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Economic, social woes to stay in '08 - Joma Sison

GMANews.TV
Article posted December 31, 2007 - 10:29 AM

Despite Malacaņang's repeated claims of a rosy economy, the ordinary Filipino will still face economic and social sufferings in 2008, Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison said Sunday night.

Sison, who is in self-exile in The Netherlands, said the underdeveloped Philippine economy is vulnerable to recession that can bring about rising unemployment, decreasing real income and soaring prices of basic goods.

"What is in store for the Philippine economy in 2008? The underdevelopment and chronic crisis of the Philippine economy make it extremely vulnerable to the current financial crisis and recessionary trend being generated globally from the US. These have started to have a severely adverse impact on the Philippines. The Filipino people will undergo unprecedented economic and social suffering in terms of rising unemployment, decreasing real income, soaring prices of basic goods and deteriorating social services," Sison said in a statement on the CPP website.

He said the US and global demand for Philippine raw-material exports and semi-manufactured re-exports will contract because of the continuing industrial decline, reduced employment and recessionary trend in imperialist countries.

The US consumer market has drastically contracted because of the decline of regular employment and incomes as a result of the series of attacks on the US working class, he added.

Sison noted that since last August, there had been an epidemic of writeoffs and writedowns involving the evaporation of more than $400 billion.

This is expected to result in the tightening of international credit by US$ 2-trillion as federal and commercial banks become more prudent in lending.

Also, he said the US national debt has risen so fast from the level of $5.7 trillion in 2001 to $9.1 trillion at present, and will rise to $10 trillion before President George Bush Jr. steps down.

"In 2008 the underdeveloped and semifeudal Philippine economy will face serious problems in relation to the export of raw materials and the re-export of low value added semi-manufactures in a shrinking global market as well as in relation to the securing of new loans and selling bonds to service the accumulated debt and finance the import of oil and other critically needed goods. The international credit standing of the reactionary state will be further degraded as its difficulties to repay the public debt and collect revenues become obvious," he said.

As the international reserves will decrease conspicuously, the Arroyo regime will not be able to conjure the illusion of economic growth and raise the value of the peso against the US dollar and other major currencies, he said.

"In the real economy of the Philippines, the working people and middle social strata will be beset by intensified exploitation, increased poverty and misery and the heavier weight of oppression. The social discontent and people's resistance will further spread and intensify," he said.

Sison said all these belie President Arroyo's repeated claims her government is propelling the Philippines to become a "first world country."

"The Arroyo regime has misrepresented as 'development' the consumption-led and debt-ridden growth of the economy. It has used domestic and foreign borrowing to finance and abet the growing trade and budgetary deficits and to conjure the false illusion of economic growth. It wastes public funds through overpriced ad graft-ridden infrastructure projects and the purely parasitic expenditures for the military and bureaucracy," he said.

Sison said the Philippine economy remains dependent on the production of agricultural and mineral raw materials, which are being exported at greater volume but at lower prices.

At the same time, agriculture has become lopsided, as production of staple food is neglected and food products are dumped on the Philippines from abroad under the policy of trade liberalization. Thus, the country has become a net food importer.

He said the large-scale export of women and men (now more than 10 per cent of the population) as overseas contract workers is the result of the worsening underdevelopment and lack of job opportunities in the Philippines.

"It has become the biggest source of foreign exchange income although at great social cost to the country," he said.

"The national debt keeps on increasing because there is no real development base for reducing the trade and budget deficits. The attempt of the regime to increase revenues has dismally failed because of the underdeveloped, bankrupt and depressed condition of the real economy, the policy of trade liberalization and the unbridled corruption that allows tax evasion and raids on the treasury. The Arroyo regime has been auctioning off state assets to foreign vultures in combination with local vultures who are cronies and close relatives of the Arroyo couple," he added. - GMANews.TV

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