Militant Labor scoffs at “Good Job” self-rating by Congress and Senate
“A cruel and sick joke on taxpayers,” this was the reaction of a militant labor group to statements by the House of Representatives and the Senate today that praised both chambers for the “good work done in the past year”. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and Senate president Drilon issued virtually the same statements as the legislative adjourned for its Christmas break.
Gie Relova, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) spokesperson said, “Our legislators have outdone themselves. They still have the gall to praise themselves for a job well done even if the legislative, especially Congress, always scores the lowest rating in surveys. To the Filipino public, the Congress and the Senate – commonly parodied as a pigsty – are the most untrustworthy institutions of the bureaucracy”.
Accomplishments in 2014 according to Rep. Belmonte and Sen. Drilon
The Speaker cited the P2.6 trillion national budget for 2015, and the P22.4 billion supplemental budget for 2014, the full entry of foreign banks, promoting job generation and providing for mandatory health insurance coverage for all senior citizens as among the lawmakers’ accomplishments.
Meanwhile, the Senate president cited the nine percent improved approval ratings of the Senate from a mere thirty-three percent in June as a basis of its accomplishments. Among the Senate’s bragging rights include the Iskolar ng Bayan Act and the Open Distance Learning Act.
Pork still in 2015 Budget
“Sorry, but we won’t buy it”, says Relova. He added, “Pork remains in the 2015 budget. Our lawmakers are patting each others’ backs for cleverly hiding the nefarious Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2013″.
The labor leader explained, the 2015 budget may appear to have abolished lump sum and discretionary for each legislator. But a further examination of allocations for departments and line agencies would reveal that each legislator has inserted projects and programs for their respective districts, not in the genuine interests of their constituents but to strengthen the patronage of their political dynasties”.
Congress and Senate represent Big Business, not the People
“The full liberalization of the banking industry, without amending the Charter, is contrary to the protection of the Filipino economy against foreign interests. The entry of large multinational banks, which are larger than all the existing local banks combined, would force the mass layoffs and retrenchment in the banking industry,” Relova explained.
Pro-People, Pro-Labor Reform
“If both Congress and the Senate truly represents the will of a people now disgusted over the pork barrel, the lack of transparency in government and in the budgetary processes, they should have urgently passed political reforms such as the FOI (freedom of infomation) bill and the anti-dynasty bill,” he expounded.
“Proposed measures such as these (FOI and anti-dynasty bills) could be found at the backburners of various House and Senate Committees, with our legislators literally ‘sitting on their asses’ to delay the legislative processes,” Relova stressed.
The labor leader concluded, “Aside from political reforms, workers are also demanding the immediate passage of reforms to protect the Constitutional rights of labor. We have every right and reason in their demands for a living wage and for security of tenure, not only because such rights are mandated by the highest law of the land. More so, our legislators and their retinues must realize that their salaries, perks and allowances came from the collective toil of millions, whose starvation wages are still slashed with withholding tax deductions and indirect taxation.
19 December 2014
Reference: Gie Relova 0915-2862555
Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
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