[Press Release] Growth is inequitable under privatization and deregulation policy –KAMP

Growth is inequitable under privatization and deregulation policy –KAMP

President Aquino may have good numbers to show in his 3rd State of the Nation Address (SONA) but activists are putting up a major challenge on those figures: prove that the country’s economic growth is equitable.

The Kampanya para sa Makataong Pamumuhay (KAMP) which joined Nagkaisa!, Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) and the Philippine Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) in the “Martsa para sa Alternatibong Ekonomiya”, said growth can only be meaningful if it gives people the chance to live a life of dignity.

The present reality, the group said, show otherwise. Despite more than a decade of growth, millions of Filipino remained poor while prices of goods and services are getting more inaccessible:

 there is a property boom, but urban poor families are being uprooted out of the cities
 despite the 6% growth half of the labor force are self-employed and unpaid workers while more than a third work as contractuals
 there is also a boom in private led medical tourism but poor Filipinos suffer deteriorating public health services
 private power and water utilities enjoy super profits while the people suffer one of the highest electricity and water rates in the world

“How can this growth become equitable when the most part of it went to the private sector, when the combined income of the top 40 Filipino billionaires is more than the combined income of the bottom 30% of the population?” lamented KAMP lead convenor Ana Maria Nemenzo.

Nemenzo said growth will always remain inequitable as long as privatization and deregulation remain the governing policy of the Aquino administration. She cited a study made by the PIDS which showed that 3 trillion of our Gross Domestic Product went to corporate
income while only 2.4 trillion went to family income.

Furthermore, the combined net worth of the top 40 billionaires (which receive numerous incentives from the government) amounted to PhP2 trillion, almost equivalent to the proposed 2013 national budget, while select poor families receive Php1,400 a month only from the palliative Pantawid Pamilya program of the government.

“Kung mayorya ng ating populasyon ay hirap na hirap na nabubuhay sa sariling sikap habang ang pribadong sektor ay kumakabig ng guaranteed profit sa kanilang negosyo na nagdudulot naman ng mataas na presyo ng mga bilihin at serbisyo, hindi talaga magiging patas ang kaunlaran na
ito,” added Nemenzo.

KAMP is calling for the de-privatization of essential services such as power and water. It is also demanding for decisive and immediate government intervention to ensure guaranteed employment and decent work for all, universal quality healthcare, and an on-site\in-city decent housing program for the poor. (30)

23 July 2012
Contact: Wilson Fortaleza

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