Unemployment woes keep Filipinos under extreme poverty

It is the inability of the government, pursuing economic liberalization and unabated deregulation that is causing more and more people to fall below the poverty line and unable to live on more than $1 a day, the Alliance of Progressive Labor said today.

Reacting to the annual World Bank funded World Development Index study, the APL said that the focus shouldn’t just be on those who live on S1 or about P50 a day but on the 43 million who live on just $2 or less than P100 according to the WB study.

“It just goes to show the wide disparity between the haves and have nots in the country,” said APL Secretary-General Josua Mata. “You have an extremely few people enjoying the wealth of the nation and the vast majority scrambling for the scraps of our supposed economic growth.”

“The administration, both present and those before it share the blame for this situation, for following economic policies that do not benefit the majority and just a favored few,” Mata added. “Policies that have destroyed jobs and driven more and more Filipinos out of the country.”

“What is needed is a comprehensive economic plan that puts our own interests forward above trade deals and WTO commitments, away from tied loans and structural adjustment programs dictating the lowering of tariffs and the further opening of vulnerable industries employing millions of people,” said Mata.

“Candidates running for elective positions in the May polls have their hands full explaining to voters what exactly they will do to address this problem,” said Mata. “We challenge them to present a labor agenda that will not put more workers under global poverty standards and instead increase each Filipino’s well-being and allow us to enjoy the rights guaranteed us in our Constitution.”

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