Filipino trade unionists call for pre-State of the Nation Address action

2010 protest in the Philippines

Independent labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) is calling on Filipinos to reveal the true state of their country through a nationwide protest next month. The action would take place one week before President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.

Citing increases in unemployment and in the cost of basic living expenses through oil, water, and power price hikes, KMU notes that the majority of the Filipino people have been facing worsening conditions of hunger and poverty in recent years.  According to a recent KMU release, Aquino is imposing the price increases in an effort “to please big capitalists” (“KMU calls for nationwide pre-SONA protest vs. rising prices,” Kilusang Mayo Uno, 18 June 2013).

KMU chairperson Elmer “Bong” Labog commented,

Aquino’s boasts about a growing economy are belied by the worsening of the suffering being experienced by Filipinos, especially the poor. A protest before his SONA boast-fest would highlight this fact.

With rising post-secondary tuition fees and Social Security System premiums, youth groups and workers have additional reasons to speak out in July.

The constitutionally mandated State of the Nation Address is delivered every July by the Philippines’ president to the country’s congress.

“[T]he protest, not the chief executive’s speech, will show the real situation of the Filipino people,” said KMU.

Photo Credit: Kyle Hamilton


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The Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (OCHRP) is an activist human rights network of women, workers, church people, students and migrant Filipinos that promotes awareness of human rights issues concerning the Philippines and the situations of overseas workers from the Philippines in Canada.

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