June 20, 2018
QUEZON CITY – Hundreds of women held protest actions at the gates of executive department offices as the symbolic launch of a women’s campaign against the supposed widespread ‘economic violence’ being committed by the Duterte administration against Filipinos and Filipino women.
The campaign followed what cross-sectoral women’s group Oriang stated as a series of ‘anti-poor’ and ‘anti-women’ pronouncements and policies issued by the country’s executive department and cabinet offices, with the most recent of them coming from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“The Duterte administration has unraveled itself to be both ‘anti-women’ and ‘anti-masses’ with its flagrant policies and patterns of behavior that undermine the dignity of women as persons and Filipinos’ capacity to acquire basic necessities in order to live a decent life,” said Oriang National President Flora Asiddao Santos.
She cited what she claimed to be the President’s patterns of flagrant and very publicized misogyny coupled with the administration’s series of policies, such as the TRAIN Law and its ‘legitimization’ of labor contractualization, which have not only targeted the poor while leaving rich corporations virtually untouched, but have also compounded on the increasing inaccessibility of basic goods and needs to Filipinos through ‘promoting’ insecure jobs, low wages, and rising prices of goods.
“Clearly, this administration is unapologetic in violating the basic rights of Filipino women and Filipino masses to live with decency and dignity,” said Assidao Santos.
“We thus condemn it today for forcing every Filipino to suffer with ‘empty pots and gnawing stomachs’ (kalderong walang laman, sikmurang kumakalam) and fight back against its unbridled affront against the most marginalized in the country,” she said.
The larger campaign of PALAG NA, a campaign against government policies on continuing high prices, joined the action through the participation of women from the member-organizations Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) and the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), calling for an end to the misogyny and ‘economic abuse’ being propagated hand in hand by the administration.
“For years, the majority of Filipinos are suffering from hunger and poverty. But instead of alleviating the conditions of the people, this government enacted policies like the TRAIN Law, thereby making life more unbearable for them,” said PMCJ Food, Land, Water, and Climate Change campaigner Jinky Esguerra.
According to Freedom from Debt Coalition Women’s Committee Chairperson Malou Nuera, poor Filipino women, especially poor Filipino mothers, are at the intersection and stand to suffer most from rising prices and the rising affront of the administration against women.
“The negative effects of today’s economic policies, such as increasing hunger and poverty, are experienced by Filipino mothers tenfold as the primary caretakers of the family and managers of domestic life,” said Nuera.
“In addition to this, despite the very significant responsibilities they fulfill as women, Filipinas are belittled and demeaned by this administration through its tolerance and promotion of abusive deeds and language against women,” she added.
Jointly, Oriang, FDC, and other organizations participating in the campaign demanded an end to the administration’s ‘targeting of the poor and the women.’
“The Duterte administration, with its ‘anti-poor’ policies and ‘anti-women’ behavior, has outright neglected the marginalized whom it had postured to serve. We march here today as Filipina masses to voice our outrage and to call on every Filipino to fight back against the continuing abuses of this government,” said Oriang.