Lovers, partners and couples may not be able to enjoy celebrating today's Valentines Day. Ordinary folks won't even think of Valentine's Day as most of us are drowned in thinking how to cope the impact of the implementation of the additional 2% Expanded Value Added Tax (E-VAT) and the oil price hike last weekend.
The year 2005 was a year of economic horror to most women and their families in the region and in the whole country. Prices rose almost on a weekly basis as a domino effect of the increase of oil products experienced almost every week, the weakening of the peso, and the implementation of a 10% E-VAT on November 1. Budgeting was a difficult task to do as there was almost nothing to budget for women and toiling folks who lose their jobs or whose livelihood has been killed by the crisis itself. The daily wage of P200 in the region is far below the P560 daily cost of living according to NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) for a family of 6.
The worsening poverty is forcing women to enter into various remedies, risking even their security and life. The situation had increasingly subjected women to different forms and levels of violence. Their wish is simply to get something, win a small price to add to any small earning the family has. This face of poverty and desperation is what we witnessed in the fresh Ultra tragedy. Unless a secured economy and livelihood is enjoyed by toiling women and their families, they will not be stopped from taking risks.
Innabuyog-GABRIELA in today's Valentine's Day will launch a signature campaign against the expanded Value Added Tax. We will reiterate that Valentine's Day will not be enjoyed with prices becoming dear and unreacheable. By contributing your signature that we hope to generate a million signatures all over the country in support to a congressional action to be led by the Gabriela Women's Party to repeal the E-VAT law. Let us give our hearts for the repeal of a heartless law, E-VAT.
Innabuyog's campaign against E-VAT is clearly an action of women against poverty and againt GMA who pushed for the enactment of E-VAT and other excruciating tax measures. On Valentine's Day, we protest E-VAT and "nagmamahalang bilihin" and we will call on women to get their hearts away from GMA. As we rage against the unaffordable prices, rage against a heartless woman in Malacanang named GMA.
Today's protest of women also opens the month-long women's protests in commemoration of March 8 as International Working Women's Day.
WOMEN UNITE AGAINST HUNGER AND POVERTY!
Repeal the Expanded-Value Added Tax!
Presyo, Ibaba! Sahod, Itaas!
Oust GMA, now!
Innabuyog, Gabriela Women's Party
14 February 2006