It’s difficult to work in the Philippines.
And if heartbreaking viral stories like this overworked Burger Machine vendor isn’t enough proof for you, here’s one from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).
In their latest Global Rights Index released Wednesday, it said that the Philippines ranks as one of the top 10 worst countries out of 142 for workers this year.
The report did not specify where in the top 10 the Philippines placed but other countries on the list are Algeria, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
The ITUC Global Rights Index grades countries on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 having “sporadic violations of rights” and 5 having “no guarantee of rights due to the breakdown of the law.”
Guess what the Philippines got? A flat rating of 5.
Both the Middle East and North Africa regions had average scores of 4.55. The Asia-Pacific region, which includes the Philippines, came next with a score of 3.95, followed by Africa at 3.91, and the Americas at 3.44. Europe had the least violations, with an average regional score of 2.48.
According to the ITUC, the main issues workers in the Philippines face are “intimidation and dismissals, violence, [and] repressive laws.”
Issues common in countries part of the top 10 include discrimination, mass arrests, state repression, and arrest of union leaders.
The 2018 index of the ITUC ranked 142 countries against 97 internationally recognized indicators to assess where workers’ rights are best protected in law and in practice.
In the report, the ITUC quoted a worker from the Philippines identified only as Melvin who shared a common concern among Filipino workers: “From the moment you punch in, the company owns you. By keeping us on month by month contracts, we’re easier to replace if we can’t work overtime.”
It also cited the arrest of George San Mateo, the leader of the PISTON transport workers’ union, who was arrested in December when he protested the controversial jeepney phaseout.
Today, one of the most pressing labor-related issues the country is dealing with is the practice of hiring fixed-contract employees, also known locally as “endo.”
Duterte has already released an executive order banning endo but lawmakers have called it “useless” and “nothing new.”
This isn’t the first time the Philippines landed in the top 10 list. Last year, it was also among the top ten worst countries for workers in the same study.