Mar Roxas hits GMA global fin’l crisis policy
BAGUIO CITY — “Katangahan nang may paparating na bagyo ay hindi pa tayo maghahanda,” (It is stupid for us not to brace ourselves against an upcoming storm) says Senator Manuel “Mar” Roxas of the government’s wait-and-see policy on the global financial crisis.
When Roxas addressed the Liberal party here Friday noon just before its meeting at a downtown restaurant, he asked them to “keep the flame burning” because the destiny of the nation depends on how the people decide on it.
Roxas hit the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo government for not acting responsibly on the world economic meltdown, which, he said would linger in the next three to five years.
Money in people’s hands
Roxas advocates for the return of the buying power to the the public. “Ibalik ang pera sa kamay ng taumbayan,” (Let us return to the public the purse) he said hitting the government remedy of collecting taxes from the people and returning this to the poor in terms of social services.
He said he has succeeded in effecting tax credit rebates to the minimum-wage earners for them to use the money where they deem important.
“Pag gobyerno ang humawak ng pera, nakukurakot, di mapupunta sa prayoridad ng tao, at di pa mabilis ang epekto sa ekonomya,” (Once government handles the funds, it gets into corruption, does not land in people’s priorities and it does not have an immediate effect on the economy) Roxas pointed out.
“Gagalaw ang ekonomya kapag ang pera ay umiikot sa lipunan,” (There is movement in the economy if money circulates) he said.
Import not benefiting locals
Roxas also criticized the government food security program saying last year’s rice importation should have benefited local farmers had the Department of Agriculture (DA) opted instead to buy local produce out of the P70 billion it used to buy rice from Thailand and other Asian countries.
Since October last year, Roxas has been chiding GMA and her allies to realign programs in the 2009 budget to create more jobs in the country; boost agricultural production and ensure food security; improve education; and encourage small and medium enterprises through micro-lending.
“Iyang financial crisis, matagal nang pumutok, pero hindi ito pinaghahandaan ng gobyerno,” (The financial bubble has long burst but the government has not been preparing to mitigate its effect) Roxas said, adding that GMA is so engrossed in her propaganda that the country is not affected.
Foreigners folding up, OFWs loosing jobs
Multinational companies in the country are folding up one after the other due to hardships leaving thousands jobless.
In Baguio City, the Texas Instruments, a firm producing semi-conductors used in electronic products, has started its layoff program. Exactly 392 workers accepted the retrenchment package that took effect January 16 this year.
Lepanto Consolidated Mining Co., is on a reduced work-day scheme since November last year. It is one of only two productive mining companies in the Cordillera, the local mines and geosciences bureau declared earlier.
Intel Corp, the world’s biggest processor of micro-processor used in computers, has floated its intention to shut down its Cavite plant this year. Some 1,800 workers depend on the said plant for livelihood.
The labor department expects more companies to shut down or trimming down on expenses, including labor force due to the financial crisis.
Roxas said, not only local workers would be loosing their jobs, but also overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the local tourism industry. # Lyn V. Ramo