Activist group Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) asks the government's economic and fiscal authorities to stop their "Spinomics" and instead admit their failure to reach the administration's spending and poverty targets, saying that "acceptance of fault is the first step to correction".
"We do not understand why the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) would downplay its worsening underspending problem by claiming a 'robust' increase in spending from last year. Of course spending will increase, as the budget is higher. What is clear is that it failed to spend P332.7 billion it programmed to spend in 2015," said FDC President Ed Tadem in a media release.
MANILA, Philippines – Out of the total P214.5 billion scheduled debt servicing for foreign liabilities of the national government, at least P3.7 billion will go to interest and principal payments of five questionable and illegitimate loans, the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) revealed in a news release on Thursday.
"This huge amount, which could have been redirected to inadequately funded social protection programs such as education, health and housing, covers only five loan-funded programs and projects that FDC finds fraudulent, wasteful and useless. Imagine how much more will be uncovered if we scrutinize all the loans contracted by the government?” said Ed Tadem, FDC president.
MANILA, Phlippines -- The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) urged the Aquino administration to reveal to the public how its huge P4.16-Trillion borrowings resulted in improving the lives of the Filipino people.
More than the misleading issue of the country’s ability to pay back its debt, FDC said, is the long overdue explanation of the government on how the loans were contracted, where they went, how they were utilized and what became of the programs and projects on which they were supposedly spent.
MANILA--The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) accused Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima of obfuscating the national debt issue and reinforced its call to repeal the automatic appropriations law (AAL).
Dr. Ed Tadem, FDC president argued that “the real issue here is that the government’s dependence on new borrowings for the principal amortization of existing loans and to plug annual budget deficits is what drives up the debt stock. From 2011-2015, amortization has eaten up an average of 48.2 percent of the aquino government’s yearly borrowings.”
FDC: Aquino Gov’t Surpasses Arroyo as Biggest Debtor; Voters Must Rise Up Against Debt, Poverty and Inequality
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III not only failed to curb the country’s poverty and debt burden. He turned out to be the biggest loan addict, and a total failure in addressing the Philippines’ entrapment in a cycle of debt dependence. The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), in a press conference with selected election candidates on Friday, said that President Aquino has even eclipsed former President Gloria Arroyo as the biggest borrower among Philippine leaders, over a full term, from 1986 to present.
The group revealed that President Aquino will leave his successor with P6.4 trillion of national government outstanding debt, P4.16 trillion of which are borrowings made during his term. Divided among the projected 103 million population, each Filipino now owes a sum of P62,235.26 plus P4,251 in government-guaranteed debts.
According to FDC, this unresolved debt problem has resulted in the government’s failure to meet its obligations to the people, or social debt as a percentage of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). FDC said that President Aquino’s social debt in education and health alone already amounts to P7 trillion.
FDC President Dr. Ed Tadem joins the panel of speakers during the 1 February 2016 press conference of BUHAY NA MAY DIGNIDAD PARA SA LAHAT (DIGNIDAD!) on the SSS pension increase. DIGNIDAD is a newly-established broad platform of citizens' groups advancing an agenda that will ensure a life of dignity for all Filipinos. The panel includes Independent Senatorial Candidate Dr. Walden Bello, Prof. Rene Ofreneo (DIGNIDAD spokesperson), Atty. Aaron Pedrosa (Sanlakas), Atty. Gen Du (Umalab Ka), Wilson Fortaleza (Partido Manggagawa), Aura Sevilla (COSE), Trining Domingo (KABAPA), Maria Flores (Kaisahan ng Maliliit na Magsasaka Partylist) and Salve Basiano (SSS Pensioner).
The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) joins the aggrieved 2.15 million pensioners of the Social Security System (SSS) in urging the Philippine Congress to override President Aquino’s veto and proceed to enact the law granting a PhP2,000 across-the-board increase in monthly pension. Further, FDC recommends that our lawmakers take this issue a step higher and immediately review the SSS social insurance scheme because clearly, this fails to protect members at old age. Not even with the P2,000 hike.
Paying attention to the financial security of retirees is long overdue. Beyond question, it is the government’s responsibility to ensure this. Aquino should be shaken out of his habit of rejecting proposals entailing public subsidies even if these would improve the lot of millions of Filipinos. Take the individual income tax cuts bills languishing in Congress, for example. And now the SSS pension increase.
Militant groups paraded a jolly big fellow near Malacañang this morning and it’s not the one in a red suit. It’s SanTax Claws in a black jacket, a bagful of money, and with basic sectors tied up as his reindeers.
“This is a mockery of the skewed policies and priorities of the Aquino administration and the ones before it. What prevails is the interest of the elite, of the capitalists, and the people are the ones slaving away for them,” said James Miraflor, Vice-President of the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC).
Sinagasaan ng “Tuwid na Daan”: Katarungan sa Buwis at Patakarang Piskal, Laban sa Karapatan at Inekwalidad
Ayon sa pantas na si Mahatma Gandhi, kahirapan ang pinakamalalang tipo ng karahasan. Ang dating Pangkalahatang Kalihim ng United Nations na si Kofi Annan ay nagpahayag din na sa tuwing tayo ay may naiaahon sa kahirapan ay naipagtatanggol natin ang karapatang pantao; at kung magiging bigo tayo sa misyong ito, hindi natin tinutupad ang karapatang pantao.
Batid nating lahat ito. Sa katunayan, palagiang layunin ng mga pandaigdigang kasunduang tulad ng papatapos na Millenium Development Goals at magsisimulang Sustainable Development Goals na wakasan ang kahirapan at hindi pagkakapantay-pantay. Sa mga kasunduang ito at ano mang alinsunod na lokal at pambansang programa, sentral na usapin ang paglalaaan ng budget at paghahagilap ng pondo para rito. Kaya’t malimit nating binubisisi ang pagpapataw ng buwis, ang pambansang budget at paggasta nito sapagkat sinasalamin nito ang tunay na prayoridad ng gobyerno.
For the second time, President Aquino rejected proposals for personal income tax cuts on the basis of anxiety over the implication of a resulting P30 billion forgone revenues while completely ignoring the urgency of an updated indexation of fixed-income earners’ salaries to prices. For the Freedom from Debt Coalition, this is another clear display of Aquino’s fiscal double standard as it reveals this administration’s twisted practice of collecting more from the poor while incentivizing the rich.
Multiple burdens already weigh down ordinary workers who, amid oppressions of contractualization and casualization, struggle for daily survival on their measly wages. Indisputably, not living but “libing” (interment) wage as labor groups call it as it can barely ensure sustenance and is lightyears away from providing for a life of dignity.
FDC to Aquino III: Recover Income Tax Cuts from Payments for Illegitimate Debts and Fiscal Incentives to Investments
While we at the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) welcome President Aquino III’s stand against increasing the regressive Value-Added Tax, we are appalled at his reasoning against income tax cuts. He could have grabbed the opportunity to review and reduce the unjust tax burden on ordinary Filipinos, particularly the fixed-income earners, but his line of thinking immediately jumps to calculating possible revenue deficits and how this would affect the country’s credit ratings.
Aquino III does not even bother to look at existing tax rates and tax brackets that have become passé considering today’s higher cost of living compared to 1997 when the rates and brackets were last determined. He is worried over the P30 billion lost revenue if income taxes are lowered but he is at ease with billions of pesos of forgone revenues due to fiscal incentives given to private investors. Worse, he remains resolute with losing billions of pesos of taxpayers’ money to service debts that are challenged as fraudulent, useless and/or wasteful.
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.