GDP growth: Gutom, Dahop na Pilipino – KMU

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LABOR center Kilusang Mayo Uno belittled Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s expected announcement of a high increase in the country’s Gross Domestic Product for 2012, saying the Filipino workers and people are experiencing intensifying hunger, poverty and joblessness.

The labor center cited the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ study showing the country has one of the highest unemployment rates in Asia in 2012 and the Social Weather Stations’ surveys showing unemployment and poverty increasing since 2010.

“The country’s GDP can increase even as the number of Gutom, Dahop na Pilipino (Filipinos who are hungry and poor) also increases. A GDP increase in this case means increased wealth for the country’s elites and their foreign partners and increasing inequality,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“Not enough jobs are being created and there’s massive retrenchment. Wages are being pressed down further and social services, aside from deteriorating, are becoming more expensive for workers and the poor. Where’s development in that?” he added.

“The Aquino government’s hype over the GDP growth is intended to cover up the worsening situation of workers and the poor in the country. It will be used to justify the implementation of more anti-poor policies and Charter Change,” he said.

In the past weeks, National Economic Development Authority director-general Arsenio Balisacan has been pushing for more tax laws, more Public-Private Partnership projects, and the creation of more power plants constructed through Build-Operate-Transfer schemes, saying that the country’s growth would be unsustainable without these measures.

Meanwhile, American businessmen and the US-Philippines Society called on the Aquino government to amend the economic provisions of the country’s Constitution and to join the Trans Pacific Partnership trade alliance.

“The policies being floated by the Aquino government in recent weeks will only concentrate more wealth in the hands of a few foreign and local elites and continue to impoverish the workers and the poor. The government hopes that its hype about economic growth will weaken opposition to its anti-poor and anti-Filipino policies,” Labog said.

“The Filipino workers and people will not be deceived by the Aquino government’s lies about economic growth. Mass hunger, poverty and joblessness has become more and more palpable under Aquino’s term,” he added.

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