Thursday, January 12, 2006

NR0110: higher wages not chacha

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran News Release
January 10, 2006. Tuesday
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602.
Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer
Cellphone number 09277967006, 931-6615
Email: Visit

The real public clamor is for higher wages, not Charter Change- Rep. Beltran

Adding to the growing number of public officials wary of the Malacanang-rigged January 24 state council meet, Anakpawis solon Rep. Crispin Beltran said he was “steering clear of a political carousel that is only bound to end up in building a facade of support for Pres. Arroyo's plans for Charter Change”.

“The Arroyo administration is taking the whole nation on a ride by passing off the Jan. 24 state council meet as a venue for political reconciliation and economic reform,” the militant solon warned.

“Despite the Palace's assurances about the 'sincerity' and 'objectivity' of the meet, it's plain clear to any thinking citizen that the Palace will only use the Jan.24 meet for political expediency and survival by deflecting attention away from the continuing clamor for President Arroyo to step down, and by using the media and political mileage to promote her Charter Change and 'no-election' scheme. Its a grand gimmick meant to salvage Pres. Arroyo's sinking political ship and has nothing to do with improving the welfare of the nation's poor majority,” Beltran said.

Beltran cast doubts on popular support for the Palace-endorsed pro-ChaCha signature campaigns by local government executives under the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP). “Strange, how they call it a 'Peoples Initiative' when the 'initiative' actually emanates from top-down: from officials, such as the President, her highly-placed allies and her appointees, and not from the grassroots levels and from the masses,” the veteran labor leader said.

“The real public clamor nowadays is for higher wages, not Charter Change,” the veteran labor leader said, “Filipinos nationwide have been rallying for a P125 across-the-board wage hike since 1999. The ones who want Charter Change now are public officials who endorsed and implemented anti-poor policies that pushed already-steep daily cost of living rates even much higher, such as the Expanded Value Added Tax, deregulation of the oil industry, and the like.”

“Ask any of our 16 million Filipino workers and their dependents if they want a wage increase or not this year, and I wager that each and every one of them will answer in the affirmative. That's at least thrice the maximum number of signatures pro-Chacha officials hope to gather, if they will be able to gather that much at all,” Beltran said.

Beltran said that he and other pro-people legislators in the House are currently working for the passage of House Bill No. 345, which calls for a P125 nationwide across-the-board wage hike among workers in the private sector, and certified as a priority bill for the first quarter of 2006. ###


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