On the push for pro-imperialist charter change

The push to institutionalize neoliberal economic policies in the Philippine 1987 constitution was boosted last night in the House of Representative with the approval of the resolution to allow amendments that will pave the way for greater foreign capitalist control and domination of the country’s economy. This act of economic treachery is being justified with lies that foreign investments are the key to economic progress.

Completely liberalizing the 1987 constitution will only benefit foreign multinational corporations in terms of giving them greater freedoms to extract superprofits from the exploitation of cheap labor and natural resources. These multinational corporations, specifically those belonging to the American Chamber of Commerce and their other business associations, are especially keen on amending the 1987 constitution and pushing for other laws that will open the remaining aspects of the economy including electricity, water distribution, telecommunications and other essential public utilities, as well as retail trade, to full control of foreign capitalists.

Economic dominance and control of foreign multinational corporations have prevented economic progress, subjected workers to gross forms of exploitation, grabbed land from peasants and indigenous peoples and ravaged the country’s resources and environment. Over the past several decades of economic liberalization, the dominance of foreign multinational corporations have killed nascent local industries or made them completely dependent on imported components. All-out trade liberalization, furthermore, allowed big capitalist countries to dump surplus agricultural commodities to the detriment of local producers resulting in growing dependence on imports.

The investments that multinationals have brought in the country have not contributed to comprehensive economic development. Their “economic zones” are mere appendages of their global chain of production and do not contribute to a balanced economy. Particularly, these have not contributed to developing a local steel and capital goods industry that are fundamental for erecting the edifice of a comprehensive and modern economy that can stand on its own two legs. The billions of dollars poured in are ultimately siphoned out in the form of superprofits generated by the value created by Filipino labor.

Those pushing for further liberalizing the 1987 constitution are political and economic agents of multinational corporations and the IMF and World Bank. They or their kin sit in the boards and serve as officers of local subsidiaries and earn large amounts of salaries. They also serve as sales agents or real estate brokers who drive away the toiling masses from their land and bulldoze them for their foreign partners. Big landlords also supply multinational corporations with raw materials or commodities for export.

The push for more liberalization will make the Philippine economy ever more dependent on investments of multinational corporations and thus make the Philippine state even more subservient to foreign economic dictates, particularly policies that depress wage levels and lower or eliminate taxes. By extracting resources and sucking profits while enjoying tax holidays, these multinational corporations bleed dry the local economy and make the country more dependent on foreign borrowings.

The broad masses of workers, peasants and toiling masses, together with the petty and middle bourgeoisie, must unite to resist the further liberalization of the economy through the planned neoliberal amendments to the 1987 constitution. Denounce the traitors who want to give foreign multinational corporations and big banks 100% right to exploit and plunder the economy.

On the push for pro-imperialist charter change