Sunday, April 01, 2007

More loans from the World Bank shows institution's support for Arroyo government's campaign of repression against Filipinos

Sunday April 1, 2007

More loans from the World Bank shows institution's support for Arroyo government's campaign of repression against Filipinos

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today slammed anew the international finance institution the World Bank and said that its continuing release of policy loans and other financial aid to the Philippines is to be blamed for the destructive dependence of the country on foreign aid which in turns sinks the country deeper into debt.

According to the reports, the World Bank recently announced that it will provide $600 million in annual assistance to the Philippines for the next two years as a sign of confidence. The World Bank and the Finance department signed the loan agreement for the $11-million NPSTAP yesterday.

World Bank officials have said that the institution seeks to reinforce and strengthen its support to the Macapagal-Arroyo government which has supposedly undergone an "important change."

"What we see here is this infamous global finance institution aiding and abetting the Macapagal-Arroyo administration's programs and policies that wreak havoc in the economic lives of the Filipino people. It is also highly doubtful that the WB is unaware of the increasing international pressure on the Arroyo government to stop its campaign of extrajudicial killings against political activists, human rights advocates and journalists. By extension, the WB is supporting not only the supposed economic reforms that the Arroyo government has embarked on, but also the political and military measures it has initiated to protect these same economic reforms, including those make the Philippines even more dependent on the WB," said Beltran.

Beltran reiterated the call of patriotic economists and local industrialists that the Philippines wean itself off foreign loans and cut back on foreign debts allocations. He said that the Philippines' reliance on foreign loans all the more tighten the control of the WB and its allied international business and consortiums over the Philippine economy.

"This is what's stunting local businesses, and ensuring that no genuine local industries are built and maintained. Foreign multilateral finance institutions like the WB and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) keep the Philippines on a short leash, held hostage to their demands and impositions when it comes to payment collection and perks and benefits for foreign businesses," he said.

The activist lawmaker said that it was long overdue that the country's relations and dependence on the WB be subjected to review and assessment. "No doubt it will be revealed that the country's economic backwardness is connected to the impositions of the WB and the Philippine government's slavish obeisance to these same policies. The Philippines has not benefited from its dealings from the WB but instead sacrificed much of its economic resources in a one-sided finance relationship."#


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