“16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence”

Amidst Multiple Crises: Women’s Fight for Survival, Safety, Security, Justice, and System Change

The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) stands in solidarity with women all over the world in raising their voice against all forms of gender-based violence and in calling for an end to the systemic discrimination, marginalization and exploitation that millions of women in Asia contend with every day. This year’s observance of “16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence” – an annual tradition started by women and adopted by the international community – takes special significance as we face the multiple crises of health, economic recession and climate emergency. The increased gender-based violence amidst these crises underscores the urgency of women’s fights for survival, safety, security, and justice, and calls attention to the systemic and structural issues that lie at the root causes of violence, inequality, and the exploitation and oppression of women.

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ON THE ANTI-TERRORISM LAW

We, the members of the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), join today’s coordinated actions to condemn the Anti-Terrorism Law recently signed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

That the legislative measure breezed so swiftly through Congress—an institution notorious for the glacial pace at which it conducts its business—shows the unabashed subservience of the ruling majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to Malacañang. Duterte’s callous disregard of the growing chorus of dissent from ordinary citizens, human rights advocates and legal experts is yet more proof of the Duterte administration’s tragic obsession with suppressing dissent.

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Bolder action to “re-balance” PHL economy necessary under Covid—advocacy group

The advocacy group Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) called on the government to use the “historic opportunity” provided by the Covid-19 pandemic to take bolder steps to “re-balance” the economy to make it more resilient and sustainable.

“The country is facing an unprecedented economic crisis that is likely to persist and even deepen up to 2022. Government initiatives to organize and strengthen public health system in response to pandemic are laudable but not enough and weak in implementation. Efforts to support the vulnerable sectors are also laudable but the various social protection programs were limited, badly implemented, and many have been excluded. To put it simply, the response to address the pandemic crisis is not enough and not bold enough.,” Dr. Rene Ofreneo, FDC president said during a webinar with Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay’s 1st District.

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HB 78: Downsizing government in the Delivery of public service

Whose interests are the Members of the House of Representatives serving?  Interests of the citizenry or the interests of the big foreign service providers?

One cannot avoid raising this question when one takes a closer look at House Bill 78, a bill which  the chamber’s majority passed with indecent haste.  The bill is a clever ploy to amend the Constitutional provision limiting to Filipino citizens or corporations (at least 60 per cent owned by Filipinos) the operation  and management of public utilities (Sec 11, Article XII). 

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No to unbridled land reclamation in the Manila Bay and other areas of the country

We, at the  Freedom from  Debt Coalition (FDC), are alarmed at the massive land reclamation  projects being hatched by some  government  officials and  business  personalities.  The  total coastal area being programmed for land  reclamation is reported to  be 38,000 hectares, more  than  half  of which cover  a large swathe of the  Manila  Bay.  This has  dire environmental and  socio-economic implications for the  country.

The  environmental  arguments  raised  by  the scientists against  these  reclamation  projects such  as land subsidence and  liquefaction are being ignored  by the  proponents  of  massive  sea reclamation. These  reclamation  projects  put  Metro Manila in a precarious  situation.  Reclamation deepens  the  vulnerability of the  metropolis, which has  been sinking, to risks such as  sea surges, tsunamis, sea rise and  city-wide  flooding associated with the  global warming phenomenon. The  metropolis  also  faces a life-threatening catastrophe should  a major  earthquake hit Metro Manila because the “cemented” land  mass  built on  fragile  foundations and  the “cemented” bridges connecting the  old  and  new  lands are simply  no match to the shaking of  the earth’s  ground. 

Furthermore,  reclamation,  especially a massive one  as contemplated  by the  Philippine  Reclamation  Authority (PRA), subverts  the biodiversity and  the  rich marine  life  within  and  along the  Manila  Bay area.  The  livelihoods of  thousands of  families  dependent on  fishing are directly affected.  The historic Manila Bay sunrise, sunset and horizon shall also become history. 

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Sunud-sunod na Taas ng Pamasahe sa MRT at LRT, Bunsod ng Garantisadong Kita ng Pribadong Kontratista pero Palpak na Serbisiyo Naman para sa Mamamayan!

Bagamat ginulantang tayo sa biglang pagtaaas ng presyo ng pamasahe sa MRT at LRT nung ika-4 ng Enero, ngayon ay mas nakakagalit ang sunod-sunod na pagtaas nito, na inabot na ang halos 100% porsyento ang itinaas, mula sa 50% lamang nung pagpasok ng taon 2015. Kung dati-rati’y Php 12.50 ang pinakamalayong biyahe, ngayon ay Php 25.00 na. Ayon sa Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) , ang nasabing mga pampublikong transportasyon ang kailangang magtaas ng presyo para mapanatiling maayos at mahusayang operasyon nito. Subalit nitong mga nakaraang buwan, imbes na ginhawa, nakakagimbal ang takotna idinudulot nito para sa libo-libong mamamayang komyuter (na umaabot sa MRT sa 500,000 to 800,000 pasahero araw-araw ng MRT, at 500,000 ng LRT 1 at 250,000 ng LRT 2) ng pampublikong tren. Ang pagtaas ng pasahe ng MRT/LRT na sinimulan nung ika-4 ng Enero,ay isang patunay na mas mahalaga ang kinikita ng pribadong kontratista, gaya ng Metrostar Express, ang TES Philippines Inc. (na subsidyo ng Mitsubishi Heavy Industry. Imbes na kaalwaan sa mga commuter, lalong pinapainit ang ating damdamin sa hindi makartarungang paniningil kapalit ay palpak na serbisyo ng Metro Star (private operators) at DOTC.

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Magkaisa at Ipagtanggol ang Karapatan ng Bangsamoro para sa Pagpapasya sa Sarili! Ipaglaban ang Pangmatagalang Kapayapaan Batay sa Hustisya at Katarungan! Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) Para sa Bayan at Katarungang Panlipunan!

Ang Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) ay nagpapahayag ng mahigpit na pagkakaisa sa malawak na mamayang Bangsamoro at sambayang Pilipino upang kamtin ang matagal nang pinaglalaban ng ating mga kapatid sa Mindanao na pangmatagalang kapayapaan batay sa hustisya at katarungan, kaginhawaan at kaunlaran. Magaganap lamang ito kung mapagpasyang wakasan ang ilang-dekadang digmaan at armadong pakikibaka ng ating mga kapatid na Bangsamoro at mapasakamay nila ang kanilang matagal na pinaglalabang karapatan sa pagpapasya –sa-sarili (the right to self-determination) . Pormal na kinikilala at tinataguyod ng FDC bilang isang progresibong pambansang koalisyon para sa hustisyang pang-ekonomiya at sosyal, at laban sa neoliberalismo at kahirapan—ang sagradong karapatang ito, batay sa desisyon ng Kongreso ng FDC noong Mayo 2014. Ang naganap na negosasyon at kasunduang pangkapayapaan sa pagitan ng gobyerno ng Pilipinas (GPH) at ng Moro Islamic Liberation Fron (MILF) ay isang mapagpasyang hakbang tungo sa hangarin natin at ipinaglaban na isang makatarungang pangkapayapaan sa Mindanao, at sa hanay ng mga kapatid nating Bangsamoro. Ang Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) na nakasalang ngayon sa Konggreso at pinagbobotohan simula ngayong araw–ay ang panukalang batas na magbabalangkas ng pamamahala at pagpapasya ng Bangsamoro sa kanilang nasasakupan at pamayanan , batay sa mga mahahalagang kasunduang Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CAB) ng GPH at MILF. Ito ay naglalayong isabuhay ang karapatan ng Bangsamoro para sa Pagpapasya sa Sarili.

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Itakwil ang Kontra-Manggagawa at Kontra-Mamamayang Rehimen Aquino! Wakasan ang Elitistang Paghahari!

Kapitbisig sa kilusang manggagawa na nakikiisa ang Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) sa pagdiriwang ng Mayo 1, 2015—bilang Araw ng Paggawa. Ngayon ang araw ng uring anakpawis na patuloy na nagdurusa at lumalaban sa gitna ng patung-patong na pahirap dulot ng mga neo-liberal na polisiya at kontra-mahirap at kontra-mamamayang patakaran ng rehimeng Aquino. Sa pagpasok ng taong 2015, magkakasunod ang anunsyo ng mga pagtaas ng gastusin sa MRT-LRT, tubig at kuryente. Batay sa bagong datos ng National Statistics Office, patuloy ang pagbulusok ng mga presyo ng pagkain gaya ng bigas karne at gulay. Mismong ang National Food Authority rin ay nagbabala na muli pang tataas ang presyo ng bigas bunsod ng tagtuyot na nararanasan sa maraming probinsya at sa pagtaas ng presyo ng langis. Lahat ng ito ay nagaganap sa kabila ng sagad-lupang pasahod sa manggagawa, patuloy na pagpiga sa iba’t ibang buwis at pasanin sa mahihirap, pagwaldas at pagkurakot sa pera ng bayan, tulad ng taunang pagbayad-utang kapalit ang pagpabaya sa mg pangunahing serbisyo at pangangailangan ng mamamayan. Lahat ng ito ay patuloy na pinapasan ng madla sa ilalim ng lantad-na at gasagas na “tuwid na daan” ng gobyernong ito.

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