Children from shanty towns present Noynoy their Christmas wishes
AS THE Simbang Gabi heralds the commencement of the yuletide season for many Filipinos and with just eight days before Christmas Day, indigent children accompanied by their parents from the Metro’s urban poor communities belonging to anti-poverty groups Samahan ng Mamamayan-Zone One Tondo Organization (SM-ZOTO) and Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod (KPML) conveyed to President Noynoy Aquino their Christmas wishes through carols and letters.
They groups bewailed that their families shall be celebrating a paskong-tuyo or a poor man’s Christmas for they could not afford even a decent Noche Buena this Christmas due to their low wages and contractual work. They also claimed that they shall only have their usual fare for the traditional Christmas dinner and their children will as well subsist with hand-me-down clothes and toys.
At their young age, the carolers lamented the neck-deep poverty they are suffering because of the government’s economic policies which according to their statement to media is “not only reinforcing their wretched plight but unceasingly pushing to them to other vulnerabilities”.
“We could no longer shield our children from the harsh realities brought about by President Aquino’s rabid adherence to the reign of private corporations hoarding over basic social services. Our everyday needs are becoming more challenging as Christmas Day nears,” SM-ZOTO president, Orly Gallano revealed.
The carolers also brought with them a replica of an urban poor house to demonstrate their unchanged miserable condition despite of Aquino’s fifth Christmas as president and colorful lanterns with their demands that they hang on the gate of the President’s residence.
“This is already the fifth Christmas with Aquino at the helm but even the slightest reforms that may concretely bring about the barest changes that will uplift our condition is quickly fading from our sights,” Gallano rued.
The community leader sternly believes that there is no more hope in the horizon since by next year Aquino and his cohorts in the Senate and Batasan Pambansa will be busy politicking and gaining media mileage instead of addressing the most pressing issues affecting the majority of Filipinos.
For Anthony Barnedo spokesperson of the socialist Kongreso ng Pagkakaisa ng Maralitang Lungsod, “the recent granting of emergency powers to Aquino is but a manifestation and arrogantly display of his fidelity to the business interests of powerful elite clans that control the power industry, countering all his previous and pretentious declarations”.
He likewise averred that Aquino’s undeniable bias for the elite is more than enough for the people to rise up and force him and his corrupt cabal of traditional politicians out of office.
“Christmas is only for the wealthy and landed classes in this rotten society. The poor will have nothing to share but its misery and scarcity,” Barnedo concluded.
The groups say that the most tormenting and directly affecting their children are the scourge of contractualization and low wages, the unabated dictates of corporations in deregulated industries such as power, telecoms, oil and water as well as the demise of public social services in favor of commercialized health and education sectors.
Joint Press Release
16 December 2014
Orly Gallano 0918-4085175
Samahan ng Mamamayan-Zone One Tondo Organization (SM-ZOTO)
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