We Filipino workers are angry that the United Nations has chosen Labor Sec. Rosalinda Baldoz to be a commissioner of the UN High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth. We are revolted that Baldoz had the gall to accept the selection.
The UN body is mandated to uphold decent work, universal health coverage, and inclusive growth. Baldoz, however, is known for promoting poor-quality employment, state abandonment and corporatization of health services, and jobless growth for the majority of Filipinos.
By selecting Baldoz for the high-level commission post, the UN is making the statement that it champions big capitalists’ access to cheap and repressed labor, including health professionals, from the Third World. It is making the statement that it wants to replicate the Philippine government’s Labor Export Policy in relation to health professionals from underdeveloped countries.
Baldoz’ selection discredits the newly-formed UN High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth. Workers and Filipinos have sometimes looked to UN high-level commissions to help us in our struggles.
With the appointment of Baldoz to the said UN body, however, we already know what to expect: further denial of health services to workers and peoples of underdeveloped countries, intensified exodus of Third World health professionals to advanced capitalist countries, and poorer working conditions for health professionals.
Under Baldoz, wages in the Philippines were further pressed down through various attacks on the minimum wage. Contractualization further spread and many workers trying to form unions were laid off from work. Many workers have died because of the government’s collusion with capitalists violating workplace safety and health standards.
The government which she works for is known for its drive to privatize government hospitals, for meager subsidies to health services, and for the deterioration of health services in general.
There has been no inclusive growth in the Philippines. The number of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos are at their historic high. Landlessness continues to spread in the countryside.
Reference: Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597