FDC hits PHL’s $1-B arrogance
Activists condemn $1B PHL loan pledge to IMF. Activists demonstrate outside the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in Quezon City on Monday to condemn the $1 billion pledge of the Philippines to the multilateral lender Int'l Monetary Fund to help address the global financial crisis. Asti Flores
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) on Monday criticized the government for lending $1 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a multilateral lender from which the Philippines had borrowed money for 40 years until 2006.
The $1-billion loan to fund IMF’s Financial Transaction Plan of $456 billion to help contain Europe’s raging financial crisis is “an arrogant pretension of a country very much in debt,” according to FDC.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is giving the impression that the country has turned from debtor to creditor even with a consolidated public sector debt of P7.6 trillion last year.
The non-government organization added that the national government debt stood at P5.07 trillion as of April this year–P2.06 trillion foreign and P3.02 trillion domestic debt.
Bobby Diciembre, FDC media officer, told GMA News Online that the $1-billion loan was a move to impress creditor nations and credit rating agencies such as Fitch Rating, Standard & Poor's and Moody’s Investors Service.
“Ang pananaw namin… may kapalit yan–pabango sa mga credit rating agencies… para gumawa ng positioning natin sa pag-utang,” he said.
FDC in a statement criticized the government for “being fast in allowing the IMF to manage our money, yet being slow in allocating funds for basic social and economic services.”
“May pera pala tayo? Bakit kapag sa pagkain ng mga nagugutom, sa edukasyon ng mga bata, sa kalusugan ng mga may sakit, at sa pabahay para sa maralita, kung hindi kulang, walang budget?” said Mercy Donor, an urban poor leader and member of FDC.
“Puro pasikat lang yata ang alam ng gobyernong ito,” Donor added.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on government-run dzRB radio that the BSP loan would come from foreign reserves, which cannot be used for shoring up defense and social services funds. —VS, GMA News
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