TACLOBAN CITY- Militant group Bayan-Eastern Visayas has raised alarm over the declaration of the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay to push for Public-Private Partnerships should the latter become President.
Bayan-EV’s reaction came after Binay’s spokesman Joey Salgado reportedly said that the PPP will be continued by the Binay should he become president, citing rivatization schemes in Makati when Binay was still its mayor. “A Binay presidency would not be any different from the present Aquino administration that has deliberately failed to address economic crises such as widespread poverty and joblessness if the same profit-driven economic policy will be placed,” said Rey Miranda, BAYAN-EV secretary general.
In a statement, Miranda claimed that under the PPP scheme, social services supposed to be provided to the people by the government are instead turned into “profit-making machines of the big capitalists raking in huge sums of money from the people in need of free and accessible social services such as education and health care.”
Miranda said that among the government-owned facilities that may be placed under private control is the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC), the region’s biggest public hospital located in Tacloban City.
“The present Aquino regime is selling out its responsibility to provide and ensure basic social services under PPP, and particularly in the case of EVRMC, its obligation to grant affordable health care to poor Filipinos,” Miranda said. Miranda cited a local health facility in the town of Samar where there is only one doctor to attend to the health needs of the municipality’s 15,000 population. “Higher health care costs will occur under the neoliberal privatization scheme, thus further inaccessibility for poor and marginalized people. We are warning Binay and other hopefuls for the presidency that PPP or any similar schemes will be met with the furious opposition of the masses.”
(RONALD O. REYES)