Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Maka-Manggagawa Toots Ople's Agenda as Senate Candidate

I don't usually endorse or write about politics, but I am doing so now because I like what Susan Ople stands for - "Maka-Manggagawa". The daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary and Senator Blas F. Ople was the former labor undersecretary during the time of Labor Secretary Patricio Sto. Tomas. "Toots" Ople used to work as presidential speechwriter and eventually resigned to oversee the Blas F. Ople Policy Center and Training Institute which is a non-government organization which helps distressed OFWs.

Some other credentials of Susan "Toots" Ople are:

*a Master's Degree in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University where she was given the Josephine Vernon Award for excellence

*one of the founders of the Tulay Program which is a partnership among Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration (OWWA), Microsoft and the Blas F. Ople Policy Center; this program gives free computer classes to OFWs and their dependents

Susan Ople has announced her senatorial bid last November 12, 2009, and I have personally met her and heard about her advocacy which is all for the benefit of the labor force. In an interview with her among bloggers, I heard first hand how radical the principles she stands for are. Her standing up for the labor force would mean going against many powerful and influential business men but I have felt her very down-to-earth attitude and sincere desire to make a difference for the Filipino working class.

Photo with senatorial candidate Susan "Toots" Ople

Her agenda are as follows:

1. A strategic long-term employment plan to address the classic mismatch between available jobs and available skills.

2. Structural reforms within OWWA, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) and the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). The reforms are all to provide better service for the people concerned - OFWs, job seekers of both local and international jobs and the existing labor force.

3. Fight against the labor-only contracting which is a loop hole used by employers to abuse employees. (One of the things I like best because it concerns a majority of the Filipino people's concerns.

4. Aspiring to lessen the number of women and men to go and work abroad by providing better opportunities locally.

5. The strengthening of trade unions.

I got this information from the speech that Susan "Toots" Ople gave when she announced her intention to run as senator. Reading her speech gave me goosebumps. I support her agenda and am even willing to promote her agenda because it is what I, myself, have been looking forward to be addressed in our country. I pray that she would be elected as a Senator.