We Cry Out for Economic Relief and GMA's Ouster!
Majority of the Filipinos now are poorer and hungrier.
This year can be categorized as the most difficult
in terms of economic conditions under the present administration.
Skyrocketing prices of rice, oil, and commodities and increasing
fees for utilities and social services continue to burden the people.
This is even in the context of a wide-scale deprivation of the people's
rights to livelihood in the country. In May, inflation rate rose
More and more, the effects of liberalization, deregulation
and privatization - imperialist globalization policies have been
taking a high toll on people's lives as it affects their very needs
for survival - food and social services especially.
There is more reason to persevere in ousting the
anti-people GMA regime.
The stark increase in prices of commercial rice
coupled with the insufficient supply of subsidized rice from the
National Food Administration (NFA) summarizes the rice crisis.
The phenomenon of men, women and children lining-up
for hours in order to buy the P18.25/kl NFA rice for a strict maximum
of 3 kilos per distribution is a daily scene anywhere in the country.
Still, because of the limited rice supply for the outlets, many
of those who fall in line go home without the staple food.
Due to the government's subservience to imperialist
globalization, rice importation has increased over the years that
made us very dependent on other countries in meeting the local demand
for rice. This dependency led to the vulnerability of the local
market to speculations by international and local rice cartels that
create the condition for speculation and price manipulation.
This same policy is also the culprit for crop-conversion
and land-conversion. Farms originally used for palay production
are now planted with high-value crops intended for exportation like
oil palm, jethropa and cassava. The shift in production seriously
threatens food security. Hectares of farms were also converted into
golf courses, subdivisions, roads and other infrastructures in order
to attract more investors.
Moreover, the backward agricultural system and the
monopoly in land ownership and production materials continue to
burden the farmers. Around 46% of farms are not owned by the farmers.
There are 4,837 farms with 25 hectares each and 35,717 farms are
within 10 to 24.99 hectares each. Five out of 10 farms are dependent
only on plows. In addition, 54% of irrigable lands, mostly for rice
production do not have irrigation. Lastly, farmers are very dependent
on expensive farm inputs being produced by multinational corporations.
VAT AND OIL:
Speculation and price manipulation are also the
culprits behind the unhampered increases in oil products. The Oil
Deregulation Law, again a result of globalization policy has provided
for the unlimited increases in oil prices by multinational companies.
Aside from being subservient to this condition,
the government further burdened the drivers and the consumers through
the Value Added Tax (VAT) in oil. Despite the consumers' demand
for the immediate scrapping of the VAT, the government does not
want to heed this call due to the billions of pesos being collected
by the government through the VAT.
Based on data from the Department of Finance (DOF), P49.20 billion
($1,124,57,428 at an exchange rate of $1=P43.75) was collected from
VAT on petroleum products in 2006. This accounts for 63.9 percent
of the total VAT collections that year. From January to July 2007,
of the P42.7 billion ($976 million) VAT collections, 43.5 percent
or P18.6 billion ($425,142,857) was collected from VAT on petroleum
If the VAT in oil will be scrapped, the consumers will experience
an immediate relief as indicated by the table below.
The school year finally started after the 'too late
the hero' pronouncements of GMA. The moratorium in tuition hikes
in state universities and colleges, the cancellation of school uniforms
in public elementary and high schools and more promises of scholarship
were not able solve the increasing number of youth deprived of education.
Again, a product of globalization, the privatization
of schools and universities in the country has practically turned
this service to a privilege due to intensive commercialization.
This has further intensified through the suspension of the Commission
on Higher Education (CHED) of Memo Order 14, which had set a cap
on tuition increases based on the national inflation rate, in favor
of the defunct CHED Memo Order 13 (CMO 13). The CMO 13 sets no limit
in increases in tuition and other fees.
IN NEED OF IMMEDIATE ECONOMIC RELIEF:
The economic crisis is unbearable. The Filipino
people badly need immediate economic relief and reforms. GMA
would not bend. She is known to be pro-globalization by being subservient
to imperialist masters promoting this policy. She is known to be
horrendously corrupt, together with her family and cronies who utilize
public funds for personal and political purposes. She is known to
dole out 'band-aid solutions' to serious economic problems in order
to appease the people for political gains.
Indeed, the crisis will not be resolved under the GMA administration.
GMA is not even considering scrapping the VAT in oil and public
utilities because she is afraid that it will affect the credit worthiness
of the country and drive away foreign investors. She is deaf to
the demands of the workers for a P125.00 wage increase due to the
pressure of capitalists and employers. GMA values the investors
rather than the impoverished Filipino people.
But the Filipino people, will continue to assert
their rights. The economic hardship would not only lead to increasing
number of poor and hungry Filipinos. More so, this dire situation
will lead to the widening and ever-growing movement to assert people's
rights and protest against this anti-people regime.
GMA, with her continued abandonment of people's rights should face
the people's outrage making her immediate ouster a necessity.
PAHIRAP SA MASA, PATALSIKIN SI GLORIA!
TONGTONGAN TI UMILI