BAGUIO CITY — Anti-budget cut groups are outraged over the Senate’s railroading of the 2012 national budget yesterday. In response, they called for a wider unity among Cordillera people to condemn the 2012 budget that has been dubbed as “anti-youth” and “anti-people”.
“We condemn the Senate railroading of Aquino’s 2012 budget, which included cuts in SUCs and social services. There are no major changes in the allocation for SUCs, proposed cuts were approved and no major addition to budget of health and other social services.” said Rae Christopher Gaoat, spokesperson of the youth group Anakbayan Cordillera.
Some of the ‘changes’ from the House to Senate versions of the budget are:
The health budget, originally proposed at P49 billion, has been hit with an additional P200 million cut.
The State Universities and Colleges (SUC) budget, with an original P500 million cut, has been given a paltry additional P200 million which can be attributed to a single item: the UP Phil. General Hospital.
“Biased for the poor? More like biased for the banks, bullets, and corporations” said the youth leader.
He pointed out that large expenditures for debt payments, Public-Private Partnership, dole-outs, and the military remain untouched.
40% of the budget, or P735.6 billion, which will go to foreign banks and millionaires in the form of debt payments remains untouched. Canceling the payments could translate to P7,825 in additional social services subsidy for every Filipino. In addition there are also P22 billion in PPP funds, which will be used for ‘sweetheart deals’ for privatizing infrastructure P39 billion in Conditional Cash Transfers, and P109 billion in military spending. Combined, they translate to P9,634 for everyone.
“As long as the budget hasn’t been signed into law yet, there’s still a chance to stop it” said Gaoat.
The youth leader urged all concerned sectors, organizations, and individuals to join the discussions regarding the matter and protests actions to be launched in Baguio City.
The schedules are:
November 29, 2011- 8-11 am, UP Baguio Auditorium. Forum on Labor, Contractualization and the Urban Poor- sponsored by Kilusang Mayo Uno-Cordillera and Anakbayan Party-list Baguio chapter.
November 30, 2011. ANAKBAYAN 13th Anniversary. “Let a Thousand Lanterns Soar Against Injustice”- Lantern Parade, 5:30pm, Post Office. # nordis.net