BY JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Posted 2:40 p.m., April 25, 2008
Braving the heavy rain, members of the women’s group GABRIELA staged a rally along Nicanor Reyes Steet in Manila at around 10:30 this morning to protest the continuing increase in prices of goods and utilities.
The protesters shouted, “Gutom na ang masa, Patalsikin si Gloria!” (The masses are hungry, Oust Gloria!) They first settled and gathered along C.M. Recto Avenue but they were asked by police officers to transfer to Nicanor Reyes Street.
GABRIELA spokesperson Nerisa Guerrero explained that workers’ demand for a P125.00 across-the-board wage has been debated upon for the last nine years. In their press release, it is stated that “job opportunities are narrowing while the wages remain at pre-historic level.”
Guerrero explained that their demand to peg NFA (National Food Authority) rice at P18.25 through price control, to repeal the Restructured Value-Added Tax (RVAT), a P125 across the board wage and regular jobs are very clear. However, Guerrero claims that none of them are part of Arroyo’s 17 priority bills.
GABRIELA also opposes the government proposal to issue rice access cards to poor Filipino families, arguing that this would make them appear as beggars in their own country.
Guerrero said she believes believes that as long as the government will not focus on the policies that will produce staple food, the Filipino families will continue to go hungry.
Simultaneous women’s actions were held in other parts of the country.
GABRIELA announced that will participate in the nationwide workers’ protest to be held on May 1, spearheaded by Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU or May 1st Movement). (Bulatlat.com)