With or without Chacha, oppose Aquino's foreign debt- and investment-dependent economic program--CPP

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
May 22, 2013

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today called on the Filipino people to unite and resist the Aquino regime's plan to carry out more liberalization policies over the next three years in its pursuit of a foreign investment- and foreign loan-dependent economic program either by amending the Philippine constitution or pushing for more bills to add to the slew of IMF-WB dictated laws which have liberalized investments and trade policies.

The CPP issued this call after Aquino and his allies in congress amplified the need to attract more foreign investments in the country by amending the 1987 reactionary constitution. "The ruling Aquino clique are set to take advantage of its majority control of the senate and lower house in order to push the policy-dictates of the IMF-WB."

Aquino himself has proclaimed that he does not see the need to prioritize the amendment of the Philippine constitution but has not openly declared opposition to such moves. "Such declarations by Aquino, however, are viewed with cynicism by observers as mere political positioning to make chacha more palatable to the people," said the CPP.

"Aquino's PR advisers in the US embassy are acutely aware that public support for chacha has been difficult to generate because it is widely suspected as a means of politicians to extend their terms of office," said the CPP.

"Whether or not there will be a strong push for chacha, there is a consensus among the various factions of the ruling classes to put into place new laws and policies that seek to make the Philippines more attractive to foreign investments as the key element in the Aquino regime's economic program."

The CPP said "Aquino's economic reliance on and servility to foreign loans and investments will only result in worse forms of exploitation for the Filipino workers and massive displacement of peasants from their land."

Foreign chambers of commerce and business organizations, including the American and European Chambers of Commerce have been increasingly aggressive over the past few months in calling for amendments to the 1987 Philippine constitution which prohibits foreigners from owning land and restricts foreign ownership of key enterprises to 40%. Even the US Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry Thomas, has publicly espoused the position of the US government calling for the amendment of the Philippine constitution as a requirement for the Philippines to join the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.

"Calls for amending the Philippine constitution come on top of the fact that there are already scores of laws, implementing rules and executive orders that have effectively given foreign investors free rein to dominate the Philippine financial system, plunder and siphon local resources, exploit cheap labor and pocket superprofits to the detriment of domestic capital formation, the development of local industry, land distribution land and a higher quality of life for the Filipino people."

These laws include the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987, the Foreign Investments Act of 1991, the Banking Liberalization Law of 1994, the Build-Operate-Transfer Law of 1994, the Mining Act of 1995, the Oil Deregulation Law of 1997 and the Investment House Liberalization Law of 1997.

"Reliance on foreign investments and debt, which has been the key element in the economic program of the neocolonial reactionary state in the Philippines over the past six decades, has failed to develop a self-reliant and dynamic local economy capable of producing the necessary commodities to feed and provide the people with their basic necessities," said the CPP. "Over the past sixty years, local domestic production and manufacturing have been stunted and ruined by the dominance of foreign capital."

"The reactionary and pro-imperialist technocrats and politicians refuse to learn from the past and bank on their IMF and US training to assert that the Philippine economy can only progress by relying on foreign investments and loans, and accommodating foreign companies to the detriment of the Filipino workers and peasants and the development of local industries," said the CPP.