Group slams push for chacha, calls for action on “chicha”

The militant Partido Manggagawa (PM) slammed the renewed push for charter change via a people’s initiative within the first half of the year. The group instead called on government to prioritize its response on “chicha” or gut issues, which is the most pressing concern of Filipinos.

“Chicha hindi chacha. Murang bigas! Dagdag sahod! Trabahong regular! Hindi term extension ng mga trapo!,” asserted Mario Andon, PM-Panay spokesperson.

Results of Pulse Asia’s December 2023 survey on Filipino’s most urgent national concerns belie what proponents of the people’s initiative would claim as a groundswell of grassroot support for charter change.

Petition forms are being circulated for a constitutional amendment that will allow joint voting by the House and Senate as a constituent assembly. Expensive TV ads are also being aired in favor of chacha.

Further, P 12 billion has been inserted into the 2024 national budget for the Comelec to conduct plebiscites.

PM argues that all these are being orchestrated by a mastermind who will benefit from a shift to a parliamentary form of government.

Survey results showed the majority of Filipinos were unhappy with the way the Marcos government is addressing the problems of inflation, and nothing indicates charter change to be one of their most urgent national concerns.

At the top of Filipinos’ most urgent concern is controlling inflation (72%), increasing the pay of workers (40%), creating more jobs (28%), reducing the poverty of many Filipinos (25%), and fighting graft and corruption (19%).

“Hindi P100 kada pirma kundi mahigit P100 na wage increase at trabaho ang nais ng mga Pilipino,” emphasized Andon. He added Filipinos bid farewell to 2023 hopeful that things would get better by 2024 and beyond.

Andon pointed out that as Filipinos bid farewell to 2023, they were hopeful for positive changes in 2024 and beyond. He stated, “Nowhere did we hear a clamor for charter change from the grassroots to address the issues highlighted in the survey. What we are certain about is that the initiative is an organized campaign orchestrated from the higher echelons of power.”

The group insists that sorely lacking are effective government initiatives to combat inflation, provide substantial wage increases for workers, and address chronic unemployment problems.