Tuesday, February 01, 2005

NR0201: On the GNP growth

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release February 1, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Email: paggawa@edsamail.com.ph, anakpawis2003@yahoo.com
Cellphone number 09213907362
Visit geocities.com/ap_news

GNP growth not felt by Filipinos; GMA government's ingratitude to OFWs who
contribute much to national revenues appalling - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the Macapagal-Arroyo
government's delight over the 6.1 percent growth of the country's gross national
product (GNP) which included the remittance of overseas Filipino workers was
not shared by most Filipinos.

"How can Filipinos share the same happiness President Arroyo is feeling over the
GNP growth when they did not experience the impact of this supposed
improvement in the economy? This is a clear case wherein the already
infinitesimal improvements in the economy do not translate to improved
conditions for the populace. Who benefited from this improvement? Certainly
not the poor and working people," he said.

"The government has done nothing but worsen the burdens of Filipinos. This
latest plot to extract more taxes from the poor and working people via a 12
percent VAT shows just how indifferent the government is to the plight of its

Beltran also expressed incredulity over the Arroyo admnistration's lack of
gratitude to the country's migrant workers. "Pres. Arroyo and her supposed team
of economic advisers and experts have no right to say that t he GNP growth was a
result of their efforts. A large fraction of the increase in the country's GNP
was due to the remittances of OFWs - working-class Filipinos who struggle
long and hard, sacrificing themselves and their families just so they can earn
money to send back home. Despite the OFWs' sacrifices and their massive
contribution to keeping the economy afloat, however, the Macapagal-Arroyo
administration has been weak in defending the welfare of OFWs against the
unfair labor and employment practices of the host government and employers,"
he said.

Case in point, Beltran said, was the weak stand of the Arroyo government
regarding the changes in employment policies in Japan. He said that the Arroyo
government stood by and nodded even as the Japanese government changed its laws
on immigration and employment, attacking the job security and even safety of
thousands of Filipino performing artists in Japan.

"The Arroyo administration does nothing to protect OFWs, but works overtime to
secure their remittances. Essentially, the government is being sustained on
the blood money of OFWs, while it lives off the exploitation of workers and
farmers locally," he said.

"Filipinos feel nothing and benefit nothing from the supposed developments or
positive changes in the economy . Wages remain pegged to the floor,
employment at an all-time low, and the costs of living continues to reach for
the sky. The government is relying more and more on the remittances of OFWs as
it cannot provide decent, sustainable and secure employment locally. Whatever
improvements the economy has gone through in recent months was enjoyed only by
local big businesses, foreign investors, and their partners in the local land
and business elite," he concluded.#


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