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Presidential advisor’s appointment a reward for his group’s silence on anti-poor policies

January 22, 2011

The appointment of a partylist group’s national president as Noynoy Aquino’s ‘presidential advisor for political affairs’ has been called by a group of young workers, peasants, professionals, and students as ‘reward’ for supporting highly-unpopular policies and programs of the Aquino administration.

“Congratulations to Akbayan for its 180-degree turn-around. From claiming to be a staunch critic of transactional politics under Gloria Arroyo, they are now nothing more but a ‘rubber stamp’ for the current administration’s anti-poor policies” said Anakbayan spokesperson Vencer Crisostomo.

One such issue, according to Crisostomo, is the proposed MRT-LRT fare hikes, which has earned the ire of various sectors, especially workers and students in Metro Manila. He noted that while a growing number of groups and organizations have expressed their opposition to the increases, there hasn’t been a single statement from Akbayan in regards to the issue.

Anakbayan has also previously criticized Akbayan for its support of the government’s P29 billion cash dole-outs program, in which the latter noted that the former made a complete turn-around from its previous position that the dole-outs would have no impact on the roots of widespread poverty in the country.

“Kinakain na ng Akbayan ang lahat ng mga prinsipyo kuno nila. Pero siguro sumasarap yun dahil ang gamit nilang sawsawan ay yung mga matataas na posisyon sa gobyerno na nabingwit nila” (Akbayan is eating all the principles that they have claimed to possess. But we suppose it doesn’t taste bad because they serve it with the top gov’t posts that they have snagged as condiments) said the group’s spokesperson.

One of the groups’ previous Congress bets, Eta Rosales, has been named head of the Commission on Human Rights. One of their national officials, Joel Rocamorra, has been named head of the National Anti-Poverty Commission.

Crisostomo added “But truth be told, we are no longer surprised. Our dealings with Akbayan’s youth arm have long taught us that they are nothing but political mercenaries”.

He cited the case of the University in the Philippines which hiked its tuition by 300% last 2007. While thousands of students in UP’s campuses nationwide walked out of their classes to protest the increases, organizations and a political party in UP Diliman which is affiliated with Akbayan expressed their support for it, calling it ‘timely’.

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2 Comments
  1. “Anakbayan has also previously criticized Akbayan for its support of the government’s P29 billion cash dole-outs program, in which the latter noted that the former made a complete turn-around from its previous position that the dole-outs would have no impact on the roots of widespread poverty in the country.”

    The current IRA system no longer works. It does not serve the population size per area. An ideal budget to spur grassroots development and infrastructure building is 100,000 times the number of inhabitants in that area or its equivalent in terms of projects and programs. Food prices will be pegged to prevent inflation. Most Filipinos are not prime-movers, most simply rely on the government to steer them, so the government should play its role in steering them. As for the innovative ones, they aren’t funded, so all the bright ideas dissipate into thin air without adding to the wealth and development of the country. The only way to hasten development and spur everyone back to life is to fund things properly from the bottom-up.

    1st world free market economic ideas do not work well in our case so we need to tweak the system a little bit because we don’t have the proper infrastructures, modes of thinking and technologies set in place.

    Poverty is the state of not having what we need. It is a terrible state to be in, to be sure, but it is the state we all revert to when our support structures are removed. Poverty is like darkness: it isn’t a thing. It’s the lack of a thing.

    Essentially, the only way that poverty has ever been defeated, anywhere, is by infrastructures that humans have set up. So, when poverty does exist, it is when these infrastructures either 1) don’t exist, like in underdeveloped nations, or 2) are broken or have holes in them. Essentially, fixing poverty is about fixing bad infrastructure, not about eliminating people.

    More effort, focus and funding should be placed on technology (creation, research and development) in all areas of Filipino life and existence (especially free energy, clean water, food production/mega-farming, clothing technology, health, electronics) and production. We have so many graduates. Create work for all of them. Some would have to be realigned to other jobs, but Filipinos are adaptable and easily-trained. Even high-school drop-outs should be allowed to work to open the job market further to every Filipino who simply want that field. As they work, they get trained and they learn.

    Human potential and genius is not solely “academic.” There are many geniuses who are simply drop-outs. Give them all jobs so they may contribute to the growth of the country. Pay them their international standards so they don’t leave the country and they could all build their own houses and dreams. At the close of the game, they’re all Filipinos–our brothers and sisters.

    Their growth is the pride of our nation.

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