And What Do You Expect From A Sixteen-Year-Old Yo-Yo The Forced Labor and Tribute of the Filipinos During Spanish Period

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The Forced Labor and Tribute of the Filipinos During Spanish Period

During Spanish rule, all Filipino males between the ages of 18 and 60 were required to provide free labor to the government, known as polo. This labor was 40 days a year, which was reduced to 15 days in 1884. It took many forms, such as building roads and bridges, constructing public buildings and churches, felling timber in forests, working in shipyards, and serving on expeditions for the Spanish army. A person engaged in forced labor is called a polista.

Members of the principalia (town nobility) were exempt from playing polo. Wealthy Filipinos pay fara a year, totaling 7 pesos, in order to be free from forced labour. Local officials (former and current gobernadorcillos, cabezas de barangay, etc.) and teachers are also legally exempt from polio because of national service.

Apparently, only poor Filipinos who have no social or political status in the community are forced into forced labor. This practice has contributed greatly to a general Filipino aversion to manual labor, which was only recently overcome by attractive wages overseas.

Conditions for forced labor are: (1) It should only be used for necessary public works and constructions for the improvement of the community; (2) Workers should be fully paid for their work; (3) The mayor should take into account the physical condition of each laborer, namely The infirm should not be overworked; (4) Laborers should not be sent out to work; (5) Services should be provided on a regular basis so as not to interfere with the sowing or harvesting season.

However, all this is only good on paper. Forced labor laws are frequently violated. Labor rarely gets paid. They are forced to work in remote areas and are separated from their families. They were not given food as required by law; they had to provide it themselves. Moreover, they were shamefully overworked, resulting in the death of thousands of Filipino laborers on the construction site.

Philippines salutes colonial government

In order to get enough money to pay for the country’s administrative expenses and to build churches, government buildings, roads and bridges, and to improve transportation and communications, Filipinos were forced to pay tribute, called tributo, to the colonial government. Tributes were imposed as a sign of Filipino loyalty to the Spanish king. Those who pay tribute are all people over the age of sixteen and under the age of sixty. In the beginning, a tribute of eight reais was levied. In 1598 the tribute was increased, a small portion of which, known as the sanctorum, went to the church. The king abolished it in 1884 due to widespread opposition to tribute and the abuse of its collection. The cedula personal is introduced, which is equivalent to the current residence permit.

In addition to tribute, Filipinos also pay other taxes. There are diezmos prediales, donativo de Zamboanga and vinta. The diezmos prediales is a tax consisting of one-tenth of the land product. The donativo de Zamboanga was introduced in 1635 and was taxed specifically for the conquest of Jolo. The vinta was a tax paid by the people of the coastal provinces of West Luzon to defend the area from the Muslim pirates that were common at the time, which can still be seen in surviving stone towers (the pirates came).

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