PH govt’s puppet role in WTO ministerial slammed

by KMU Staff

National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno slams the Philippine government for serving as a puppet of big foreign capitalists in the 10th ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization in Nairobi, Kenya by supposedly championing the interest of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises or MSMEs.

The governments of the Philippines, Brunei, Laos and Malaysia submitted a draft ministerial decision about strengthening the WTO’s work to supposedly encourage MSMEs’ participation in regional and global markets in accordance with measures taken by the World Bank.

The labor group said the government of Pres. Noynoy Aquino has been using MSMEs as a pretext to push for policies that further enrich big foreign and local capitalists to the detriment of MSMEs, and has not been taking measures to really help MSMEs.

“The government did a replay in WTO of its performance in APEC in invoking MSMEs. In truth, it is advancing the interests of Aquino’s big capitalist cronies. It is working as a puppet of big foreign capitalists in making their agenda more compatible with those of Third World elites,” said Elmer “Ka Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

The labor leader said that Aquino has made doing business more difficult for genuine MSMEs, who are burdened by high power and water rates, high taxes and exorbitant government kickbacks, import liberalization and smuggling, and poor infrastructure and heavy traffic.

“The Aquino government is a bane for MSMEs and a boon for big foreign and local capitalists. Following the World Bank’s dictates, it is pushing for policies that will supposedly benefit MSMEs but actually benefit the Sy’s, Tan’s, Ayala’s, and Cojuangco’s,” Labog added.

He said that the Aquino government has been invoking MSMEs to try to justify policies that further press down workers’ wages, promote contractualization, and legalize union busting, while refusing to act on MSMEs’ genuine concerns.

“Whenever workers’ demands for a significant wage hike or other pro-worker measures becomes louder, the Aquino government makes it appear that its heart is bleeding for MSMEs. The truth is that it’s big foreign and local capitalists who are flourishing while MSMEs continue to perish,” Labog stated.