Protest the P71 million World Economic Forum junket for foreign big capitalists

Communist Party of the Philippines

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins the Filipino people in denouncing the Aquino regime for spending PhP71 million (US$1.6 million) to host foreign corporate executives and government officials who are set to participate in the junket that is the World Economic Forum in East Asia at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati on 21-23 May.

The amount being spent by the Aquino regime to provide lavish accomodations to executives and officials is outrightly scandalous when one considers how hundreds of thousands of supertyphoon Yolanda victims continue to suffer from government neglect, how the youth and their parents are set to bear the impact of another round of tuition increases, how workers are daily burdened by low wages, high prices and lack of jobs, how the poor are denied access to quality public health services and how peasants are being robbed of their land.

The WEF is a conglomeration of big monopoly capitalists from the imperialist countries and their big comprador partners in the client states. Over the past years, it has served as a venue for foreign big capitalists to advocate neoliberalism and press governments to implement its policy recommendations.

The World Economic Forum in East Asia is being held in Manila to help promote the lie of the “Philippine Miracle”. This so-called “miracle” is nothing more than an illusion conjured by the large inflow of foreign portfolio capital into the local financial market and speculation in the construction of condominiums and office space. Surplus monies are overflowing into the Philippines as the US and Chinese governments carry out quantitative easing policies to prop up big banks.

The East Asia WEF will be touting the “Philippine Miracle” at a time that it is about to be exposed as a hoax. The Philippine bubble economy is bound to burst as unregulated construction activities have resulted in a growing inventory of unsold residential units and empty office spaces as financing programs become more restrictive and less available. As US and China policy makers make monetary adjustments, such as the move to reduce US quantitative easing in mid-2013, foreign portfolio investments are bound to race out of the Philippine financial system in a redux of the 1997 crisis.

Aquino’s claims of a rapid economic growth is a big illusion, as far as ordinary Filipinos are concerned. His mantra of “inclusive growth” means nothing for workers and peasants who continue to suffer from widespread unemployment, low wages and spiralling prices of food, medicine and other basic commodities and services. The industrial foundation of the Philippine economy remains non-existent. Promises of land reform remain unfulfilled as millions of peasants continue to suffer from widespread landlessness, low income and poverty.

With the backing of foreign big capitalists, the Aquino regime will also be using the WEF as a further endorsement of his economic policies to push wages down, subject workers to more oppressive flexible employment schemes, further remove environmental restrictions and allow foreign capitalists to take control of vast hectares of land.

The World Economic Forum will boost the clamor of foreign big business for super-liberalization charter change. It will endorse the ASEAN economic integration which sets the removal of all trade restrictions in inter-ASEAN trade and investment by the end of 2015. Foreign big capitalists are excited with the prospect of ASEAN integration as it will remove remaining impediments to the entry and movement of foreign capital into ASEAN.

The CPP joins the Filipino people in rejecting the World Economic Forum in East Asia and repudiating its recommendations to further liberalize trade and investment policies and further bring down workers’ wages. Such policies will serve only to perpetuate the backward and oppressive semicolonial and semifeudal system.

The Filipino people demand an end to the chronic crisis through national industrialization and land reform. Only by carrying out such measures with a clear plan for socialist progress will the Filipino people enjoy social justice and rapid economic modernization.