RELIVING the fervor of Bonifacio’s struggle towards sovereignty, members of Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN) along with Workers for People’s Liberation (WPL-MAKABAYAN), Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (KAISA KA) and transport group Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Laban sa Phase Out (STOP) marks Bonifacio Day with a caravan and protest action underscoring the message that the fight for sovereignty continues.
Contingents from all over Luzon converged at San Fernando Junction to kick off the whole day protest caravan that will hold separate but simultaneous programs in Plaza Miranda in Angeles and in Salakot near Clark Main Gate from ten o clock in the morning to 2 pm in the afternoon. Both contingents will later merge by 3 pm and do a joint program addressing the issue of PUV phase out.
According to KILUSAN or Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya, with the impending relaxation of restrictions in the Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL), new investment areas are made available for foreigners like direct hiring of workers, entry of foreigners in certain professions like education, securing construction and repair contracts for local infrastructure projects, businesses in public service, culture, production and milling of agricultural products except for rice and corn and retail trade.
“We are faced with new threats to sovereignty as Duterte pushes for further opening the economy to foreign investments, defaulting on the government’s role to ensure the most basic of services,” said KILUSAN Secretary-General Atty. Virgie Suarez.
According to Workers for People’s Liberation or WPL, while the government may have signed the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrants Workers in the recent ASEAN meeting, it has yet to address the dismal state of wages and workers’ welfare in the country.
“Now with the passage of the Tax Reform and Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Bill in Senate, push for PUV phase-out and other neoliberal policies, we anticipate that the tax hikes will burden the workers, especially the poor,” pointed out WPL Chairperson Pete Pinlac.
According to STOP, the DOTr plan to “modernize” public utility vehicles will only result in massive economic repercussion of millions as those relying on transportation sector are compelled to junk their old units in place of new ones.
“Anticipating opposition to his neoliberal agenda, Duterte will be quick to quell any sign of dissent or criticism to his bid for unfettered exercise of power, beyond that which is accorded to him by the Constitution—whether through so-called “rebolusyong Duterte “ or through bastardizing the charter, “ adds Suarez.
“Let us not let Duterte do a Marcos on us Filipinos, this change will only benefit him and his cohorts and imperil the welfare of the rest of us,” ended Suarez.