By ALMA B. SINUMLAG
BAGUIO CITY – “Walang pagbabago sa panahon ni Aquino,” (There is no significant change in Aquino’s regime).
This was the cry of the Baguio multi-sectoral group after the 2nd State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III today, July 25 at the Peoples park where around 200 people gathered for the public viewing of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III deliver his state of the nation address this year.
Tracy Dumalo of Anakbayan – Cordillera said, PNoy has not done anything in favor of the education sector. “Tuluy-tuloy pa niyang binawasan ang budget sa edukasyon kung saan ito ang pinakamalaking paraan kung paano niya sinagkaan ang quality and affordable education,” (He had continuously decreased the budget for education which is his way to suppress the quality and affordable education) she added.
She even said that PNoy is probably living in the world of fantasy. This was in relation to PNoy’s statement that his administration has provided 1.4 million jobs since 2010, that has made an 8% decrease in the unemployment rate and among others. “Nabubuhay siguro siya sa pantasya dahil kabaligtaran naman ng katotohanan ang kanyang sinasabi,” (His statements are contrary to reality) she pointed out.
The first part of PNoy’s speech on poverty incidence in the country that has decreased by 15.1%. This was met by disgust in the audience and remarks saying the president’s data was not true.
Dumalo explained that PNoy has not addressed the problems in the country correctly. “His answer to poverty is the Public Private Partnership (PPP)”, she said.
This she added is another form of privatizing the industries and basic social services. His answer to unemployment she added is the migration of labor force.
Moreover, she said PNoy’s answer to the peoples call to pull out the military forces in the country sides is deployment of more state forces. This is evident she added with the map that was displayed the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) was deployed in almost all the provinces of the Cordillera.
Abigail Anongos, secretary-general of the Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) said they recognize that one year is not enough to address the problems raised by the sectors however she added that one year is long enough for PNoy to have made concrete actions on these problems.
Last year, CPA passed the Indigenous Peoples Agenda (IP Agenda) to representatives of the president. The IP Agenda presented the issues that the indigenous peoples not only in the region but in the entire Philippines are facing. One of these she said is Development Aggression. There has not been any concrete action to confront this, she said.
She added that applications of destructive mining explorations and mineral exploitations, geothermal and others are increasing.
“They say that Cordillera is the watershed cradle of the North but what will happen if the said applications will be approved?” she asked. #