Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development
ON WORLD PUBLIC SERVICES DAY
Asian movements join global call for tax justice
MANILA, 23 June 2015 – Calling for the funding for public services and the stopping of tax incentives and dodging, an Asian civil society alliance unites with the world’s largest labor, faith and other organizations today in celebration of World Public Services Day.
“Tax policies and systems should be aimed at raising resources for people’s basic and development needs, not as instrumental for ensuring more profits for corporations and the wealthy,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), in a statement.
“Today, we claim the resources that are rightfully ours to support urgent needs for food, health, water, energy, climate adaptation and other social services vital to our well-being and the enjoyment of our basic rights. We demand tax justice as a key requisite to our survival, a life of dignity and a humane and sustainable future,” she added.
World Public Services Day is the culmination of the Global Week of Action for Tax Justice, led by the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and its regional network members, including APMDD. It kicked off with a rally last Tuesday, June 16, at the United Nations in New York, as the final round of UN development financing negotiations began. National actions have been organized around the world.
In solidarity, APMDD and its Philippine member organization Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) signed the Lima Declaration on Tax Justice and Human Rights. They also co-organized with other groups today a whole-day public forum today on the state of public services and human rights.
FDC also held protests against the water company Maynilad’s corporate income tax dodging last Tuesday, and against the MRT and LRT’s price hike last Wednesday.
“Successive administrations – including this government – have consistently prioritized in its annual spending automatic debt servicing, which eats up a huge chunk of the annual budget at the expense of the people’s needs and welfare,” said Sammy Gamboa, FDC secretary-general.
“Nowhere is the lamentable and deteriorating state of our public services dramatically portrayed than in the dilapidated and neglected state of our MRT system, the incessant rising rates of privatized power and water services, the corporatization of hospitals and the inadequate social protection programs, access to which have largely eluded those who are most in need,” he added.
The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (formerly Jubilee South–Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development) is a regional alliance of peoples' movements and organizations, coalitions, and non-governmental organizations. Its statement on World Public Services Day can be accessed at http://ow.ly/OETIJ.
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Activists against climate change join the annual "Tour of the Fireflies" on Sunday in Marikina City to support the event and to press their call for industrialized countries to reduce their emissions of green house gasses (GHG).
As one of the countries most vulnerable to global warming, the Philippines must speak with the loudest voice in demanding reparations from developed nations that contribute most to climate change, according to an activist group.
The Philippines, according to Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), "should be the noisiest" because it is a "frontline country" whose exposure to extreme weather events wrought by climate change is inversely proportional to its share of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Aquino administration calls its economic governance approach "inclusive growth" – that is, nobody will be left behind as the economy grows. This approach is adopted from the development concept of both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. These banks came up with this approach after its previous poverty alleviation strategies sank into the quicksand of Third World or South countries' poverty and debt.