Archives | Cordillera | Publications | International Work | Campaigns |Elders Work | Galleries | About Us | Home


June 12, 2008

back to top back to top

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 to 9.6%.

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.


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 products.

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.

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.



Published with financial contribution from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation
Copyright © 2004 website content by Cordillera Peoples Alliance,
Website design by Borky Perida