Thursday, October 07, 2004

NR1005a: Gov't slashes medical,pension funds of civilians

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin B. Beltran
News Release October 5, 2004
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, chief of staff
Celphone number 09213907362


Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today decried the national government's
decreasing allocation of funds for the medical funds of civilian employees. This
item is almost being erased from the proposed 2005 budget appropriations,
decreasing a shocking 95.5%, from Php. 243.94M it will be reduced to P11M.

In the Macapagal-Arroyo administration's proposed 2005 GAA, there is massive
inequality between the allocations for personnel expenses for civilian
government employees compared to uniformed employees, particularly referring to
members of the military, Only P193.39B is being allocated for the 1.4M civilian
employees, while Php 139.76B is going to be put aside for only 200,000 or so
members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. It's also noticeable that
there's a significant difference between the pension funds for civilian
personnel and uniformed personnel. Only Php314M is being allotted for the
former, while the latter will be getting a significantly bigger pension fund.

"There's a hollow core in President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's call for
belt-tightening and scrimping. Analyzing the items in the proposed 2005 budget,
it's evident whom she expects to make the sacrifices and whom will continue to
benefit despite the fiscal crisis. The military and its personnel, it's clear,
need not to fear any cutbacks in their salaries and benefits, and they will
continue to receive among the biggest chunks in the budgetary pie," he said.

"It seems that the Arroyo administration is determined to discourage and
pre-empt any more Magdalo-type uprisings from the military by upping military
personnel's perks and benefits. It will be remembered that among the complaints
aired by the Magdalo men was the government's neglect of the welfare of ordinary
soldiers and other military personnel," he added.

The veteran labor leader also said that it was noticeable that interest payments
for debt servicing will eat up Php 301.7B or 31.5% of the over-all budget for
2005. There is an increase here of Php 30.2B o 11.1% compared to last year.
This still does not include the P344.B for the principal amortization, which is
an off-budget item or a fund that that does not need to go through the approval
process of Congress. Compared to 2004's amount, the allocation for 2005 has
increased by P34.3B o 11.1%.

He also noted the administration's determination to privatize housing services.
Allocations for housing and community development infrastructure has increased
by Php 70M or, 5.6%; but the actual budget for housing and community
development agencies have shrunk by P58M.

This, Beltran said, implies steep cutbacks in the allocations for personnel
services in the housing agencies as the government gears towards fully
privatizing housing services and putting together the Department of Urban
Housing and Development (DHUD) which is intended to supervise the profiteering
agenda of the government when it comes to providing housing for the public.

In summary, Php 645.8B or 51.6% of the overall expenditures of the national
government will be given over to debt payments. This increased by P70.2B or
12.2% from P575.6B last year. Allocations for social services increased only by
P6.4B or 2.6% ; while the budget for economic services was hiked only by P3.6B
or 2.3%. If the 4-5% target inflation of the government for 2004-2005 is
considered, this amount isn't sufficient to meet the target.#


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