November 6, 9am – 4pm
Ferzal Place, Malakas St., Brgy. Central, Quezon City
The global financial crisis is fraught with dangerous consequences for the most vulnerable sectors of our society such as the urban and rural poor, the labor sector, women and other marginalized. It can worsen poverty, now with 60 percent of Filipinos (approximately 10.6 M families) rating themselves poor, 16.3% (2.9M families) are experiencing involuntary hunger, 10.9% unemployment rate, more than 4M are living in slum areas in Metro Manila deprived of humane living condition, maternal mortality rate/birth mortality rate continues to increase, and about 212 communities in Metro Manila are still without piped water connection.
These social indicators shadow illusions that existing state policies could undermine the global crisis threatening to have adverse impact on the country. In spite of this glaring poverty, our government continues to allocate almost negligible budget for basic services while highest allocation for debt servicing remains.
With the seemingly inevitable escalation of the global financial meltdown, probably early next year, the poor is all the more in need of social protection. Indeed, there is an imperative to address the financial and banking system. But what is more important is to exact concrete actions from the government to address the basic needs of the poor, provide them protection in the midst of this crisis.
The round table discussion will look into the crisis at the macro-economic level as well as at the sectoral level. The following proposed workshop questions are hoped to be answered:
1. What’s right, what’s wrong with the government’s new programs for protecting the vulnerable
- Rice Subsidy
- Agricultural subsidy
- Cash subsidy
- Rice production subsidy
- Pump-priming thru infrastructure spending
- Employment on demand, how can we make it happen?
- How to reform government’s major programs in health, shelter, agrarian reform, and essential services to widen the net of protection?
- What are the political terms of reference for the unavoidable and increased role of the state in generating the public revenues for social protection programs?
- How can financial systems be regulated to protect and safeguard life savings of Filipinos?
We also hope to come up with some plan of actions or steps to pursue the alternatives/agenda.
9:30-9:40 – Opening – Ric Reyes, IPD Fellow
9:40 – 12:00 – Roundtable Discussion on Analysis and agenda in the Philippines v.v. financial crisis
9:40 – 9:55 – Looking into the crisis at the macroeconomic level
Dr. Edsel Beja
Deputy Director of Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development
9:55 – 10:10 – Impact on the Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, and on trade re-tarrification
Dr. Rene Ofreneo
Fair Trade Alliance
10:10 – 10:25 – Impact on the Environment
Vice-President, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
10:25 – 10:35 – Proposals on Fiscal and Economic Reforms
Secretary General, Freedom from Debt Coalition
10: 35 – 10:50 – Background on the Global Summit on Financial Crisis initiative
International Coordinator, JS-APMDD
10:50 – 11:05 – Social Protection for the Poor
Executive Director, Institute for Popular Democracy
10:05 – 11:15 – Human Rights Perspective on the crisis
Max de Mesa
Executive Director, PAHRA
11:15 – 12:00 – Responses from the sectors to be initiated by:
Urban Poor –Von Francis Mesina, National Urban Poor Coalition
Agriculture/Food – Alice Raymundo, Task Force Food Sovereignty
Labor – Padjo Valdemor, SULONG- La Liga
Industries – Caspian Lao, Federation of Philippine Industries – Philippine Plastics Industries
Fisherfolks – Pablo Rosales, Kilusang Mangingisda (Fisherfolk Movement)
12:00 – 1:30 – Open Forum
1:00 – 2:40 – Workshop
2:45 – 3:45 – Plenary
3:45 – 4:00 – Synthesis – Gina dela Cruz, Alab Katipunan
Call to Action – Maris dela Cruz, AEPF-IPD
The National Urban Poor Coalition (NUPCO) is a confederation of various urban poor organizations based in Metro Manila, but with membership base also in other parts of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Seventy percent of its leadership are women and it has a total membership base of 40,000 families in Metro Manila.
Through the efforts of the different socio-political groups in Laban ng Masa (Struggle of the Masses) and in partnership with the Institute for Popular Democracy (IPD), NUPCO has been working to achieve consensus on its new strategy of mobilizing the powers of local governments to secure urban poor rights that could not be secured from national agencies, like the National Housing Authority.
Currently, it has a joint program with IPD “Securing a Dignified Place in the City for the Urban Poor.” The key objective of the program is to support urban poor organizations as they initiate a major shift of strategy by focusing their mobilization and lobbying strategies towards pressure on their local governments, while also exerting pressure on the national government to adopt compatible rules supportive of local initiatives. They would like their local governments to use their powers and resources to help create secure in-city urban spaces that will be co-managed, co-financed and co-developed by urban poor communities and into which needed municipal services could then flow.
Consensus building activities, have been undertaken leading to NUPCO’s unity on the following propositions:
i) The struggle for a secure and dignified place in the cities cannot be won only through existing national venues and has to be brought before local governments, whose powers under the Local Governance Code can be harnessed;
ii) Urban poor communities also need to take pro-active initiatives, not just the dramatic defensive actions that have done little to stop evictions of the urban poor in resettlement areas far from where they have their livelihoods;
iii) The urban poor have to propose alternatives and well elaborated frames for policy and action that will be presented to local governments and local politicians;
iv) The urban poor need to unite on their advocacy platform at the level of the cities and barangays – instead of being divided by local partisan loyalties – so that their numerical strength can be realized in the form of pressure on local politicians who need to secure votes every three years.
28 Mapagkawanggawa cor Magiting Sts.
Teachers Village, Diliman
Quezon City 1101
tel. (63-2) 9280082
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