Kadamay calls out government’s mounting debt
MANILA, Philippines — Urban poor group Kadamay on Monday called out the government’s mounting debt and accumulating more loans without focusing on social programs for poor Filipino families.
“Paano mare-resolba ng ating gobyerno ang usapin ng serbisyo at serbisyong pabahay kung ang ating bayan ay baon na sa utang (How are we going to resolve the issue on social services if the government is buried in debt)?” Kadamay National Chairperson Gloria Arellano told INQUIRER.net during a demonstration at the National Housing Authority (NHA) office in Quezon City.
Arellano asked the Duterte administration how it could provide basic services to the people such as socialized housing and jobs if the loans are allocated only to infrastructure projects.
“P1.2 trillion ang nadagdag sa ating pagkakautang, at aabot na ng P7.195 ang ating utang, paano niya matutugunan ang pangangailangan ng mas maraming mamamayan lalong-lalo na kaming mahihirap (Our debt has increased by P1.2 trillion and it is expected to reach P7.195 trillion. How can it meet the needs of our people, especially the poor)?” Arellano said.
“Dahil ang mga utang na ito ay napupunta lamang sa kanyang Build, Build Build (program) […] Ngayon ang Build, Build, Build saan niya itinutuon, sino ang nakikinabang dyan? Mga malalaking kapitalista at oligarkiya (These loans are only alloted to the Build, Build, Build program. But who are going to benefit from that? Only the big capitalists and the oligarchs)?” she added.
A previous report shows that the country’s debt stock ballooned to a record-high P7.17 trillion in October 2018 due to continuous borrowing from domestic sources. Predictions made last June 2018 showed that the country’s debt would likely breach the P8-trillion mark this year.
Earlier, Kadamay members protested outside the NHA gates, demanding to talk to officials regarding the release of a masterlist of residents allowed to occupy housing projects in Pandi, Bulacan.
In March 2017, more than 9,000 families occupied the units in Pandi, which were originally intended for police officers and military personnel. Arellano said over 5,000 families have remained in the area even with the absence of electricity, water, and other basic utilities.
Authorities from the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) said more than 200 have joined the protest.
Protesters likewise tried to climb the barrier, prompting QCPD’s anti-riot squad to secure the area and prepare a fire truck for possible dispersal. Kadamay leaders were able to pacify their ranks and eventually ended the demonstration peacefully. /ee
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