OFWs to PNoy: Slow down on politicking

A WEEK to go before entering a new year, a Filipino migrants’ rights group today conveyed its only wish to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III ‘to slow down politicking’ and urges the latter ‘to get real on running the economy.’

“We find it necessary to convey our new year’s wish to PNoy: Slow down politicking, but rather focus on running the economy,” said John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-Middle East regional coordinator and Vice-chairperson of MIGRANTE Sectoral Party of OFWs and families.

Monterona added there will be mid-term elections next year, “PNoy and members of his Cabinet should not be too preoccupied themselves by campaigning for the administrations candidates and pour in the government’s resources for the ‘sure win’ of the administrations candidates in the fulfilment of its partisan objective of controlling the Senate, the House of Representatives, and even local elected positions.”

M-ME issued this statement after it noted that last week PNoy confirmed and vowed to be actively campaigning for the administration’s senatorial candidates during the May 2013 elections.

‘Too much politicking at the expense of getting real on running the economy is not a good trade-off,” Monterona, noting that PNoy, a holder of economic degree, has more to do as far as running the economy is concerned.

For one, Monterona said PNoy administration has not performed well in local jobs generation.

Citing the National Statistics Office (NSO) October 2012 data released on the country’s unemployment rate stood at 6.8% or about 2.8 million unemployed compared to October 2011 6.4%.

“The NSO data is a conservative estimate; the number of unemployed and underemployed is higher than that,” Monteria citing IBON, research think-tank, data estimated to have reached about 10-M combined.

On December 4, M-ME statement noted on the reported 3rd quarter 7.1% PH GDP growth, “certainly OFWs remittances contributed to this, but how does it positively impacted the lives of OFWs and their families is a good question to ponder amid good peso appreciation against dollar, rising prices of basic goods and services.”

M-ME’s Monterona added that the 7.1% PH GDP growth is a positive bulletin only for the 1% rich families; while for the 99% poor and middle-income families, it won’t be felt.

“PNoy administration has been duplicitous by issuing public statements that it is aiming to stop Filipinos forced migration while on the other hand it is not performing well in generating local jobs with decent pay and benefits and in fact is intensifying the peddling of Filipinos services abroad by continuously exploring overseas labor markets,” Monterona lamented.

“Since PNoy decided not to pursue a romance-filled love life ‘til his term ends, we hope to see him get focus on improving the economy, prioritize the passage and implementation of laws and policies that directly affects our poor peoples’ stomach and thereby reducing poverty. He could only do so if its takes away from the US-dictated neo-liberal economic policies of globalization, liberalization, privatization, and deregulation.

He should instead implement genuine agrarian reform program and push for the nationalization of PH basic industries to the benefits of Filipinos, not of the multinational and transnational corporations,” Monterona concluded.

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