Proposed federalism, charter change, anti-poor, favoring foreigners

Anakpawis Rep. Ka Ayik Casilao at the protest vs. Charter Change at Congress.Anakpawis Rep. Ka Ayik Casilao at the protest vs. Charter Change at Congress.

Manila, Philippines – Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao expressed opposition on the proposed federal system in government via constituent assembly, and branded it as anti-poor and would favor foreign interests over Filipino’s and of the public. Congress approved House Concurrent Resolution No. 9 last month, which is a consolidation of 29 various bills and resolutions calling for the amendment of the 1987 constitution, most potentially the 60-40 protectionist provision against total foreign ownership of corporations. Particularly, Resolution of Both Houses No. 8 on its Article 12, Section 3, opens up for 100% of foreign ownership of land.

“The proposed federal system will totally eliminate the already little democractic space where marginalized sectors could voice out their opinions, the government will be totally monopolized by political dynasties or traditional politicians, warlords, hacienderos, compradors and oligarchs,” Casilao said.

He added that when political and economic policies are dominated by the a few privileged political clans, at the national and regional scale, concerns of the poor, especially agrarian reform, job security, living wages and public housing will totally be disregarded, that will contribute to the already volatile social contradictions in the country.

“The interests of the Filipino farmers, and other rural-based sectors are actually interests of every Filipino, as when foreign monopoly totally plunder the national patrimony, agricultural produce and social wealth, there will be no left for even the middle class and national entrepreneurs, all of us Filipinos, will all be at the mercy foreigners,” Casilao said.

The lawmaker said that if the incumbent and dominant ruling political cliques in the regions are maintained and with power and influence strengthened by the federal set-up, no fundamental reforms will be realized, worse, oppression and exploitation against the poor will be amplified. ###