The Philippines is still under colonial status despite Filipinos celebrating its Independence Day, in which the Aetas are displaced from their ancestral lands due to widespread imperialists’ plunder.
In the image: Protesters during the 120th anniversary Philippines’ Independence Day | Photo courtesy of CNN Philippines
On June 12, the Philippines celebrated its 120th anniversary of independence after being colonized by the Spaniards for 333 years. Up to this day, the Philippines is still under this fake independence due to the semi-colonial status and indirect control of the Philippine society being tied to agreements and organizations controlled by the U.S. imperialists such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization, Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and Enhance Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
Moreover, the Duterte regime will borrow trillions of pesos to fund their “Build Build Build” project. Corr Analytics founder, Anders Corr, has warned that the Philippines could fall into “debt bondage” if this project will be fueled by high-interest rate loans from China. In a Forbes opinion piece he stated:
“Philippine Secretary of Budget and Management Benjamin Diokno estimated $167 billion would be spent on infrastructures during Duterte’s six-year term, under the slogan ‘Build! Build! Build!’’. That could increase current Philippine national government debt of approximately $123 billion, to $290 billion. But that does not include interest. High rates of interest that China, the most likely lender, could impose on the new debt could balloon it to over a trillion U.S. dollars in 10 years. More likely according to my analysis, at 10% interest the new debt could go to $452 billion, bringing Philippines’ debt: GDP ratio to 197%, second-to-worst in the world.
That understates the burden to the Philippines, as existing national government debt would also accrue interest over that time, and such interest was not included in the analysis. Dutertenomics, fueled by expensive loans from China, will put the Philippines into virtual debt bondage if allowed to proceed.
Even at 5%, which is nearest the lending rate of interest published by the IMF and World Bank for the Philippines, the effect of such a large sum would be an increase in debt (in addition to existing debt) of $275 billion after 10 years. That would bring the Philippines’ debt:GDP ratio to approximately 136%. But at 20%, the maximum interest rate that might occur in a debt-distressed country like Argentina or Venezuela, the debt could balloon to $1.2 trillion in 10 years. That is an unlikely worst-case scenario, but worth calculating as an illustration of the importance of the interest rate.“” (Forbes,2017)
The Filipinos need to have a greater allocation of budget to pay for the debt accumulated by Duterte’s regime. This excludes the probable effect of inflation or the skyrocketing of products’ prices due to the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law implemented under the said regime.
The borrowed money and the taxes collected will be used on the “Build Build Build” project to manufacture roads, highways, and infrastructures that include the uprising New Clark City, Balog Balog Dam, and Military complex. These structures will directly affect 18,000 families of peasants and indigenous people and displace them from their lands and ancestral domains.
The New Clark City will cover 9,450 hectares of arable land, equivalent to 6 Manilas.
At the same time, A breadth of 1,429.47m will be the physical structure of Balog Balog Dam. It is estimated to be 70m long, 105.5m tall, has 1,230 hectares of reservoir, 283 sq km of watershed area, a diversion tunnel that is 433.25 m in length and 11m in diameter, and a power/ irrigation tunnel that is 5m in diameter.
More so, 36,000 hectares will be for military reservation and another 17,000 hectares for Crow Valley Military Complex which will serve as the encampment of military bases wherein military exercises will be conducted. i.e. Enhance Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).
These structures may not really be durable enough for the country to benefit from .
Therefore, the Philippines will always be overburdened by the unequal treaty, the debt that will worsen the condition of Filipinos subsequently, and the neoliberal policies that plunder our natural resources. These are reflections of the semi-colonial state of society under the continuing presence of hegemony of imperialist countries — the US and China, that makes our independence false and partial. For as long as our military, politics, and culture are under its influence; our rights, interests, and welfare are compromised and are just mere tools to serve the said countries and their individual interests.
Corr, A. (2017, May 13). New Philippine Debt of $167 Billion Could Balloon To $452 Billion: China Will Benefit. Retrieved from ://ww.forbes.com/…/new-philippine-debt-of-167…/amp/