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by CARMELA FONBUENA, abs-cbnNEWS.com/Newsbreak

House Speaker Prospero Nograles has revealed that he is being pressured by some senators to pass the right of reply bill which the Senate has passed.  

“You have to give us reason to stall because we are also in some kind of pressure,” Nograles said during a dialogue with media executives on Tuesday.

The media have opposed the passage of the bill on the ground that it violates the freedom of the press. The bill would grant persons or parties aggrieved by news reports the right to reply.

The bill was unanimously approved, 21-0, by the senators in July 2008.  

Asked how he is being pressured, Nograles said: “Since the Senate has given us its copy, certain senators have been calling me if the House can immediately concur with their version of the bill.”  

“It is a natural pressure of inter-chamber courtesy. When we pass a bill in the House, we also lobby,” Nograles added.  


During the dialogue, Nograles appealed to journalists to look into the House version of the bill and propose amendments.

“What is our objection? We cannot just have a hard-line position,” Nograles said.

However, the media representatives refused. They insisted on a hard-line position against the bill.  

“We are in favor of the right to reply. What we are against is a statutory or a mandatory right to reply," said Philippine Daily Inquirer publisher Isagani Yambot.

“This is a bill that seeks to abridge, diminish, limit, cut away our freedom.  This is prior restraint, too. It is the position of this group that this is not something that is open to negotiation. What we want to put forward is the simple idea that this bill prevents us from doing what we like before we can do it,” said Vergel Santos of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. 

In its current versions, the right of reply bills in the Senate and in the lower House mandate that replies are to be published free of charge “in the same space” of the print publication or aired over the same program on radio, television, or Web site. The reply cannot be longer than the original report, but unless it’s libelous, it cannot be edited. 

Failing to comply could mean revocation of franchises, or worse, imprisonment.
Cannot withdraw

Nograles said he cannot withdraw the bill.  

“I don’t want to go into legalese.  I will be very frank to you. It will be very difficult for the leadership to withdraw this bill. We would like you to study what amendments to introduce,” he said.  

Locsin assured that the media they have supporters in the lower House. “There are many congressmen who are against the bill on its face. Remember how long this [passage of the] bill can take. There is no obligation for us to pass it at all,” he said.

Nevertheless, Cebu Rep. Raul Del Mar said the media should be prepared to suggest amendments. “If we lose the vote, then we, at least, would have deleted objectionable portions of the bill,” Del Mar said.  

Del Mar said the Cebu media have given their proposed amendments. “They do not agree but they submitted proposed amendments,” he said.  

Blame the senators

Nograles also lamented the way media groups have criticized the lower House because of the pending bill. He said media groups should have questioned the bill while the senators were still deliberating on it.  

“I am a little bit puzzled that this has passed unanimously [in the Senate] but there was no outcry...until it reached the House,” Nograles said.

Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Neal Cruz explained that media groups were not invited to the committee hearings.  

“I think you should go after the senators. In the House, it is still in the period of amendments,” added Locsin.  

Several senators have expressed intention to withdraw their signatures but Nograles said this may not be possible. “I do not know how technically or legally can they recall the bill,” he said.

House amendments

Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante, who chairs the committee deliberating on the right of reply bill, assured the media that the House version of the bill will be different from the Senate.  

“I cannot sit on this bill. But our version after the amendments will be almost totally different from the Senate,” he said.

Among the amendments Abante mentioned are the following:

  • Only persons criticized will be afforded the right of reply (The Senate version includes persons subjected to innuendos, suggestions, and rumors.);
  • Unlike the Senate version, the reply will not necessarily be published on the “same space”; the House version allows the publication of the replies in the Letters to the Editor section or other areas of the newspaper; 
  • the reply need not be immediately published on the following day;
  • punishment will be limited to fines and suspension of franchise of broadcast; 
  • the House version will not include imprisonment as punishment.


The Search Begins (Let's Get It On!)

  • 1st Mar, 2009 at 9:46 PM

Sa diwa ng patuloy nating pagtanaw ng mas malalaking tagumpay bilang mga Iskolar ng Bayan, ibinubukas na ng Office of the Student Regent ang nominasyon para sa susunod na SR! (Excited ka na ba? hehe)



Who may be nominated?

Under the Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS) approved by the students

in the recent UP Systemwide Referendum held last January 26-31,2009, the nominee must:


be a bonafide student currently enrolled in the university at the time of his/her nomination;

have an accumulated residency of at least one year which would include periods of residency and/or on leave of absence;

be a Filipino citizen;  and

have a track record reflective of his/her commitment to serve the students

No disqualification on the basis of academic status or standing or performance shall be imposed on the nominees.  Questions regarding the qualifications of an applicant shall be filed with the OSR or any member of any UP Student Council and shall be resolved prior to the system-wide deliberations.


Who may nominate?


As stated in the Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS),

any student currently enrolled in the University;

any group or organization formally recognized in the University; or

any member of the college or university student councils

may nominate anyone who has the qualifications mentioned above. 


Nomination forms and certificate of acceptance are available at the OSR or at your respective University Student Council (USC) or College Student Council (CSC) Office.  Such nomination must be accompanied by a certificate of acceptance by the nominee and must be submitted to the USC/ CSC on the date specified in the calendar of the selection process




FEBRUARY 20  Start of Information Dissemination/ Start of Open Nomination

MARCH 6  Deadline of Open Nominations for the College Search Committees/ Regional Units

MARCH 13 Deadline of College Search Committee Deliberation, Filing of Recommendation of the College Search Committee of its SR Nominee/s and Submission of Report to the University Search Committee

MARCH20 Deadline of University Search Committee Deliberation, Filing of Recommendation of the University Search Committee and Regional Units of its SR Nominee/s and Submission of Report to the Office of the Student Regent

MARCH 24 (5pm) Deadline of Filing of Protests with the OSR




* For further information, contact your USC/CSC. You may also contact the Office of the Student Regent

 981-8500 loc 4511/4512, 09275688418, sabdulwahid@gmail.com


* The next Student Regent will serve from May 2009 to May 2010

THE SEARCH BEGINS (Let's get it on!)

  • 1st Mar, 2009 at 8:36 AM

Sa wakas, makakapili na tayo ng panibagong Student Regent!
Sa diwa ng patuloy nating pagtanaw ng mas malalaking tagumpay bilang mga Iskolar ng Bayan, ibinubukas na ng OSR ang nominasyon para sa susunod na SR! (Excited ka na ba? hehe)



Who may be nominated?

Under the Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS) approved by the students

in the recent UP Systemwide Referendum held last January 26-31,2009, the nominee must:


be a bonafide student currently enrolled in the university at the time of his/her nomination;

have an accumulated residency of at least one year which would include periods of residency and/or on leave of absence;

be a Filipino citizen;  and

have a track record reflective of his/her commitment to serve the students

No disqualification on the basis of academic status or standing or performance shall be imposed on the nominees.  Questions regarding the qualifications of an applicant shall be filed with the OSR or any member of any UP Student Council and shall be resolved prior to the system-wide deliberations.


Who may nominate?


As stated in the Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS),

any student currently enrolled in the University;

any group or organization formally recognized in the University; or

any member of the college or university student councils

may nominate anyone who has the qualifications mentioned above. 


Nomination forms and certificate of acceptance are available at the OSR or at your respective University Student Council (USC) or College Student Council (CSC) Office.  Such nomination must be accompanied by a certificate of acceptance by the nominee and must be submitted to the USC/ CSC on the date specified in the calendar of the selection process




FEBRUARY 20  Start of Information Dissemination/ Start of Open Nomination

MARCH 6  Deadline of Open Nominations for the College Search Committees/ Regional Units

MARCH 13 Deadline of College Search Committee Deliberation, Filing of Recommendation of the College Search Committee of its SR Nominee/s and Submission of Report to the University Search Committee

MARCH20 Deadline of University Search Committee Deliberation, Filing of Recommendation of the University Search Committee and Regional Units of its SR Nominee/s and Submission of Report to the Office of the Student Regent

MARCH 24 (5pm) Deadline of Filing of Protests with the OSR




* For further information, contact your USC/CSC. You may also contact the Office of the Student Regent

 981-8500 loc 4511/4512, 09275688418, sabdulwahid@gmail.com


* The next Student Regent will serve from May 2009 to May 2010


  • 27th Feb, 2009 at 11:56 PM
Inirehistro ng mga mag-aaral mula sa iba't ibang kolehiyo sa opisina Commission on Higher Education ang kanilang panawagang pagpigil sa pagtaas ng mga matrikula at iba pang bayarin.

Marahil nagtatanong ang ilan kung ano ang magagawa ng CHED at ng Kongreso para maampat ang pagtaas ng matrikula sa mga kolehiyo, lalo pa at deregulated na ang edukasyon: sa esensya, nasa mga academic institution na ang buong prerogrative na magtaas ng singil sa mga estudyante (at magdagdag ng kung anu-anong singilin gaya ng energy fee, PE fee, at kung anu-ano pang fee).

May magagawa sila. At dapat meron silang gawin sa lalong madaling panahon, lalo pa't pinangangambahang dahil sa lumalalang krisis at malawakang tanggalan sa trabaho ay maaring dumami ang bilang ng drop-outs at lalong lumaki ang agwat ng may pambayad at wala.

Ang hindi nila pag-aksyon sa walang habas na pagtataas ng mga kolehiyo ng matrikula at mga miscellaneous fees ay pagtanggal ng pagkakataon sa kabataan na makaambag tungo sa isang mas produktibong lipunan. Isa rin itong pagsira sa social contract sa pagitan ng estado at ng mamamayan: responsibilidad ng estadong ipagkaloob ang batayang pangangailangan ng kanyang mamamayan upang maging kapaki-pakinabang na bahagi ng lipunan.

Simple lang naman ang pinanghahawakan natin sa likod ng pagtulak sa CHED at sa iba pang kinauukulan para umaksyon sa tuition and other fee hikes. Babalikan lang natin ang mga probisyon sa saligang batas:*

                                             ARTICLE XIV



Section 1. The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.
Section 4.(1) The State recognizes the complementary roles of public and private institutions in the educational system and shall exercise reasonable supervision and regulation of all educational institutions.

Ang edukasyon ay karapatan, hindi isang pribilehiyo.

*Mula sa Chan Robles Virtual Law Library


  • 26th Feb, 2009 at 8:56 PM
Tinanong ako ng isang estudyante, bakit ako daw ang dapat manalo?

Sinagot ko, dapat akong manalo hindi sa kung sino ako at kung ano ang nagawa ko. dapat akong manalo dahil bahagi ako ng partidong sa loob ng 12 taon ay patuloy na pinagkakatiwalaan sa pakikipaglaban para sa karapatan at interes ng mga estudyante.

At hindi naman ako nagkamali sa mga sinabi ko. Sa taong ito, patuloy na pinagkatiwalaan ng mga estudyante ang STAND UP na maglingkod sa mga alagad ng media. Pito sa labintatlong posisyon ang aming nakuha sa katatapos lang na Student Council elections.

May ilan man sa aming hindi nakapasok, alam kong hindi ito dapat ikalungkot. Walang karapatang malungkot ang partidong buong taong umani ng tagumpay, mula sa pagpapalabas ng maraming estudyante para sa July 10 at 17 walkouts, hanggang sa pagdedeliver ng 76% Yes votes para sa CRSRS referendum. Isa rin itong magandang pagkakataon para sa buong partido na ipakitang ang STAND UP ay isang alliance ng mga organisasyon at indibidwal na buong taong kikilos at tatanganan ang mga ipinangakong proyekto at serbisyo, nasa konseho man o wala.

Marami pang laban ang dapat nating pagtagumpayan. Salat pa rin sa rekurso at kagamitan ang Student Council office at ang Tinig ng Plaridel. Kasalukuyan tayong binabraso ng MTRCB sa pamamagitan ng pagpigil sa ilang mga pelikula na maipalabas sa UP Film Institute. Kasalukuyang nakabinbin sa Board of regents and lab fees proposal sa FIlm at BC departments. At patuloy ang laban sa tambayan (na nasa Office of the Campus Architect na ang blueprint).

Ang lahat ng ito at marami pang iba ang hamon na ating kahaharapin. At sama-sama nating titindigan na may pagtanaw ng pag-ani ng mas malalaki pang tagumpay.

From bulatlat.com

Posted On February 16, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

“The seriousness of this crisis is such that we cannot expect any solution within the system and certainly not from the US administration, certainly not from the G-20 because within that group, except for a couple of exceptions, is the dominant Washington consensus of the neoliberal agenda, ” said Michel Chossudovsky, a progressive economist and academician.

“In the Philippines, this crisis will be extremely severe because it is imposed upon an existing situation…of dependency, lack of sovereignty, crisis of the real economy, and poverty of the large majority of the population.”


Debunking claims of financial analysts, a scholar asserted that the global economic crisis is a result of financial manipulation. Michel Chossudovsky, director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, also said that the current proposed solutions to the crisis will ultimately fail.

In a forum entitled “Global Financial and Economic Crisis: Exposing Capitalism, Looking for Alternatives” held February 10 at the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Chossudovsky, said, “We are at the crossroads of the most serious crisis of our history. Its comparison is with the Great Depression of the 1930s… we are really dealing with the first major global economic crisis.”

The forum is part of the two-day lecture of Chossudovsky organized by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Ibon Foundation and RESIST!.

Chossudovsky has taught at universities and academic institutions in North America, Western Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific. He is currently teaching in the International Development and Globalization Studies Program at the University of Ottawa.

He is the author of several international best sellers including The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005) and more than 500 articles. His writings have been translated into more than 25 languages.

Chossudovsky said, “We must understand that it’s not a spontaneous downturn as some financial analysts suggested that this is some kind of downturn of a business cycle and it goes up again. This crisis is a result of financial manipulation. It is the result of derivative exposure, the use of very complex speculative instruments which have the capacity of moving markets up and down.”

Neoliberal policies

Michel Chossudovsky delivers a scathing criticism of US’ neoliberal policies in a forum held at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. (Photo by Raymund Villanueva)

Chossudovsky said that in Southeast Asia and the Philippines, this crisis takes its roots in the debt crisis of the 1980s. “It is a continuum but at the same time there are sub-stages which have led up to the meltdown of the global financial markets.”

He said that 1980s is the beginning of neoliberal economic policies which led to the Western countries’ restructuring of the State, the phasing out of social programs, privatization of state assets. “It is essentially an agenda which serve the interests of financial institutions and large corporations at the expense of the social project which emerged in the post-war years which is largely based on the notion of welfare state…”he said.

Chossudovsky continued, “They also established a new agenda in the developing countries which is an imposition of strong economic medicine under the auspices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank.”

He said that there were impositions of deadly macroeconomic reforms resulting from the increase in the levels of external debt in the Philippines and other developing countries. The IMF and WB lend money with strings attached, the structural adjustment programs (SAPs), which according to Chossudovsky, include prescriptions such as closing down schools and hospitals, sending off the state assets to the private capital, liberalizing trade, cutting subsidies to agriculture, among others.

“They [IMF-WB] lend money to trigger the reimbursement of the debt and in the process, they impose conditions which in effect establish a parallel government, there is no sovereignty under that kind of arrangement,” Chossudovsky explained.

1997 Asian crisis

Chossudovsky said that from the 1980s onwards, the structure affecting developing countries remains the same. “It’s part of the same process, it leads into another major occurrence which is the Asian crisis of 1997,” he said.

He maintained that the Asian crisis is somewhat a variant of the traditional IMF-WB reform because it was an attempt on the part of Western financial institutions to destabilize currencies and to trigger the collapse of the national currencies with the view of gaining control of essential bank reserves and of gaining control over assets. Countries most affected Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines were targeted by institutional speculators. The region was impoverished.

Chossudovsky said the whole movement from ‘97 onwards has been essentially to develop a whole range of speculative instruments which have led financial markets, commodity markets, foreign exchange markets, oil markets to go up and down using speculative instruments.

Chossudovsky said the Wall Street conglomerate were largely but not exclusively behind the onslaught of these speculative attacks.

He said that Malaysia was the only country in Southeast Asia which managed to resist the attacks of speculators. “They did this because they have some carefully-designed mechanisms to protect their foreign exchange market and defend themselves against the speculators.”

Financial conglomerate

Chossudovsky said that in the wake of the Asian crisis, the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act (FSMA), a major piece of legislation in the United States, came. He said the FSMA is important in understanding the present crisis.

The FSMA repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which prohibited commercial banks from collaborating with full-service brokerage firms or participating in investment banking activities. Enacted during the Great Depression, it protected bank depositors from the additional risks associated with security transactions.

Chossudovsky deemed, “The FSMA allows for the formation of global financial conglomerates through the merger of the commercial banks and the stock brokerage companies, export banks, merchant banks together with the large insurance companies and accounting firms.”

He cited as an example the JP Morgan Chase which is the integration of Chase Manhattan, a commercial bank and JP Morgan.

Chossudovsky said, “This is extremely important because it essentially means that the functions of credit now are overseen by institutions which are involved in speculative activity and the reason why they introduced this separation in the 1930s was precisely to prevent the kinds of occurrences.”

The Act, said Chossudovsky allows speculators to control the financial system. He said there are several speculative actors operating commodity markets and energy markets which push the price up and down . “Then you have a situation where the oil market has absolutely no link to the actual cost of production of a barrel of oil. The price has no relationship to the real cost of the commodity which is the object of speculation. The same thing with food commodity where speculators push up the prices of rice, grain using exactly the same mechanism,” he explained.

Chossudovsky further said, “When I say global financial architecture is that once it was established on Wall Street that commercial banks and stock brokerage firms coalesce, it became a worldwide process. Today, we no longer have a tight separation between commercial banks and stock brokerage firms and that means that financial institutions are increasingly controlled by speculators and then we have the development of all the derivative instruments, the fact that the hedge funds are not regulated in any way. All the US banks have their hedge funds where they can transfer money. The hedge funds are essentially controlled by fund managers who are private individuals but they may be connected to the interest of particular financial institutions or banks.”

“In the present context, it is interesting to note that every single financial institution in America, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America say they are technically bankrupt. Now you say why are they technically bankrupt? They’ve been taking money from their own bank and transferring this money to their related hedge funds and they are also using the money from the bailout to enrich themselves. What you have is that FSMA setting the stage for the current crisis,” he added.

Architects of economic disaster

Chossudovsky said the architects of the FSMA which create these global financial institutions are very powerful.

He said that the the people who are behind the global financial architecture are precisely the people who are part of the new Obama economics team.

He said that Timothy Geithner, chief executive officer (CEO) of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has been appointed to head the Treasury and Lawrence Summers who was the architect of the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 has been appointed as economic adviser of the White House, chairman of the council of economic adviser.

“The CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which is a private banking institution controlled by the major banking conglomerate is appointed to the Treasury and the Treasury now is in charge of acting on behalf of taxpayers. In effect, the whole process has been hijacked and what we are dealing with is a tremendous accumulation of private wealth by these Wall Street financial conglomerate,” he said.

“What you see is that the architects of economic disaster, those who set the financial agenda in 1999, Lawrence Summers, Robert Rubin, members of the financial establishment, the Rockefeller family and so on, these people are now part of the new economic team,” he added.

“There’s continuity. We have to understand that continuity. The Obama administration does not break that continuity,” Chossudovsky said.

He said that the same people who are behind the financial crisis mainly the Wall Street banks, the big players such as the JP Morgan Chase which is closely linked to the Rockefeller family, Bank of America, the oil companies, what we refer to as military industrial complex which are the major Anglo-American defense contractors, the producers of weapons - the Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, Boeing, British Air Space remain in control.


Chossudovsky said, “The architects of economic disaster are those who are being called in to provide solutions. Within that frame of reference, there are no solutions because the solutions lead to the exacerbation of the crisis, they don’t lead to resolution of the crisis.”

He said that the logic of the first bank bailout which was implemented by the Bush administration is very similar to the logic of Obama’s stimulus package with some differences.

Solutions first proposed by the Bush administration, the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) at the time was a $700-billion rescue package which was to help the troubled financial institutions.

Chossudovsky said that even with this bailout, you will never resolve the problem of the accumulated debts in the banking system.

He explained, “You have a $700 billion Treasury emission which requires running on a budget deficit. You can’t hand over $700 billion to the banks out of thin air. The Treasury needs to finance this. What do they do? They remit $700 billion worth of government bonds and Treasury bills. Now, who is going to buy 700-B worth of government bonds and Treasury bills? Maybe the Chinese, Japanese and some stupid people in Southeast Asia will buy these but they have to go through the banks, they are the brokers of this public debt so that they will help the Treasury to transact this public debt but they will also hold a portion of the public debt.”

He said further, “The mechanics is the following: The banks say we need $700-billion to get rid of this toxic asset etc. The money goes into acquisition of other financial institutions, a part of it is diverted to the hedge fund, it goes into the hands of private financiers connected to the financial institutions.” “The recipients of the bailout are also the creditors of the state which are financing, providing them the money either directly by holding a portion of the debt but also by selling of the debt in the international market.”

Chossudovsky said that to finance this bank bailout, the Treasury needs to slash public expenditure in a massive way. He said, “…[I]n effect, the US state is financing its own indebtedness, it is handing money to the bank and then it is asking the banks to help them finance the deficit and in turn, the public debt goes up dramatically. And I’m not talking about one bailout package, there were several others and then what happens is the whole structure of the public finances of the country goes damn, you can’t fund the schools, you can’t fund the hospitals why? Because you have to give money to the banks.”

“You lend money to the bank and the bank lends you money to finance the money that you handed to them and then they impose also a very major repacking of old categories of expenditure and virtually a situation where the state becomes totally privatized…What is happening in the US is the situation where the banks are overshadowing the entire structure of public expenditure,” Chossudovsky continued.

Chossudovsky said that the financial institutions which call the shots in public policy will then start to transform this massive amount of paper wealth. “What is happening is that this massive concentration of private wealth in the hands of financiers. There’s a lot of cash money capital available at this moment in the hands of a handful of institutions and wealthy individuals and they will start buying up airlines, automobile companies, high-tech firms, universities etc, hospitals. In other words, we’re going to see this shopping spree where the upper echelons of the financial establishments will start buying up the real economy.”

Chossudovsky said even stimulus packages will not solve the crisis. He said it is the IMF and World Bank, the financiers, which will set the guidelines for stimulus packages. “And the IMF-WB are institutions or bureaucracies which in effect are controlled by the Wall Street. They don’t have any authority in their own right, they are very much integrated into the Wall Street establishment,” he said.

He said that any kind of stimulus package has to go to Washington.


“This stimulus package is really based on an existing structure of interference and hegemony in the internal affairs of the Philippines…it goes back more than 20 years and is precisely on that basis, on this type of environment of conditionalities and economic reforms imposed by the creditors that this stimulus package is going to be implemented,” he said.

He added, “And it’s going to be implemented on borrowed money obviously because the external creditors are there and they are also now imposing particular directives on how the money is going to be spent.”

Chossudovsky said there are two programs of the WB that is important in the present context. One is called the PIP or the Public Investment Program which essentially is a list of investment projects and is entirely under the control of the WB. The second one, he said, is the Public Expenditure Review.

“They say there is some corruption in the allocation of the WB fund but they [WB] are complicit in that corruption because they deal with the people [involved in corruption],” he said.


“The seriousness of this crisis is the fact that as far as solutions are concerned, we cannot expect any solution within the system and certainly not from the US administration, certainly not from the G-20 because within that group, except for a couple of exceptions is the dominant Washington consensus of the neoliberal agenda,” Chossudovsky said.

“In the Philippines, this crisis will be extremely severe because it is imposed upon an existing situation…of dependency, lack of sovereignty, crisis of the real economy, and poverty of the large majority of the population. The measures which are currently being formulated must be challenged in a very consistent and meaningful way.”[1] (Bulatlat.com)




  1. The Right to Reply Bill is an ill-conceived piece of legislation that violates two of the most cherished freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, those of the press and of expression.


  1. It is both unfortunate and ironic that the principal authors of the bill in the two chambers of Congress ought to have known better, Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. having earned his reputation as a champion of civil rights and Bacolod Representative Monico Puentevella having been president of the Negros Press Club.


  1. It is also clear, from the pronouncements of both lawmakers, that this bill is a product of the sorriest excuse for legislation – personal pique.


  1. The House version of the bill, HB 3306, parrots the Senate's SB2150 except it would have the reply run a day after receipt instead of the three days the Senate grants, and seeks to impose heftier fines and the absence of self-regulation (in the case of block-timers) and sunset clauses.


  1. Both bills state that "all persons…who are accused directly or indirectly of committing, having committed or intending to commit any crime or offense defined by law, or are criticized by innuendo, suggestion or rumor for any lapse in behavior in public or private life shall have the right to reply to charges or criticisms published or printed in newspapers, magazines, newsletters or publications circulated commercially or for free, or aired or broadcast over radio, television, websites, or through any electronic devices."


  1. They also would mandate that these replies be "published or broadcast in the same space of the newspapers, magazine, newsletter or publication, or aired over the same program on radio, television, website or through any electronic device."


  1. The danger in the right to reply bill is that it would legislate what the media OUGHT to publish or air, while casting a chilling effect that could dissuade the more timorous from publishing or airing what they SHOULD.


  1. The bills would free public officials, especially the corrupt – and they are legion – of accountability and give them carte blanche to force their lies on the suffering public.


  1. As one article on the right to reply bill says, "It lumps together imputations of a crime with simple criticism 'of any lapse in behavior in public or private life' or what would otherwise be considered 'fair comment.' There is no judicial review. It does not differentiate direct and indirect criticism. It has been noted that under the proposed law a journalist does not even have to be in error to draw a right of reply claim."


  1. We would be the last to say that the Philippine media are without fault. Yes, we understand perfectly the frustration and anger of Pimentel and Puentevella over some media outlet's refusal to air their sides on issues.
  2. Alas, but we cannot allow the sins of the few to be an excuse for the wholesale muzzling of a free press and the suppression of free expression. To do so would to allow bad governance to triumph.


  1. We call on Senator Pimentel and Representative Puentevella to withdraw their bills.


  1. We urge the media and the people to close ranks against the passage of this bill, to challenge it before the Supreme Court if it is passed, and, if even that fails, to defy it by refusing to comply.


  1. No less than our freedoms are at stake. This is a battle we cannot afford to lose.



February 9. 2009

Signed by:
1. Nestor Burgos, PDI
2. Nonoy Espina, inquirer.net
3. Sonny Fernandez, ABS-CBN Global
4. Rowena Paraan, PCIJ
5. Alwyn Alburo, GMA Network
6. Marlon Ramos, PDI
7. Dani Lucas, ABS CBN
8. Ilang-Ilang Quijano, Pinoy Weekly
9. May Rodriguez, Freelance
10. Julie Alipala, PDI
11. Cheryll Fiel, davaotoday.com
12. Jun Godoy, DXOC-Ozamis City
13. Arnell Ozaeta, Phil Star, DZMM
14. John Heredia, Filvision Alto Cable-Capiz
15. Desiree Caluza, PDI
16. Dabet Panelo, NUJP
17. Miriam Grace Go, Newsbreak
18. Sarah Katrina Maramag, College Editors Guild of the Philippines
19. Maurice Malanes, PDI
20. Jofelle Tesorio, ANN
21. Allen V. Estabillo, MindaNews
22. Jun Lopez, Malaya 
23. Gerry Albert Corpuz, correspondent, Bulatlat.com and columnist, United Press International (UPI) Asia Online
24. Delfin T. Mallari Jr. PDI 
25. Arlyn dela Cruz, NET-25/ Philippine Daily Inquirer
26. Rorie Fajardo, Philippine Human Rights Reporting Project
27. Ronalyn V. Olea, Bulatlat
28. Jun Ariolo N. Aguirre, Hala Birada News Weekly
29. Rey Tamayo, Jr., NUJP, Good News Services
30. Alexander Martin Remollino, Bulatlat
31. Vijae Alquisola, College Editors Guild of the Philippines
32. Elmer James Bandol, cbcpnews.com
33. Ansbert Joaquin, PDI
34. Kathleen T. Okubo, Northern Media Information Network
35. Dino Balabo, Philippine Star, Pilipino Star Ngayon, Mabuhay, CLBW
36. Inday Espina-Varona, Philippine Graphic
37. Susan N Palmes- Mindanao Gold Star, Cagayan de Oro
38. MALU CADELINA MANAR, Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation, Kidapawan City, NUJP-Kidapawan City chapter
39. Rizaldy Jose GMA-Network
40. Danilo Arao, Bulatlat.com, Pinoy Weekly
41. Rey Tamayo, Jr., NUJP, Magandang Balita
42. Joey Aguilar, Punto Central Luzon/gmanews.tv
43. Marlon Alexander Luistro, GMA 7

Praymer ng EILER
24 Setyembre 2008
Mabilis na bumubulusok ang ekonomya ng US at buong pandaigdigang sistemang kapitalista. Dumaraan ito ngayon sa isa sa pinakamatitinding krisis pampinansya mula pa noong panahon ng Great Depression noong dekada 1930.

Mula pa noong 2007, sunud-sunod nang nagbabagsakan ang pinakamalalaking bangko at mga institusyong pampinansya sa US. Kabilang na dito ang tatlo sa limang pinakamalaking bangko sa pamumuhunan at sagradong mga simbolo ng kapitalismo sa Amerika – ang Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers at Merrill Lynch. May ilan pang dambuhalang bangko sa US ang patuloy na nanganganib ang katayuan. Napilitan din ang gobyerno ng US na akuin ang bilyun-bilyong utang na di mabayaran sa dalawang pangunahing tagapagpautang para sa pabahay sa US – ang Frannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) at Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association) – para lang hindi tuluyang mabangkarote at magsara ang dalawa.
May susing papel ang mga monopolyong bangkong ito sa sistemang kapitalista dahil nakakonsentra sa kanila ang negosyo sa pagtustos sa mga pangangailangang pampinansya ng industriya at kalakalan. Pag-aari sila ng iilang pinakamakapangyarihang kapitalistang may kontrol sa kapital sa pinansya. Dahil dito, nasesentralisa o natitipon sa kanila ang kapangyarihan sa pinansya, produksyon, kalakalan, at buong ekonomiya hindi lamang ng US kundi ng buong daigdig. Kaya naman marami ngayon ang nagtatanong, “Ito na ba ang katapusan ng kapitalismo?”
Samantalang sa Pilipinas, dali-daling nagpahayag ang rehimeng US-Arroyo na hindi maaapektuhan ang ating ekonomiya ng sumambulat na krisis pampinansya sa US.
Upang higit na maunawaan kung ano nga ba ang kahulugan at mga implikasyon sa Pilipinas at sa daigdig ng kasalukuyang krisis pampinansya, kailangan nating balikan ang pinag-ugatan ng krisis na ito.

Ang ugat ng kasalukuyang krisis pampinansya
Mula noong katapusan ng dekada 1970, ipinatupad ng US ang mga patakarang “neoliberal” upang muling palakihin ang tubo ng mga kapitalista at para umano lutasin ang problema ng istagplasyon (stagflation) o ang sabayang pag-iral ng istagnasyon o matumal na ekonomiya at ng mataas na implasyon noong panahong iyon.
Ang nasa likod ng problema ng istagplasyon ay ang muling pagbangon ng Europa at Japan noong dekada 1960 bilang mga kapangyarihang industriyal matapos mawasak ang ekonomiya nila noong ikalawang digmaang pandaigdig. Dahil dito, tumindi ulit ang kumpetisyon sa pagitan ng mga monopolyo-kapitalistang Amerikano, Aleman, Hapon at iba pa sa pandaigdigang merkado – kaya naman bumaba rin ang pangkalahatang tubo nila pagsapit ng dekada 1970. Kasabay nito ang paglustay ng imperyalistang US ng sariling pondo nito upang tustusan ang gerang agresyon sa Vietnam, na isang naging mayor na dahilan ng pagsirit ng implasyon noon.
Pero pinalabas ng mga monopolyo-kapitalista na ang problema ng istagplasyon ay bunga ng malaking gastusin ng gobyerno sa mga serbisyong panlipunan at sa mataas na pasahod sa mga manggagawa. Kaya naman, sa isang banda, ang isang pangunahing diin ng neoliberalismo ay ang paliitin ang gastos ng gobyerno sa mga serbisyong panlipunan, at tiyaking nakapako sa lupa at patuloy na lumulubog ang sahod ng mga manggagawa.
Sa kabilang banda, todo-todo naman ang mga pabuya sa mga monopolyo-kapitalista sa mga sumusunod na anyo: pagbawas sa mga pagbubuwis sa kanila; pagpapasinaya ng mga kontratang militar at mga pag-aaring publiko; walang limitasyong pagpapautang; garantiya at subsidyo sa pamumuhunan at samu't saring suportang pampulitika at pang-militar. Lahat ito, para makapagpalawak sila at magkaroon ng mga mapagkukunan ng hilaw na materyales, pamilihan, at mapaglalagakan ng kanilang puhunan sa lahat ng sulok ng mundo.
Kaya sa ilalim ng mga islogan ng “malayang pamilihan” at "globalisasyon," itinulak ng mga imperyalistang bansa sa pangunguna ng US, ang mga bansang atrasado na ibuyangyang ang kani-kanilang ekonomiya sa dayuhang kapital. Sa gayo’y napabilis ng monopolyo-burgesya ang konsentrasyon at sentralisasyon ng yaman sa kanilang mga kamay sa pamamagitan ng pagpiga ng supertubo at bayad-utang, liberalisasyon ng daloy ng kapital at kalakalan, pribatisasyon ng mga pag-aaring pampubliko at serbisyong panlipunan, at deregulasyong sumasagasa sa mga karapatan at kagalingan ng masang anakpawis, kababaihan, mga bata at kalikasan.
Ang ibinunga ng mahigit dalawang dekada ng pagpapatupad sa neoliberalismo ay higit na konsentrasyon ng kapital sa kamay ng iilang monopolyo-burgesya sa isang banda, at ibayong pagsasamantala at pagkabusabos sa higit na nakararami sa kabila. Noong 2000, ang pinakamayamang 1% ng mundo ang may-ari ng 40% ng yaman sa daigdig, ang pinakamayamang 2% ang may-ari ng 51%, habang ang pinakamahirap na kalahati ng populasyon ng mundo ay may-ari lamang ng wala pa sa 1% ng yaman ng daigdig. Mahigit 2.8 bilyon ang nabubuhay sa di lalampas sa $2 bawat araw, na dumoble mula sa 1.4 bilyon noong dekada 1970. Mahigit 1 bilyon ang walang sapat na pagkain at nagugutom, habang 1 bilyon ang wala man lang mapagkunan ng malinis na tubig na maiinom.
Sa halip na lutasin ang problema sa ekonomiya, pinalala pa nga ng neoliberalismo o imperyalistang globalisasyon ang krisis ng sobrang produksyon. Ito ang kalagayan kung saan mayroong napakaraming kalakal pero hindi naibebenta dahil walang sapat na kakayahan ang mga mamamayan na bilhin ang mga ito. Inilatag ng neoliberalismo ang kalagayan upang lumakas ang produksyon, ngunit inilatag din ito ang kalagayan upang lalong mawalan ng kakayahan ang mga mamamayan na bumili ng mga produkto – dahil sa mababang pasahod na bahagi ng matinding pagsasamantala. Para sa mga kapitalista, nangangahulugan ito ng pagbaba ng tubo, pagkalugi at pagbabawas sa empleyado. Di-maiwasang tunguhin ito ng sistemang kapitalista dahil nakabatay ang pagyaman ng mga kapitalista sa pagsasamantala sa masang anakpawis.
Upang mapasigla ang pamumuhunan at pagkonsumo ng mga mamamayan nang hindi pinapataas ang sahod at pondo sa serbisyong panlipunan na pawang ipinagbabawal ng neoliberalismo, hinikayat ng gobyerno ng US ang ispekulasyon sa stock market at sa real estate. Ang ispekulasyon ay isang paraan ng pamumuhunan na kahalintulad ng pyramid scam o kaya’y pagsusugal sa casino. Kaiba ito sa pamumuhunan sa produksyon ng mga kalakal na nakakapagbigay-empleyo sa mga manggagawa upang lumikha ng karagdagang yaman para sa lipunan.

Kasabay nito, hinikayat din ng gobyerno ang pangungutang sa mga bangko at institusyong pampinansya para bumaha ang pondong pantustos sa ispekulasyong ito. Pati mga ipon, pensyon at perang nagmula sa pagsasangla ng bahay ng karaniwang Amerikano ay hinihikayat na isugal sa ispekulatibong pamumuhunan at sa pagbili ng bagong mga kotse, gamit sa bahay at iba pang kalakal na pangkonsumo.
Ito ang nasa likod ng huwad at pansamantalang pagsigla ng ekonomiya ng US noong dekada 1990. Subalit katulad ng mga pyramid scam, naglaho rin ito na parang bula nang sunud-sunod na bumagsak ang halaga ng mga sapi sa stock market, partikular ang mga kaugnay ng industriya ng information technology at internet, dahil napatunayang artipisyal at di kayang masustini ang tubo ng karamihan sa kanila. Ito ang tinataguriang pagputok ng “tech bubble” o “dot.com bust” noong 2001.
Upangmaalpasan ang krisis na sumambulat noong 2001, pinalobo naman ng mga monopolyo-kapitalista sa US ang bula sa real estate at konstruksyon sa pamamagitan ng pag-aalok ng mababang interes sa mga pautang sa pabahay. Pati yaong mga may maliliit lang na kita o halos walang kolateral ay inengganyong mangutang para may maipangkonsumo batay sa pinalobong halaga ng mga isinanglang bahay nila. Ito ang tinatawag na “subprime mortgages” na lumobo at naipon sa account ng mga bangko sa US mula 2001.
Pagsapit ng 2007, umabot na sa US$51.1 Trilyon ang pinagsama-samang utang ng mga mamamayan, korporasyon at gobyerno sa US – halos apat na beses ang laki kumpara sa $13.1Trilyong Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ng pinakamayamang bansa sa daigdig. Lumaki rin ang bahagi ng kabuuang tubo ng mga kompanya sa US na napupunta sa mga bangko at institusyong pampinansya noong dekada 1990 mula 20% hanggang 40% ng kabuuang tubo ng mga korporasyon (total corporate profits).
Pagdating ng huling bahagi ng 2006, nagsimula nang dumami ang mga di makapagbayad ng kanilang utang sa pabahay dahil patuloy namang lugmok ang tunay na kabuhayan ng masa – walang pagtaas ng sahod at minimal ang serbisyong panlipunan. Nagdulot ito ng pagbagsak ng ilang bangkong may malalaking pautang na subprime mula noong 2007.
Pero mabilis nang kumalat at tumindi ang epekto ng malawakang pagkabigong makapagbayad (default rates) dahil sa laganap na iskema ng securitization na pinauso ng malalaking bangko sa pamumuhunan. Ito ang iskema ng mga kapitalista sa pinansya kung saan pinagkokombina nila at binabago ang pakete ng mga pautang sa pabahay at iba pa, at kanilang binabansagan ang mga ito bilang “mortgage-backed securities,” “asset-backed securities,” “collateralized debt obligations,” (CDO), “collateralized loan obligations” at "structured investment vehicles". Pagkatapos, ibinenta nila ang mga ipinaketeng pautang na ito sa iba pang bangko at kapitalista sa US at ibang bansa na sumusugal din sa pamumuhunan sa ispekulasyon.
Ito ang isang dahilan kung bakit mabilis na lomobo ang kabuuang halaga ng pag-aaring pampinansya sa US hanggang mahigit siyam na beses kumpara sa laki ng GDP nito. Ito rin ang dahilan kung bakit naging pandaigdigan na ang saklaw ng pampinansyang krisis dahil bilyun-bilyon ang di mabayarang pautang na subprime sa US. Katunayan, hindi na matukoy ng mga awtoridad sa bansang ito kung alin at gaano talaga kalaki ang mga utang na subprime, at kung sino talaga ang may utang sa kung kanino.
Kaya nayayanig na rin pati mga bangko at stock market sa ibang bansa. Marami na ring malalaking bangko at kumpanya sa pinansya sa Europa ang nanganganib bumagsak. Pansamantalang nakaahon na lamang muli ang mga ito ngayon dulot ng malakihang paglalabas ng pondo ng mga bangko sentral sa US, Europe at Asia.

May ilang dambuhalang bangko sa United Kingdom na nagsara o nilamon na ng iba dahil sa pagkalugi din sa pautang. Naglaho ang $1.6 bilyong puhunan ng pitong bangko sa Japan sa nabangkaroteng Lehman Brothers. Ang HSBC, pinakamalaking bangko sa Europe, ay hinambalos ng $3.4 bilyong pagkalugi noong 2007, bunga ng pagpipinansya nito ng mga sanla sa pabahay sa US. Naghahanap na ito ngayon ng kumpanyang bibili rito.

Inaasahang magiging walang kaparis sa kasaysayan ang napipintong pagbagsak sa halaga ng mga ari-arian (asset write-downs). Sa tantya ng International Monetary Fund (IMF), pwedeng umabot sa $1 Trilyon ang pagkalugi at pagbagsak ng halaga ng mga pag-aari sa US – halagang mas malaki pa sa GDP ng buong Australia. Sa ibang pagtantya, maaaring umabot ng $30 Trilyon ang kabuuang halagang mawawala nang parang bula sa buong daigdig dahil sa krisis na ito.

Epekto sa mga mamamayan ng daigdig
Subalit hindi lang mga kapitalista sa pinansya ang maaapektuhan ng malakihang pagkaluging ito sa pautang at pagbagsak ng halaga ng mga pag-aari. Ang totoo, karaniwang mga mamamayan ang babalikat sa mapaminsalang mga epekto nito. Ang pagsambulat ng krisis pampinansya ay nangangahulugan ng mas matinding krisis sa ekonomya sa kabuuan -- pagbagal ng produksyon, paglaki ng disempleyo, pagtumal ng pamilihan, at pagtindi ng kahirapan ng mamamayan.

Tinatayang 2.2 milyon, o isa sa bawat 50 pamilya sa US, ang mawawalan ng sariling bahay dahil sa krisis at pagkabaon sa utang. Papabagsak din ang halaga ng ipon ng ordinaryong mga mamamayan na kanilang ipinuhunan sa pagbili ng bahay o inilagak sa stock market. Libu-libong manggagawang Amerikano ang nadadagdag ngayon sa bilang ng walang trabaho. Umabot na sa 15 milyon ang wala o naghahanap ng dagdag na trabaho sa US.
Dahil sa pagkitid ng pondo para sa pamumuhunan at konsumo, inaasahang papasok sa isang napakalubhang resesyon ang US at iba pang imperyalistang bansa sa darating na taon. Ayon sa IMF, malamang na bumagal ang paglaki ng ekonomiya ng daigdig patungong 3% lang o mas mababa pa sa 2008 at 2009. Kahit sa kanilang depinisyon, katumbas ito ng isang “resesyong pandaigdig”.
Magbubunsod din ang pagkitid ng pamilihang pangkonsumo sa US ng biglaang pagliit ng mga order sa Latin Amerika, China, India, Southeast Asia at iba pang bansang nakaasa sa pag-eeksport ng mga produktong agrikultural, hilaw na materyales, mineral at mala-manupakturang mababa ang dagdag-halaga para sa mga imperyalistang bansa. Pinakamalalang maaapektuhan ang mga bansang atrasado na mahigpit na nakatali sa neokolonyal na relasyong pangkalakalan sa US. Kasama rito ang mga bansang tulad ng Pilipinas, Mexico, at yaong mga nakatali sa mga kasunduan para sa “malayang kalakalan” sa US, EU o Japan.
Magiging mas mahigpit din ang pautang at tataas ang sinisingil na interes ng mga bangko. Ibig sabihin, maaaring magdulot ito ng pagkaunti ng pautang para sa mga bansa sa Third World . Problema ito para sa mga bansang umaasa sa pagdaloy ng dayuhang kapital para (1) magbayad ng lumang mga utang, (2) ipagpatuloy ang pag-iimport galing sa mga abanteng kapitalistang bansa, at (3) pagtakpan ang pamalagiang depisitong bunga ng pandarambong ng imperyalistang mga estado sa kanilang ekonomya.
Lahat ng ito ay magdudulot ng pagsasara ng maliliit na negosyo at malawakang tanggalan. Babala ng International Labor Organization ILO), madadagdagan ng 5 milyong manggagawa ang hanay ng walang trabaho sa buong mundo dahil sa kasalukuyang krisis sa pinansya. Tataas daw ang tantos ng walang trabaho sa mundo tungong 6.1%. Batay ito sa mas optimistikong pagtataya ng 4.8% na paglago sa GDP ng daigdig, na nirebisa na nga at ginawang mas mababa ng IMF. Kaya't milyun-milyon pa ang idadagdag sa 189.9 milyong walang trabaho noong 2007 bunga ng mas masahol na resesyon ngayong 2008 at sa 2009.
Sa patuloy na paglala ng krisis sa pinansya, natutulak ang mga kapitalista na maghanap ng ibang mababalingan ng kanilang sobrang kapital. Kaya lumilipat ngayon ang ispekulatibong kapital sa pangangalakal ng mga komoditi (commodities futures trading) tulad ng langis, mineral at mga komoditing pang-agrikultura. Itinutulak nito ang pagsirit ng presyo ng pagkain at enerhiya lampas sa aktwal na kalagayan sa tunay na ekonomiya, at sa gayo’y labis na inuuk-ok ang tunay na halaga ng kita ng malawak na mayorya lalo na sa Third World. Ibig sabihin, tataas ang presyo ng pagkain at enerhiya nang lampas-lampas sa tunay na halaga at dapat sana’y presyo ng mga ito, at nang lagpas-lagpas din sa kakayahan ng mga mamamayang bilhin. Binubuo ng pagkain ang 30-40% ng gastos sa konsumo (consumer-price index) sa mayorya ng mga bansang mahihirap, kumpara sa 15% lamang sa mga ekonomiyang G-7. Tantya ng The Economist, kilalang burges na publikasyon hinggil sa ekonomiya, dalawang katlo (2/3) ng populasyon ng mundo ang malamang na dumaranas ngayon ng double-digit inflation. Isinasadlak nito ang milyun-milyong katao sa papalalim na karalitaan.

Epekto sa Pilipinas
Bilang malakolonyal at malapyudal na bansa na pinahihirapan ng dayuhang imperyalismo at katutubong pyudalismo, pamalagian ang sosyo-ekonomikong krisis sa Pilipinas. Subalit sa ilalim ng imperyalistang globalisasyon, lalong nalugmok ang ekonomiya ng bansa at naging higit na bulnerable sa epekto ng tumitinding krisis ng pandaigdigang sistemang kapitalista. Taliwas sa sinasabi ng rehimeng US-Arroyo na hindi na gaanong nakatali ang Pilipinas sa US, ang isang pagbahing ng US ay nagiging sanhi na ng pagkakaroon ng trangkaso ng Pilipinas dahil nakakubabaw pa rin ng monopolyo-kapitalistang US ang ekonomiya ng bansa.
Mahigit P2 Trilyon na ang nawala sa halaga-sa-papel ng mga sapi sa Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) simula Agosto 2007 nang pumutok ang krisis na subprime sa US. Posibleng mabawasan din nang $386 Milyon ang halaga sa pag-aari ng pitong bangko sa Pilipinas na may puhunan sa nabangkrap na Lehman Brothers sa US. Tiyak na lalaki pa ang mga pagbagsak ng halaga ng pag-aari (asset writedowns) na ito sa pagdami ng mga bangko at kompanyang malulugi sa US at iba pang imperyalistang bansa na may dominanteng papel sa sistemang pampinansya at ekonomya ng Pilipinas.
Pero hindi lang mga bangko ang apektado. Kalakhan ng ini-eksport ng Pilipinas na hilaw na materyales, produktong agrikultural, mineral at mala-manupaktura ay para sa US kaya't babagsak din ang kita ng bansa mula sa mga eksport dahil sa resesyon doon. Ayon sa Ibon Foundation, 20% ng kabuuang eksport ng Pilipinas ang idinidiretso sa US habang ang malaking bahagi ng eksport na napupunta sa Japan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan at Malaysia ay mga bahagi at kasangkapan para sa mga produktong binubuo (ina-assemble) sa mga bansang ito bago i-eksport din sa US. Kapag naging matumal din ang iba pang bansa dahil sa pandaigdigang resesyon, lalo pang babagsak ang kikitain ng Pilipinas sa pag-eeksport.
Kahit ang ipinagmamalaki ng gobyernong Arroyo na sektor ng Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sa Pilipinas, na pangunahing nakasentro sa sektor ng call center, ay dominado rin ng mga monopolyo-kapitalista ng US at nakaasa sa kalagayan ng ekonomiya sa US. Ayon sa Ibon, 90% ng kita sa eksport ng BPO ng Pilipinas ay mula sa merkado ng US.
Tinatayang malilimitahan din, kundi man mababawasan, ang bilang ng mga Pilipinong makakahanap ng trabaho sa ibang bansa dahil sa resesyon sa mga bansang kapitalista at pagtumal ng pandaigdigang ekonomiya sa kabuuan. Mangangahulugan ito ng mas kaunting remitans at mas matamlay ding konsumo sa Pilipinas dahil sa laki ng papel ng remitans sa lokal na ekonomiya.
Sa pagbagsak ng pag-eeksport ng kalakal at serbisyo (tulad ng BPO), pagbagal ng pagdami ng mga OFW at pagliit ng remitans nila, tiyak na lalala ang kawalang-trabaho sa Pilipinas. Ibig sabihin, dadami ang walang trabaho o di-regular ang trabaho, at lalong babaratin ang sahod at kita ng mga may trabaho – dahil lalong darami ang magkukumpetisyon para makapasok sa trabaho Pinapalubha pa ang sitwasyon ng patuloy na pagsirit ng implasyon lalo na sa presyo ng mga pagkain, dulot din ng krisis pampinansya at patuloy na pag-iral ng atrasadong sistema ng pyudalismo sa kanayunan. Sa pagtantya ng Asian Development Bank (ADB), “sa bawat 10% pagtaas sa presyo ng pagkain, halos 2.3 milyon ang nadaragdag sa mga naghihirap.”

Mga solusyong sablay
Sa harap ng pinakamatinding krisis na bumayo sa US at sa pandaigdigang sistemang kapitalista mula noong Great Depression, naglabas ng isang “plano sa pagsaklolo” o "rescue plan" ang gobyernong Bush noong Setyembre 20. Dito, maglalaan ng humigit-kumulang $700 Bilyon ang gobyernong US para akuin ang di-mabayarang mga utang sa pabahay. Dagdag ito sa $29 bilyon na inilaan ng gobyernong US upang pondohan ang pagbili ng JP Morgan Chase sa bumagsak na Bear Stearns, $200 bilyon upang isalba ang Freddie Mac at Fannie Mae, $85 bilyon upang bilhin ang 80% kontrol ng papalubog na American Investment Group (AIG, ang pinakamalaking insurance company sa daigdig), at $180 bilyong ambag sa pondong gagamitin upang pasiglahin ang mga pamilihang pampinansya. Sa kabuuan, mahigit $1.3 trilyon na ang ilalaan ng gubyernong Bush para sagipin ang mga monopolyong bangko at pakalmahin ang nagpa-panic na mga kapitalista sa pinansya. Ipinagdarasal ng gobyerno na sapat na ito upang maisasalba ang buong sistemang pampinansya na gumigewang sa kasalukuyan.
Pero sa esensya, nangangahulugan ito na gagamitin ang buwis mula sa masang anakpawis para isalba ang mga kapitalistang nagpasasa sa ispekulasyon, isang patunay ng sukdulang pagka-parasitiko ng mga kapitalista sa pinansya. Inilarawan ang sitwasyong ito ni Nouriel Roubini, isang ekonomista sa New York University, na “sosyalismo para sa mayayaman, makoneksyon at Wall Street (ibig sabihin, pribado ang tubo pero sosyalisado ang pagkalugi).” Bukod dito, magdudulot ito ng paglaki ng depisito sa badyet at paglobo ng utang ng gobyernong US, magpapahina sa US dollar at magkakait ng mga pondong dapat mapunta sa kagalingan ng mamamayan. Kaya't sa halip na masolusyunan ang problema, ipinapagpaliban lang nito ang mas malaking kombulsyon sa sistema.
Pinapatunayan lamang ng “rescue plan” ng gobyernong Bush ang kahungkagan ng mga islogang neoliberal na “malayang pamilihan”. Lumalabas ang katotohanan na ipinagbabawal lamang ng mga naghaharing-uri ang “panghihimasok ng estado” sa pamilihan sa usapin ng pagtataguyod sa interes at proteksyon sa karapatan ng mga anakpawis. Para sa kanila masama ang pagpapalaki sa gastos sa serbisyong panlipunan; pagpapataas sa sahod; pagtitiyak sa disenteng kalagayan sa paggawa; proteksyon sa kalikasan para sa masa at para sa mga susunod na henerasyon; proteksyon sa kababaihan, kabataan at sa mga inaaping sektor sa lipunan; tunay na reporma sa lupa at at pambansang industriyalisasyon na tuwirang pinangangasiwaan ng estado. Pero kapag yaman at interes ng pinakamalalaking kapitalista ang nakasalalay, agad na inilalaan ang trilyon dolyar na pondo mula sa kaban ng bayan para sila ay isalba.

Sa Pilipinas naman, "business as usual" ang tindig ng rehimeng Arroyo. Sinabi ni Gng. Arroyo na naniniwala siyang maaalpasan ng sambayanang Pilipino ang krisis na ito. Sabi ng iba, sinabi ito ng pangulo para mapanatag ang mga Pilipino at patuloy na gumastos, at nang patuloy na tumakbo ang ekonomiya. Pero hindi mapapanatag ng mga pahayag ni Gng. Arroyo ang mga mamamayang lumiliit ang kita at hindi makabili ng batayang pangangailangan. Hindi rin nito maitutulak ang mga mamamayang patuloy na kumonsumo. Mas masahol pa, nagmamatigas ito sa harap ng lumalawak na panawagan ng iba’t ibang sektor na ibasura ang Value-Added Tax sa mga produkto, at itaas ang sahod ng mga manggagawa nang P125, across the board, sa buong bansa – mga hakbanging disinsana'y magbibigay ng kahit pangkagyatang kaluwagan sa mga mamamayan. Wala rin itong maihain na bagong patakaran, maliban sa pakitang-taong pamimigay ng maliliit na relief packages na hindi nakakalutas sa problema.
Sa kabuuan, ginagamit at gagamiting pagkakataon ng mga naghaharing-uri ang kasalukuyang krisis para angkinin ang higit pang yaman mula sa mga anakpawis, lalo pang uk-ukin at pababain ang sahod at paggastos sa serbisyong panlipunan, tanggalin ang mga manggagawa sa trabaho, palaganapin ang walang kaseguruhang trabaho, durugin ang mga karapatan ng manggagawa, supilin ang sama-samang pagkilos ng mga manggagawa at patindihin ang pagsasamantala sa mga uring anakpawis.
Ano ang tunay na solusyon?
Lantad na sa mamamayan ang kahungkagan ng neoliberal na globalisasyon, at pagkabulok ng sistemang kapitalista sa daigdig. Pero hindi pa ito nangangahuluganng pagkamatay ng naghaharing sistema sa malapit na hinaharap. May mga naniniwala pa rin na kaya pang repormahin ang sistema sa pamamagitan ng paglalagay ng mga regulasyon at proteksyon upang maging diumano'y maging “mas makatao at mas makatarungan” ito sa nakararami.

Dapat maging malinaw sa atin na ang kasalukuyang krisis pang-ekonomya ay tanda lamang ng pundamental na mga kontradiksyon sa pandaigdigang sistemang kapitalista na patuloy pang tumitindi sa panahon ng imperyalistang globalisasyon. Ang paglala ng polarisasyong pang-ekonomiya (paglaki ng agwat ng mayayaman at mahihirap), labis na akumulasyon ng kapital, krisis ng labis na produksyon at pagkawasak ng produktibong mga pwersa ng lipunan ay likas na tunguhin ng sistemang nakabatay sa pribadong monopolyong kontrol ng iilan sa panlipunang mga kagamitan sa produksyon.
Sa Pilipinas, pinalulubha at pinalalalim ng imperyalistang globalisasyon ang malakolonyal at malapyudal na sistemang panlipunan na siyang ugat ng pagkabusabos ng sambayanan. Kasabwat ng mga dayuhang monopolyo kapitalista sa pangunguna ng imperyalismong US ang mga malalaking panginoong maylupa at burges komprador sa Pilipinas upang tiyakin na kontrolado nila ang malalawak na lupain, likas na yaman at lahat ng estratehikong industriya sa bansa. Idinidikta nila ang mga patakaran ng gobyerno upang panatilihing atrasado ang ekonomya ng Pilipinas, patuloy na pakinabangan ang murang paggawa at murang hilaw na materyales sa bansa, tiyakin ang malayang paghuthot ng supertubo ng mga dayuhang monopolyong kumpanya, pagkalugi sa kolonyal na kalakalan sa mga imperyalistang bayan, pagpasasaan ang kaban ng bayan, at lalong ilubog ang sambayanan sa utang na di kailanman mababayaran.

Lahat ng ito ay hindi kayang aregluhin sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng pondo (bailouts) sa mayayaman, pagpapaluwal ng mga pampasigla sa ekonomiya (fiscal stimulus), at pagdaragdag ng mga regulasyon o mga safety nets na pansalo sa mga lumulubog sa karukhaan, gaano man ang mga ito karami.

Para sa sambayanang Pilipino, ang tanging pangmatagalang solusyon ay ang pagbasura sa mga patakarang neoliberal, pagpapatupad sa tunay na repormang agraryo at komprehensibong pambansang industriyalisasyon hanggang maitaguyod ang isang sosyalistang kaayusan. Ito lamang ang magtitiyak sa komprehensibong pag-unlad ng bayan na tumutugon sa pangangailangan at kagalingan ng mayorya sa lipunan sa halip na sa dayuhan at iilan. Ito ang magtitiyak na ligtas ang ekonomya sa mapaminsalang mga krisis na dulot ng kawalang-plano sa produksyon na likas sa sistemang kapitalista. Ito ay magiging posible lamang sa ilalim ng isang demokratikong gobyerno ng bayan na tunay na kumakatawan sa interes ng masa ng sambayanan.

Sa kagyat, kailangang labanan natin ang pagtatangka ng mga imperyalista at lokal na naghaharing uri na ipabalikat sa mga mamamayan ang buong bigat ng kasalukuyang krisis na nilikha nila. Dapat palakasin ang ating paggigiit para sa mga hakbanging magbibigay ng kahit pansamantalang ginhawang pang-ekonomiya (economic relief measures) sa mga mamamayan tulad ng pagbasura sa RVAT sa langis, pagtataas sa sahod nang P125 across the board, mas malaking badyet para sa serbisyong panlipunan, moratorium sa pagbabayad ng utang panlabas, at iba pang demokratikong kahilingan ng mga mamamayan. Kailangan din nating pahigpitin ang ating pakikipagkaisa sa mga mamamayan ng ibang bansa na lumalaban sa panggigipit ng imperyalismo.
Hindi kusang babagsak ang sistemang kapitalista sa daigdig at ang sistemang malakolonyal-malapyudal sa Pilipinas, sa kadahilanang patuloy na kinukumpuni at itinataguyod ang mga ito ng mga naghaharing-uri gamit ang lahat ng kanilang yaman at kapangyarihan, panlilinlang at karahasan upang manatali sila sa poder. Kailangan ang ibayong pagpupunyagi ng lahat ng pinagsasamantalahan at inaapi sa lipunan upang gibain ang mga naturang bulok na panlipunang istruktura at palitan ng isang alternatibong kaayusan kung saan may tunay na kalayaan, demokrasya at hustisyang panlipunan.#


10.7 M Jobless Filipinos In 2008

  • 5th Feb, 2009 at 12:46 AM
Record Joblessness Among Arroyo Gov’t’s Greatest Failures

(Written by IBON Media)

The Philippines’ record-high unemployment is considered among the greatest failures of the Arroyo administration and is seen to even worsen this year, according to research group IBON Foundation.
Estimates made by IBON put the number of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos at 10.7 million in 2008. This was computed using the original National Statistics Office (NSO) definition of employment and assuming a labor force participation rate of 66.1% in 2008. The estimate tries to correct for official underestimation of joblessness since April 2005, when the NSO revised its definition and greatly reduced unemployment reports.

This year, joblessness is likely to increase to at least 11 million or more, assuming that the labor force increases by 915,000 (the average increase over the last eight years) and that only 500,000 jobs are created, which implies an additional 415,000 jobless. This figure could be higher, as the employment situation is already far worse than the aftermath of the 1997 Asian Crisis when unemployment rate averaged 10% in 1998-1999 compared to nearly 11% in 2008.

The most recent severe worsening of the Philippine economic crisis in 2000 and 2001 may help illustrate what the country is now going through. Like today, the global slowdown in 2000 was precipitated by serious US financial and economic troubles– then it was the bursting of the "dot-com" or "new economy" bubble. The ranks of the unemployed swelled by an additional 640,000 Filipinos in 2000 and 2001 which brought the number of unemployed to 3.7 million in 2001 and the unemployment rate to 11.1% (from 9.8% in 1999). While there is strong reason to believe that the Philippine economy will again go in these directions or even worse, as the current global economic financial turmoil is not just deeper and farther-reaching but will also last for much longer.

Despite claims of economic success, job creation under the Arroyo administration since 2001 has been tepid and its policies have not been able to create enough jobs for Filipinos. The average real employment rate of over 11% since 2001 is the worst period of unemployment in the country’s history. The persistence of high unemployment despite supposedly sustained economic growth is also unprecedented.

All this highlights the need for a radical change in government’s economic policies. Measures that would yield immediate benefits include increasing public spending for social services, removing the VAT on oil products, freeing public resources by stopping debt payments, among others. More than these, the government’s elite-biased and free-market oriented policies, which have kept the Philippine economy backward, should be drastically changed. (end)

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