Reject Duterte’s RA 11647! Strengthen unity and fight for genuine land reform and national industrialization!

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The newly railroaded law by the US-Duterte regime granting full foreign ownership over Philippine enterprises is an outright affront to our national sovereignty and bodes further economic disaster to every single Filipino. It must be rejected strongly and repealed forthwith.

Republic Act 11647 will only cement the country not as a self-reliant and resilient economy but as a mere and thorough cog in the entire global supply chain, helplessly prone to absorbing and suffering more of the deep and never-ending crises of bigger capitalist economies such as the US and China.

For poor peasants, farmworkers and Lumad in Southern Mindanao, where more than half of productive agricultural land has been cornered by or transformed into export monocrop plantations, mining tenements, eco-tourism ventures, infrastructure and real estate projects or military reservations, the law will only exacerbate the perennial problem of landgrabbing, job loss in agriculture and overall downturn in their economic conditions.

In Davao City, for instance, the Duterte political dynasty has been hell-bent in appropriating Lumad and peasant land for “further development” and pursuing several modernization projects to phase out jeepneys and buses to liberalize and privatize public transportation. Just this January, Sara Duterte enacted Executive Order (EO) No. 71 “to guide, regulate and monitor businesses and other developments in Paquibato District.” Seemingly innocuous, the legislation, to be implemented by the Joint Task Force for Paquibato District and the NTF-ELCAC-spawn Peace 911, in fact aims to earmark Paquibato and the city’s rural villages for the entry of plantations, mining and other ventures, which are sure to displace peasants and Lumad from their land and livelihood.

Workers in towns and cities around the region are bound to endure the worst kinds of labor exploitation under foreign capital control such as unemployment, unfair labor practices, inhumane working conditions, and other forms of labor flexibilization. These companies, which have never found incentive in improving the economic lives of workers in their host countries, always put premium on superprofit at the expense of labor rights and welfare.

Presently, the so-called jobs created by foreign corporations in cahoots with bourgeois compradors in Southern Mindanao have pegged industrial, manufacturing, farm and plantation workers in hand-to-mouth subsistence, without job security, little to no benefits or bargaining power. Surrendering full control and ownership of enterprises to foreign capital will only put worker unions and associations at the wiles of parasitic transnational and multinational corporations.

The tenuous standing of the national bourgeoisie in the national economy is also seen to further slide for the worse as the new law covers small and medium-sized enterprises. Domestic manufacturing and other businesses owned by local capitalists in Southern Mindanao will either go bankrupt or lose total or controlling ownership, finding it impossible to compete with the onslaught of bigger capital and resources from foreign direct investments.

In effectively peddling the liberalization and privatization of the country’s resources, the US-Duterte regime desperately paints a rosy picture based on flimsy conjectures on the “possible” benefits of the law, such as job generation and technology transfer.

The latter, especially, is a fool’s pipedream, as transnational and multinational corporations are monolithic monopolies notorious in obstructing knowledge transfer and contravening anti-trust safety nets. Meanwhile, a cursory inspection of Lumad and peasant communities surrounding foreign and bourgeois comprador-owned plantations and mining areas in Southern Mindanao will certainly disabuse anyone of the myth of job creation or trickle-down wealth. Lumad and peasant families in these areas in Davao City, Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur are among the poorest in the region, despite banana plantations and mining companies collectively raking in billions annually.

In his supposed exit from the presidency, Duterte’s new law leaves behind a legacy that will only deepen the disastrous crises of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal state, further victimizing the Filipino people in the name of gargantuan profit for his favored imperialist masters and uninterrupted bureaucratic loot to ensure Duterte remains in power, even vicariously.

At the height of the campaign in the reactionary elections, the people must demand all national and local candidates to condemn RA 11647 as Duterte’s treachery and encourage them to demand the repeal of this sell-out of a legislation.

NDF-SMR urges all workers, peasants, urban poor and other sectors and the patriotic section of the national bourgeoisie to unite and mobilize against Duterte’s RA 11647. They must demand instead the implementation of national industrialization and comprehensive land reform in order to lay the groundwork for genuine economic building and recovery.

Reject Duterte's RA 11647! Strengthen unity and fight for genuine land reform and national industrialization!