Labor, industry join govt war vs. smuggling

Published by rudy Date posted on January 12, 2009

THE Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group and Federation of Philippine Industries will bond with 22 labor organizations in a precedent-setting move that sets aside political colors to support the government in its all-out war against rampant smuggling.

The anti-smuggling group head, Undersec­retary Antonio “Bebot” Villar Jr., disclosed Sunday that the labor organizations, including those tagged as left leaning, have commit­ted themselves to help government stamp out smuggling with the end view of cushioning the economy from the effects of global recession.

Villar said the labor groups include Kilusang Mayo Uno, National Federation of Labor Unions, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Free Trade Alliance, National Labor Union, National Union of Bank Employees, Federation of Filipino Workers, Partido Manggagawa and Philippine Employer-Labor Social Partners Inc. (PELSPI).

Villar, in a meeting with the labor groups under the umbrella organization PELSPI, gave credit to the importance of labor industry and their role in the development and progress of the economy.

He said: “Every country has smuggling problem; even the strongest nation of the world suffers such problem that they cannot simply get rid of. The PASG alone cannot eliminate the same, but at least we can somehow lessen the problem with the help of one another by working hand in hand to provide solutions.”

Villar stressed that workers their jobs and traders close shops owing to rampant smuggling. He cited the case of Indophil Textile Plant in Bulacan that laid off more than 1,000 employees, adding that of 10 textile corporations in the country, only two survived.

The PASG is also set to sign a memorandum of agreement with the PELSPI to further strengthen the working relation of the government and the labor sector in halting smuggling to the extent of putting behind bars government officials in unholy alliance with smugglers.

The other labor groups fighting with the government against smuggling in the country are The Union Network International, Liga Manggagawa, National Mining and Allied Workers Union, Unified Filipino Service Workers, National Confederation of Labor, Union Impresores de Filipinas, Phil. Social Service Labor Unions, UP-Solair, National Federation of Labor, Assn. of Genuine Labor Organization, Filipino Samahang Manggagawa, AIWA and Trade Union of the Philippines Allied Services. –William B. Depasupil, Reporter, Manila Times

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