Yes to budget for people, not basura

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas (The Freeman) - January 14, 2021 - 12:00am

As fit for any useless rubbish, the present Charter Change plan among House representatives should immediately be thrown away and disposed of definitively, soonest this January, which has been marked as National Zero Waste Month.

Despite their disclaimer that their ChaCha plan will only involve economic matters that will ensure more investments badly needed by an unstable economy hit by COVID, do you honestly believe they will keep to their word and not be more shamelessly emboldened to revise the present constitution to extend their terms of office? Do you think the legislators will not proceed to seize the moment to ensure their longer stay in power?

Their line of defense for the ChaCha to aid a pandemic-hit economy does not also hold. What guarantees are there that foreign economic investments will benefit our people, our country and not just some vested interests and businesses?

Congress has not even investigated and confirmed which of our Philippine territories are still ours and not claimed unlawfully by any foreign country.

Revising the charter now, opening Philippine economy and resources officially and more widely to foreign control and ownership within the present dispensation where transparency and accountability are not practiced is tantamount to selling our patrimony cheaply to the highest bidder, and without our consent, without the consent of the Filipino people.

Charter changes require the approval and agreement of the Filipino people. Charter change is the prerogative, the right of every Filipino to participate in and decide together, as a nation, as a whole country. How dare these few legislators take away this right of the Filipino people and usurp the decision making and charter change among themselves!

NO TO CHACHA! Protect our national patrimony, our national territories for our own people!

Claim and protect every Filipino’s right to participate and decide on any charter change! Ibasura ang ChaCha, now na!

Please make your protest heard by those who choose to hear only their own voices and interests! Join all others and unite to stop ChaCha now!

To show their good faith, if the pro-ChaCha legislators genuinely want to help our people during this pandemic, they can do so by suspending Congress now!

The legislators can now go on indefinite leave, without pay! They can instead donate their fat, undeserved salaries and pork barrel to our needy, hungry and poor Filipinos whose numbers are increasing!

In good faith, the legislators should also suspend all non-essential infrastructure and other projects and instead, divert the money for COVID-related support for our people.

Yes to VACCINES, no to CHACHA! Yes to poverty and hunger alleviation budget to be used for our people now! NO to useless, non-essential congressional projects and allocations now! Yes to pro-people budget, no to pro-politicians’ budget!

And talking of pro-people budget, legislators and other local officials can rethink any Waste to Energy (WTE) or any garbage-truck collection/disposal budget and projects and instead, resort to more-labor intensive, income/livelihood generating waste management projects especially within this pandemic!

Take the case of Cebu City’s P405 million budget for 2021 garbage collection. How many vaccines can be bought, how many poor can be saved from COVID and hunger/poverty if this huge budget were used instead for people rather than for basura?

Waste management does not mean garbage collection and disposal as traditionally and conventionally practiced.

Despite confirmed information that 50% or more of generated garbage are useful items for reusing/recycling and that people can refuse single-use plastics or reduce waste to avoid unhealthy, stinky, smoky mountains of garbage to form, why are so many millions of pesos wasted on basura? Why are these millions not used instead for people?

From this January, ibasura ang ChaCha and yes to budget for people, not basura!

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