A Word That Means Forest And Log In Different Languages 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 the Spanish regime, all Filipino males between the ages of 18 and 60 were required to provide free labor called polo to the government. This work was 40 days a year, in 1884 it was reduced to 15 days. This took many forms, such as building roads and bridges, constructing public buildings and churches, cutting down trees in the forest, working in shipyards, and serving in the Spanish army. expeditions. The one who involved in forced labor was called polista.

Members of the principality (city aristocracy) were exempt from polo. Wealthy Filipinos paid a falla, or seven pesos, each year to be freed from forced labor. Local officials (former and current gobernadorcillos, cabezas de barangay, etc.) and school teachers were also exempted from polio by law for their service to the state.

Apparently, only poor Filipinos who had no social or political standing in society were forced into forced labor. This practice contributed greatly to the Filipinos’ widespread aversion to manual labor, which has recently been overcome by attractive wages abroad.

The conditions of forced labor were as follows: (1) it must be used only for necessary public works and buildings intended for the betterment of the community; (2) workers were to be paid full wages for their work; (3) the alcaldes mayor must take into account the physical condition of each worker, that is, he must not overwork the weak; (4) workers should not be sent to work in distant countries; (5) service must be timed so as not to interfere with the planting or harvest season.

All this was only good on paper; forced labor laws were often violated. Workers rarely received their wages. They were forced to work in remote areas and separated from their families. They were not given food as required by law; instead, they had to provide their own food. Moreover, they were shamefully overworked and thousands of Filipino workers died on the job as a result.

Respect for the Philippine colonial government

In order to get enough money to run the country and build churches, government buildings, roads and bridges, and improve transportation and communication, Filipinos were forced to pay a tribute called tributo to the colonial government. The Tributo was imposed as a sign of the loyalty of the Filipinos to the King of Spain. Those who paid tribute were persons over sixteen and under sixty. At the beginning, a tribute of eight reals was collected. In 1598 the tribute increased and a small portion of it, called the saint, went to the church. The king abolished it in 1884 due to widespread protests against the tax and abuses in its collection. Instead, a cedula personal, which is equivalent to the current residence certificate, was presented.

Aside from tribute, Filipinos paid other taxes. There were diezmos prediales, donativo de Zamboanga and vinta. The diezmos prediales was a tax consisting of a tenth of the produce of the land. The donativo de Zamboanga, introduced in 1635, was a tax specifically used for the conquest of Jolo. Vinta was a tax paid by the people living in the provinces along the coast of Western Luzon to protect the area against Muslim bandits that were prevalent at the time, as evidenced by the still-surviving stone towers (where bells were rung to alert Muslims to the region). the robbers came).

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