A Critique of the Economic Resiliency Plan: Why Arroyo’s P330-Billion ‘Stimulus’ Package Will Not Solve Joblessness

2. Provision of Sufficient Social Services

a. Provide sufficient social services especially public education (excluding military education), public health, and public housing by substantially increasing their national budget allocation and increasing public spending on them.
b. Reduce substantially the national budget allocation for the military and debt servicing and redirect the savings to allocation for public education (excluding military education), public health, and public housing.
c. Stop the privatization and commercialization of all public schools and state colleges and universities, public hospitals, and public housing to ensure that the services they provide are accessible and available especially for the poor and ordinary income earners.
d. Stop the demolition of urban poor communities and provide decent and secure housing for the poor.

3. Generating Resources While Easing the Undue Burden Caused by Taxes and Debt

a. Stop the automatic appropriation for debt servicing through the repeal of Presidential Decree (PD) 1177 or the Budget Reform Decree of 1977 and Executive Order (EO) 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987 to free up resources for social services spending.
b. Declare a moratorium on foreign debt servicing and review all foreign debts to determine which are odious and illegitimate and therefore shall no longer be repaid.
c. Remove the 12% value added tax on oil, power, water, and other basic consumer goods and basic services to lower prices and stretch the budgets of ordinary households.
d. Provide tax breaks for all minimum wage earners in the private sector and their equivalent in the public sector. Review all pertinent laws and policies to ensure that such tax breaks are appropriately enjoyed by targeted workers and employees.
e. Provide tax breaks and other forms of financial assistance to Filipino-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to boost their viability. Various forms of fiscal incentives accorded to transnational corporations (TNCs) and other foreign businesses operating in the country must be redirected to Filipino-owned SMEs.
f. Re-impose tariffs on imported goods that have been cut back or eliminated under past and present trade liberalization programs and international trade agreements to generate revenues for the national government.
g. Implement a serious crackdown against government corruption, bureaucratic wastage, and smuggling that take away much-needed public resources.

4. Mitigating the Cost of Living and Controlling the Prices of Basic Goods and Services

a. Implement the demand of all private and public sector workers for a substantial increase in their wages through legislation.
b. Impose price control mechanisms on basic consumer goods and provide state subsidy to mitigate sudden increases in prices. Review all pertinent laws and policies to ensure that price control mechanisms are properly implemented and are actually beneficial to consumers.
c. Repeal Republic Act (RA) 8479 or the Oil Deregulation Law of 1998 and RA 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 to stop and reverse the privatization and deregulation of the oil and power sectors that have led to increasing petroleum prices and electricity rates.
d. Stop all new increases in water and power utilities caused by various automatic rate adjustment mechanisms under privatization contracts forged by past and present administrations.
e. Stop all new increases in mass transportation fares. In the case of public utility jeepneys, buses, and taxis, government must provide considerable assistance to drivers and small operators including, but not limited to, subsidies on petroleum and spare parts. Onerous and additional fees imposed by government agencies on the public transport sector must be scrapped as well.
f. Freeze the increases in tuition and all other fees imposed by public and private schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions nationwide. Stop the deregulation of tuition and other fees by repealing the Education Act of 1982.
g. Ensure the availability of affordable food, especially rice. Make available to the general public the P18.25 per kilo rice subsidized by the National Food Authority (NFA), which is currently restricted to holders of family access cards (FACs). The privatization of the NFA must be stopped and its mandate to ensure food security must be promoted, including its procurement of at least 25% of domestic rice production. At the same time, it must maintain its palay support price of P17 a kilo for palay farmers.
h. Review all relevant laws and policies to ensure that affordable, essential, and safe medicines are available and accessible to the people.

5. Ending and reversing the liberalization of trade and investment

a. Reverse all trade and investment liberalization policies to support and promote domestic production. All previously removed and reduced tariffs, quantitative restrictions, foreign equity limits, and other forms of control and regulation must be restored and strengthened to check the undue competition posed by foreign goods and capital on Filipino producers.
b. Stop the implementation of existing bilateral, regional, and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) such as, but not limited to, the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) and the various trade deals under the World Trade Organization (WTO). All ongoing negotiations for new bilateral and regional FTAs as well as talks for new liberalization commitments in the WTO must be immediately discontinued.
c. Stop all moves to further liberalize the investment regime in the country such as, but not limited to, House Resolution (HR) 737, which calls for 100% foreign ownership of land and resources in the country through Charter change (Cha-cha).

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