2002 National Budget, anti-worker and anti-poor
The militant Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) today said that the P780 billion national budget for 2002 that the Congress approved last Saturday is entirely an anti-poor and anti-people budget.
“It's a shame that the Congress even railroaded the budget's approval only to allot a whooping 40 percent of it to foreign debt servicing,” said KMU Spokesperson Sammy Malunes.
KMU called the Congress' move to approve the budget as a reckless and unjust action against the people. “The Congress readily gave in to Arroyo's desire to approved the entire allocation for foreign debt servicing in exchange for higher Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel fund.”
“Workers are enraged with the government's obvious preference to debt servicing rather than providing basic social services urgently needed by the people. While poor people carry the burden of paying for expensive yet poor standard services provided by private firms, the government is throwing the people's tax money into nothing.”
“More often, pork funds are wasted to insignificant projects. We do not trust the Congress to provide adequate social services like education, health services, housing, and public utilities such as water, electricity and telecom facilities. Usually, what we get from pork funds are just waiting sheds and deep wells,” Malunes said.
Meanwhile, the labor group also expressed alarm over the possible intensification of militarization through the additional allotment of budget for the military. "Even if the Congress did not approved the entire funding allotted for the AFP's modernization plan, there were portions of the budget that are up to Arroyo's discretion on how to disburse. It is expected that she would spend it to beef up military troops and sustain the anti-terrorism war.
“The Arroyo government is clearly showing its priorities on the budget allocation. It's first concern is still foreign monopolies, and second, the military.”
KMU further said that in 2002, they would intensify their efforts to further expose and oppose the anti-people and anti-worker character of the Arroyo government and its policies and programs that are not in favor of the people's interests. “Arroyo should prepare for bigger people's actions next year.”