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For the JUNE 29, 2011 STOP PRIVATIZATION Conference During his first State of the Nation Address last July 2010, Pres. Aquino blatantly expressed his desire to continue and escalate the past administration’s privatization policy through Public and Private Partnership (PPP) projects; embodied in his administration’s recognition of “the essential role of the private sector as the main engine for national growth and development”. Packaged by Aquino’s economic advisers as a an all-encompassing cure to the country’s fiscal problems, PPP projects will supposedly advance, sustain and broaden economic growth which will lead to increased job opportunities and poverty reduction, by means of “financing the construction, operation and maintenance of infrastructure and development projects normally undertaken by the Government.” However, history and our own experience has proven that privatization is more than the simple sale of public assets or the contracting-out of services, it also involves massive lay-offs and displacement for state workers, public funds and welfare cuts, trends toward more intensive market commodification, skyrocketing prices of basic commodities and eventual state abandonment of social services. Privatization Throughout the Years: A Brief Overview The passage and subsequent implementation of the 2001 Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) amidst public outrage for its repeal is a glaring example of the devastating effects of privatization on the job security and tenure of government employees, as well as the prices of commodities and services. Research has shown that in over 10 years, power rates have more than doubled. Meralco rates for residential users have risen by 112.5 percent, from P4.87 per kilowatt hour in 2000 to P10.35 in 2010. Those of the NPC went up by 86 percent in the same period, from P2.39 to P4.45 per kwh. Despite hopes that the implementation of EPIRA will reduce the debts incurred by the National Power Corporation (NPC); as of 2010, the NPC still had outstanding debts amounting to $15.8B (P713.64B), an obligation that is passed on to consumers who shoulder higher power rates. Another example of the ill-effects of privatization is highlighted by the privatization of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) in 1997, touted as the largest privatization of water services in Asia. It resulted in skyrocketing water rate increases, with Maynilad increasing 449% and Manila Water 845 % since 1997. As such, access to clean, potable water is now a privilege available only to those who have the means to pay for it, rather than being a basic right of all citizens. Privately-owned bottled water and water refilling stations have sprouted all over the country, thereby proving that only private businesses stand to benefit from the commodification of water services. The job security of MWSS employees were also adversely affected—aside from the massive lay-offs accompanying the transfer of ownership, employees have been subjected to periodic assessments and labor contractualization schemes. Union rights were severely restricted and regulated while the remaining employees’ hard-won benefits were blamed and made scapegoats to justify further water rate hikes, all without considering the probability of massive corruption among top MWSS officials. Thousands of State Workers Face Impending Layoffs Our continuing struggle against privatization has proven that privatization of public services inevitably results in massive layoffs as private companies get rid of tenured public employees and replace them with underpaid, nonunion workers with fewer benefits to perform the same services. With his aggressive efforts to privatize key government agencies, particularly the National Food Authority and the National Housing Authority, it is apparent that Noynoy is following Cory Aquino’s economic policies: Aquino I’s post-EDSA administration was characterized by the unparalleled massive sale of the state’s non-performing assets, GOCCs in the red, white elephants of the Marcos Regime and the partial sale of big tickets like Philippine Airlines and the Philippine National Bank. By the time Cory’s regime ended, at least 466 state-owned assets were privatized.
Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation. Aquino is obviously intent upon systemically removing government restraints on the country’s market system--a transfer of control to foreign investors or managers and deliberate state abandonment of its responsibility to provide accessible social services to the public. there are also other agencies being lined-up for abolition and privatization such as the National Printing Office. Agricultural Credit Policy Council. On the other hand. Aquino’s economic policies remain as mere extensions of the past regime’s neoliberal policies set within the framework of imperialist globalization. Aquino’s Public-Private Partnerships. the government in a bid to undermine the employees campaign against privatization. health (from 2010’s P40 billion to P38. the Department of Finance identified 14 government agencies targeted for abolition (see Table 1) Aside from that. has resorted to name-calling and demonizing government employees as unwitting witnesses or even accomplices of corrupt bureaucrats.000+ 612 500 100+(Corporate office)60+ (R.000 + 1. attached agencies of the Department of Agriculture (Quedan Credit Corporation. the privatization of housing services through the creation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (and the eventual abolition of the National Housing Authority and 2 . Wholly dependent upon foreign investments and foreign debt. and 5% for transportation. in order to pave the way for privatization. labor contractualization and displacement.) 400 (reorganized earlier) 16 (reorganized earlier) 80 (partially privatized) 100 Furthermore. decoupling of functions and privatization of warehouses and facilities of the National Food Authority. as manifested through his priority pieces of legislation. deregulation and liberalization of public services and enterprises. P21. For instance. The National Food Authority’s yearly P8. the Aquino administration has stubbornly continued the implementation of GMA’s rationalization plan Executive Order 366 (EO 366).In line with Noynoy’s PPP.400 1.5 B subsidy from the national government representing the already meager amount the food agency allots for palay procurement from our farmers was also transferred to the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s conditional cash transfers assistance program. PTV 4. PNOY’s PPP: Blatant State Abandonment of Social Services Despite his administration’s unending rhetoric about “pwede nang mangarap ang mahirap”. Given such a situation. 26% for agriculture.000 2.500 3.6B). This burden will ultimately be shouldered by its riding public who are mostly minimum wage earners. 65% for power and energy. Moreover.7 billion financial support was allocated for the implementation of Aquino’s Public-Private Partnership projects. government employees are still threatened by possibilities of job loss. TABLE 1: 14 AGENCIES FOR ABOLITION AGENCIES NAPOCOR NFA NIA PPA NHA LRT PEZA MRT LWUA MWSS NEA NDC PNR HGC EST. despite an electoral campaign mounted upon promises of change and hope. will ultimately lead to the privatization of food through the abolition. the 2011 National Budget drastically reduced allocations for basic social services such as education (26% reduction on the allocation for all State Universities and Colleges). NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 7. The government is also planning to increase by an astounding 200% (from P15 to P50) the regular fare of the MRT and LRT because of the reduced state subsidy.O.300 1. Livestock Development Corporation) and the proposed sale of the farms and nursery of the Bureau of Animal Industries and Bureau of Plant Industries.000 4.
the public in general. export-oriented Third World country like the Philippines.the organizations of peasants. the Solidarity to Oppose Privatization or STOP PRIVATIZATION was formed by unions and employees of government offices directly faced with the threat of privatization. 10:00 am-5:00 pm at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management Conference Hall. irrigators and small businesses. In order to showcase the organization’s strength and perseverance in opposing privatization. progressive partylists. 2011. urban poor. Elliptical Road corner Visayas Avenue. It was initially composed of unions and employees in the public sector but ultimately involved various stakeholders such as for FOOD . privatization of state-owned enterprises is ultimately equal to denationalization--a transfer of control to foreign investors or managers. Instead of asserting our national sovereignty through state ownership and national industrialization. particularly those from the ranks of peasants. The conference will serve to signal fire a substantial and intensified mass campaign against privatization. OUR CALLS: Tanggol Trabaho! Stop Privatization! Subsidy for public services! 3 . the need to commit ourselves to stop privatization becomes our urgent task. Quezon City. our plans to participate in the upcoming June 30 mobilization commemorating Aquino’s first year in office will also be announced during the conference. as the threat to our jobs and the public service become more imminent. and healthcare workers who will directly be affected by the commercialization and privatization of State services and enterprises The conference also aims to reaffirm our alliance’s statement of unity and to devise precise and detailed plans of action to be undertaken in the following days. political and social implications A brief historical overview of privatization as an economic policy Sharing of experiences from the ranks of government employees with impending or continuing privatization schemes Discussion of general situationer of multi-sectoral stakeholders. women. Aquino’s aggressive thrust towards privatization effectively exposes his nature as a puppet of US imperialist dictates. environment advocates. all in preparation for a nationwide fight against privatization. the educators and the youth. The alliance and its timely actions were responsible for staving-off the massive retrenchments and exposing to the public the corruption and other negative effects of privatization to vital social services. WORKERS’ PENSION FUND – private sector workers and trade unions. grains retailers. human rights activists or simply put. In the final analysis. the urban poor. HOUSING – shelter agencies employees unions. STOP PRIVATIZATION CONFERENCE In a bid to surpass Aquino’s blatant attempts to privatize services. consolidate and strengthen our ranks and to formulate possible plans of action for the coming days. In the 1990’s. and the eventual privatization of the MRT and the LRT will translate to higher prices which will bleed dry the workers and employees who are already on the brink of destitution. STOP Privatization: Our Name Our Call Now more than ever. in an import-dependent.other Key Shelter Agencies). unparalleled militant opposition and a tried and tested unity to generate the needed strength and collective action in defense of jobs and public services are a must. migrant workers (eventually the alliance PRO-FUND was formed at the height of the GSIS campaigns in 2004). Along this line. legislators. The conference hopes to gather hundreds of government employees and various stakeholders from different sectors in society to discuss the following: An in-depth analysis of Aquino’s Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) program and its economic. the Solidarity to Oppose Privatization (STOP PRIVATIZATION) will hold a whole day conference on June 29. The said meeting aims to unite.
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