Statement on the 33rd Death Anniversary of Oscar Bantayan

On October 11, 1988, labor activist Oscar Bantayan, then national council member of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), was gunned down by suspected state forces.

He remained a staunch defender of workers’ rights at a time when political repression swept the country. He was relentless in calling to end contractualization, and increase the national minimum wage, among others. He was in picket lines with striking workers fighting for regularization, and a source of motivation for labor leaders, factory workers, unions, and communities.

His death was greatly felt by the labor movement and the people, but his life of service inspired others to follow the same path.

Unbowed like Oscar Bantayan, the Nonoy Librado Development Foundation, Inc. vows to champion workers’ rights and welfare even in dire situations. We also urge our fellow community workers and workers’ rights advocate to become unceasing in protecting and promoting pro-people labor laws and policies.

Onwards to a just and humane society!


Photo taken last July 15, 2021, during the Food Panda riders protest

We stand with the Davao United Delivery Riders Association Inc. (DUDRAI) members, who held a mass protest yesterday, 16th of July 2021, at the Freedom Park, Davao City, calling for the accountability of the Food Panda Management on unjust labor practices of the said company.

According to the DUDRAI, the Food Panda Management has deducted their earnings for about 280 pesos for their supposed health insurance benefit. However, some members testified that they could not avail of the said benefits because the management did not pay for their health insurance contribution. Apart from this explicit anomaly, food riders are also outraging for the miscomputation of their earnings. With a long-distance ride, they only receive a minimal amount.

Some members of the Davao United Delivery Riders Association Inc. (DUDRAI) during their protest

Moreover, members who joined the protest received messages from the management for a 10-year suspension in violation of their Freelance Agreement.

The move of the Food Panda Management constitutes significant violations of the labor rights of its employees:

1. The prevalent contractualization within the company through its Freelance Agreement hinders employees from being regularized.

2. The suspension of the protesting employees violates their constitutional rights to self-organize, peaceful assembly, and freedom of speech.

3. Unlawful deductions of their earnings.

With all these violations, Food Panda Management remained calloused to the call of its workers.

As an institution that advocates labor rights, we are greatly dismayed with Food Panda Management. We are calling the management to strictly abide by the labor laws. We likewise call on the local government unit of Davao City, Department of Labor and Employment, and Congress to act on this oppressive and exploitative scheme of the involved company and other businesses employing the same scheme. We maintain that workers’ rights must always be upheld, without them we have nothing. #

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.