Tuesday, September 28, 2004

NR0928:Oppose MTPDP 2004-2010

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin B. Beltran
News Release September 28, 2004
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, chief of staff
Email: paggawa@edsamail.com.ph, anakpawis2003@yahoo.com
Celphone number 09213907362
Visit geocities.com/ap_news

Rep. Beltran opposes Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP)
2004-2010 and Government plans to 100% open the local media industry to
foreign corporations


Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today slammed the thrust of the
government to aggressively pursue laws and policies that will attract foreign
investors, even at the expense of local industries and small businesses.
According to the draft of the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP)
2004-2010 released by the Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the
provisions in the constitution providing legal, administrative and
constitutional barriers to foreign investments will be removed.

"The 2004-2010 MTPDP is a blueprint for greater economic disaster. It will sink
the Philippines to even deeper poverty, destroy local industries and further
attack the wages, job security and benefits of the working people. Instead of
generating secure employment and ensuring that workers will receive living
wages, the MTPDP is directed towards assisting foreign corporations and their
partners in the big business groups in the country further drain the country's
financial and natural resources," he said. #

At the onset, Beltran said that the plans of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
administration to 100% open the country's media industry to foreign
investors. It has been reported that the government is pushing to open possibly
newpapers and radio and television networks to foreign ownership, as well as
further liberalize related industries such as telecommunication and information
and communication technology.

The Arroyo administration is pushing for the amendment of the
Build-Operate-Transfer and its implementing rules and regulations to erase the
requirement of 60% Filipino ownership for companies bidding for government
projects.

Under Article XVI, Sec 11 of the Charter, "the ownership and management of
mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations,
cooperatives or associations, wholly owned and managed by such
citizens."

"Government wants to mangle the Constitution and remove the remaining
protectionist provisions in it. This is yet another serious threat to the
remaining vestiges of independence the country has. Foreign corporations must
not be allowed to take control of the national media. The media is one of the
most crucial and important pillars of society and influences the culture,
education and even personal values of Filipinos. While it is true that the
country's media still has a long way to go to improve and thus be able to
truly reflect and report genuine social realities and create profound impact
on the direction the country will take, it w ill not help to allow foreign
corporations to gain a foothold in monopolizing the industry. Foreign
ownership will mean the influx of even more aspects of foreign culture that
go against the progressive Filipino values, habits and traditions," said
Beltran.

Beltran said that apart from the potentially destructive sociological
implications of allowing foreign corporations to monopolize Philippine media,
the implication on the job security of media workers and practitioners are
also tremendous. "Contractualization is already rampant in the local media, and
media workers are being denied just wages and benefits. Media networks already
use the 'talent system' wherein writers, cameramen, propsmen and other
technical staff are hired on a contractual basis and given lower wages
compared to their counterparts who are regulars. Foreign media corporations
such as those in the United States and Britain are even more notorious in
using this 'talent system,' and if allowed to fully own networks in the
Philippines, they will take full advantage of the already unfair labor
flexibility schemes here," he said. #

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