P1.16 B Power Subsidy for Economic Zones: Another ‘Ridiculous Move’ by Aquino – RCTU

Fortunato Magtanggol
July 5, 2012

The Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions in Southern Tagalog (RCTU-ST) condemns Aquino anew on his “ridiculous move” to extend a billion peso worth of power subsidy for economic zones ‘to attract more foreign investors’.

President Aquino has recently signed on July 2 a P1.16 billion worth of power assistance to exporting companies under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.  The funding, which basically extends the memorandum of agreement (MOA) originally signed in 2007, will be deducted from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) special fund that comes from the Malampaya project in Palawan.

RCTU-NDF-ST has yet again denounced Aquino’s new effort in ‘making the lives of investors easier, while turning his back on his people’s calls’.

“Aquino is determined to become the most subservient whelp to its imperialist boss.  After the much criticized $1 billion pledge to the IMF’s war chest, he is now releasing a huge part of the people’s resources for the benefit of foreign investors.  With this, we can truly say he is nothing but a pimp to the Filipino people’s wealth,” says Fortunato Magtanggol, RCTU-NDF-ST spokesperson.

Aquino received diverse reactions towards a recent $1 billion loan to the IMF, with progressive groups labeling it ‘unacceptable for a poor country such as the Philippines’.

“Just like what he could have done with the $1 billion donation to the IMF, Aquino should have given this P1.16 billion to lessen electricity costs in Filipino households who are bound to suffer from higher electric bills in the coming months.” Added Magtanggol.

The Energy Regulatory Commission has approved another increase in Manila Electric Co.’s (MERALCO) distribution charge (from 1.60/kwh to 1.63/kwh).  Generation charges are also expected to increase this month.  Ironically, despite its final approval on the proposed subsidy, the palace said that it has no control over the ERC’s decision, as it is fully independent from the DOE.

“As usual, the Aquino administration is trying to evade the people’s real concerns.  Filipino households are obviously unable to keep up with the rising costs of commodities and services because of very low wages under the two-tier wage system, and the absence of benefits due to the widespread contractual employment scheme.  But instead of addressing these problems, Aquino has constantly chosen to put the blame on others and focus on pleasing foreign investors in the name of imperialist globalization.”

“Eager in maintaining the current export-oriented, import-dependent economy of the Philippines to the advantage of the ruling class where he truly belongs, Aquino is making his best efforts in enticing foreign investments through trade liberalization policies dictated by the international financial oligarchs such as IMF.  All these he willingly does at the expense of Filipino workers [in export processing zones] who experience the worst working conditions, receive meager wages, no benefits, and are continuously oppressed by both foreign capitalists and their local counterparts.”

“As workers are bound to experience worse economic conditions in the near future, there is definitely no way out of Aquino’s obsession on the global market but through a national democratic revolution that will put an end to our dependence on the imperialist globalization,” ended Magtanggol.#