From Sat May 27 08:33:03 2000
Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 00:13:18 -0500 (CDT)
From: Michael Eisenscher <>
Article: 93927
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
X-UIDL: 35ff367f7f76fb51fe8a855c0f7cbf35

From: BAYAN <>

The IMF and WB are killing the Filipino people

Statement of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN, New Patriotic Alliance), 16 April 2000

Statement of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN, New Patriotic Alliance) on the Junk IMF-WB! Junk Imperialist Globalization! Protests in Washington DC. April 16, 2000

Attend the rallies in Manila (at the Central Bank) and at Washington DC (Philippine Embassy and the IMF-WB Bldg.)!

Last week, the Philippine Congress approved a power reform bill paving the way for the privatization of the National Power Corporation, a government agency that manages the power industry and runs power plants and distribution facilities all over the Philippines. Congressmen admitted that the bill was railroaded due to intense pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and foreign investors. Apparently, the IMF threatened to hold the release of $1.38 billion worth of fresh loans if the law was not approved by the first half of this year.

Among the provisions of the bill is the government's assumption of Napocor's gigantic 250 billion-peso debt to make the company attractive to private, foreign investors. The Philippine government will have to impose additional taxes to pay-off these debts.

The IMF, the World Bank and the Paris Club just love the Philippines. After all, it is one of their most consistent clients. It pays all its obligations on time and agrees to every conditionality attached to any loan package.

In fact, the Philippines has been tied to the IMF's loan strings since 1962, ending up as one of the top 20 most indebted countries in the world today. It has also undergone several IMF Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) since 1979, making the Philippine economy one of the most liberalized and deregulated in Southeast Asia.

At present, estimates of total foreign debt for the Philippines hovers at $52 billion and growing. Many of these loans were contracted during the Marcos dictatorship, and was used to fund the dictatorship's white elephants and psuedo development projects, the main sources of the Marcos family's fantastic ill-gotten wealth estimated at $10 billion.

The Filipino people continue to carry the burden of these fraudulent and one-sided loans. At least 40% of the national budget goes to debt servicing, money which could otherwise have gone to much needed social services, education and rural development programs. Until now, a decree issued during the Marcos dictatorship automatically allocates tax money to the payment of these foreign loans.

Aside from siphoning off much needed resources from the Philippines, the IMF and WB, through their SAPs, have intensified the neocolonial pattern of the local economy. The unbridled liberalization and deregulation of the economy has made the country a virtual dumping ground of U.S. finished goods and speculative capital.

Like most Third World countries, the Philippines has become a place where U.S., Japanese, German and other First World capitalists can hire dirt-cheap labor and buy raw and semi-processed materials at a steal. Thanks to heeded advice from the Bretton Woods sisters and the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Philippines can now boast having one of the lowest wage levels in Asia, with an 8 to12-hour day going for a little more than $5. Unemployment is at 40%, with most workers having to work on a contractual or part time basis. Farmers' income is at an all-time low, with the market saturated by imported rice, corn, chicken, vegetables and fruits.

Despite this, it is the low and middle-income Filipino who are heavily taxed by the government, while big business and foreign monopolies enjoy a plethora of tax incentives. Indeed, the Philippines is a paradise for multinational corporations and foreign speculators. But it is hell for the people. No wonder there is a civil war ongoing in the Philippines. And no wonder there is a strong movement to oust Philippine President Joseph Estrada from office. The people have simply had enough of the IMF-WB and its puppets.The Filipino people join all other people's of the world in saying No to the IMF-WB! No to imperialist globalization!