Speaker Martin Romualdez on Thursday said that Marcos Jr is keen on attracting more foreign investments in the country during his trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum (WEF). But urban poor group Kadamay said that the government should prioritize supporting domestic industries and agriculture production for sustainable growth and genuine job creation instead of depending on foreign investments for economic growth.
“Hindi naman ramdam ng mga ordinaryong Pilipino ang pinopronta ni Marcos Jr sa Davos na ‘strong economy’ daw ng Pilipinas,” said Kadamay Secretary General Mimi Doringo. “Hindi ba niya alam na patuloy nagdurusa ang mga kababayan natin sa taas ng presyo ng bilihin, kawalan ng maayos na trabaho, at mababang kita habang nagpapakasarap sila ng mga alipores niya doon sa Switzerland?”
Kadamay explained that under Marcos Jr’s watch, the number of poor Filipino families increased by 2.3 million to nearly 20 million in 2022 as per government data. Meanwhile, around three million Filipino families experienced involuntary hunger at least once between October and December 2022 when food prices were at a record high.
The president’s claims of a strong labor market to impress global decision-makers at the WEF are also grossly misleading, the group said. Latest labor force data from the government says that part-time and informal work surged by 2 million in November 2022. This means that labor conditions in the country have become more precarious which is not an indication of a strong labor market.
For Kadamay, these real conditions underscore the need to boost the purchasing power of the poor through immediate relief measures and genuine domestic development by supporting domestic agriculture production to lower food prices and key local industries to generate regular formal jobs with livable wages instead of overly relying on foreign investments that will only subject the Filipino people to poor job situations.
“Sa kaliwa’t kanang foreign trips ni Marcos Jr, hindi interes ng mahihirap nating kababayan kundi palaging pansariling interes at interes ng mga dayuhang malalaking negosyo ang bitbit niya,” added Doringo.