PLM statement on children dying in Palawan & the CCT PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Sunday, 10 April 2011 22:23

Partido Lakas ng Masa-Women Statement


Preventable child deaths in Palawan: What happened to the CCT program?

 

According to the latest reports at least 30 people, mostly children belonging to a Palawan tribe, died in what health authorities suspect to be an outbreak of cholera due to contaminated water. At least seven out of every ten dead were children under five years of age. The tribal community struck by suspected cholera live in Bataraza town.

“We were told that the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program would reach out to communities such as these, and provide households cash and other services for health and nutritional expenses. Palawan is also supposed to be one of the 20 poorest provinces in the country where the CCT program is being implemented. In fact the province has been described as a Set 2 beneficiary area, where the CCT program was started in April 2009 under the Arroyo administration and has been continued until 2014 under the government of President Noynoy Aquino. It was supposed to address poverty and improve the health of precisely these types of poor and marginalized communities. If the CCT was really effective, why should such disasters happen?” Emma Garcia, spokesperson for PLM-Women queried?

 

“We want some clarification on this from the DSWD Secretary Dinky Solliman and other agencies concerned with the implementation of the CCT program. Was the CCT program implemented in these areas affected by the cholera? If not, why not? If so, what are the results? Why wasn’t this epidemic prevented?”

 

"We organized a women's picket outside the Department of Health on Friday April 08 and PLM-Women are prepared to continue these women's pickets outside the DSWD and other relevant agencies until their questions are answered."

 

That children are dying due to preventable ailments such as diarrhea is an outrage that’s happening in 21st century Philippines. And the fact is that this is not an isolated incident. According to UNICEF Philippines, the UN organization mandated to work for children’s rights, diarrhea is a leading cause of under-five deaths in the country, responsible for almost 10,000 deaths per year.

 

“We call on the government of President Aquino for action, not mere words and sweet talk. Increase the health care budget now, establish a system of universal health care, and push for the immediate passage of the RH Bill which will save mothers and childrens lives”, Emma Garcia said.

 

 

Partido Lakas ng Masa -- Women

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 April 2011 22:32
 
Sobra na ang Kahirapan, Tama na ang Pagpapabaya ng Pamahalaan! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Sunday, 10 April 2011 10:12

The Government Has Failed to Address Poverty in its First Year in Office

 

The latest SWS survey showing an increase in hunger is a major concern that must be taken seriously and not brushed off in a squabble over statistics. According to the March 4-7 poll 20.5% of respondents -- or an estimated 4.1 million families -- have gone hungry at least once in the past three months. This is up from the estimated 3.4 million families recorded in November 2010, i.e., almost one million extra families are going hungry today due to poverty. Along with the other examples of poverty and marginalization – such as the shocking deaths of up to 30 people in Palawan, including children, due to easily preventable ailments such as diarrhea – this demonstrates that the situation of the masa is deteriorating.

 

What is equally of concern to us is the response of President Noynoy Aquino: his expression of disbelief at the survey results. According to the President the figures are skewed because the impact of the conditional cash transfers (CCT) measures of the government implemented in Visayas and Mindanao, have not been reflected in the survey.

 

Bickering about statistics when people are going hungry does not do justice to a government that claims to be serious about reducing poverty. The fact is that wide-spread poverty, and related hunger, continues to exist and is the most serious socio-economic problem that the country faces today. We don’t need statistics to tell us this. The masa know this and we experience it in our daily lives. The deteriorating situation of the masa and the seeming inability of the government to reverse the trend represent the failure of the government to carry out its promise of poverty reduction during its first year in office.

 

The President refers to the CCT program, but CCTs are specific measures used to address some aspects of poverty and are usually short-term, implemented during periods of crises (and even on this score they’re effectiveness is debatable). CCTs are not development programs and cannot substitute for comprehensive development and poverty reduction strategies. The fact that the President can only point to the CCT measures is an indication that the government has no meaningful development program and strategy to address poverty. This is a major concern.

 

This is no time to squabble over statistics. We needed far reaching reforms and strategies – at least 12 months ago. Without meaningful measures and reforms the situation for the masa will continue to worsen, and poverty and hunger will increase. The President must put forward a concrete development plan. The President must have a clear strategy for poverty reduction and must have the political will to implement them. At the heart of such a strategy and plan should be far-reaching measures for job creation for the country’s citizens – not CCTs. There is no time to waste. The people are hungry and are getting desperate. A first step to providing the masa with immediate protection against sliding further into poverty would be for the President to mandate a meaningful increase in the minimum wage for all workers.

 

 


Last Updated on Sunday, 10 April 2011 10:17
 
PLM Radio Program PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Sunday, 03 April 2011 11:01

PARTIDO LAKAS NG MASA,

MAY REGULAR RADIO PROGRAM NA!

Lakas ng Masa, Tinig ng Masa!

Every Saturday, 10am-11am, DWSS, 1494 KHZ,am band. 

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For those outside the Philippines, using computer, laptop, and Internet, tune in at

http://dwss-am.mellow947.fm

Send news and commentaries at:

Email Address:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Or call the following numbers:

LAKAS NG MASA HOTLINE:  (02) 492-7509

PLM NATIONAL OFFICE:  (02) 437-1066



Last Updated on Sunday, 03 April 2011 11:15
 
No to Imperialist Intervention in Libya! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Sunday, 20 March 2011 21:08

Statement of the Partido Lakas ng Masa

March 19, 2011

No to imperialist intervention in the Libya! Saudi, UAE troops out of Bahrain!

Support Middle Eastern democracy struggles! End imperialist wars in Iraq, Afghanistan!

 

On March 17, 2011, the UN Security Council passed a resolution authorizing military intervention by the Western imperialist powers or their puppets in Libya. The justification for this is to prevent further loss of life in fighting between forces remaining loyal Muammar Gadaffi and forces supporting the uprising that began on February 15 against his 42-year-old rule, and to support the pro-democracy forces.

 

However, the imperialists’ claims to be in support of democracy,  and concerned about loss of life, are contradicted by events in Bahrain, a key Western ally where the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based. Here the US response to brutal attacks by the monarchist government against unarmed, non-violent pro-democracy protesters has been to call for restraint — by both sides.

 

Furthermore, on March 14, 1000 troops from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (a brutal feudal dictatorship and the chief US ally in the Arab world) and 500 police from the United Arab Emirates (also a Western-backed monarchy) invaded Bahrain to help the Bahraini government crush the protests. The intervention happened under the umbrella of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Ironically, the GCC was one of the key institutions lobbying for military intervention in Libya.

Libya

During the 1970s and ’80s, the Gadaffi government was supported by most progressives throughout the world because following the 1969 revolution that overthrew a Western-controlled feudal monarchy, his government redistributed the country’s oil wealth to the benefit of the country’s poor and took an anti-imperialist line in foreign policy. These policies also earned Gadaffi the hatred of the imperialist powers — sanctions were applied under a number of pretexts and in 1986 the US President Ronald Reagan sent warplanes to bomb Libya.

 

However, the Gadaffi régime was never socialist and over time became increasingly dictatorial. Much of its anti-imperialism was simply rhetoric and its support for just liberation struggles, such as that of Palestine, was inconsistent and used as a bargaining chip to be traded away in deals with imperialism.

During the 1990s and 2000s its policies took an increasingly neoliberal direction and its standards of literacy and healthcare, for example, which had improved after the revolution, declined to levels similar to neighboring countries. Furthermore, Filipinos are aware that it relied on the exploitation of foreign workers. The West rewarded these policies with a renewal of diplomatic and military support. The right-wing Berlesconi régime in Italy became particularly close to Gadaffi, and Britain remained a major arms supplier almost until the point when the British government became a main advocate of military action against the régime.

 

The Libyan uprising for democracy, inspired by the uprisings that overthrew imperialist-backed presidents in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, is worthy of support by progressives. Gadaffi’s initial response was to appeal to the imperialism to save him, accusing the opposition of being al-Qaeda. It was only when it became clear that the West was going to opportunistically use the uprising, and the régime’s brutal response, as a pretext for direct intervention that he revived his anti-imperialist rhetoric from the ’70s aand ’80s.

 

However, imperialist military intervention must be denounced as the hypocritical opportunism that it is. The record of Western interventions in the Middle East speaks for itself. Far from saving lives, it will cost more. The rules of engagement being proposed mean that if the Gadaffi loyalist forces bomb civilians in rebel-held Benghazi the imperialists will bomb civilians in government-held Tripoli. And far from helping democracy the intervention is an attempt to hijack the Libyan uprising and establish a base from which to derail the unfolding revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

Bahrain

 

The corporate media, ever subservient to imperialism has shed rivers of crocodile tears over Libya, while paying very little attention to Bahrain. What coverage it has had has falsely portrayed the uprising as communal violence between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims. The media has also parroted the proganda of the Bahraini and Saudi kings that the protesters are Shi’a religious fundamentalists backed by Iran.

 

The reality is that while the Sunni monarchy has discriminated against the Shi’a majority, the protests have united Sunni and Shi’a, religious and secular, in a struggle for democracy, human rights, gender equality and economic opportunity.

 

These are the values which the imperialists’ intervention in Libya claims to be in support of. Yet in Bahrain, the imperialists have sent in their Saudi and UAE puppets to shore up the religious sectarian monarchy. Under the protection of the Saudi and UAE forces, pro-monarchy thugs have attacked and burnt the protest camp and have been roaming neighborhoods attacking democracy supporters. Health workers have also been targeted. Hospitals have been taken over the military — wounded protesters have been prevented from entering and doctors, nurses and paramedics prevented from leaving.

Iraq

 

Anyone with illusions that Western intervention can bring democracy need look no further than Iraq. The US-led invasion and occupation that has cost more than a million Iraqi lives since 2003 was in the name of bringing democracy. Instead it has brought communal divisions, religious extremism, a breakdown in basic services such as electricity and water, social dislocation, collapse of the health and education systems, mass unemployment and, above all, violence.

That pro-democracy protesters are being shot down on the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities by the puppet régime installed by the West in the name of bringing democracy shows clearly what imperialist intervention brings.

 

Partido Lakas ng Masa, March 19, 2011.

 
Our Solidarity with the People of Japan PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Tuesday, 15 March 2011 10:45

Statement of the Partido Lakas ng Masa

The Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Laboring Masses, PLM) expresses its deepest concern and sends its condolences to all the families and victims of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the North-Eastern coast of Japan last Friday. Our thoughts are also with all our Japanese friends and comrades and we pledge our solidarity and support to them in these dark hours.

 

We also join Filipinos here and abroad who, up to now, wait for official news from the Philippine Government as to the real situation of our Kababayans who were affected by the earthquake and tsunami. We call on the Government to put their contingency plans in motion without losing precious time, which is crucial, when disasters such as these strike. The Government should get its act together to ensure that vital information and other services needed by the victims and their families are given in a prompt and efficient manner.

 

No to Nuclear Power

The horrors of the devastation wrecked by the earthquake and tsunami have been intensified by the dangerous state of meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and the explosion at the Fukushima nuclear reactor. The accident, in which unspecified quantities of radioactivity were released, highlights the grave inherent hazards of nuclear power generation, and confirms the scientific assessment that all nuclear reactor-types can undergo a catastrophic accident like Three Mile Island (US, 1979) and Chernobyl (Ukraine, 1986), irrespective of the precautions taken and safety systems installed. An estimated 65,000 to 110,000 people perished in Chernobyl. The toll from Fukushima is as yet unknown, but is likely to be high.

 

The nuclear accident in Fukushima, once again sends out a strong message to the world, that nuclear energy projects should be abandoned and that all existing nuclear power plants around the world should be shut down. Nuclear energy is neither ‘clean’ nor ‘safe’ and is not a substitute for non-renewable energy sources, such as fossil fuels.

 

No to Bataan Nuclear Power Plant

The Philippines, like Japan, lies along the Pacific Ring of Fire where 90% of the world’s earthquakes occur and where 80% of the world’s largest earthquakes originate.  The Fukushima nuclear accident only shows us that no amount of safety precautions will prevent a possible nuclear meltdown and accident in earthquake prone areas like Japan and the Philippines.  If in Japan we are now witnessing a possible nuclear catastrophe, that well-trained scientists and nuclear physicists with world-class technological know-how are unable to prevent, what assurance do we then have that the same accident will not happen to the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant if it is operationalized?  The BNPP was also found to have 4,000 defects that prompted the mothballing of the project in 1986 by the late President Corazon Aquino.  No amount of safety precautions will prevent a Chernobyl or Fukushima-like nuclear disaster, or even worse, happening in the Philippines.

 

Partido Lakas ng Masa calls on President Aquino’s government to stop all efforts to re-open the talks on the possibility of rehabilitating and operationalizing the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. The Government should find other alternative source of renewable energy, that are sustainable and environment friendly, plentiful and easily available in the Philippines, i.e. plenty of sun or solar, wind, thermal and hydropower energy sources. The Government should commit itself to giving top priority to renewable energy – solar, wind, thermal and hydro – and place renewable energy power generation at the centre of a national energy program and strategy.

 

Partido Lakas ng Masa

14 March 2011

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 10:48
 
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Page 74 of 80

A new party is born. A party for our times.

A party of Change! A party of Socialism!


“Pare-pareho lamang silang trapo!
Mangungurakot na naman yan!
Bobolahin na naman nila tayo!”


Sounds really familiar. We have heard this expression from people of all walks of life time and again. An automatic response, when one is asked about a certain politician or politicians in general.

For decades, generations of politicians from the same clan and some new ones have been deceiving the masses. Every election for them has been an opportunity to make more promises. And after every election, all these remain just that – promises.

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