LETTER TO THE EDITOR
July 12, 2013
Leody de Guzman
National President, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP)
#76 K-7th Street, Bgy. East Kamias, Quezon City
"Pilipinas para sa Dayuhan"
just like "Quezon City para sa Mayayaman"
Rep. Belmonte's proposed Cha-cha (PDI, 7/9/2013) is much like the recent forced eviction of urban poor settlers for the construction of the so-called Quezon City Business District (QCBD). It is favorable only to rich investors like the Ayalas.
He wants to erase "national patrimony" and "sovereignty" from the Constitution just to appease and attract transnational investments. If the demolition of informal settlers was "Quezon City para sa mayayaman", with the proposed Constitutional amendments, the veteran lawmaker now aims for "Pilipinas para sa dayuhan".
Under Rep. Belmonte’s version of the Charter, where protectionist provisions such as the 40% restriction of foreign ownership of land are removed, it is not far-fetched to find 90% of Filipinos becoming squatters in our own homeland.
A charter change for the removal of economic provisions that protect the national economy is nothing but a blatant "re-colonization" of the country by foreign powers. It means the plunder and exploitation of our country's resources, not only of our natural resources but also of our hardworking labor force.
The BMP believes that this kind of Charter Change, which is subservient to the caprices of foreign capital, would demolish the Constitutional rights of labor. Workers' right to live decently would become subordinate to property rights.
Despite its flaws, the present Constitution obliged the State to grant “full protection to labor”. Labor is likewise recognized as the “primary social economic force”. It enjoys the primacy over non-human inputs in the production process; hence, the enactment of labor rights and standards.
But for Belmonte’s masters – monopoly corporations now seeking higher rates of profit in developing countries after the 2008 global financial crisis – such protection to labor is outdated and obsolete. Simply because it hikes the price of labor and workers are regarded not as human beings but as a mere “cost” in their book of accounts and a simple commodity, which they must buy at lower prices. People before profit! #