More foreign investments mean more jobs, homes lost for millions of urban poor

Jan. 28, 2013

Press Release
28 January 2013

An urban poor group doubts on the positive vive in the Philippine economy that riddles President Aquino’s recent visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), a militant group representing the rights of some 32 million urban poor in the country, says the expected entry of more foreign investments into the country will certainly crucify poor Filipinos at Cavalry, and to some extent, will lay them in their graveyards.

“Aquino’s ‘Daang Matuwid’ which is the administrations drive against corruption is no less than a propaganda.  Above anyone else, the foreign investors will be the most eager to believe it,” the group said.

According to Gloria Arellano, Kadamay national chair, “The expected rise in the Philippine stocks in the coming days is all part of the conditioning efforts to lay the basis for the privatization of more public utilities and services.”

Not the real case

“Everyone would assume that more investments mean more jobs, but that is not the real case.  Aside from more kickbacks for top Philippine officials, including the president himself and his relatives, along with these foreign investments are more sufferings for the country’s poor population,” Arellano said.

“The urban poor should brace themselves against more violent cases of demolition of their homes as key urban spaces are to be transformed into big business hubs and districts,” the leader added.

Kadamay NCR estimated that some 1.4 million urban poor families will be displaced from their communities in Metro Manila upon the implementation of Aquino’s 14 Public-Private Partnership projects.  Leading the pack is Laguna Lake 2000, which will displace an estimated four million residents living around Laguna de Bay.

“Along with the destruction of their homes is the lost of livelihood and informal jobs of millions of urban dwellers, from the street vendors to pedicab and tricycle drivers,” according to Lea Valencia, Kadamay-NCR secretary-general, citing the case of Luneta vendors who are about to lose their jobs with the entry of a Korean investor who will manage the national park.

Meanwhile, Kadamay also noted that as the Aquino administration is hastening the privatization of public hospitals and health services, which kicked off this month with the pre-bidding of the Philippine Orthopedic Center, indigent patients will be doomed regardless of the government’s plan to expand the number of Philhealth beneficiaries.

The entry of more foreign investments in the logging and mining sectors will also bring catastrophe to poor Filipinos in both the urban and rural areas, according to Arellano citing that the Aquino administration has not learned from the lesson of the Sendong and Pablo tragedy that took the lives, homes and livelihood of millions of Filipinos in Mindanao.

Neoliberal framework

“Based on the neoliberal globalization as a framework, the poor will certainly not benefit from the economic prosperity that the Aquino administration is boasting off.  In no time, and to greater degree, the Filipino people will suffer the same fate as the millions of Americans and peoples of the First World who continue to lose their jobs and homes due to the global financial crisis,” she ended.

Kadamay reiterated its call for a national industrialization and genuine agrarian reform programs as the only means to bring forth social and economic prosperity which, according to the group, the landlord President would not likely to pursue.

Gloria Arellano, Kadamay national chair, 0921.392.7457

Militanteng Sentro ng Maralitang Lungsod sa Pilipinas
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