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Consolidating Consensus, Advancing People’s Struggles and Building Alternatives
23 December 2016
MANILA, Philippines— The Filipino people now have a tool to scrutinize debts acquired under their name. In 2017, the Congressional Oversight Committee on Official Development Assistance (COCODA) will launch an investigation on the legitimacy of at least 20 loans with debt service amounting to P7.6 billion. This came after almost a decade since the first debt audit provision in the national budget was vetoed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
MANILA, Philippines – The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) urged legislators to be resolute in seeing through the enactment of a policy to free taxpayers from paying fraudulent, wasteful or useless debts. At the same time, FDC commended members of the Senate for agreeing to include a special provision for a debt audit in the proposed 2017 General Appropriations Act (GAA).
“We concur with Sen. Loren Legarda’s statement that it is incumbent upon Congress to know what we are paying for and why we bear such huge obligations,” Dr. Eduardo C. Tadem, FDC President, said.
Tadem was referring to Senator Legarda’s response to Senator Risa Hontiveros’ interpellation that cited FDC’s initial information on 20 questionable loans with interest payments automatically appropriated in the 2017 budget. He added that most of the loans were from the Asian Development Bank, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and the World Bank and were earmarked for large infrastructure projects.
MANILA, Philippines – Alarmed over President Duterte’s $9-billion new loans from China and intent to avail more Official Development Assistance (ODA) for its deficit financing, the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) raised the urgency of conducting a comprehensive audit of all public debts along with the government’s fiscal policies.
“A debt audit is the public’s assurance of the prudent and proper use of loans and that there is a policy environment that guarantees this. This is long overdue being a casualty of previous administrations that have been either involved in unscrupulous loan-funded projects or too obsessed with boosting the country’s creditworthiness,” FDC Secretary-General, Sammy Gamboa, said.