Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Let the Macapagal-Arroyo government dispute the World Bank's findings about worsening poverty in the Philippines

Tuesday , April 17, 2007

Let the Macapagal-Arroyo government dispute the World Bank's findings about worsening poverty in the Philippines

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that even one of the international financial institutions largely to blame for poverty and hunger in the world can see that the situation in the Philippines is lamentable. He challenged the Macapagal-Arroyo adminsitration to dispute the studies of the World Bank and defend its own economic programs in tha face of the expose that as of survey year 1997, percentage of the population below the poverty line was 36.8 percent."This percentage, no doubt, has increased since then," he said.

"The World Bank manipulates global finances and negotiate with governments around the world to gear their economic priorities towards privatization, liberalization and deregulation; but now even the WB is worried about the state of things in the Philippines. One cannot miss the irony in that, and Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should take heed, being an economist herself," Beltran said.

Recently, the World Bank released a study saying that at least 14.8 million Filipinos try to survive on less than $1 a day.

"There is no truth to the claims of the Macapagal-Arroyo administration and its candidates for the senatorial elections under Team Unity that the country's economy is improving. Whatever improvement the economic indicators are suppsoedly registering do not translate into actual, tangible improvement in the lives and welfare of majority of Filipinos. The economy remains largely backward, and what progress the Arroyo government credits itself for achieving for the country is reserved for the less than two percent of the population, the same sections who own big businesses and large land-holdings, and those who have partnerships with foreign investors," he said.

"The problems of homelessness, joblessness, hunger and malnutrition remain largely unsolved because the twisted economic priorities of the government do not include them. Budgetary spending goes to foreign debt servicing, military modernization, and corrupt practices in the bureaucracy," he added.

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said that the worsening economic crisis is also at the core of the never-to-be-resolved political instability in government.

"So long as even the most basic of social reforms are not implemented adequately and efficiently to cover the needs of the large majority of Filipinos, then there will always be political instability. The main barrier that stands between providing what Filipinos need not only to survive but to improve and develop as well-rounded individuals is corruption in the ruling system of government, and continued obeisance to foreign economic and political dictates," he concluded.#


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