Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Surging oil price hikes will hit the poor most, Beltran warns

From the Office of Anakpawis Representative Crispin B. Beltran

Reference : Rep. Crispin Beltran

Lisa C. Ito, Public Information Officer (+63)927.796.7006

Tel. # (+632) 931-6615 Email: crispinbeltran@gmail.com

URL: http://www.geocities.com/ap_news


April 19, 2006

Surging oil price hikes will hit the poor most, Beltran warns
Solon sees 'summer of discontent' for the Filipino poor peaking on Labor Day

It will be a 'summer of discontent' for the Filipino toiling masses in the face of surging oil prices, R-VAT, low wages, and unemployment, Anakpawis Congressman Crispin Beltran said today.

"Unfortunately, the domino effect of world oil prices hitting $71 a barrel on the crisis-ridden Philippine economy will be hitting the Filipino toiling masses the most. The corresponding hikes in basic rates, prices, and services are alarming, concerning that one out of three Filipinos lives in dire poverty, and one out of every five families subsists on P50 a day. Filipino workers and their families will barely cope with any more additional expenses, especially in the delay of a P125 across-the-board nationwide wage hike for private sector workers and a P3,000 across-the-board salary increase for government employees," the veteran labor leader warned while in illegal detention at the Philippine National Police General Hospital in Camp Crame.

"More Filipinos going hungry this year will be a major source of discontent among the populace. With one out of ten Filipinos jobless, the Philippines has the highest unemployment rate among 14 Asia-Pacific economies. Ten million of the few employed Filipinos are in seasonal work. The hunger levels reported during the last quarter polls for 2005 are already alarming enough, how much more with these recent developments?" Beltran said.

The veteran labor leader, awaiting his transfer to a hospital of his choice, said that 'this state of discontent and hardship among the Filipino toiling masses is expected to be articulated in the celebrations of International Labor Day on May 1".

Beltran said that Labor Day was a traditional day of protest "where the Filipino toiling masses and working classes raise collective protest over the prevailing state of poverty and the Arroyo administration's overwhelming inability to uplift the conditions of the Filipino poor".

Beltran also slammed the Palace's "obviously misplaced perspective" in quelling societal discontent.

"Instead of continually bawling about how the Philippine National Police (PNP) is on red alert for the May 1 protests, the Arroyo administration should instead turn reflect on and address its severe lack of poverty-alleviation policies. The PNP and the Palace should not be on red alert for any fabricated wildcat conspiracy to overthrow the Arroyo administration on May 1. They should not be alarmed, nor try to sow fear among the public, at the large numbers of demonstrators expected on Labor Day. The nation's workers, peasants, fisherfolk, urban poor, and the unemployed will all have valid reason to join the May 1 rallies because they can no longer endure the hardship and suffering the Arroyo administration has directly and indirectly brought about," Beltran said. ###


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