Bayan: APEC doesn’t help common Pinoy
(The Freeman) - September 5, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Militant group Bayan has assailed the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, which it said does not necessarily respond to the needs of the common Filipino.

The group staged yet another protest outside the Radisson Blu Hotel yesterday where the APEC Senior Officials Meeting took place.

Bayan said APEC benefits foreign companies and capitalists and what the common Filipino needs is genuine reforms in agriculture.

Bayan – Central Visayas Chairperson Jaime Paglinawan challenged Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary and SOM3 spokersperson Laura del Rosario to explain why the government grants tax incentives to big businesses and investors while imposing heavy taxes to small businesses and depriving workers of living wage and job security.

“We dare del Rosario to explain why the Philippines has the highest electricity rate in Asia. Why education and health budget are decreasing, why our natural resources have been depleted due to mining of foreign firms and why important industries that are supposed to be vital to economic growth are surrendered to private firms,” he said.

Bayan said the Philippines’ adherence to APEC will not develop the country’s backward agriculture and industry, which are vital to economic growth.

Paglinawan said APEC cannot serve the common people because it espouses a standstill principle, which means, “APEC member economies do not take measures which have the effect increasing levels of protection.”

Paglinawan said this reportedly explains why government resists the people’s call to decrease prices of basic commodities, increase budget for basic service, and lower taxes collected from the people and from small businesses.

Police said the protest rally was peaceful and rallyists did not challenge security personnel.

Senior Supt. Marciano Batiancela Jr., acting chief of the Cebu City Police Office, said 28 crowd dispersal personnel were deployed to the area to maintain peace.

Chief Supt. Prudencio Tom Bañas, director of the Police Regional Office-7, said they expect more protest actions but maximum tolerance will be enforced. —/JMO (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION BAYAN CEBU CITY POLICE OFFICE CENTRAL VISAYAS CHAIRPERSON JAIME PAGLINAWAN CHIEF SUPT DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS UNDERSECRETARY MARCIANO BATIANCELA JR. PAGLINAWAN POLICE REGIONAL OFFICE PRUDENCIO TOM BA
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