Around 25,000 women around the country and abroad have joined the march during the International Women’s Day celebration on Sunday.
According to a Facebook post by women’s group GABRIELA, in Manila alone, some 10,000 women joined rallies in the city, particularly in Mendiola and Liwasang Bonifacio.
An estimated 15,000 other women in other parts of the country, in the provinces of Rizal, Bicol, and in Bacolod City, Iloilo City, Roxas City, Davao City, General Santos City, as well as in other GABRIELA chapters in Hong Kong, the United States and Australia, also joined in the march.
On the other hand, Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro joined the march with various sectors and organizations to unite and fight for land, job security, just wages, human rights and against the “tyrannical rule of the Duterte administration.”
“On international day of Women, we celebrate the women who continue to struggle for equality and fight for their rights despite the continuing discrimination and oppression of the Duterte administration,” Castro said.
“We celebrate the women who strive for change for the good of every woman and man in our society,” Castro said.
Castro said they continue to call for a substantial salary increase for all public school teachers where eighty percent are women.
Salaries of teachers still cannot cope with the rising prices of basic goods to provide for their families because the measly increase this administration provided is not enough.
On top of that, teaching materials in schools have not been sufficient, forcing teachers to shell out from their own pockets to give their students quality education.
“Above it all, teachers have been subjected to profiling and terrorist-tagging by the Philippine National Police (PNP). We march today with the different sectors of society to demand to the Duterte administration the resounding call for salary increase and to end the profiling and terrorist tagging of our teachers,” Castro added.
“Pagkatapos ng barat na umento sa sahod na binigay ng administrasyong Duterte, kasama nating ipinapanawagan ang pagtaas ng salary grade ng mga guro tungo Salary Grade 15 at isusulong maisabatas ang House Bill 5990,” Castro said.
Castro said women from different sectors have been targeted by the Duterte administration with Executive Order 70 or the Whole-of-Nation approach which built the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC) and tags activists, human rights defenders, teachers, peasants, workers and students as terrorist and is responsible for many cases of harassment, profiling and trumped up charges.
Teachers are not spared from the harassment by the government. Women teacher leaders of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) from different regions are victims of trumped up charges, profiling and harassment for simply organizing their fellow teachers and fighting for their rights and welfare, Castro said.
“The Duterte administration also continues to violate the rights of every working woman for its union busting in the public and private sector. We will continue to fight for the rights of every woman and man whose rights have been trampled by the Duterte administration’s tyrannical rule and fight the anti-people policies it continues to push like the terror bill in the guise of the Human Security Act,” said Castro.
“We join all the women who would rise, resist and unite against the tyrannical rule of President Duterte,” Castro said.
“We will continue to rise with the Filipino people, resist the anti-people and fascist policies of the Duterte administration and unite against the macho fascist and the number 1 enemy of the Filipino people,” Castro said./Stacy Ang