Monday, November 08, 2004

NR1108:Don't blame GEs for low collections, corruption

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin B. Beltran
News Release November 8 , 2004
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, chief of staff
Celphone number 09213907362

Solon warns of "civil servant-uprising" against GMA govt's lateral attrition,
downsizing and reorganization plans

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that government employees
cannot be stopped for holding "civil servant uprising" in protest over
government plans to cut as many as 4200,000 jobs. He said that Malacanang's
plans to reorganize and downsize the bureaucracy to supposedly clean up
corruption and improve efficiency were being done at the expense of government
employees, and will severely affect the already poor services the government is
providing the public.

Beltran said that hundreds of thousands of government employees were already
agitated over the burgeoning attacks against their job security, their
pensions, sick pay and forced relocation as well as the cut in jobs.

"Thousands of government employees cannot be expected to stand idly by as their
rights are attacked and their jobs taken away from them. They must take a
strong and united stand against arbitrary cuts which will decimate services the
public relies on from the cradle to the grave. These government employees are
not faceless bureaucrats but actual civil servants and productive Filipinos
who pay taxes, perform necessary functions in the various government agencies
and departments that directly serve the public," he said.

Beltran urged his fellow solons to oppose the lateral attrition bill now up for
second reading after the Committee on Civil Service passed it last October. He
said that the scale of potential job losses and attacks on pensions and
retirement pay was serious, and merits the massive outrage of all government
employees, not merely those in the immediately affected agencies such as the
Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue. "It's the national
govenrment's macro-economic policies and obeisance to the policies of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) that
guarantee that the BIR and the BOC will ALWAYS have low collections, and that
they will never ever meet the targets set by the government," he pointed out.

Beltran said that the Medium-Term Development Program (MTDP) Projections of the
National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) for the BOC, of instance is not
realistic. This is primarily because of the big bulk of displaced Customs
revenue resulting from the significant decrease in the import-tariff rate since
the Philippines inclusion in the World Trade Organization in the mid-90's.

"The tax collection efficiency as computed by the government agencies is based
on the pre-globalization period. When Philippines entered the WTO and
implemented trade liberalization policies, there was a drastic change from the
country's protectionist policy to the very low (and almost 0%) tariff on
imports. In the present export-oriented-import-dependent economy, most of the
industries, i.e. electronic, garments/apparels and wiring harness, or the
manufacturing sector of the economy where the bulk of GDP came from were
already classified as tax-exempt industries," he insisted." "As a result of
the shift in economic policies, noticeable unattainments of collection targets
were experienced by the revenue-generating agencies of the country,
particularly the BIR and the BOC."

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that it was unjust and immoral for
the national government to blame government employees for low tax collections,
inefficiency, or even corruption.

He pointed out that 25%-30% of the national budget allotted for personnel
services goes to the scandalous salaries and perks of high government officials
and not to the rank and file employees who are receiving a measly basic pay of
P5,082 a month (P60,744 a year) or even the average pay of P8,709 monthly
(P104,508). According to their data, a Department Secretary receives P927,900 a
year, including a basic pay of P462,000 a year and other benefits, an
Undersecretary gets P630,000 a year (including P330,000 yearly basic pay), an
Assistant Secretary P536,651 (including P289,524 yearly basic pay) and a Bureau
director P502,176 (including P278,377 yearly basic pay).

The Department of Agrarian Reform has a Secretary, 7 Undesecretaries, 7
Assistant Secretaries, 18 Director IV and 22 Director III; the Department of
Education has a Secretary, 5 Undersecretaries, 4 Assistant Secretaries and 27
Director III positions; Department of Agriculture - a Secretary, 5 Usec, 4
Assec, 2 Executive Director, 2 Deputy Exec. Directors, 23 Director IV and 7
Director III; DOLE - 4 Usec, 3 Assec; Finance - 5 Usec, 3 Assec, DENR - 3
Ussec, 3 Assec; DILG - 2 Ussec, 7 Assec. The data may still be bigger given
that a new Usec or Assec position is easily created upon Malacanang's
appointment. COURAGE is said to be still studying the number of Board of
Directors or Trustees of Government Owned and Controlled Corporations and
Financial Institutions whose pay and perks are also atrocious.

"The double-standards of Malacanang are contemptible. While it is determined to
abolish offices and terminate thousands of tenured employees, it has created
new government bodies, even super agencies which overlaps and duplicates other
offices to provide positions and accommodate those who campaigned for her
during the elections. After the elections, 6 new officies with 8 cabinet
positions were created plus 22 Presidential Advisers, 7 Presidential Assistants
and 6 Consultants," he said.#


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