NMR Established Its First Workers’ Watch Formation

In the photo, NMR’s Area Coordinator Teresita Hadman gave short briefing about the Workers’ Watch Project during the establishment of Don Carlos’ first Workers’ Watch Formation
In the photo, NMR’s Area Coordinator Teresita Hadman gave short briefing about the Workers’ Watch Project during the establishment of Don Carlos’ first Workers’ Watch Formation

Last 21st February 2021, the Northern Mindanao Centre of the Workers’ Watch Project has established its first Workers’ Watch Formation at San Nicolas, Don Carlos, Bukidnon.

28 individuals, including workers of Davao Agriventures Corporation (DAVCO), community leaders of San Nicolas, youth leaders, and barangay health workers, instituted their first Workers’ Watch Formation. Women in the community and their children were also present during the establishment following the necessary health protocols in conducting meetings. The Formation will be the forefront in defending their rights as labourers when, for an instance, labour violations within their community persist.

Prior to the launch of the formation, several meetings and discussions about the project were held in the community. Kolokabildos or social dialogues with the workers and community leaders of Don Carlos, as part of the activities of the project, made the importance of the formation of the Workers’ Watch to be realized by the community. Hence, the formation was finally established.

The San Nicolas’ Workers’ Watch Formation was legalized and banded with Constitution and By-Laws as their fundamental principles. As stated to their constitution Article 1 (Name and Purpose), the formation shall be named as Workers’ Watch Don Carlos Chapter with a purpose of helping workers’ communities respond effectively and sustainably to human rights and labor rights situation in the area. It aims to capacitate its members in extending legal, psychosocial, and health services to its beneficiaries.

The formation has also elected their first set of officers which Mr. Vladimier Gulmatico was elected as the Chairman, Mr. Romeo Galera as Vice-Chairman, Ms. Aida Destacamento as Secretary General, and Ms. Lorena Aboy as their Finance Officer.

“With this formation, it is only now that we encounter such project that extends such assistance and services to our community” Mr. Vladimier Gulmatico, the chairman of the newly established workers’ watch formation, said.

WWP Executives paid a Courtesy Visit to the Regional and Provincial DOLE Directors

In the past weeks, the Workers’ Watch Project executives had visited its different centers in Mindanao to consolidate its area coordinators regarding the progress of their regional actions for the implementation of the program. As local community quarantine has been eased, they have also had courtesy meetings with the Regional and Provincial Directors of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Last September 1, the Project Manager of WWP- Ms. May Ann Artil, the executive Director of the Nonoy Librado Development Foundation- Ms. Emma Ricaforte, and with the Area Coordinator of Northern Mindanao Center had a chance to talk with Region 10 DOLE Director Atty. Joffrey Suyao on the possible coordination of the said project. Director Suyao had a positive response to the project. He also gave suggestions on how the project will be implemented in the said region.

The WWP staff members with the Region 10 DOLE Director Atty. Suyao. Photo taken last September 1, 2020

Also last September 18 and 22, the WWP executives paid a visit to its centers in SOCCKSARGEN and Davao de Oro. They also met the Provincial Director of DOLE Davo de Oro Neil Allan Baban and Region 12 DOLE Director Raymundo Agravante. The meeting with the DOLE directors ended with positive coordination on the implementation of the project. The launching of all planned activities in the different area centers was postponed due to the COVID19 pandemic scare. It is expected that the full launch of the program will be conducted in 2021. 

Davao de Oro Dole Director Baban had a discussion with the WWP staff members on the implementation of the project last September 18, 2020 at the Davao de Oro DOLE Office.

Last September 22, the Region 12 DOLE Director Agravante with Assistant Director Arlene responded to the invitation of the WWP staff for a dialogue to discuss the Workers’ Watch Project in the region.

On the occasion of Nonoy Librado’s Death Anniversary

Coun. Pamela Librado-Morata
On the occasion of Nonoy Librado’s Death Anniversary
18 August 2020

No matter what tragedies or struggles affect our family, this day always reminds us that there is always a reason to unite. In the midst of a global pandemic, and of a more precarious environment to those espousing the beliefs of our deceased father, Erasto ‘Nonoy’ Librado, we who are loyal to his legacy will continue to plod on.

I know that it will always be Papa’s fervent wish to see reforms in our government… to see workers doing their jobs with dignity and their rights protected…. to see the underprivileged have more in the law because they have less in life. While still alive, my father would take me to picket lines, attending rallies with a throng of people I barely know. Back then, I did not understand why a union leader would choose to serve people when he also has problems of his own. I did not understand then why the sentiments of many workers would embolden him to actually take into heart a cause that would make him risk life and limb.

It took years for me to understand why he chose that less travelled path. For the people’s welfare is ultimately greater than the sum of all his personal aspirations. He became a councilor of this City (even for a short while prior to his death) because he believed laws could actually work for the people and that pushing for reforms in the economy and labor sector can spell out a huge difference in the lives of our ordinary citizens.

Nonoy not only taught all his three children the rudiments of living a life of service; he showed us further how to stand firm in our principles. A martial law survivor, he went through incarceration knowing fully well what he is standing up to. In that collective fight against tyranny and the abusive Marcos regime, he would remain a hero to us and to those who believed in hus cause.

We honor his death today and remember the man who was all a father, husband, labor leader, comrade, Filipino citizen and one worthy of emulation for his legacy and dedication to public service. May the Nonoy Librado Development Foundation continue his work— let us work in synergy to contribute to its growth and success, bearing in mind the sacrifices of a man who wished for the emancipation of workers through fair labor practices and decent working conditions.

As we also rise towards the challenge of battling this Covid-19 despite all the odds, let us all look forward to more better days and better conditions for work in the days to come.

Once again, my greatest salute to Ka Nonoy, who even in death keeps alive the fervor of compassionate service to the people. #

photo grabbed from Davao Today

On President Duterte’s 5th SONA: Workers neglected again, no Comprehensive Plan to Address this Pandemic

August 5, 2020


Nonoy Librado Development Foundation, Inc.

As an institution that is in the frontline for workers’ rights, we are greatly dismayed with the recent 5th State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte. Nothing was discussed on how to save the workers and the Filipino people from further hunger, to combat the pandemic comprehensively, and to rehabilitate the economy.

During this pandemic, the workers have been hard-hit economically. With massive retrenchment came dwindling incomes. Unemployment in the country rose to its historic high of not less than 14 million while under-employed tallied to 7 million. Worse, crooked employers capitalized on the pandemic to terminate workers’ employment without valid reasons. We have been able to monitor numerous reports of workers being retrenched from work while their employers kept hiring new ones. Said workers were not even paid their separation pay.

The Social Amelioration Program of the government through its various agencies was not enough to aid the lost income of the workers. Despite the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act expiring last June 24, 2020, no additional budget has been passed into law to support the starving workers and poor Filipinos.

As the country’s Covid-19 contraction surges exponentially, Pres. Duterte failed to present a concrete and comprehensive plan on defeating the pandemic.

We need pro-people medical solutions through the implementation of mass testing and contact tracing. The needs of our medical front-liners must be addressed urgently. And a roadmap must be developed to save our downgraded economy and provide jobs for all unemployed Filipinos with safe and health-reliable measures in the workplace.

The recent outcry of Doctors and medical workers validated the lack of plan and incompetency of government’s handling of the situation. It is no wonder because the National Task Force for COVID Response was composed of mostly retired military generals. And this militaristic view of Pres. Duterte again emerged as he insisted during his SONA to reinstate the Death Penalty Law which the Filipinos don’t need.

The true State of the Nation is vivid; millions are unemployed, starving, and dying from the virus and sickness. Yet the oligarchy remains, human rights violations multiplied, our sovereignty remains unasserted, the national economy sank, and corruption persisted. The latest controversy in Philhealth of the anomalies perpetrated by its executives is another testament of the persisting corruption under Pres. Duterte’s administration.

Under four years of Pres. Duterte’s militaristic approach of governance, no real “change” as promised has benefited the Filipino people.

Four years into his presidency, the social ills remain. The economy has even worsened with the national debt reaching P9 trillion. Endo/contractualization is still flourishing, as well as corruption. With the remaining two years of Duterte’s presidency, we hope that he focuses his efforts on improving the lives of ordinary people.

Nevertheless, we acknowledge that genuine change in this country truly lies on the collective will and decisive action of Filipinos.###

Info-graphics released by the Department of Health for our guidance

Workers are also vulnerable to the possibility of getting COVID19. We must also seek and demand for the health security of our workers. Company owners and employers should also prioritize the health security of its employees especially the cases of COVID19 victims are constantly increasing. If it is possible to implement the “work from home” concept in your company or organization, giving the assurance that the duties and responsibilities are never taken for granted and can still be fulfilled, then it should be done in order to prevent the spread out of the disease. We have numerous communication accesses/applications to still continue working while at home.

We also encourage everyone to follow the guidelines and advisories of our health department, local and national authorities.

We must always remember that prevention is always better than cure.

Here is one of the info-graphics released by the Department of Health for our guidance. Stay safe everyone!

In regards with the COVID-19 pandemic crisis

It has been three weeks since the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon has been implemented and nearly two weeks since President Rodrigo Duterte was given emergency powers to address the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, yet there is still no clear food relief, financial assistance and mass testing given to millions of workers and informal workers nationwide.

Despite the “stay at home” orders and closures of companies and establishments, many workers and vendors still risk to go out on the streets to earn for a living. These people will say they will not die because of Covid-19, but rather from starvation. Food relief from local officials are either missing or not enough for a working class family to last for a week.

Even the P5,000 – P8,000 cash grant subsidy to indigents is not readily given. Under special guidelines on the Provision of Social Amelioration, indigents need to comply with requirements such as documents proving they are employees. How will workers retrieve such documents when their bosses are on self-quarantine? How about the vendors and daily wage-earners? Even before the Covid-19 crisis, workers are already barely surviving with minimum wage or below minimum wages and without benefits.

With news that there are more than 2,000 cases of Covid-19 infection and more than 90 deaths, people are complaining, where is the relief? Where are the test kits that can give mass testing? What has happened to the P 275 billion emergency fund? What can a month of lockdown noted with arrests and harassment achieved?

As an institution that advocates for the protection of the rights of workers, we urge the national government to implement pro-people action and solutions to respond to Covid-19. They should understand that the failure to protect the health and economic well-being of the working class will mirror the failure of the Philippine economy.

The government should provide immediate relief such as food relief and financial support for the working people with minimum requirements. Systems should be implemented that will make this relief reach to all indigents and workers. They should also conduct mass testing in communities with suspected PUIs to detect who are infected and treat them. They should also provide shelter and food for the homeless rather than shooing them away or detaining them.

Also, it is important to call the government to provide personal protective equipment (PPE), test kits and to increase the financial incentives for health workers and professionals in the front line of the battle against Covid-19. We must put our trust to the health practitioners in fighting this pandemic by providing them with proper medical equipments.

We can never win this battle if we continue to be deaf to the clamor of the basic masses.

Nature, Vision, Mission, Goals, and Program

The Nonoy Librado Development Foundation, Inc. is a non-stock, non-profit civil society organization focusing on labor. It was established in 1993 by individuals and peoples formations who are inspired by the noble work and contributions of the Late Erasto “Nonoy” Librado for the workers of Mindanao. Nonoy Librado served as president of the Bank of Philippine Islands Employees Union for a decade before becoming a full-time labor organizer. Before his death on August 1992, he served as a councilor in the first district of Davao City. He was known as one of the pillars of genuine, nationalist unionism and recognized as a hero upon his death.

NLDF’s mission is to carry out the legacy of Nonoy Librado by providing technical and educational services, and facilitate development for the workers.