We dare to dream of a better future for Filipino people
The so-called “economic growth” under the Aquino administration is a hoax; its growth is only for the elite, local and foreign. This administration’s neoliberal economic policies have only opened wide highways for the plunder of our national resources, the exploitation of our workers and our poor, and the further concentration of wealth in the hands of the superrich.
Lackeys and economists of financial oligarchs have used the Aquino administration to paint rosy pictures of “inclusive economies” through groupings like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, which the Philippines hosted last year. The harsh truth is, Filipino workers toil under even greater oppression and exploitation. After six years of the Aquino administration, they have become more tightly chained, like slaves, to low pay, job insecurity, and unsafe working conditions inside the extensive dungeons of contractualization.
Mr. Aquino’s wholesale adherence to the mandates of neoliberal economics did not establish a strong national economy; neither did it provide for the needs of the Filipino people; this was never the intended outcome. Imperialist globalization is meant to further concentrate the world’s wealth in the hands of a few. In “poorer/less-powerful/developing” countries like the Philippines, this is done by using neoliberal economics to open up the mineral and natural resources for exploitation by the rich and powerful countries, and to employ cheap and flexible labor; and by creating markets where overproduced and low-quality goods can be dumped and sold.
As Church people, we must stand as “prophets” in these times of untenable and immoral profits, squeezed from the blood and sweat of the suffering majority, being delivered on a silver platter into the hands of the wealthiest 1 percent, even as they are destroying the planet.
The majority of poor and struggling Filipino masses have not benefited from any of the so-called economic “growth.” With at least 4.3 million Filipinos unemployed and 7. 9 million underemployed under President Aquino’s watch, it is glaringly obvious that our workers will continue to languish and suffer as mere cogs in the heartless and oppressive machine of imperialist globalization, which manipulates through its so-called liberalization, privatization, flexible labor practices (including migrant labor), and deregulation.
In the last elections, all presidential aspirants promised to terminate contractualization. We urge the next administration to go much further than that: Reject the worst of neoliberal economic policies. Our national industries must be developed and the agricultural sector must be modernized, if we want to usher in a better quality of life for the workers and farmers—the toiling majority—of our nation.
Our people are hungry for economic development that can liberate them from poverty and create opportunities and avenues for their participation in the productivity of our nation.
We challenge the next administration to do better by our people. We challenge the next president to vanquish the vultures of imperialist globalization that leave nothing but dry bones for our people.
In condemning Mr. Aquino’s narrow path—a path that has led us squarely into the stranglehold of massive exploitation by local and foreign financial oligarchs—we dare to dream of a better future for the Filipino people, where the dignity of work is coupled with respect for the local communities’ ardent desire for self-determination and economic participation, nurtured through a strong national economy.
—NARDY SABINO, general secretary, Promotion of Church People’s Response, [email protected]
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