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THE SOCIO ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

OF THE LABOR SECTOR IN THE PHILIPPINES

DURING THE PRE-MARTIAL LAW

AND MARTIAL LAW PERIOD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By

 

 

 

 

Guillermo B. Roque II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A thesis Submitted

In partial Fulfillment for the Degree of

Bachelor of Arts in International Studies

On Peace and Development

 

 

 

 

General College

The Philippine Women’s University

EDSA, Quezon City

March 2001

 

 

 

 

APPROVAL SHEET

 

This thesis entitled

 

 

THE SOCIO ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

OF THE LABOR SECTOR IN THE PHILIPPINES

DURING THE PRE-MARTIAL LAW

AND MARTIAL LAW PERIOD.

 

 

Prepared and submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements on Research Methodology and Historiography for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in International Studies on Peace and Development, is hereby approved.

 

 

 

 

 

Submitted By:

 

            GUILLERMO B. ROQUE II

           

Date:___________________

 

 

 

 

 

PROF. PERCIVAL S. GABRIEL

Adviser

 

 

 

 

 

DR. HIPOLITO P. PALCON

Dean, Tertiary Division

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABSTRACT

 

 

 

            This research is geared toward looking into the social economic conditions of the labor sector in the Philippines during the pre-martial law and martial law period. This research not only seeks to focus on the social economic conditions but also to the political conditions under the former President Ferdinand E. Marcos. The method utilized in this research is historic method. This research found out: (1) On the General objective, Workers are less organized due to lack of labor comprehensive policies, guidelines and laws to protect and serve the workers welfare; for the pre-martial law period. The Labor Code (1974) although answered the workers call to have a legal protection of their needs and welfare had proved ineffective because of Marcos oppressive legislation and executions of capitalist/investors favored decrees; for the martial law period. (2) The finding confers an insignificant shift in the employment rate during the pre-martial law and martial law period, however the research manifested a great decline in the real wage rates. (3) Through a series of decrees and other legal issuance in regard to the labor sector, however, Marcos was able to achieve his goal of attracting foreign capitals and investors because of low labor wage which results to low labor cost and more peaceful business climate due to the prohibition of labor strikes and mass organization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Socio Economic and Political Conditions Of The Labor Sector

In The Philippines During The Pre-Martial Law And Martial Law Period.

 

 

 

Chapter I

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

            In September 21, 1973, the former dictator President Ferdinand E. Marcos placed the entire Philippines under Martial Law, through the Presidential Proclamation 1081. Martial Law together with the Marcos vision and ideology of the “New Society” promised for fuller and more efficient utilization of human resources in nation building.

 

            In the New Society, however, development does not simply mean economic advancement. It also means the improvement in the well being of the broad sector of our people. It means getting down and reaching the poorest segments of our population: the urban and rural poor, the unemployed, the underemployed, the homeless dweller, the out-of-school youth, the landless worker. (Marcos, 1979: 44) 

           

            Martial Law, the Filipinos would learn through 14 years, meant a one-man dictatorship, the suppression of all democratic processes and civil liberties, the imprisonment of some 50,000 Filipinos, and the torture and murder of thousands. Philippine society and economy would be shaken to its roots, culminating in the gravest economic and political crisis by the 1980’s. (Tiglao, 1988: 26)

 

            President Marcos repeatedly claimed that the New Society had brought the economic and social development of the Philippines. Marcos particularly claimed that through the New Society and Martial Law had yielded in the decrease at labor unemployment and enhanced the labor sector. Was there a reality in such claims? Through Martial Law and the promise of the New Society was there really s fuller and more efficient utilization of human resources in national building?

 

 

ASSESSMENT OF THE NEED

 

 

Statement of the Problem. In view of the Proclamation of Martial Law and the vision of the New Society of Former President Marcos, this study will determine the social and economic conditions of the labor sector in the Philippines during the pre-martial law and martial law period. This study also seeks the answers to specific questions: (1) What were the reasons for the changes of the employment rate in relation to political condition before and during the martial law period? (2) What where the legal strategies pursued by Marcos regime to pacify the labor sector and create a peaceful economic climate?

 

 

OBJECTIVES

 

            General Objective. At the end of this study, this general objective should have been attained: (1) To determine the social economic conditions of the labor sector in the Philippines during the pre-martial law and martial law period.

 

 

 

            Specific Objective. The specific objectives are: (1) To outline the significant reasons for the changes of the employment rate in relation to political condition before and during the martial law period. (2) To outline the legal strategies pursued by Marcos regime to pacify the labor sector and create a peaceful economic climate.

 

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

 

a.         Importance to Practice:

      The research plays a vital role in the practice of Public Administration particularly in the labor sector, since Public Administration should be backed up by the aim to enhance the constituencies welfare. The series of political maneuvers of the Marcos regime related to the Labor Sector will give the beneficiaries of this study a basis of some repressive measures governments could take against labor which could be the basis of future legislators.

 

 

b.        Beneficiaries:

      Economic Officials of the government particularly in the labor sector could find this study helpful; students, researchers and teachers of labor related studies could find this study beneficial in their course and future researches.

 

 

 

COVERAGE OF THE STUDY  (Table Format)

 

 

SCOPE

LIMITATIONS

DELIMITATIONS

WHAT

The Labor Sector of the Philippines

The labor sector of the Philippines in the pre martial law and martial law period

Other sectors which are not  related to labor or concerned with the proclamation of martial law

WHO

Various personalities involved in the Marcos Administration in implementation of the Martial Law and the New Society and its effects in the labor sector

Former President Ferdinand E. Marcos and other related personalities on the implementation of the Martial Law and the New Society particular to the labor sector

Other personalities which were not directly involved on the Marcos Administration and labor sector in the Implementation of the Martial Law

WHEN

1.) 1968-1973 Pre – Martial Law period

 

2.) 1974-1980 Martial Law Period

From January 1968 to 1980

Years before than 1968 and years after 1980.

WHERE

The Philippines

The Philippine Labor sector and its environment

Other countries

 

 

 

 

 

COVERAGE OF THE STUDY

 

Scope   The study will focus on the Philippine Labor sector during the pre-martial law and martial periods, which will also include information about the various personalities and maneuvers undertook by the Marcos regime for the sector from 1968 to 1980.

 

Limitation       The study will be confined only on the maneuvers made by the martial law and the condition of the labor sector in the Philippines. The personalities involved in the study are former President Ferdinand E. Marcos and other related personalities with direct involvement in the labor issue during those years. The sector involved will primarily be the labor sector. The study limits from 1968 as the pre-martial law up to 1974-1980 as the martial law period.

 

Delimitation    This study will not tackle other details about the Philippine labor sector before the pre-martial law and after the martial law period. Other personalities not directly related or being a direct factor to the condition of the labor sector in the pre-martial and martial law era will not be discussed as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter II

FRAMEWORK OF ANALYSIS

 

Review of Related Literature

 

            There are many books written about President Ferdinand Marcos. There are also books written by the former president, commonly books that are to support the policies that he had carried. However, Waltzing with a Dictator by Raymond Bonner is a book that the study could rely particularly on the political and social conditions during the Martial law period and another book is The Marcos Regime - Rage of the Nation by Filemon Rodriguez. These two books mentioned are the books that the study will utilize for related literature.

 

The Marcos Regime - Rape of the Nation is a book that critically analysis the promise of the New Society and the reality in the imposition of the Martial Law in the Philippines. It outlines the program that supports the New Society claim of Marcos. From the land reform to the economic and social development, it's illusion and the reality.

 

            Waltzing with a Dictator is the starting story of America's twenty-year partnership with the conjugal dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and his wife, Imelda. Based on 12,000 pages of previously classified U.S. documents, Raymond Bonner's (the author) account contains never-before-told details of the incredible lifestyle of Imelda Marcos; of the imprisonment and assassination of Benigno S. Aquino; of the Marcoses' crony capitalism that drained the country of between $5 and $10 billion; and of the fall of Marcos. In the most complete account ever published of the imposition of martial law in 1972, the author shows the extent of the U.S. involvement and explains that the Marcos government, not the communists, was responsible for the bombings in Manila preceding the declaration. (Ratzkin, 1987: back page Waltzing with a Dictator)

 

            The book investigates through accounts of the author the first hand information inside the Palace and the reality of the Filipino poverty that was not commonly known because of Marcos cover-ups. The utilization of Martial Law (Filipino style) for Marcos to stay in power and the utilization of the New Society for Marcos to show the international community that the Filipinos supports his claims of social and political reforms.

 

            The book, Waltzing with a Dictator also deals at length with the question of the continuing presence of the American hegemony over the Philippines. Mr. Bonner reveals that: every American president from Lyndon Johnson to Ronald Reagan embraced Ferdinand Marcos; in return he made the archipelago profitable for America's businessmen and safe for its capital. The book tells the often shocking, always enlightening inside story of the Washington-Marcos alliance.

 

            The present study utilizes the book's verifiable claims, specially the political and social conditions of the Philippines during the Martial Law era. This book also helps prove the effectiveness of the theories that were presented and where other related literatures will stand. On the other hand, this study will look in an unbiased perspective that the researchers welcome other related literature and references claims on the affectivity of the New Society and the positive and negative sides of the Martial Law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theoretical Framework

 

 

 

            The emergence of new nations in the postwar era has provided a focus of interest for many students of politics. The end of colonialism and the appearance of new sovereign states have given new impetus to many of the traditional queries of the political scientist, such as inquiries about the characteristics of authority in political systems. These developments also produced new questions uniquely related to the emergent situation, concerning the processes involved in the transition from one type of political system to another. The work of David Apter answers the inquiries about achieving development in the age of modernization. The emergent situation of politics related to the society for the objectives of development are well discussed by the framework given by Apter.

 

            Apter states it is as the aim of his analysis to examine the conditions under which it is possible for governments to maintain their authority during the period of modernization. He is therefore concerned with the problem of legitimacy: the relation, at various times, between the authority of a government and the degree of support that it is able to engender.

 

With his work, we are back not only to the study of political systems in "systemic" terms, but also to the classification and analysis of types of government. In fact the elements of the social system are analyzed mainly for the purpose of understanding the extent to which particular types of governments or systems of authority operates best only in particular kinds of social environment; and how changes in elements, or relations between the elements of social system influence changes in governmental systems. His subject is the study of  "the politics of modernization which requires the unity of moral and analytical modes of thought". (page 59 Model of Political Systems).

 

 

Theoretical Framework

Control over economy

 

 
 

 

 

 


           

 

           

           

 

 

 

 

Conceptual Framework

 

 

 

 

           Input                                         Process                                           Output   

Economic Modernization

 

Control over economy

 

Economic Development

 
           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Operational Framework

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


            The connection of Apter's theory to the political maneuvers of Marcos will be explained in this study. In our case, the Modernization theory explains that the imposition of policies, programs and laws in regard to the control over the economy is a sign that the Marcos administration wanted to retain in power to pursue the aim of modernization. Marcos acted as a unit where his actions of controlling the economy are evident.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Definition of Terms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter III

METHODOLOGY AND RESEARCH DESIGN

 

General Research Plan:

 

            The research method that will be used in this study is historical research. The origin of the word history means the search for knowledge and the truth, a searching to find out. "History is any integrated narrative or description of past event or facts written im a spirit of critical inquiry for the whole truth." (Good and Scates, p. 170) History research or historical method of research is a process of selecting the area or topic to write the history about, collecting data about events that occurred in the area or about the topic, collating the data, sifting the authentic from non-authentic, and then making an interpretative narrative about or critical inquiry into the whole truth of the events. Historical research describes what occurred in the past and then makes a critical analysis about the whole truth. (Calderon and Gonzales, p. 41)

 

Organization of the Research Output.  The study is organized as follows:

 

I.                   Introduction

Contains brief historical facts on the proclamation of martial law by President Ferdinand Marcos and Critics on the social and political conditions of the Martial Law era.

 

II.                Framework of Analysis

David Apter's analysis and view about Modernization as well as his conceptual and operational framework can be found in this research.

 

III.             Methodology and Research Design

This contains the General Research Plan, the Data Base and the Data Collection, the Procedure in Data Gathering and the Data Analysis.

 

            IV.       Findings and Interpretation of Data

This part of the research holds information on the political and social conditions in the Philippines that affects the labor sector. Also includes statistical graphs pertaining to the labor sector, population and related materials that could be the basis to answer the general objective and the specific objectives. The interpretation of data  contains the different political maneuvers of Marcos to pacify the labor sector and his means to stay in power.

 

IV.              Conclusion and Recommendation

This part of the research contains the conclusion of the researcher on the study that was conducted and the final organization of the entire study, and critical analysis regarding the topic.

 

 

DATA BASE AND DATA COLLECTION

 

            Critical in historical research is the kind of materials that will be used. The researcher will cull secondary materials from:

 

a.         Understanding the Filipino Ideology, PCSS Policy Monograph Series Number 6

By: Romeo V. Cruz, Published by: Journals and Publication Division, the President's Center for Special Studies.

b.         The Philippine Economy in the 1970's, Printed by: Institute of Economic Development and Research, University of the Philippines. The book printed in 1972.

c.         Dictatorship and Revolution Roots of People Power, By: Aurora Javate - de Dios, Published by Conspectus, The book printed in 1988.

d.                  Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage, By: Jose Lacaba, Printed by Salinlahi Publishing House, The book printed in 1982.

e.                   Crisis in the Philippines - An Analysis of the Marcos Era and Beyond, By: John Bresnan, Printed by: Princeton University Press, The book printed in 1986.

f.                    Waltzing with a Dictator, By: Raymond Bonner, Printed by: Times Books, The book printed in 1987.

g.                   The Marcos Regime -Rage of a Nation, By: Filemon Rodriguez, Printed by: Vantage Press, The book printed in 1985.

h.                   Labor Economics and Labor Legislations, By: Gregorio Miranda, Printed by: Interline Printing Company, The book printed in 1979.

 

Procedure in Data Gathering:

 

            All the data in this research came from the different libraries specifically from the Philippine Women's University - Quezon City Library, Philippine Women's University - Taft - Manila Library, The National Statistics Office Library (Sta. Mesa), Department of Labor and Employment Library (Intramurus, Manila), Philippine Senate Library (Pasay City). All the research materials were taken from theses sources one at a time.

 

 

Data Analysis:

 

            The focus of this study in regard to the Labor sector in the Philippines during the Pre-Martial law and Martial Law period, is the case how President Marcos politically Maneuvered the labor sector using the legitimate means of the Martial Law and the implementation of the projects under the flagship New Society. If there were any relevant change in the employment rate, what were they?  As guided by the theory, this study sifts out the strategies of Marcos to pacify the demands of the labor sector from the historical data presented.

 

 

 

 

Chapter IV

FINDINGS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA

 

The Labor force

            The labor force of a country comprises al individuals between ages fifteen and sixty-five who are capable of productive endeavors. Thus, broadly described, it includes both the employed and the unemployed. The employed are those who are presently working for wage or profit while the unemployed are those who for certain circumstances are temporarily out of work.

           

From another aspect, the labor force may be viewed either as actual or potential. The labor force represents the total number of people - that factor of production known in economics as labor. On the other hand, those who are not actually engaged in gainful occupation but who could at any time help swell the rank and number of those actually employed may be considered as forming part of the potential labor force.

 

            Generally speaking, members of the labor force find employment in the government, trade, business, industries, and military service just as some of them are self-employed. As products or material goods could be described as representing the ingenuity, industry and resourcefulness of a people, so could it be said in like manner that in any country like the Philippines, the labor force is doubtless a conglomeration of various talents and skills acquired in various occupations and professions. Perhaps, it need not be added that the more varied and versatile are such talents and skills, the better will it be not only for the individual worker but equally so for the economic society as a whole. (Miranda,1979: 26)

 

 

Obstacles to Higher Productivity

 

According to Gregorio S. Miranda (1979) to a research submitted to the Technical Panel on Labor Management Cooperation on Productivity; among the many obstacles to higher productivity which may be resolved or minimized by closer labor-management cooperation are the following:

 

1.                  Failure of management to discover and adopt new ways of handling materials, laying out plans, using scientific research and increasing labor efficiency;

 

2.                  In trying to solve their dispute labor and management lay emphasis more on their particular rights and prerogatives than on the use of problem-solving approach;

3.                  Lack of two-way communication system between labor and management which will foster mutual consultation on problems of production;

 

4.                  Prosperity of labor strikes and of management to close his shop in setting their disputes, rather than the use of skillful efforts to reach an intelligent compromise;

 

5.                  Fear of the workers productivity schemes are nothing but measures to make him work harder and increase his effort without a commensurate share in the products of increased productivity. Labor further fears that any technological change will mean his replacement by machines;

 

6.                  Labor deplores that problems of wage structures are decided unilaterally by management alone. Settlement of problems of this nature largely on factual basis, determined by joint union-management consideration and research would reduce collective bargaining disputes and contribute to higher productivity. The determination of standards of performance for wages is a matter of cooperative effort between management and labor.

 

 

Factors Which Contribute to Higher Productivity

 

            It is scarcely necessary to stress the observation that the greatness of a nation lies in the number of people but in their talents and skills. For if a nation must achieve economic and social progress, it must meet the progressive requirements of its economy. The urgency of developing and upgrading the skills of our labor force brings into sharp focus among others the importance of education. (Miranda, 1979: 39)

 

 

Need for Organization

 

            Wage earners, realizing they were not servants but essential contributors to the process of production, learned that by uniting and acting as a cohesive group they could make a forceful demonstration of the value of their services and thereby be able to secure more equitable terms of work. Their very act of organization was first held to be a conspiracy against the employer's property and a violation of his rights. Gradually in, time, however, the wage earners secured social sanction for the right to organize. Then the dispute shifted to denial of opportunity to do the things necessary to make the union effective. (Miranda, 1979: 47)

 

 

Policy of the State on Labor

 

            According to the 1973 Philippine Constitution, It is the policy of the State:

 

1.                  To promote free collective bargaining, including voluntary arbitration, as a mode of settling labor disputes;

 

2.                  To promote free trade unionism as an agent of democracy, social justice and development;

 

3.                  To rationalize and restructure the labor movement in order to eradicate inter-union and ultra-union conflicts;

 

4.                  To protect the enlightenment of workers concerning their rights and obligations as union members and as employees;

 

5.                  To provide as adequate administrative machinery for the expeditious settlement of labor disputes; and

 

6.                  To ensure a stable, but dynamic and just industrial peace, of tenure, and just humane conditions of work.

 

 

The Unionism in the Philippines (Pre-Martial Law)

 

            Unionism, although a relatively new movement in the Philippines, is growing. The number of unions registered has doubled during the last four years from 2,200 in 1967 to 4,600 this year (1971). About 35 per cent of the new of the new unions was organized in the agricultural sector, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao. About 15 per cent were organized in new areas: construction, industry, educational institutions, the jeepney industry nurses and doctors, U.S. military bases in the Philippines and other. The rest from the manufacturing sector, waterfront workers, the mining industry and other already unionized sectors. The latest areas to be opened to unionism are educational institutions, both private and public.

 

            Although Philippines organized labor is still divided into several functions, they have been acting as one with the support of the Department of Labor in dealing with common problems. For instance, all functions in the labor movement joined forces in the fight for the increase of the minimum wage, from P6.00 to P8.00 industry and from P4.00 to P4.75 in agriculture. They also fought against anti-labor bills introduced in Congress, among them, one seeking to restore compulsory arbitration in place of the present free collective bargaining systems especially in government corporations and public utilities.

 

            The latest development in the labor movement is the direct participation of student activists of the right and the left in union activities. The unions that these two wings have organized are militant and have declared a number of strikes in various establishments during the period. Militant priests and nuns have joined the picket lines during strikes.

 

            The government encourages and protects unionism as an agent of democratization in Philippine society. Until now, however, most of the unions are led by the life time presidents and the union masses hardly participate in the union decision-making process. Union decisions are made most often by union presidents or union lawyers. Even collective bargaining in the Philippines usually consists of a dialogue between the management and union lawyers while the general union membership is being kept largely ignorant of what is happening inside the unions and its relations to the management. (Philippine Year Book, 1971: p.467)

 

 

Causes of Labor Disputes (Pre-Martial Law)

 

Current labor disputes arise mainly from the deadlock in negotiations arising from the renewal of collective bargaining agreements that expire during the year. Inter-union or ultra-union rivalries often give rise to refusal to bargain or to recognize any of the contending unions. (Philippine Year Book, 1971: p.467)

 

 

National Policy on Labor (1975)

 

            The administration and enforcement of national policy on Labor management relations in the Philippines are vested in the Department of Labor and the Court of Industrial Relations. Prior to Proclamation No. 1081, on September 21, 1972, conciliation and registration functions were assigned to the Bureau of Labor Relations, Department of Labor and the Court of Industrial Relations has two broad functions pertinent to collective bargaining, namely, the adjudication of unfair labor practices and the determination of the issue of employee representation in certification cases.

 

Pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 and General Orders Nos. 1 and 5 dated September 22, 1972 and by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 21 dated October 14, 1972 he National Labor Relations Commission was created and given original and exclusive jurisdiction over the following:

 

1.      All matters involving employer-employee relations including all disputes and grievances which may otherwise lead to strikes and lockouts under Republic Act No. 875.

 

2.      All strikes overtaken by Proclamation No. 1081.

 

3.      All pending cases in the Bureau of Labor Relations.

 

4.      All dismissals, terminations and shutdowns after Proclamation 1081 but prior to Presidential Decree No. 21.

 

5.      All applications for clearance to shutdowns, dismiss or layoff under Presidential Decree No. 21.

 

In line with General Order No. 5, all inhabitants of the Philippines are prohibited from engaging in picketing or strikes in certain vital industries and all lockouts are deemed illegal. However, In December 1975 Presidential Decree 823 was amended allowing strikes and lockouts in establishment not covered by General Order No. 5 only on grounds of unresolved economic issues in collective bargaining. (1975-Year Book of Labor Statistics, 1975: p. 310)

 

Union Leaders Affirms Legal Suppression (Issuance of General Order No. 5)

 

            Some leaders of the various labor federations and union locals would admit privately the necessity of declaring a strike as a tool to attain the economic demands of their unions. However, General Order No. 5 dated September 22, 1972, issued pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 and prohibiting all inhabitants of the Philippines from engaging in certain vital industries and other forms of group actions did not in a way materially affect union organization. (1975-Year Book of Labor Statistics, 1975: p. 311)

 

Legal Actions Under the New Society

 

            Under the principle of "equal pay for work of equal value," labor policy seeks to ascertain the possibility of effecting upward adjustments in salary and wage structure in the government service consistent with the progressive demands of decent living.

 

            Additional protections to labor were instituted under the New Society through Presidential Decrees. These are as follows:

 

1.      Presidential Decree No. 21 established the National Labor Relations commission to handle all labor disputes and to settle them within 37 working days. The decree prohibits shutdown, termination and dismissal without clearance from the Labor Secretary.

 

2.      Presidential Decree No. 99 fixed the minimum compensation of domestic helpers at P60 monthly for those in greater Manila, P45 for those in other chartered cities and first class municipalities, and P30 for those in other parts of the country.

 

3.      Presidential Decree No. 143 repealed the Blue Sunday Law but prescribe for workers a weekly rest day, which may or may not be Sunday, eliminating inconvenience to business and the buying public at the same time generating employment opportunities.

 

4.      Presidential Decree No. 148 amended the Women and Child Labor Law. It fixed the minimum employable age 14, introduced family planning into the labor-management world, provided for a maternity leave of two weeks before and four weeks after delivery at 100 percent of basic pay up to exploit the worker.

 

 

5.      Presidential Decree No. 173 extended the apprenticeship system all over the country to include a wider range of trades and protects workers through the formulation of apprenticeship standards. The apprenticeship is now used to develop important skills, not as an excuse to exploit the worker. . (Philippine Year Book 1975, 1975: p. 731)

 

The well being of the workers is further enhanced by the approval of the labor Code by Presidential Decree No. 442 on May 1, 1974 with the implementation of the recommendations of the Comprehensive Employment Strategy of the International Labor Organization, prescribing solutions to the employment and underemployment problems (based on the Ranis Report of Yale University's Economic Growth Center).

                       

 

Labor Code of the Philippines (1974)

 

 

            The revisions and updating of the labor law as have now been accomplished in the form of the Labor Code of the Philippines, which has been signed into law by the President if the Philippines last May 1, 1974. The code introduces fundamental reforms seeking to re-orient labor law towards the promotion of development, employment, enforceability and industrial peace based on justice. Listed below are some of the reforms made:

 

1)                  Anti-graft precautions;

 

2)                  Establishment of the National Labor Relations. Commission in place o f the court of Industrial Relations. Such commission is attached to the Department of Labor, rather than to judiciary, to make possible the speedy settlement of labor disputes unimpeded by legal and judicial technicalities, and to give the President of the Philippines a free hand in the direction and control of the labor relations machinery under the New Society.

 

3)                  Abolishment of the present workmen's compensation system, integrating its benefits into the social security system to be administered by the SSS for private sector and by the GSIS for the Public sector;

 

4)                  Establishment of an Overseas Employment Development Board and a National Seamen Board which undertake the systemic employment of Filipinos overseas.

 

5)                  Implementation of the provision of the New Constitution by placing employees of government-owned and controlled corporations under Civil Service Commission and mandating the National Assembly to standardize their salaries, thus, the terms and conditions of employment in government-owned and controlled corporations are henceforth fixed by law;

 

 

6)                  Restructuring and unification of the labor movement by region and by industry with the immediate goal of eliminating inter-union and intra-union rivalries making unionism an agent of development;

 

7)                  Indirectly incorporate by adoption Presidential Decree No. 27 which emancipate the tenant from bondage of the soil, thus, including within its purview the agrarian reforms;

 

8)                  Adoption and embodiment of Medicare for labor.

 

  Causes of Labor Disputes

 

            Current Labor disputed arises mainly from the deadlock in negotiations arising from the renewal of collective bargaining agreements that expire during the year. Inter-union or intra-union rivalries often give rise to refusal to bargain or to recognize any of the contending unions. The problem is aggravated by the failure of the Court of Industrial Relations to act expeditiously on petitions for certification of election or representation cases. Inter-union rivalries also result in dismissals under the union security clause providing for maintenance of membership.

 

            Other causes of labor disputes are unfair labor practice, including discrimination, harassment and coercion against employees on the part of management who until now is unable to accept unionism as a fact; external factor such as leadership struggle within the union or within the management; the traditional legalistic approach to unionism, on the other hand, and the activities approach to a free collective bargaining, on the other; and lastly, the floating rate, the new minimum wage law, and the rising prices of commodities. (Philippine Year Book 1975, p. 735: 1975)

 

 

Urban Workers Downward Trend

 

            If the regime did not benefit the rural areas, neither did it do much for the masses in the urban areas, Real wages of urban workers showed a monotonous downward trend as nominal increases in wages failed to keep up with the inflation (Figure 1.0). Manufacturing had long ceased to provide jobs at a rate sufficient to absorb the labor force. It catered to a narrow, protected domestic market, was dominated by monopolies and transnationals uninterested in innovation, and its structure was determined by the purchasing patterns of the elite. The share of manufacturing in value-added had stagnated to about one-fifth for sometime. Instead the excess labor was being absorbed in the informal services sector composed largely of peddlers, hawkers and food vendors where productivity and incomes were low. The rate of underemployment was high, and as the recession took hold, open unemployment inched up as well. (Javate - de Dios, 1988: p. 129)

 

 

Figure 1.0

 

INDEX OF REAL WAGE RATES


 

 

 

 

 

 


Social Labor Conditions and the Legal Strategy of Marcos to Manipulate the Condition

 

It was not simply slack employment that kept wages down, however, It was also oppressive labor laws that severely curtailed the workers right to organize and bargain for higher pay. Decrees and issuances such as Letter of Instruction 1458 prohibited strikes completely then so-called "vital and strategic" industries, virtually exhausting all sectors, and their contents could be redefined by Marcos. Disputes could be certified for "compulsory arbitration", an unwarranted intervention by the Government in the bargaining process that dismissed the efficacy of a strike threat. The Batasang Pambansa (Parliament) continued this trend of anti labor legislation. Such laws were in addition to the customary collision between owners of capital and the police  or military. Workers' peaceful pickets were broken up violently, labor leaders were harassed or hunted down as "subversives". Outstanding labor leaders, including the aging Felixberto Olalia, were arrested on trumped up charges in 1982 and detained. Olalia was so weakened by his detention that he subsequently died while under house arrest. (Javate - de Dios, 1988: p. 130)

 

Decline of Marcos Self Sponsored Accommodation to Labor Leaders

 

            Despite such obstacles, labor was able to break through the blockade imposed by the dictatorship. Even before the lifting of martial law rule, the first significant strike occurred at the La Tondena factory in 1975. In 1979 workers struck at the Ford body stamping plant in Bataan Export Processing Zone. As conditions worsened with the recession, workers actions became more frequent. The reassertion of workers rights was associated with the loss if prestige and credibility of the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) which was established under the sponsorship of the regime as a form of accommodations with some labor leaders in exchange for supporting the dictatorship. The timorous trade unionism and political conservatism of the TUCP at the time were perceived by many unions as unresponsive to the real conditions. Many of these independent unions and federations, which had been among the first to defy the dictatorship's strike ban, banded together to form the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU - May first Movement) on May 1, 1980. The KMU would gain in influence and became a symbol of militant, uncompromising unionism. (Javate - de Dios, 1988: p. 130)

 

 

Dictatorship' s Legality

 

            To attract foreign capital, Marcos had tried to cow the working class. General Order No. 5, issued soon after the declaration of martial law, banned industrial strikes. The leaders of militant unions were subjected to incessant harassment. Ignacio Lacsina, for example, was released only on condition that he would retire from the trade union movement. The aging but dauntless Felixberto Olalia was in and out prison. Crispin Beltran was forced to go underground after escaping from a detention center and Alex Boncayao was slain, supposedly in an armed encounter. (Javate - de Dios, 1988: p. 137)

 

 

Dictatorship's Strategy to Attract Support From the Labor Sector.

 

            While persecuting the militants, the Marcos government also nurtured a breed of class collaborationist and mercenary labor leaders and, in the guise of promoting labor unity, encouraged the fusion of right-wing labor federations into a center known as the Trade union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP). (Javate - de Dios, 1988: p. 237)

 

 

The Illusion of Freedom to Strike

 

            The ban (General Order No. 5) was later modified to allow strikes in "non-vital industries". Since nearly 95 percent of industries were classified as "vital" the strikes ban, for all practical purposes, remained in force. Marcos also limited the number of "strikeable issues" and prescribed lenghty "notice and cooling-off periods" before the workers could strike. A two-thirds vote of all workers in a company was required before any strike could be called. The minister of Labor was granted the absolute power to stop a strike by compulsory arbitration.

 

            Raw materials and finished products could be moved in and out of strike-bound companies, while management could dismiss workers defying a "return to work order" issued by the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MOLE). The signatures of 30 percent of workers in a company were required to call for certification elections. Employees occupying positions at the supervisory and managerial levels were prohibited from joining unions and management often "kicked upstairs" the most effective union organizers. Employees of government-owned corporations were likewise forbidden from unionizing. (Javate - de Dios, 1988: p. 237)

 

 

Rise of TUCP

 

            Martial Law nipped this in  1972 (liberal trend of political unionism), paving the way for the revival of economic unionism and the rise of the government-recognized Trade Union Congress of the Philippines. (Ofreneo, 1995: 13)

           

Conclusion of FM martial law powers

 

            As is well known, Marcos developed an elaborate control system to tame the trade-union movement in the 1970's. Using his martial-law powers, Marcos banned strikes and all forms of mass action. Through wage decrees, labor injunctions, controls over the trade union movement. (Ofreneo, 1995: 13-14)

 

Rise of Labor Unionism Before the Dawn of Martial Law

 

            In 1980, the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), consisting of the more radical unions and federations, was established, signaling an open challenge to the hegemony of the pro-government TUCP in the labor movement. The KNU even succeeded in organizing area alliances of workers involving unions belonging to non-KMU federations. (Ofreneo, 1995: 14)

 

 

 

Bonner

 

Murphy's report from a Manila painted a picture of the Marcos regime that wasn't justifies by the reality. He told Washington that land reform was progressing when in fact, it was an abysmal failure. He wrote that the gap between the rich and poor was narrowing; the CIA station chief at the same time said, "The gap between the rich and the poor is greater than ever before." Murphy's tendency to see the glass half full while his staff was seeing it half empty, as one aide put it, was a reflection of his mission. (Bonner, 1987: p. 277)

 

            …during a meeting with about a dozen businessman Murphy kept asking, "isn't martial law good for business? Doesn't it produce stability?" The answers Philippine businessmen had long been giving were yes. Now, however, they were beginning to question the pact they had made with Marcos, an informal one, the effect of which was that in exchange for Marcos, an info maintaining peace and order, the businessmen surrender their constitutional rights. They had discovered they also lost their economic right to Imelda Marcos and the cronies. But though many Philippine businessmen were growing increasingly restive with martial law, American businessmen were still bullish on Marcos. At one of the regular monthly meetings of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, in late 1977, chairman William Dunning, head of Caltex Philippines, explained to an American embassy officer how the businessmen were working with Imelda Marcos ti help Marcos government improve its image abroad. The board stressed that they eschewed politics and human rights. They acknowledged that they were being criticized in the United States for "being in the pocket" of the Philippine government, they said they acted that way voluntarily because of the benefits arising to business from the effects of martial law. The Philippines, they thought, had better investment climate than Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. By "better investment climate" they meant, of course, lower wages for workers, restrictions on strikes and generous tax breaks. (Bonner, 1987: p. 277)

 

            Marcos was "very sensitive to the needs and position the foreign investor," George F. Suter Jr., president of Pfizer, Inc., told Business Week. The Embassy described Suter as "a known apologist for the martial law regime." What particularly pleased the businessmen was the cost of labor. The minimum daily wage for factory workers, including cost of living allowances, was about $3 a day. That wasn't enough to put rice on the table-a struggling family of six would spend about $4 s day for food, excluding rice-or to keep children in shoes and in school. But Marcos had seen to it that Philippine labor was, by the end of the 1970's, among the cheapest in the world. His minister of finance boasted that the "effective cost of labor" in the Philippines was 47 cents an hour, compared with 85 cents in Taiwan and 95 cents in Singapore. (Bonner, 1987: p. 278)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Labor Strikes by Year,

Philippines: 1968 - 1980


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Labor Strikes/Lockout, Notice of strike, Number of Workers Involve by Year,

Philippines: 1968 - 1980

 

 

Year

Strikes/Lockout Notices Filed

With Notice

Without Notice

Workers Involved

Pre -Martial Law

Period

 

 

 

 

Martial Law

Period

 
1968

569

A

A

46,445

1969

621

A

A

62,803

1970

819

A

A

36,852

1971

979

A

A

62,138

1972(Jan-Sept)

1,043

A

A

33,396

1973-1974

0

0

0

0

1975(Dec)

13

1

4

31,040

1976

305

40

46

1,713,496

1977

146

23

10

273,584

1978

295

24

29

1,249,620

1979

316

24

24

1,391,048

1980

362

31

31

842,356

 

           

Source: Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics,

Department of Labor and Employment

 

A - no data available

Note: Data for 1975-1976 exclude reports from DOLE regional offices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of Labor Unions Existing by Year,


Philippines: 1972 - 1980

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Number of Labor Unions Existing, Registered and Cancelled by Year,

Philippines: 1968 - 1980

 

 

Year

Total Existing Unions

Registered Unions

Cancelled Unions

Pre -Martial Law

Period

 

 

 

 

 

Martial Law

Period

 
1968

A

398

51

1969

A

450

55

1970

A

528

108

1971

A

669

131

1972

6,786

591

653

1973

7,015

340

111

1974

7,000

85

100

1975

6,928

86

258

1976

6,894

165

199

1977

1,417

163

5,640

1978

1,414

213

216

1979

1,576

240

78

1980

1,747

181

10

 

a - no data available

 

Source:

 

1975 Yearbook of Labor Statistics

 

                    and

 

1981 Yearbook of Labor Statistics

 

Bureau of Labor Relations,

Department of Labor and Employment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Household Population by Employment Status by Year,

Philippines: 1968 - 1980

(Thousands)

 

 

Year

Household Population

Total in the labor force

Employed

Unemployed

Not in the labor force

Pre -Martial Law

Period

 

 

 

 

Martial Law

Period

 
1968

22,108

13,534

12,481

1,053

8,574

1969

23,168

12,046

11,235

812

11,121

1970

25,123

12,300

11,358

942

B

1971

25,513

13,220

12,584

636

12,293

1972

26,719

14,200

13,217

983

12,519

1973

28,169

13,886

13,262

624

14,283

1974

28,823

14,244

13,666

578

14,579

1975

29,751

15,160

14,517

643

14,591

1976

24,837

15,018

14,238

780

9,819

1977

25,787

15,002

14,334

668

10,785

1978

26,882

16,792

16,101

691

10,090

1979

28,067

17,233

16,544

689

10,834

1980

28,967

17,308

16,434

874

11,659

 

B - no data available

 

Source:

 

Philippine Yearbook 1989: p. 671-672.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chapter V

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PROBLEM

OBJECTIVES

SCOPE

FRAMEWORK OF ANALYSIS

General Problem

1. What were the social and economic conditions of the labor sector in the Philippines during the pre-martial law and martial law period?

To determine the social economic conditions of the labor sector in the Philippines during the pre-martial law and martial law period.

What

 

The Labor Sector of the Philippines

Theoretical

Conceptual

Operational

Dependent Variable

 

Political Power

Input

 

 

Control over economy

Marcos Administration imposes policies and laws to legitimate the control over the economy

Specific Problem (1) What were the reasons for the changes of the employment rate in relation to political condition before and during the martial law period?

 

Specific objective

(1) To outline the significant reasons for the changes of the employment rate in relation to political condition before and during the martial law period.

 

Who

 

Various personalities involved in the Marcos Administration in implementation of the Martial Law and the New Society and its effects in the labor sector

Process

 

Control over economy

Process

 

Economic Moderni-zation

 

 

New Society programs and in aid of Martial Law was proclaimed to carry the program of social development for modernization and economic recovery/stability.

(2) What where the legal strategies pursued by Marcos regime to pacify the labor sector and create a peaceful economic climate?

(2) To outline the legal strategies pursued by Marcos regime to pacify the labor sector and create a peaceful economic climate.

When

 

1.) 1968-1973 Pre – Martial Law period

 

2.) 1974-1980 Martial Law Period

Independent Variable

 

Progress

Output

 

 

Economic Develop-ment

 

 

 

(1)Marcos claims that his flagship program of New Society was very successful.

 

(2)Marcos remains in power due to the legitimacy of Martial Law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

METHOD

FINDINGS

CONCLUSIONS

 

 

 

 

Historical

General Findings

Pre-Martial Law Period - Labor disputes arise commonly from the deadlock in negotiations arising from the renewal of collective bargaining agreement. Disputes primarily emanate due to lack of labor policies, guidelines and laws.

 

Martial Law Period - The well being of the workers has been enhanced by the approval of the Labor Code of the Philippines (1974). Martial Law vested extra legislative powers to Marcos paved way to oppress labor rights through the issuance of decrees and legal actions in pursuit of Marcos to attract foreign capital and investment even in the existence of the Labor Code. The Labor Code that was approved and adopted proved to be ineffective to the call of workers' needs and rights.

General Conclusion

Pre-Martial Law Period - Workers are less organized due to lack of labor comprehensive policies, guidelines and laws to protect and serve the workers welfare.

 

 

 

Martial Law Period - The Labor Code (1974) although answered the workers call to have a legal protection of their needs and welfare had proved ineffective because of Marcos oppressive legislation and executions of capitalist/investors favored  decrees.

 

 

 

Historical

Specific Findings

(1) The employment rate based on the statistics and materials gathered do not show significant change in the rate of employment, considering the factors such as: increase in population, inflation, rate of employed and unemployed.

 

      

Specific Conclusion

(1) The finding confers an insignificant shift in the employment rate during the pre-martial law and martial law period, however the research manifested a great decline in the real wage rates.

 

 

 

 

Historical

(2) (a) Marcos declared martial law to hold more control over labor policies, decrees and laws

    

     (b) Through the programs of the New Society and Martial law powers Marcos issued:

 

         (b.1.) General Order No. 5 banned industrial strikes

         (b.2.) Presidential Decree No. 21 established the National Labor Relations commission to handle all labor disputes       

         (b.3.) Presidential Decree No. 99 fixed the minimum compensation of domestic helpers at P60 monthly     

        (b.4.) Presidential Decree No. 143 repealed the Blue Sunday Law but prescribe for workers a weekly rest day      

        (b.5.) Presidential Decree No. 148 amended the Women and Child Labor Law     

        (b.6.) Letter of Instruction 1458 prohibited strikes completely then so-called "vital and strategic" industries

(2) Through a series of decrees and other legal issuance in regard to the labor sector, Marcos was able to achieve his goal of attracting foreign capitals and investors because of:

 

a.        low labor wage  and labor cost

 

b.        more peaceful business climate due to the prohibition of labor strikes and mass organization

 

c.        political influence and manipulations over unions in aid of TUCP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

 

 

 

            A labor market that operates effectively will perhaps solve the problem of enforceability of labor standards and implementation of labor laws and policies. Presently, basic information on the structure and operations of Philippine labor markets is lacking. The labor Code provisions on Union rights to strike and organize may, therefore, need to be strengthened also. A systematic labor rights and Labor Union organization should be widely protected by the state being the backbone of the economy.

 

            The problem of political manipulation towards the labor sector may be traced to the lack of labor union's response to the legal oppressive actions of Marcos. The right to organize and strike is therefore necessary and dictatorial rule to control the economy is therefore non-prolific to the labor sector.

 

            Finally, labor standards become somehow useless if the right to strike-the greatest and only weapon of workers against exploitative practices of employers-is taken away from them. This right is an integral part of a comprehensive policy package for protecting the workers' interest and welfare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Labor Sector - Labor Sector Could be defined as the sector which in regard to the interest of the workers. In this research, labor sector is defined as the sector pertaining to the workers or employees who works for a wage,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-Martial Law  - before (in time, place, order, degree, or importance)

 

 

Martial Law - Martial Law is defined by Encarta Encyclopedia 1999 as the:  military government, involving the suspension of ordinary law. Martial Law, government by military authorities. Martial law derives its justification from the need, when civil authority is inadequate, to use military force to suppress insurrection, riot, or disorder, or to deal with public calamity. Inasmuch as martial law is called forth by necessity, the extent and degree to which it may be employed and may supersede civil authority are also measured by necessity.

 In this research Martial Law is defined as the period and political condition where Ferdinand E. Marcos

Proclaimed in September 21, 1973 in the Philippines.

 

New Society - The New Society is the self-concept ideology of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos applied during his administration in relation to the aim of national modernization.

 

 

Political condition - As Encarta Encyclopedia 1999 defines condition:  (in pl.) circumstances, esp. those affecting the functioning or existence of something (working conditions are good).

 

 

Maneuver - Encarta Encyclopedia 1999 defines maneuver as: a planned and controlled movement or series of moves. A an often deceptive planned or controlled action designed to gain an objective. b a skilful plan. In this research maneuver is defined as the series of controlled movement by former President Marcos particularly towards the labor sector.

 

 

 

Modernization -Encarta Encyclopedia define modernization as:. make modern; adapt to modern needs or adopt modern ways or views. In this research modernization is defined as the plot of Former President Marcos to modernize the nations through the aid of the New Society ideology.

 

Unionism (also Brit. trades union)

an organized association of workers in a trade, group of trades, or a profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests.