By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
01 January 2008
THE COMMUNIST Party of the Philippines on Tuesday took a swipe at Malacañang’s repeated claims of a rosy economy, saying ordinary Filipinos faced more economic and social suffering in 2008.
CPP founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison, currently chief political consultant of the party’s political wing, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, said that under President Macapagal-Arroyo, the “underdeveloped” Philippine economy had become more susceptible to recession.
“What is in store for the Philippine economy in 2008? The underdevelopment and chronic crisis of the economy make it extremely vulnerable to the current financial crisis and recessionary trend being generated globally from the United States. This has started to have a severely adverse impact on the Philippines,” Sison said in a statement from the Netherlands where he and other NDFP members are on self-imposed exile.
Sison said the Arroyo administration had misrepresented as “development” the consumption-led and debt-ridden economic growth.
“It has used domestic and foreign borrowing to finance and abet the growing trade and budgetary deficits and to conjure up the false illusion of economic growth. It wastes public funds through overpriced and graft-ridden infrastructure projects and purely parasitic expenditures for the military and bureaucracy,” he said.
He predicted the coming recession would drain the country’s dollar reserves and the administration would no longer be able “to conjure up the illusion of economic growth.”
Sison said Filipinos would experience “unprecedented economic and social sufferings” in terms of rising unemployment, decreasing real income, soaring prices and deteriorating social services in 2008.
“In the real economy of the Philippines, the working people and middle social strata will be beset by intensified exploitation, increased poverty and misery, and the heavier weight of oppression. Social discontent and the people’s resistance will further spread and intensify,” he said.
Consistent with the CPP’s anti-US rhetoric, Sison said the country’s economic future was linked to its major ally’s struggle to solve its own economic problems.
He said the US’ and global demand for Philippine raw material exports and semi-manufactured reexports would contract because of the continuing industrial decline, reduced employment and recessionary trend in imperialist countries.
The US consumer market has drastically contracted because of the decline in regular employment and incomes.
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