By Gerry Albert Corpuz, Ella Mae France and Sugar Hicap
MANILA, Philippines- Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino III will exploit hundreds of billions of pension funds of both private and state workers to finance infrastructures asked by foreign investors as precondition for investments.
The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Saturday asked the 25 million members of the Social Security System (SSS) and the 1.5 million members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to protest the plan of President Aquino to source seed fund amounting to P 200 billion from both pension fund agencies and other government finance institutions (GFIs).
“Hundreds of billions of pension funds currently managed by GSIS and SSS are in extreme danger because of the proposal of the present government to draw funds from the cash register machines of both pension agencies in the name of this anti-people PPP program,” said Pamalakaya.
In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap appealed to 26.5 million members of SSS and GSIS to lodge a strong opposition to Aquino’s plan to use pension funds for the construction of support infrastructures to lure investors to participate in public-partnership projects worth P 740 billion offered by the current administration.
“It is very unfair to the 25 million members of SSS and 1.5 million members of GSIS. The pension funds belong to them and it should be allocated for programs which promote and uphold the welfare of every member. It is meant to support investments or provide support mechanisms for super profiteering corporations. The act of Aquino constitutes future plunder and high crimes of corruption,” Hicap lamented.
Pamalakaya noted that billions of GSIS and SSS pension funds will be used to fund the first set of infrastructure projects under the PPP projects such as the MRT/LRT expansion project, MRT Line 2 extension, the Panglao Airport project, Laguindingan Airport operation and maintenance, the construction of Puerto Princesa Airport, Daraga International Airport, Kalibo Airport, the upgrade full operationalization of NAIA Terminal 3, the Manila side of Cavite Laguna Expressway, NAIA Expressway Phase II project, the Central Luzon Expressway Phase 1j project and the supply of treated bulk water for Metro Manila.
Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) President and Chief executive officer Francisco del Rosario said GFIs like DBP, GSIS, Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the SSS will provide the P 200 billion fund which will complement the P 12.5 billion budget allocated by the Aquino administration for PPP projects in the 2011 national budget.
The DBP head said in providing the seed money for the PPP initiative, the GFIs will provide seed funds to quicken infrastructure development, promote the spirit of public-private partnerships, and finance qualified infrastructure projects via long-term funding in local currency that will be made available to project partners.
“The 26.5 million members of SSS and GSIS in particular and the 94 million Filipinos in general should reject the plan of President Aquino to spend P 200 billion for PPPs. They should get ready for battle royal against this partnership in crime of corporate giants and puppet state known as public-private partnership,” said Pamalakaya.
The militant group said Filipinos should go out in the streets, show their outrage and stage an across-the-nation electrifying protest against this biggest plunder of the national economy and triple platinum ransacking of public funds in the name of foreign investments and all time greed.
Pamalakaya noted President Aquino is playingto big time profiteers and certified exploiters of people’s wealth. He must be stopped at all cost from pursuing these stupid PPP projects which are nothing but cases of first-rate robbery in broad daylight under the emblem of neoliberal exploitation.
The militant group asked senators and congressmen to rise above the occasion and declare the P 200 billion seed fund for PPP projects which would be sourced from funds of government financial institutions (GFIs) as grossly illegal, unconstitutional and highly immoral.
Pamalakaya said Senate Presidentand House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte should lead their colleagues in killing the P 200 billion fund allocated by President Aquino for PPP driven projects and reprimand the 50-year old President from using funds of GFIs.
“We also ask senators and congressmen to do whatever the legislative branch can do to stop the financial madman in Malacanang from spending P 200 billion pesos worth of taxpayers’ fund for the infrastructures needed by foreign investors and corporate clients of the ruling Aquino mafia in Malacanang. Congress should massacre this crazy monster known as PPP,” the group added. #