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Anakbayan raps Akbayan turn-around on Aquino dole-out program, brands them as ‘sell-outs’

October 15, 2010

Youth group Anakbayan today ridiculed the partylist group Akbayan for supporting the move to increase the funding of the Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) from P10 billion to P21 billion, weeks after the former opposed the same program on the grounds that it is a ‘dole-out’. Anakbayan raps Akbayan turn-around on Aquino dole-out program, brands them as ‘sell-outs’

Youth group Anakbayan today ridiculed the partylist group Akbayan for supporting the move to increase the funding of the Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT) from P10 billion to P21 billion, weeks after the former opposed the same program on the grounds that it is a ‘dole-out’.

Anakbayan, which was the first to condemn the proposed budget increase for the CCT when it was first announced last Sept. 3, reiterated that the program was illogical in the light of reduced spending for social services in next year’s national budget.

“The problem is the lack of public schools, hospitals, and clinics. What is the use of paying people to send their kids to school or to have medical check-ups when the facilities needed don’t even exist?” said Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Bañez.

She added “Proponents of the dole-outs claim that it wants to encourage more parents to go to school. Yet at the same time, the Aquino administration is encouraging State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) to hike their tuition and other fees next year. The administration is contradicting itself in trying to defend an obvious dole-out program.”

After a series of student protests last September and this October, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said SUCs should just increase their tuition rates and other fees to make up for proposed cuts in the said schools’ funding.

Meanwhile, Anakbayan’s spokesperson castigated Akbayan’s sudden ‘turn-around’, saying it smacked of ‘transactional politics’.

In a privilege speech delivered last Sept. 28, Akbayan’s Walden Bello opposed the CCT, saying “(There is) no evidence it has brought people out of poverty either here or abroad, except some dubious statements of the World Bank to the effect that it has worked in Brazil”. However, Bello and the other Akbayan representative, Kaka Bag-ao, made a complete turn-around last Oct. 12 when they filed a House Resolution in support of the same program.

She noted that Akbayan, which supported the May 2010 campaign of President Noynoy Aquino, recently received P4 billion from the Dept. of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). She added that several high officials of the partylist group have been given positions in the Noynoy government: Etta Rosales, as chairwoman of the Commission on Human Rights; and Joel Rocamorra, as head of the National Anti-Poverty Commission.

“Are P4 billion and several government positions the price for supporting the CCT?” said Bañez.

For their part, the youth leader said they were not surprised by Akbayan’s ‘turn-around’.

“This is not the first time that they have sold out the welfare and interests of the Filipino people. Back in 2006 and 2007, groups and individuals affiliated with them in the University of the Philippines supported the 300% Tuition and Other Fee Increase in the said school” she said. ###

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