Anakpawis party-list Representative Rafael Mariano today described as an “all-for-show” President Aquino’s so-called order to his economic managers to study all means, including wage hikes and reduction in the 12 percent value-added tax, to mitigate the impact of high fuel prices on the poor and minimum wage earners.
“Obviously, Mr. Aquino’s order is an all for show and smacks of political gimmickry in a vain attempt to save his sagging popularity and growing political isolation,” says Mariano.
Mariano noted that “the President contradicted himself when he said that ‘In general, (reducing the VAT) is not the right solution’ and that even his economic managers are in chorus in opposing concrete proposals that will provide immediate economic relief to the people, including the P125 legislated daily wage hike, the removal of the VAT, and scrapping the oil deregulation law, among others.”
“The study by Aquino’s economic team allegedly intended to address extreme poverty will ironically become a justification to promote Band-Aid solutions and dole-outs like the corruption-prone conditional cash transfer schemes coupled with Hacienda Luisita-style deception,” Mariano said.
“For sure,” Mariano said, “it (study) will be designed to reinforce the present anti-worker and anti-people policies.”
The President yesterday said that “everything is being studied. Will it be a wage increase? Can it be a price control or can we reduce the VAT?” But the President also said that, “In general, (reducing the VAT) is not the right solution.” Even Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said that the economic managers were “not keen” on proposals to reduce the VAT.
After Malacanang thumbed down the P125 legislated wage hike, the Department of Trade and Industry also announced yesterday its opposition to the workers long-standing demand. “Giving a P125-per-day wage hike across the board will make our companies uncompetitive compared to its Asian counterparts. It is not wise to give such a high amount at a time when our companies are gaining ground in terms of competitiveness,” says DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo. #