ruling system worsens.

The Aquino regime avidly implements the policies of neoliberalism, with liberalization, dergulation, privatization and denationalization intensifed under Aquino's rule despite the deleterious effects and the sufferings these have wrought on the masses of workers and the Filipino people for the past three decades.

The three decades of neoliberal rule saw the unprecedented worsening of the exploitation of the Filipino working class. The flexibilization of labor, or the “relaxation” of labor standards, employment policies and systems was implemented, first in the centers of capitalism in the 1980s. Contractualization and other employment systems were enforced on a wide scale, giving capitalists the power to squeeze from the workers every last drop of surplus value.

The reactionary state and big capitalists have been relentlessly attacking the basic rights of workers to organize unions, to strike and negotiate. These rights which the Filipino working class won through decades of struggle have slowly been eroded in the past 30 years. Through flexible employment arrangements, workers have been deprived of the ability to use their fundanental rights to advance and defend their interests.

Under the imperialist policy of flexible labor, the number of unions and unionized workers declined. There has also been a reduction in the number of strikes, which is not proof of industrial peace, as the reactionary state would have us believe, but of the workers' further suppression. The steep decline in the number of workers' strikes has meant graver oppression and exploitation by the capitalists.

The workers' minimum wage is woefully inadequate to enable them to live decent lives. In the last three decades, the workers' minimum wage has been practically frozen. Wage hikes lag too much behind the upward spiral of prices of oil and the costs of other basic commodities and services. The reactionary state and big capitalists have taken advantage of the existence of a huge army of unemployed workers to maintain wages at extremely low levels.

The puppet Aquino regime is antiworker and anti-toiling masses. It advances the policy of cheap labor in order to attract investments from foreign big capitalists. It has no plans of changing the existing oppressive and exploitative system of productiom in the Philippines. Aquino himself has taken a stand against any significant hike in workers' wages. He has done nothing to solve the huge problem of unemployment except to continue the policy of exporting labor, despite the sluggish demand for migrant workers due to the international capitalist crisis. He has been imposing new and higher taxes even as he cuts back on social expenditures.

The toiling masses cry out for social justice. Millions of workers, the hungry and those without regular employment demand regular jobs and living wages, affordable prices of food, water and electricity, decent housing, free health and educational services and other basic needs in order to live decently.

Under the US-Aquino regime, the masses of workers and the toiling masses must struggle to attain the social justice they desire. They must hail and wave high the banner of anti-imperialism and intensify their struggles against the antipeople and antiworker policies of the puppet Aquino regime.

A widespread education movement must be launched among the toiling masses. We must rouse and fire up the patriotism and raise the level of scientific thought among the workers and toiling masses. We must establish thousands of patriotic schools among the youth, students, workers and toiking masses in factories and urban poor communities. We must raise the consciousness of the toiling masses against neoliberalism and how the policies of liberalization, deregulation, privatization and denationalization have destroyed the livelihoods and eroded the rights of the people. We must show how the burning issues and problems of the toiling masses are related to close to a century of colonial and neocolonial rule by US imperialism in the Philippines.

The workers and the toiling masses must unite to resist the policy of cheap labor as a means of attracting foreign investments. They must fight for the abrogation of laws and orders that uphold the current oppressive and exploitative system such as the Herrera Law and the Wage Regionalization Act, among others. They must tirelessly let the cry for a significant wage increase resound nationwide. They must persevere in demanding the abrogation of labor flexibilization and advance the right to regular employment and the right to unionize and to strike.

The workers and the toiling masses must unite to resist the policies dictated by the IMF and US imperialism and rabidly being implemented by the Aquino regime. They must resist and oppose plans to impose more taxes and fees. They must expose lopsided policies that prioritize budgetary allocations for the military, foreign banks and investors. They must expose the mendicant conditional cash transfer program framed by the World Bank to deceive the people and pave the way for budget cuts for needed services.

The workers and the entire people must unite in struggle for national independence especially in the face of intensifying US imperialist intervention in the country's economic, political and military affairs. They must unite to resist attempts by the US to include the Philippines in the Trans-Pacific Partnership it is establishing. They must resist US schemes to change the reactionary 1987 constitution to pave the way for the absolute rule of foreign capital in the Philippines and the unrestricted plunder of the country's natural resources and national patrimony. They must resist growing US military presence in the country that is directly linked to its objective of controlling and dominating the economy of the Philippines and other countries in the Asia-Pacific.