Monday, April 16, 2007

Macapagal-Arroyo, her officials and their families should all try living on P350 a day

Wednesday March 21, 2007

Macapagal-Arroyo, her officials and their families should all try living on P350 a day

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that Malacanang's advice to Filipinos to cut down on luxuries like texting and smoking if they don't have enough money for food was an outrage.

"Again, the Macapagal-Arroyo government's callousness exposes itself. It's an outrage that Pres. Gloria Arroyo and Sec. Ignacio Bunye should continue to blame Filipinos for their poverty when in fact it it's the government's abject failure to provide enough jobs, higher wages and adequate, accessible social services available to the people that worsens their poverty and hunger," he said.

Beltran challenged Pres. Arroyo and Sec. Bunye to live on the wages that ordinary workers or government employees receive. "Let's see how far they'll be able to stretch P350 a day," he said. "Even if most Filipinos totally do away with texting, drinking and smoking, what's left of the measly wages and salaries they receive is still far from being enough to fight off hunger and poverty."

"Malacanang is trying to deflect blame from itself for its failure to implement economic programs that genuinely address the issue of poverty of majority of Filipinos, but the arguments its using lame and insulting. It's not texting, smoking or drinking that makes people poor – its high taxes, high costs of electricity, water and housing; it's lack of job opportunities; it's low wages that are not commensurate to the labor they turn in."

"Malacanang is advocating that Filipinos make do with meager resources while almost daily there are reports of corruption within the higher offices of government, including the executive branch. The Philippines ranks among the most corrupt nations in the world because of the Arroyo government's own inherent corruption, yet the government has the gall to tell Filipinos to cut down on their spending. The twisted budgetary policies and priorities of the Arroyo administration ahs also left majority of Filipinos denied of the most basic services such as health, education and housing. Ordinary Filipinos do not benefit from government programs which are mostly akin to the distribution of alms and dole-outs," he insisted.

Beltran said that most Filipinos already have been forced to make do without so many necessities to ensure that they and their families are able to live decently.

"Everyday is a battle of survival for most Filipinos. Widespread unemployment and underemployment is one of the bigger social problems the Arroyo government has failed to arrest and address. Those fortunate to be employed, in the meantime, are forced to make do with subsistence wages and salaries. The Macapagal-Arroyo government is to blame for the over-all deteriorating quality of life of Filipinos," he said. #


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