BY ALEXANDER MARTIN REMOLLINO
MANILA — Members of Anakbayan and other youth groups staged a rally at the US Embassy here this morning to take the US to task for its role in the global economic crisis. They also lambasted the Arroyo administration for implementing what they described as pro-US policies, which they say have led to the mass lay-offs now sweeping the country.
“”Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her lackeys cannot hide the fact that our economy is very vulnerable to external shocks,” said Anakbayan chairman Ken Ramos. “The Philippine economic arena is dominated by foreign transnational and multinational companies. With the global economic supercrisis, any problem in the world market is doubly felt locally.”
“This is the result of following the globalization framework being pushed by the US for the past decade,” Ramos added.
Government data show that more than 15,000 workers have been laid off in the last two months, while 19,000 more have had their working hours reduced.
Ramos noted that most of the 15,000 workers laid off in the last two months were from the export-oriented industries.
“Most of those companies produce goods destined for the US and other countries,” he said. “Naturally, with the global crisis, there is little or no demand for these. Hence, thousands are being laid-off.”
More could lose their jobs, government economic managers have warned. “Roughly 800,000 are vulnerable to the global crisis,” said Economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto at a press briefing in Malacañang today. Recto’s forecast nearly triples projections by Labor Secretary Marianito Roque, who had previously predicted that some 300,000 workers would lose their jobs this year.
Meanwhile, some 5,800 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have been sent home within the same period, government data further show.
“The United States, with the help of its most reliable puppet Gloria Arroyo, has given the ‘kiss of death’ to millions of Filipinos,” Ramos said. (Bulatlat.com)