Cebu groups: Marcos ‘squandered’ his first year in Malacañang

By: Emmariel Ares - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | July 21,2023 - 05:49 PM

Members of various progressive groups in Cebu attend a press conference to express their sentiments on the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Members of various progressive groups in Cebu attend a press conference to express their sentiments on the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. | Emmariel Ares

CEBU CITY, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. “failed” to address pressing issues on livelihood and the need to improve lives during his first year in Malacañang.

This was according to cause-oriented groups in Cebu who gathered at the conference room of the Pagtambayayong Foundation office in Cebu City on Friday, July 21, ahead of the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 24.

“Sulod sa isa ka tuig ni BBM: bagsak, bagsak, bagsak,” the group chanted.

Cristina Oganiza of Akbayan Citizens Action said that Marcos merely “squandered” the first year of his presidency.

Despite his campaign for unity, Marcos failed to help the country recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Giusik-usikan ni Marcos Jr. ang iyang unang tuig aron tumanon ang iyang mga saad niadtong nangampanya pa siya,” she said.

Dennis Derige of the Partido Mangagawa said that the President has to focus on the livelihood crisis that the country is now faced during his remaining five years in office.

He said that the recent retrenchment of workers at the Mactan Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) in Lapu-Lapu City is an indication of how bad the problem has become.

“Ang panawagan namo kang BBM ay trabaho at bugas ilalom sa iyahang bagong Pilipinas. Kay kung walay regular nga trabaho, walay murang bigas, bigo ang Pilipinas. Ang gusto unta namo ay kabag-uhan sa kinabuhi sa katawhan, dili pagbabago sa slogan at logo nga mga ahensiya sa gobyerno,” he said.

Howell Villacrucis, the secretary-general of the Alyansa sa mgs Mamumuo sa Sugbo – Kilusang Mayo Uno (AMA Sugbo-KMU), added that people continue to suffer due to contractualization and the lack of jobs.

For his part, Teody Navea of the Bukloran ng Manggagawa Pilipino (BMP), mentioned of the need to address the  continuing increase in the prices of goods, electricity, and water in the country. 

He also urged the government to resolve these issue by addressing the problem on the expensive cost of fuel.

Noe Santillan, vice president of the All UP Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU) – UP Cebu, urged the government to pay attention to problems affecting the educators like their need for a better pay and benefits.

Moreover,  Joel Villanueva, a councilor of the University of San Carlos Supreme Student Council, expressed his sentiments against issues that affect students and the youth like tuition and other fees increase (TOFI).

“In behalf of all the students in Cebu, we call for No to TOFI, junk all TOFI proposals, No to budget cuts, No to mandatory ROTC, and defend academic freedom,” he said.

Other issues that the group wanted Marcos to focus on include the need for a wage increase,  the planned phase-out of traditional public utility vehicles and the implementation of reclamation projects.

The gathering on Friday was attended by representatives of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Central Visayas, Partido Manggagawa, Sentro ng Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), Kilusang Pambansang Demokrasya, Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), Bukloran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Urban Poor Alliance Cebu,  Akbayan Citizens Action PartyAlyansa ng mga Mamumuo sa Sugbo-Kilusang Mayo Uno (AMA Sugbo-KMU), All UP Academic Employees Union (AUPAEU) Cebu, University of San Carlos Supreme Student Council (USC-SSC), Kabataan Partylist, and Independent Vendors for Empowerment and Development (IVEND). | with Mary Godinez, CTU Intern


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TAGS: Bongbong Marcos Jr., cause-oriented groups, Cebu‬, Cebu City, jobs, pandemic, State of the Nation Address

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