On Pernia’s “no-frills” budget
Manila, Philippines – As National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Chief Ernesto Pernia chided the Manila Water and Maynilad to “have some conscience” for the onerous concession agreements with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), former Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao branded him as the one with no conscience or “a soulless being who perpetuates the soulless conditions” of poor Filipinos in the country. Pernia claimed that a family of five could survive in a monthly food budget of P7,528 or on a meal worth roughly an average of P81.
“Only a neoliberal dinosaur like him could issue a callous statement such as this. Though we are tempted to challenge him to have his family survive on the amount he mentioned, we would rather press him to personally live with poor families to prove himself grossly mistaken,” he said.
The former lawmaker said that Pernia only confirmed that the Duterte government neglects the poor by the very denial of their poverty.
“No genuine anti-poverty program or policy could come out from the seemingly endless denial stage of government officials to Filipino poverty,” he claimed.
Finally, he urged various sectors to condemn this insensitive and crystal clear false statement.
“The Filipino people does not deserve this kind of government. It should be held accountable for abandoning its mandate to uplift the marginalized from poverty and misery,” he ended. ###