Statement on the Occasion of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank
Asian Peoples Movement on Debt & Development (APMDD) & Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC).
Sustainable development figures prominently in this year’s meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank’s with its chosen theme “Cooperating for Sustainability”. ADB has also expressed many times its support for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by directing “enhanced resources to human needs, infrastructure, and cross-border public goods to eradicate poverty and strengthen sustainable development.”
For many Asian developing peoples, however, whose governments have participated for almost half a century in ADB’s poverty reduction programs, the 49th ADB-AGM also gives rise to challenging these pronouncements. While Asia’s economic growth has risen above other global regions, it is also the site of deepening wealth and income inequality. While poverty indicators are said to have improved over the years, impoverishment and deprivation continue to mark the lives of millions of people in ADB’s Developing Member Countries, rendering them highly vulnerable especially because our region is gravely impacted by climate change.
The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) strongly condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the murder of a farmer protester and the wounding of several more at the barricade line on the Cotabato-Davao Highway at the hands of members of the Philippine National Police.
This use of state violence against unarmed civilians by police officers using high-caliber weapons is a gross transgression of human rights and deserves the highest form of outrage from all sectors of society.
The barricade was a peaceful and desperate protest action, set up by around 6,000 farmers and lumad peoples from several towns in Cotabato to demand immediate relief from the drought that had ravaged the province since November last year.
The Freedom from Debt Coalition staged the “Pitong Wika ng Masa: Pasyon ng Mamamayan” this morning to criticize the Aquino administration for its inept performance in addressing the needs of the Filipino people during the president’s six-year reign.
“During his term, PNoy deliberately betrayed the public in favor of corporate and political interests,” Sammy Gamboa, FDC Secretary-General said.
Early this year, President Aquino III vetoed the proposed SSS pension hike that would have granted P2,000 across-the board increase in monthly pension. In addition, he also rejected the proposed income tax cuts last September 2015, citing an estimated P30-billion in loss of revenue.
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.