[Statement] End inequality! End vulnerability -PMCJ

SONA 2013:
END INEQUALITY! END VULNERABILITY

PMCJ SONA 2013

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We, members of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), a national coalition of national networks/groups and national formations coming from grassroots communities and basic sectors that are greatly affected by the devastating impacts of global warming and climate change, strongly urge the government of President Benigno Aquino to END INEQUALITY, END VULNERABILITY NOW!

INEQUALITY and JOBLESS GROWTH

On July 22, 2013 Pnoy will deliver his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA). Like his past SONA he will pride himself of his administrations so called gains and achievements. His “bosses “will again hear about GDP growth which for ordinary Filipinos mean nothing since it has not stopped the rumblings of their hungry stomachs.

The ambitious Philippine Development Plan of 2011-2016 unveiled last 2011 serves as the main ingredient of the Pnoy administration’s “social pact” with the Filipino people and indicates where his “Tuwid na Daan” will lead us.

Now, halfway in its implementation, the Filipino masses are still plunged deep in poverty. The National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) in its latest report announced that present national poverty rate only decreased by 0.7% since 2009.

The Social Weather Station (SWS) survey conducted from March19-22 this year reveals that unemployment rate is on the rise at 25.45% – equivalent to 11.1 million people – as compared to December 2012 data of 24.6% — equivalent to 10.1 million jobless individuals.

The high economic growth of 2012 and first quarter of 2013 and the series of favorable international credit ratings are not evidence of Pnoy’s success in poverty alleviation.

The President Aquino peddles the notion that high growth driven by private investment and consumer spending, coupled with handouts (CCTs). will eventually eliminate poverty – the classic trickle-down theory which has consistently been exposed as a big failure.

Social injustices and inequality worsen and persist because of elite ownership and control of economic resources combined with neo-liberal economic policies implemented by previous governments and continued by the Aquino government.

END VULNERABILITY!

Rising inequality and joblessness in the face of high economic growth is evidence that it is the rich and high income sectors that are mainly benefitting from the GDP growth. Impoverished Filipinos are experiencing not only worsening inequality and joblessness – these conditions make them even more vulnerable to the climate crisis.

In the past decade, the Philippines has been in the top 5 most vulnerable country in the world in terms of extreme weather events related to the climate crisis. The Philippines has been ranked first and fourth on the 2006 and 2012 German Watch Climate Risk Index and ranked 6th by Maplecroft in its 2010 Climate Risk Index. Metro Manila is second amongst vulnerable metropolis in the world in 2012.

While the current administration score some positive points in confronting climate change, including the passage of the P1 billion People’s Survival Fund (PSF) and the strong stance of the Philippine delegation in the international climate negotiations, these are overshadowed by the PNoy Governments culpability for continuation of policies that exacerbate the climate crisis and its impacts. For instance, destructive mining and logging operations continue largely unabated.

DIRTY and HARMFUL “DEVELOPMENT” TRACK

Under the P-Noy Administration, we have witness the continued push for a “development” track that is destructive of our rich but environment and eco-systems, weakens our people’s adaptive capabilities and fuels climate disasters.

Despite the new policy of P-Noy Administration on mining – EO 79 – devastating mining exploration and operations continue Though there are positive components of the current mining policy, it is largely unresponsive to the main issues raised by affected communities and perpetuates the plunder of our mineral resources under the Mining Act of 1995.

In the face of climate change the call for a shift to cleaner, accessible, affordable and renewable energy sources is fast gaining support, but the P-Noy government is pushing for more coal plants and coal mining across the country. Aside from the severe effects of coal plants on local populations and eco systems — coal burning comprises 60% of the total global carbon dioxide emissions.

Under the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP 2010-2030) of the government 26 more coal plants are already in the pipeline to be constructed. To supply the growing demand for coal resources, a total of 76 coal operating contracts were given. Like other mineral mining, environmental and social problems will most likely be a feature of this track.

Pagbabago ng Panahon, Panahon ng Pagbabago

Thus, PMCJ calls on the P-Noy Administration to take decisive steps to shift away from inequitable, harmful and dirty growth-fixated economic strategy. He has wasted the past three years of his administration; there is still time to take on a different path.

END INEQUALITY! END VULNERABILITY!
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)
July 22, 2013

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