Published: July 20, 2012
“Can the president deliver his SONA in a wet market?”
This was the question which labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno asked bystanders today as it toured a wet market and several urban poor communities, saying Pres. Noynoy Aquino in his third State of the Nation Address will surely brag about economic progress which workers and the poor do not experience.
Calling on the public to join Monday’s “People’s Protest” in time for the president’s SONA, the labor center used a mobile soundsystem and distributed pamphlets in several urban poor communities before holding a short program in Paco Market in Manila.
“Pres. Aquino will find it hard to deliver his SONA in a wet market, as workers and poor people will find a rosy picture of the economy unconvincing. They will contest claims that their lives have improved under the present government,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“We have been asking workers and poor people if their economic situation has improved over the past two years. So far, it’s very difficult to find people who say that their situation did improve,” he added.
“The best and ultimate judge of the economy is the poor. The president will surely brag about abstract indicators of economic growth which do not correspond to what workers and the poor feel in their stomachs,” he said.
KMU said all of its regional chapters, federations and mass organizations all over the country are going to communities to call on the public to join Monday’s protest.
KMU said the president will surely brag about the growth in the country’s Gross Domestic Product, improvements in the stock market, upgrades in credit ratings, increases in the international reserves, among others.
“The long-standing problems of workers and the poor remain unsolved and are even getting worse. Unemployment, hunger, and poverty remain at record high,” Labog said.
“For two years, Pres. Aquino has refused to implement measures that will give the poor some economic relief – no significant wage hike, no junking of contractual employment, no price controls, and definitely no land reform,” he added.
“That’s why we are calling on the workers and the poor to join the People’s Protest on Monday, present the true state of the nation, and call for much-needed economic relief and reforms,” he said.