Thursday, October 07, 2004

NR1006:GMA's coupon gimmick just for show

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin B. Beltran
News Release October 6, 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 said that if it weren't so
obviously just a propaganda gimmick, Maacanang and the Department of Social
Work and Development's (DSWD) proposal to issue food coupons to the poor was
not in it's entirety a bad idea because it would, if implemented, would provide
even a small measure of relief for the country's poor.
"But the coupons can only go so far - as is the case when it comes to
dole-outs. What groceries would do coupons cover - a can or two of sardines,
two packets of instant noodles, half-kilo bags of sugar, coffee and milk? These
are hardly enough to sustain families. Maintaining a diet on these food items
means automatic malnutrition, unless the government can upgrade the dole-outs
to include at least a kilo each of meat, fish and various vegetables, as well
as milk for children," he pointed out. "It's also doubtful that are enough
groceries all over the country who will participate in this coupon propaganda
vehicle of Malacanang. "
The veteran labor leader said that Malacanang should scrap the taxation schemes
it's pushing Congress to approve and rethink its position on the privatization
and liberalization of vital social industries. "If Pres. Arroyo is sincere in
helping the poor, then she would back off and scrap her government's new taxes.
She would lay a firm hand against Meralco and its independent power producers
(IPPs), as well as end the greedy profiteering spree of Shell, Caltex and
Petron. These measures are the least that she can do as immediate measures to
give the poor substantial relief from the crisis. Lesser measures just like the
coupon scheme is all just for show - a propaganda tactic to show that the
government still has a hear for the poor. " he said.
Beltran said that the national government and the DSWD want to appear as angels
of mercy with their proposed coupon program, but in truth the entire scheme,
when analyzed, is somewhat insulting to the poor. "Filipinos are not asking
for dole-outs. They don't want to rely for food on the very good government
which ahs neglected their plight for so long. What they need and demand are
genuine, sustainable employment, living wages, decent housing, health and
education services for their children. The poor and working people do not want
to live on pity and patronage of the government. They want jobs and this is
what the government has been inutile in providing," he said.
"To paraphrase an old adage - you give a starving man a fish and you feed him
for a day; you teach him how to fish, give him a pole, string, and bait and
you feed him and his family for a year. #


Post a Comment

<< Home