Wednesday, May 25, 2005

NR0523:Two releases on P125 bill, jueteng

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin BeltranNews Release May 23, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Rep. Beltran assails House leadership for deliberately killing wage hike bill; says Malacanang allies under pressure from business and employers groups

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today assailed the House leadership anew for saying that the P125 across-the-board wage hike bill or HB 345 was all but dead. “It’s not yet dead, but solons allied with Malacanang and big business and employers groups are hell-bent on killing it despite the indisputable truth that a legislated wage hike is well-justified and highly necessary,” he said.

Beltran expressed strong criticism for House Majority Leader Prospero Nograles for generalizing the sentiments of the solons regarding the wage hike bill. “There are still many pro-worker solons in the House, but it’s clear that they are being pressured by Malacanang allies to remain quiet regarding their support for the wage hike bill and have it slowly killed by the House leadership,” he said. “Nograles and Speaker de Venecia are implementing Malacanang’s orders to kill the bill and wait for the regional tripartite wages and productivity boards to announce yet another measly and essentially fake wage hike order. Congress is committing treason against the Filipino workers by ignoring the P125 wage hike bill and turning away from its duty to legislate wages.”

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that workers all over the country should make note whether the representatives of their district are supportive of HB 345 or if they’re against it. “Solons who stand against the wage hike bill should be given the black ball the next elections. During the campaign period, they made various promises to uplift the livelihood and welfare of their respective constituencies, but now when they’re being called upon to make good on their promise by supporting a bill that will give immediate economic relief to workers, they’re opposing it,” he said.

“Pres. Arroyo has clearly made a promise to big business and employers groups that there will be no legislated wage hike during her term. This is an act of betrayal that should further push workers and other progressive and laboring sectors to call for Pres. Arroyo’s ouster.”

Beltran also said that Malacanang is trying to fool the public into believing that a cost of livig allowance (COLA) is the same as as a wage increase. “The regional wage boards’ primary function is to water down and weaken the unified call of workers nationwide for a single figure, across-the-board wage increase. Already there are more than 2,000 wage levels in the country, and at least six out of every seven companies and corporations are guilty of violating minimum wage laws and non-implementation of wage hike orders. A COLA is definitely not a wage increase – most employers easily secure exemptions from granting it from the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC), yet another useless and anti-worker government agency.”

The activist solon also pointed out that along with the national government, local private corporations with foreign business partners employ the majority of regular wage earners affected by the PhP125 wage increase, “And theirs are the corporations that are earning increasing profits every year. The National Statistics and Census Bureau’s data show that private and government corporations earned extracted surplus values (net operating surpluses and indirect taxes) from their workforce amounting to PhP640,899 Millions in 2001, PhP662,169 Millions in 2002 and PhP 729,274 Million in 2003. “Compensation earned by their workers, however, was only PhP200,964 Millions in 2001, PhP216,219 Millions in 2002 and PhP232,655 Millions in 2003. This translates to 319 percent, 306 percent and 314 percent rates of exploitation respectively for the indicated years. This means that for every PhP paid by these corporations to their workforces, they extracted in return PhP3.19 in 2001, PhP3.06 in 2002 and PhP3.14 in 2003, which, in partnership with the state, was appropriated in the form of corporate profits and indirect taxes.”

According to records of the Securities and Exchange Commission (i.e. Philippines Top 5,000 Corporations, 2004 ed.), corporate profits increased from PhP152,724 Million in 2002 to PhP253,509 Millions in 2003 or an increase by 66 percent.

“Despite these very high levels of profitability, these exploiters through their representatives in the ECOP and American Chamber of Commerce and Industry are the most vocal oppositors of a legislated wage hike. Given these facts, it is clear that the Arroyo administration is bent on preventing the just and urgent legislation of a PhP125 wage increase not because this is disastrous to the economy, but because foreign monopoly businesses and their equally profit-greedy local partners refuse to part with even a single centavo from their profits.”#

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin BeltranNews Release May 23, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Moves to legalize jueteng emanating from Malacanang itself; Pres. Arroyo can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk because of her family’s alleged involvement in jueteng

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the fact that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s own cabinet members are supportive of moves to legalize the illegal numbers game jueteng was proof positive that no one was really taking the president’s call for crackdown against the same.

“It’s all just tough talk on the part of the president, but there’s no genuine muscle behind the words. It’s not surprising given the fact that the First Gentleman, a presidential son and a presidential brotherin-law are reportedly at the main receiving end of the illegal numbers’ game,” he said. “Malacanang is determined not so much to clear the issue but to further obfuscate it because those involved are related to the president. Even the president herself is entangled in the mess because she reportedly rode the waves of the 1992 senatorial campaign using jueteng money from jueteng lord Bong Pineda. ”

According to reports, the likes of Budget Secretary Emilia Boncodin, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, Interior Secretary Angelo Reyes, and Public Works and Highways Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane support calls to legalize jueteng.

“Pres. Arroyo’s cabinet members seem to want in on the jueteng benefits,” he joked. “They’re all eager to have the game legalized. With the exception of Sec. Boncodin, the cabinet members who favor the legalization of jueteng all have police and military backgrounds. Baka pati sila talagang tumataya na sa jueteng. The fact that they want to legalize and legitimize jueteng exposes the sordid truth that the game is in fact prevalent in the country and that it continues to go strong because it’s backed by big politicians and other corrupt members of the bureaucracy. It’s all an admission that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has failed – deliberately or not – to put an end to jueteng.”

The veteran labor leader turned lawmaker said that he was against legalizing jueteng, the same way he is against the proliferation of any big-time, large-scale gambling scheme especially those run by the government. “Instead of generating honest-to-goodness jobs for its constituency and using funds to buy-back corporations that are vital to national survival and the people’s welfare, the Arroyo administration wants to rely on the gambling industry. This is a sure sign of a government with twisted priorities and a loser-mentality.”

The activist solon dared Pres. Arroyo to allow the Senate to investigate the First Gentleman Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo, her son Rep. Mikey Arroyo and brother-in-law Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo.”
”The President’s commitment to the fight against jueteng is being tested here, and so far she is consistently proving to be insincere. If members of the presidential family are innocent, they will have nothing to fear, and neither will the President.”#


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