TUCP joins calls for “pork-cuts”

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) today joined growing calls for lawmakers to give up their pork barrel funds to help government prevent grave economic difficulties.

The TUCP however stressed that other branches of government should also adopt similar cost-cutting measures. The labor group also urged Malacañang to zero in on the discretionary funds and representation allowances of appointed public officials to help save government needed funds.

The TUCP stressed that members of Congress and other public officials should serve as examples in the national call for cost-cutting measures.

The labor group stressed that government officials should prove to the public that they really mean business in calling for cost-saving measures. “Unless government officials are seen by the people that they themselves are making their own sacrifices, the public will not understand the need for cost-saving and the more complex issue of raising more taxes”, TUCP Vice President Avelino Valerio said in the statement.

In the proposed measures to cut down on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the government is projected to save some P20 Billion in funds.

TUCP also urged President Arroyo to order top executives of government agencies, particularly those appointed to government-owned-and-controlled-corporations and state-managed pension funds to cut down on their perks.

The TUCP, however, stressed social services should be spared from cost cutting. Budget planners should keep their scissors away from basic social services such as those that provide health care, medicine, education, and day care centers”, said the TUCP.

“The poor barely feel the intervention of government in terms of these services,” TUCP added.

Valerio also supported the decision of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in announcing that the country is in fiscal crises. “The President should be commended for telling us the real score. It was a brave thing to do, especially at the beginning of another term. Knowing what she told, the nation should now be mobilized to help stave-off a possible crises”, Valerio said.

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