The Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), together with other mass organizations and NGOs under Junk JPEPA, today slammed Sen. Mar Roxas and other Senators who have declared their support for the ratification of the JPEPA.
Despite JPEPA’s Constitutional infirmities and various anti-development provisions and despite government’s inability to defend the agreement during all the Senate hearings conducted thus far, Senators Mar Roxas, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Edgardo Angara have declared that they will bat for the passage of the free trade agreement.
“Ratifying JPEPA will consign the country in the economic doldrums,” Josua Mata, APL Secretary General said. “It will impose a straight jacket on our country’s ability to employ the very same policies used by rich countries to propel their economies to the current level of economic development they now enjoy,” he added.
“This is tantamount to economic treason,” the labor leader said. “Once again we are being sold out to the Japanese by another Roxas,” he added.
Under JPEPA the country would have to place Japanese investors on equal footing with their local counterparts and prevent the country from imposing policies to favor Filipino entrepreneurs and enterprises. It will forbid the government from imposing performance requirements on Japanese investments that are crucial for long-term economic development such as the use of local content for its products, transfer of technology, the hiring of a given level of Filipino nationals.
As such, JPEPA will not only worsen the economies’ lackluster performance in jobs generation, it would even lead to massive job losses, especially in the automotive and related industries where at least 100,000 workers are feared to be displaced.
Furthermore, JPEPA will pave the way for Japanese ownership of land in the Philippines. “This would certainly further intensify the pressure for land use and would most likely crowd out the urban poor and the peasants,” Mata said.
APL would view the passage of JPEPA as a notice of mass termination, a wholesale attack on the rights and welfare of the Filipino working class. APL leadership declared that such an affront will be punished in due time as they vow to work against whatever political ambitions these traitors have, be they in the national or international levels.
The APL is a national labor center with 50,000 members nationwide.