FDC and Filipino Tax and Fiscal Justice Activists to Mount Sustained Campaigns to Put the People's Right to Public and Social Services as a Major National Political and Electoral Agenda
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) is observing the World Public Services Day on June 23 by asserting the following principles and premises and calling the attention of the Aquino government:"Pera ng gobyerno ay galing sa tao. Serbisyong publiko ay tungkulin ng gobyerno. Serbisyong publiko ay hindi negosyo, ito ay karapatan ng bawa't mamayang Pilipino. Serbisyong publiko sa Pilipino, ngayon na!" ( The government’s funds are the people’s money. Public service is the government’s responsibility. Public service is not for sale, it is every Filipino’s right. Public service for the Filipinos, now!)
FDC, its members and partners, together with the Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) is holding a Public Forum today, June 23, 2015 aimed at critically examining the state of public services in the country in the context of the neoliberal privatization policies of successive administrations until today, under the so-called “Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) policies and programs of the outgoing Aquino (Pnoy) government.
Successive administrations, including this government-- have consistently prioritized in their annual spending, automatic debt servicing that eats up a huge chunk of the annual budget, at the expense of the people’s needs and welfare such as public and essential services in health, housing, education, food, livelihood and social protection for our people.
Nowhere is the lamentable and deteriorating state of our public services dramatically portrayed than in the dilapidated and neglected state of our MRT system, the incessant rising rates of privatized power and water services, the corporatization of public general and specialized hospitals and the inadequate social protection programs, access to which have largely eluded those who are most in need—the majority poor and deprived. Health services are largely borne out of pocket by the citizens, who bear the most burden of regressive and lopsided taxation system.
FDC asserts that the state of public services is dismal and disintegrating due to the following factors: the Aquino government's continued if not more aggressive adherence to the neoliberal policies of privatizing public services, including those in public health care, public education, power/electricity, water and mass transportation system; the government's continued prioritization in its annual budget of automatic debt servicing ; massive graft and corruption and the use of public funds for patronage politics, instead of fair and just servicing of the people's needs and basic entitlements; the failure to implement a fair and just tax and fiscal system that exacerbates inequality, makes the poor suffer the tax and unfair burden while allowing the rich and the big business to get away with their just share of tax obligations through tax evasion, dodging, illicit financial outflows and other means.
There is no doubt, that people’s movements and campaigns for tax and fiscal justice and human rights need to come together to effectively address and remedy the current state of the public services in relation to the government’s obligation to fulfill the people’s human rights and their just demands to live in dignity.
FDC and its partners will continue to carry out a broad and sustained public campaigns on the people's right to public services and to tax and fiscal justice, including launching a national and international petition for tax justice and human rights, holding the Aquino government , including its concerned officials and agencies accountable for the aforementioned issues, and transforming the issues of public services, tax and fiscal justice, among others, as a major electoral issue in the coming months until May next year.
Freedom From Debt Coalition
The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) – Philippines is a nationwide multi-sectoral, non-sectarian and pluralist coalition conducting policy advocacy work and campaigns to realize a common framework and agenda for economic development.