Monday, May 16, 2005

NR0516:GMA's bogus social reform agenda

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release May 16, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Solon scoffs at Malacanang's social reform agenda; says PGMA should first help Filipino parents if she wants to protect the children from "culture of violence"

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that President Macapagal-Arroyo's supposed agenda following the railroading of the new tax measures was not to be believed and that it was, at best, lip service to children's welfare. "Pres. Arroyo's next agenda, in truth, in consolidating the ranks of businessmen and foreign investors and have them support her administration's tax reform programs as well as the imposition of politically-repressive measures such as the national ID system and an anti-terrorism law," he said.

Malacanang spokesperson Ignacio Bunye has recently announced that social reform is next in the list of the president's actions wherein, supposedly, the rights and welfare of Filipino children are priority.

"If the president were sincere in fighting the culture of violence and protecting Filipino children, then she would scrap all her economic measures that attack the welfare of Filipino working class parents. To protect the children, the national government must all that it can is to ensure that the parents are securely employed, enjoy living wages, and have immediate access to health services, education and housing," he said.

Beltran said that the new tax measures, most especially the VAT increase, already proves the hypocrisy of the administration's pronouncements on social reform. "The only reform that the Macapagal-Arroyo administration is pushing is the destructive kind. Poverty levels continue to increase while the purchasing power of majority of Filipinos is almost non-existent. The VAT increase, on top of the oil price hikes, the power rate increases and now the transport fare hike will force more Filipino parents to pull their children from school. So much for social reform and protecting the children," he said.

"We don't see the president prioritizing programs granting affordable and socialized health and housing; and unemployment figures continue to hit the roof along with the prices of basic commodities and the rates of electricity, water, and transportation fares. Pres. Arroyo's social reform agenda is bunk - by standing by and allowing the oil cartel to jack their prices and the Meralco and Napocor to increase their rates, it's Malacanang that is primarily promoting a culture of violence against the Filipino people: constant and worsening poverty is one of the worst kinds of violence," he said.

The veteran labor leader challenged Malacanang to prioritize the passage of HB 345 or the bill legislating a P125 across-the-board wage increase for all workers nationwide. "Social reform starts with social justice and alleviating the poor and working people's poverty. Pres. Arroyo should instruct her allies in Congress, primarily Speaker Jose de Venecia and Majority leader Prospero Nograles to order the start of deliberations on the P125 wage hike bill at the soonest possible time," he said."#


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