May 3, 2012
Party-List Solon criticizes Aquino admin and ADB’s Development Plan, calls for re-channelling of budget to education and social services
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), that chose Manila as venue for their annual summit, laid out their development plan for the Philippines. The plan is comprised mostly of building and improving infrastructures for greater foreign investment and the strengthening of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP). Rep. Antonio Tinio staunchly criticized the Aquino administration and its continuous pursuit of loans from big lending corporations in exchange for the Philippine economy’s accommodation of foreign “investors” such as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies and call centers. The Philippines owe a total of P44.31 Billion to be paid in 20 years to ADB.
With ADB’s theme focusing on “inclusive growth,” it seems to refer to large corporations and other big profit-seeking agencies. Keen to keep its hold on the Philippine economy, members of ADB are looking forward to keeping their hold on mining, water and electricity, oil explorations and various reclamation projects throughout the country.
Included in the long-term instrument that ADB’s priority refers to loans allotted mainly for Public-Private partnerships. There will be a total of 102 reclamation projects which will mean massive eviction of people from their residences and place of livelihood.
Contrary to what ADB is projecting, it is not in any way helping the poor. For instance, their projects geared towards “helping” the poor through reforms in water and power supply system, health and education only worsened the situation of the Filipino people. Aside from higher rates of water and electricity and higher fees for hospitalization, the Filipino people are gradually buried in various debts that do not even serve for the peoples’ welfare.
“We have been calling for the re-channelling of funds to long-term programs such as education, health, salary increase, the creation of jobs and the improvement of our own industries. We borrow money for temporary plans such as the Conditional Cash Transfer that only creates citizens dependent on loose change that the government is prepared to throw its way,” Rep. Tinio said.
Rep. Tinio co-authored House Bill 1962 being lobbied by Kabataan Partylist representative Raymond Palatino demanding for the repealing of automatic appropriation for debt service and allotting 6% of the GDP to the public education sector.
“Because of these loans, debt servicing gets the biggest chunk of the budget, shortchanging the budget share of basic social services. Despite their hard work, the Filipinos remain neck-deep in debt and they aren’t too thrilled either. This image creates a sense of urgency for legislators to enact the house bill repealing the automatic appropriation for debt service, giving a higher chance for basic social services, especially education to receive a fair share from the budget,” Rep. Tinio concluded. (ACT Teachers Party-List)