By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
NDFP Chief Political Consultant
31 December 2007

Prof. Jose Maria Sison, chief political consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, slammed Gloria M. Arroyo for lying about the Philippine economic situation by claiming that she is propelling the Philippines to become a “first world country”.

Prof. Sison declared, “In utter subservience to the US-dictated policy of “neoliberal” globalization, she has worked against the line of national industrialization and genuine land reform and has aggravated and deepened the agrarian, pre-industrial and semi-feudal character of the Philippine economy. She has worsened the backward and impoverished “third world” conditions of the Philippines.”

He explained further, “The US and other foreign monopoly capitalists have collaborated with such local exploiters as the big compradors, landlords and the corrupt bureaucrats represented by Arroyo to denationalize the economy and prevent its industrial development through the so-called liberalization of trade and investments, the privatization of public assets and anti-social deregulation at the expense of the working people, women, children and the environment.”

Prof. Sison said, “The Arroyo regime has misrepresented as “development” the consumption-led and debt-ridden growth of the economy. It has used domestic and foreign borrowing to finance and abet the growing trade and budgetary deficits and to conjure the false illusion of economic growth. It wastes public funds through overpriced and graft-ridden infrastructure projects and the purely parasitic expenditures for the military and bureaucracy.”

He observed, “The Philippine economy remains dependent on the production of agricultural and mineral raw materials, which are being exported at greater volume but at lower prices. At the same time, agriculture has become lopsided, as production of staple food is neglected and food products are dumped on the Philippines from abroad under the policy of trade liberalization. Thus, the country has become a net food importer.”

Prof. Sison stressed, “The low value-added semi-manufacturing for re-export provides little net income because of transfer pricing and the heavy amount of imported components. The large-scale export of women and men (now more than 10 per cent of the population) as overseas contract workers is the result of the worsening underdevelopment and lack of job opportunities in the Philippines. It has become the biggest source of foreign exchange income although at great social cost to the country.”

He noted, “The Arroyo regime has deliberately raised the value of the peso by grabbing and undervaluing the foreign exchange earnings of the overseas contract workers, by increasing the foreign debt through program and project loans and the sale of bonds in the commercial market and by attracting portfolio investments, structured dollar loans and Japanese yen in the carry trade.”

Prof. Sison averred, “The national debt keeps on increasing because there is no real development base for reducing the trade and budget deficits. The attempt of the regime to increase state revenues has dismally failed because of the underdeveloped, bankrupt and depressed condition of the real economy, the policy of trade liberalization and the unbridled corruption that allows tax evasion and raids on the treasury. To cover or reduce the revenue shortfalls, the Arroyo regime has been auctioning off state assets to foreign vultures in combination with local vultures who are cronies and close relatives of the Arroyo couple.” ###