August 12, 2011
Officially, special economic zones* were created as a way to provide jobs for Filipinos by using tax exemptions and other incentives to encourage foreign investors to invest in the Philippines. Unfortunately experience shows that foreign investors and the government are the only ones to benefit from these economic zones, not the workers.
This slideshow, "A trip around special economic zones," profiles the lives of several special economic zone workers and shows that for them the economic zones actually mean low salaries, poor working conditions, and "housing and sanitary conditions at best precarious." What's worse, workers injured on the job are often denied medical treatment because their employers fail to make contributions to social security. The slide show was produced by French photojournalist Philippe Revelli in collaboration with the Workers' Assistance Center (WAC) and Solidarity of Cavite Workers. MSN has a long history of collaboration with WAC. Learn more about WAC's work at: http://www.wacphilippines.com/
* Special economic zones are also referred to as Ecozones in the Philippines