Tag Archives: Social Services

[Press Release] BMP rejects PrimeWater, proposes a consumer-owned Metro Manila Water Cooperative

Villar also an oligarch, Duterte told to not repeat FVR’s boo-boo
BMP rejects PrimeWater, proposes a consumer-owned Metro Manila Water Cooperative

Metro Manila – Labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) reminded President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday that his ally, former Senate President and 2nd richest Filipino Manny Villar, is also an “oligarch”, saying that transferring the water concessions for Manila Water and and Maynilad to VIllar-owned PrimeWater “merely replicates the mistake” of former President Fidel Ramos.

“We have already seen what billionaire ownership can do to a public utility. If Duterte is serious about fighting oligarchs, then he should not enable new ones, like what Ramos did. We say no to PrimeWater takeover,” said BMP chairperson Leody de Guzman.

De Guzman added that PrimeWater is “notorious” for “poor service” and “contractual hiring”, especially in Camarines Norte and Dasmariñas Cavite. He noted that residents from the water districts in Bulacan, Batangas and elsewhere have made vocal their resistance to PrimeWater’s widening operations.

“Duterte said that he is cancelling Maynilad and Manila Water’s franchise due problematic water delivery. He has also promised to end contractualization during his term. It would be the height of hypocrisy if PrimeWater, which has a reputation for both, ends up gobbling the water utilities,” he said.

The group added that Malacanang should dig deeper besides pointing to the lopsided concession agreement that favored private corporations.

“The faulty concession agreement is only an off-shoot of the disastrous neo-liberal privatization schemes the government initiated in the 1990s. Its high time for the government to admit that the scheme has forsaken the consuming public,” BMP said.

Water Cooperatives

BMP bats instead for a “consumer-owned Metro Manila Water Cooperative”, saying that more investments can be made for the benefit of consumer under a cooperative setup.

“Maynilad and Manila Water, for instance, insist on dam-centric solutions because it will generate them more profit. If the orientation of the water utility is service rather than profit, then there is no stopping it from investing in more sustainable solutions like solar-powered desalination plants, rainwater catchment, and microdams,” said the labor leader.

He cites a number of “working models” around the world, including but not limited to Aguas Bonaerenses Sociedad Anónima (ABSA) – a worker-controlled water utility in Buenos Aires, Argentina praised UN as a model water company, the Saguapac Cooperative in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, and the Wassergenossenschaft Gramastetten (Water Cooperative of Gramastetten) in Austria.

“Cooperatives, unencumbered by the profit motive and given appropriate incentives and subsidies, can perform better than corporations,” De Guzman added.

De Guzman said that the first “order of business” is to protect rural water service associations (RWSAs), barangay water service associations (BWSAs) or village-level water systems from privatization, so “they won’t end up like the failed service areas of Maynilad, Manila Water, and PrimeWater.”-30-

Reference: Leody de Guzman 0920 5200672

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc.

[From the web] FDC – Aquino Gov’t Surpasses Arroyo as Biggest Debtor; Urges Voters to Rise Up Against Debt, Poverty and Inequality

FDC – Aquino Gov’t Surpasses Arroyo as Biggest Debtor;
Urges Voters to Rise Up Against Debt, Poverty and Inequality

FDCMANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III not only failed to curb the country’s poverty and debt burden. He turned out to be the biggest loan addict, and a total failure in addressing the Philippines’ entrapment in a cycle of debt dependence. The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), in a press conference with selected election candidates on Friday, said that President Aquino has even eclipsed former President Gloria Arroyo as the biggest borrower among Philippine leaders, over a full term, from 1986 to present.

The group revealed that President Aquino will leave his successor with P6.4 trillion of national government outstanding debt, P4.16 trillion of which are borrowings made during his term. Divided among the projected 103 million population, each Filipino now owes a sum of P62,235.26 plus P4,251 in government-guaranteed debts.

According to  Prof. Ed Tadem, FDC President, this unresolved debt problem has resulted in the government’s failure to meet its obligations to the people, or social debt as a percentage of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). FDC said that President Aquino’s social debt in education and health alone already amounts to P7 trillion.

“Philippine leaders since 1986 have merely continued this dependence on debt and non-prioritization of the welfare of the people because of blind adherence to prescriptions of country and multilateral lenders. It is time for us, the voters, to rise up and stage an electoral insurgency against debt and its role in perpetuating poverty and inequality,” Prof. Tadem said.

FDC’s call for electoral insurgency focuses on demands for the repeal of the automatic appropriations for debt servicing, repeal of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, tax and fiscal justice to ensure priority government spending for the people’s needs and welfare, climate justice, and housing and essential public services.

Dr. Walden Bello, an independent Senatorial candidate who resigned as a lawmaker in protest of President Aquino’s double standards, said that it is criminal that debt payments get the first cut in the national budget before appropriations are made for social and economic services.

“This vicious cycle of debt and ballooning social debt will continue as long as the government resorts to new borrowings to pay for old loans, including those tainted with fraud and corruption, and with the existence of the law on automatic appropriations for debt servicing,” said Dr. Bello, speaking as a guest in FDC’s press conference.

FDC said that for 30 years, from 1986 to 2015, the continued implementation of the policy on automatic appropriations for debt servicing has resulted in an average of 27.21 percent of annual public revenues automatically earmarked for interest payments, while principal amortization has eaten up an average of 67.61 percent of government’s new borrowings.

PRESS RELEASE
19 February 2016

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

[Statement] STOP the PRIVATIZATION of the Philippine Orthopedic Center. -Bp. Gerardo A. Alminaza, D.D

We support and join the call to STOP the PRIVATIZATION of the Philippine Orthopedic Center.

In the Philippines,around 70% of the population, or some 66 million Filipinos, are living off less than P104 per person per day. The majority are so poor that they cannot afford adequate medical attention. It is, therefore, a CRIME OF NEGLECT for the government to privatize this government hospital. The Philippine government would be reneging on its constitutional obligation to take care of the basic needs of the people, one of which is adequate medical care.

Bp Gerardo Alminaza cropped

Church doctrines identify the following as basic human needs: peace, housing, food, religious freedom, work, education, and health care. The responsibility for attaining the common good, besides falling to individual persons, belongs also to the State, since the common good is the reason that the political authority exists (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 1910).

We therefore say, “Instead of privatizing government hospitals,BUILD MORE GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS, especially in the rural areas! Moreover, strengthen the program to mobilize young doctors, nurses and other caregivers to the rural areas before they go abroad.”

It is the poor workers, farmers, and fisherfolk who provide the BASIC NEEDS of Philippine society (FOOD and SERVICES). If they are healthy, the Philippines will be healthy.

As Christ lives,

+ GERARDO A. ALMINAZA, D.D.
Bishop, Diocese of San Carlos
Head Convenor, Visayas Clergy Discernment Group
Head Convenor, Church People and Workers Solidarity

STATEMENT AGAINST THE PRIVATIZATION
OF THE PHILIPPINE ORTHOPEDIC CENTER (POC)
May 14, 2014

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

 

[Statement] Prioritize Children’s Right to Health Now. Enhance PCMC Services, Stop NHA Institutional Greed. -PAHRA

GOVERNMENT SHOULD GET ITS RIGHTS ACT TOGETHER.
Prioritize Children’s Right to Health Now.
Enhance PCMC Services, Stop NHA Institutional Greed.

Photo by CATWAP

Photo by CATWAP

1. States Parties recognize the right of the child
to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health
and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health.
States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child
is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.

Convention on Rights of the Child. Article 24

The Aquino Government has another opportunity to assert and confirm its paradigm shift to the primacy of human rights in its governance and development implementation. This means that the branches of government and the offices under the Executive should work together ensuring the maximum implementation of citizens’ human rights. No branch or any office should be allowed, much less act with impunity, to violate any right implemented by another government body.

While there is no hierarchy of rights, it could prioritize those which should benefit particularly the poor, vulnerable and the marginalized. The opportune moment is to prioritize our children’s right to health by enhancing the services and not diminishing the needed space for development of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC).

While the Philippine government had projected itself in the international community as child-friendly by ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), one of its agencies, the National Housing Authority (NHA) had systematically eroded the capability of the country’s premier hospital for poor and sick children by taking pieces of PCMC land.

Surely, NHA officials are not bereft of knowledge that PCMC is the smallest and under-budgeted hospital compared to the other government-subsidized Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center and the NKTI. If they cared at all for the country’s poor and sick children, they would have known of the diminishing budget allotted to PCMC since the Arroyo administration. Certainly, this is not judicious distribution of public funds for the citizens’ enjoyment of their rights. This is discriminatory of the poor and sick children and of a perceived “unprofitable” government institution.

While part of the state, NHA fails to see its obligation of properly housing poor and sick children, much less the interrelationship of a right to housing to the right to health. Greed does give a tunnel vision only for unmitigated profit. And even children can be sacrificed on the altar of financial gain. And, if not corrected, such selfish taint would tarnish the whole Aquino administration.

And to think that after government excuses itself of being unable to deliver the basic services to the poor, vulnerable and the marginalized due to “insufficient funds”, there are some Php 72 B “savings” for the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to distribute to politicians of Napoles-ian appetite for “pork” through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). PCMC with its growing clientele of poor and sick children, in the meantime, is being squeeze for more “fat”.

The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) recognizes that for a children’s hospital to ensure total healing, it needs open spaces, gardens, trees. Furthermore, the demand for services, according to PCMC’s Director Julius Lecciones, is increasing. From only 4,000 inpatients a year, it now provides care to more than 11,000 inpatients in the same period, plus 70,000 out patients. Some 60% of its patients get subsidized care ranging from 100% to 25%. Still, subsidized patients only manage to pay 30% of their bills. The number of subsidized patients is rising by 25% each year.

As articulated in the Declaration of the World Summit on Children, “Enhancement of children’s health and nutrition is a first duty [of governments]…The well being of children requires political action at the highest level….”

Thus, PAHRA calls on

President Aquino to wipe out PCMC’s rental debt burden
and to donate the land to PCMC;

The Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS)
not to buy any part of PCMC land.

Prioritize Children’s Right to Health Now. 
Enhance PCMC Services, Stop NHA Institutional Greed.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.