Marya Salamat

Contents by Author

January 4, 2011

If Filipinos had dreamed that public health care may improve under the new Aquino government, which packaged itself as an agent of change with a “health for all” agenda during the election campaign, its 2010 performance would come as a nasty shock. The recently signed national budget and the cuts it inflicted on public health spending for 2011 signify the opposite of change.

January 3, 2011

MANILA — In 2010, Filipino workers were treated to glittering promises of change as newly elected President Benigno Aquino III replaced Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in Malacañang. After nearly 10 years of Arroyo’s wage freeze amid economic policies that resulted in continuously rising prices of basic commodities and services, record joblessness, violations of human rights and trade union rights, Aquino’s promises naturally brought hope.

December 14, 2010

MANILA – The news that the Philippines has overtaken India in the number of new hires in the call center industry has prompted a labor education NGO recently to warn industry stakeholders and the government against risking its workers’ welfare for the sake of such boom, or the projected boom up to 2016.

August 9, 2010

MANILA - In the face of mounting calls for the government to investigate Lucio Tan's alleged losses and abuses of his employees in Philippine Airlines, the Aquino government has retreated from further intervention in the ongoing labor disputes in the airline, suggesting that the trouble at the country's flag carrier may be over.

But is it?

May 2, 2010

In his twenties, Ronilo, who requested that his name be withheld for fear of reprisal, is one of the approximately 17,600 long-time contractual employees of Dole Philippines in Cotabato, southern Philippines. Dolefil is a subsidiary of the profitable global giant Dole Food company, but Ronilo only gets the minimum wage amounting to P245 ($5.526 at the current exchange rate of $1=P44.33) a day if he makes the company quota.

April 12, 2010

MANILA -Will your vote count? Can a new president and a new set of officials be credibly elected on May 10? With less than two months before the election, doubts persist as to whether the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is adequately prepared to make the first ever automated elections system (AES) in the Philippines reliable, accurate and trustworthy. Comelec Chairman Jose Melo, in a visit to Tacloban City, dismissed as "pure fantasy" these doubts and its possible end result, which is failure of elections.

April 5, 2010

MANILA - Makabayan senatorial candidates Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza have filed a petition before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) seeking to disqualify Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel 'Mikey' Arroyo as a nominee of party list group Ang Galing Pinoy (AGP).

January 30, 2010

BULACAN - Farmers representing more than 230 families have denounced an attempt by a congressman to reverse land reform in their area. Since April 2009, Rep. Luis Villafuerte, an ally of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and congressman of the second district of Camarines Sur, had gone up three times to Sitio Malapad na Parang, Barangay Sibul in San Miguel, Bulacan, escorted by two truckloads of military men in full battle gear. He has been going there to claim some 375 hectares of land from the farmers who had cleared and developed it in the past three decades. These farmers hold Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or CARP (now CARPER), but Villafuerte has apparently been trying to revoke it. For the supposed benefit of a foundation with Christian and environmentalist ideals, he has been working for the exemption of the said lands from CARP coverage.

October 27, 2009

MANILA - It what appears to be a challenge to the assertions of conservative groups and the government that the Church should not be involved in politics and the "affairs of the state," priests from all over the country - in a historic first - gathered to discern and discuss their role amid these turbulent times.

August 24, 2009

Even if seriously implemented, the Cheaper Medicines Law would still fail to bring down the prices of medicines because it did not break "the monopoly control of transnational corporations on all aspects" of the drug industry. This monopoly is the main reason why drug prices in the Philippines are among the highest in Asia.