MANILA: Wilson Fortaleza a Partido Manggagawa spokesman has urged the government to maintain the subsidies provided to the local public and tax the rich persons and compines to recover its P2 million loss.
“Subsidy is a good social policy. It is a right, an entitlement of poor people while corruption and fraud are privileges enjoyed by the rich and powerful. By removing the subsidy, the government is renouncing a good policy,” Fortaleza said.
“This is comparable to the fact that businesses across all industry also enjoy billions of pesos of subsidy in the form of tax holidays, financial assistance, free repatriation as well as import and export privileges,” said Fortaleza whose PM belongs to Nagkaisa! coalition.
He said the power industry, the most lucrative business in the country today, received a total of P5.2 billion in subsidy in 2012 based on the 2012 Census of Philippine Business and Industry.
He also cited the seven-year tax holiday granted a Thai-owned firm for putting up a P2- billion hogs and poultry business in the country, prompting local producers and growers to complain that the domestic hogs and poultry industry was being killed by big foreign corporations.
Fortaleza reiterated his group’s position that it is more productive to provide an annual subsidy to the estimated 500 million rides of blue-collar workers and students who use the trains regularly than the luxurious lifestyles of 500 public officials.
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and the commuters’ groups RILES and TREN are set to question the MRT-LRT fare hike on Jan. 5, a day after the rate increase is enforced by the government.
“We will question the basis for the increase, the authority of the agencies who approved the hike and the process by which the increase was upheld,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. said.
He exhorted the public to support their initiative especially in seeking a temporary restraining order and massive street protests.
“We call on commuters to support this initiative by joining the various protest actions leading up to Jan. 5 and beyond. It is callous on the part of the regime to announce the hike during the holidays and implement it during the visit of the Pope. This period of joy and hope is dampened by the prospect of greater burdens on the poor,” Reyes said.
“For that, let the world see the heartless, anti-people government that we have. And let the world know that the Filipino people are resisting its unjust impositions.”