MMDA employees urge Danny Lim to end 'labor woes'
MANILA, Philippines – A dozen employees of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) skipped lunch on Monday, July 3, to picket their agency's headquarters and demand an end to labor woes.
The protesters were members of Kapisanan para sa Kagalingan ng mga Kawani sa Kalakhang Maynila (KKK) employees' union. They have been doing the lunch time pickets since 2012, but this was their first under newly appointed chairman Danny Lim.
"Ang demand namin kay General Lim, i-regular na 'yung mga job order, 'yung matatagal na. Pangalawa, 'yung aming benepisyo, ibigay na. Pangatlo, dapat idepensa niya rin 'yang MMDA base sa rightsizing," KKK president Teresa Gonzales said.
(Our demand for General Lim is to regularize the job orders; second, to give us our benefits; and 3rd, to defend us at Metrobase against rightsizing.)
One major, but unrecognized, cause of traffic in the metropolis is the shortage of enforcers because many are not retained by the agency. There are only 2,368 enforcers doing the job, which ideally should be done by 7,000, they said.
The problem has become worse as, according to MMDA Chairperson Danny Lim, employees by the hundreds have begun boycotting the agency.
The oldest of demands made by employees is the enforcement of the Collective Negotiation Agreement (CNA) agreed upon in 2011.
Under the agreement, MMDA employees were promised P25,000 every year from the savings of the agency by the end of the year.
According to KKK, employees had not received the promised money from 2012 to 2014 even though the MMDA had enough money to stay true to the agreement.
The Civil Service Commission later dismissed the demand of KKK after concluding that the MMDA indeed did not have extra funds to give to employees.
KKK has since been contesting the findings of the investigation.
Aside from this, Gonzales said that contractual and job order workers are still forced to make do with a salary of P6,000 to P8,000 while being deprived of benefits and security of tenure despite the risks entailed by the job.
"Kahit na nasa gitna na ng kalsada ang ating mga empleyado, nauusukan, muntikan nang masagasaan, wala man lang health benefits at insurance, wala man lang kasiguraduhan," Gonzales said.
(Even though our employees are in the middle of the roads, inhaling smoke, and at the risk of accidents, they don't have benefits or insurance, no security.)
They condemned the National Rightsizing Bill, recently passed by the House of Representatives, which they tagged as a "phase out" of workers that hold positions that are "redundant" in function.
According to Gonzales, lack of opportunity forced many MMDA workers to assume jobs that can easily be discarded by the bill.
To respond to the needs of the employees, Lim previously announced that he was already talking with the Department of Budget Management to raise the budget of the MMDA to P8 billion.
The increase in budget, Lim promised, would be used to regularize contractual and job order employees and hire more enforcers to solve the traffic mess. (READ: How Danny Lim plans to solve Metro Manila's traffic problem)
He had also announced that traffic enforcers will soon receive a P6,000 monthly hazard pay to compensate for the danger they face on the job. – Rappler.com