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Bayan: Economic bailout needed, not Cha-cha

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star
Bayan: Economic bailout needed, not Cha-cha
“We are in the middle of an unprecedented economic crisis, two-year high inflation, record unemployment and erosion of real wages. Charter change cannot and will not address any of these issues. The people demand urgent economic relief. The government should bail out the people,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said in a press statement yesterday.
Renato Reyes Jr. / Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) has called on Congress to shelve deliberations on measures seeking to amend the 1987 Constitution and instead focus on providing economic relief to sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are in the middle of an unprecedented economic crisis, two-year high inflation, record unemployment and erosion of real wages. Charter change cannot and will not address any of these issues. The people demand urgent economic relief. The government should bail out the people,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said in a press statement yesterday.

Reyes issued the statement as the Senate and the House of Representatives are set to start deliberations on amending the Charter.

Early this month, the House committee on constitutional amendments voted to adopt Resolution of Both Houses (RBH) No. 2, filed by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on July 18, 2019, proposing amendments to certain economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution.

The Senate is also set to tackle the resolution filed in December by Senators Francis Tolentino and Ronald dela Rosa calling for both chambers of Congress to convene as a constituent assembly to tackle the introduction of “limited amendments” to the Constitution.

Reyes said Congress should instead focus on more urgent measures that would give immediate aid to the poor and the affected small businesses, such as the proposed “Bayanihan to Arise As One Act,” also known as Bayanihan 3, that seeks to provide a P420-billion additional stimulus package to revive the economy.

He said the House must also deliberate on the Makabayan bloc’s House Bill 7620 or an act providing for a people’s strategy for strengthening health, social protection, economic and local industrial development (SHIELD).

Under the proposed SHIELD bill, a total of P928.5 billion would be allotted to revive the national economy; P320.85 billion for strengthening the health care system and P316.85 billion for social services and assistance.

“We cannot postpone discussions on how to bail out the people during this crisis. We cannot allow self-serving and pro-elite Charter change to be given more priority over the needs of the people,” Reyes said.

“We need a P10,000 bailout for the unemployed. We need a P100 daily wage relief for workers. We need a bail-out package for small businesses. We need production support for the agricultural sector to bring down food prices. Bailing out the people and increasing their capacity for consumption will be good for the economy,” he added.

BAYAN

CHARTER CHANGE

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