Heavier is the burden of neoliberalism upon the people under the US-Marcos regime

This article is available in Pilipino

The entire nation is completely nailed on the cross of poverty and crisis. With Marcos’ continuation and furtherance of the neoliberal design, the people’s livelihood and future are deeply ruined. The errors of the puppet state’s economic plan are fundamental and deep-seated. Decades of dependence on liberalization, denationalization and privatization impaired many aspects of the national economy and erased its capacity for self-sufficiency.

Local agriculture is on its knees and the source of living of tens of millions of farmers is at the brink of complete ruin despite the Philippines being an agricultural country because local production has been drowned by full liberalization and incessant importation. The government can no longer control the anarchy in market prices and movement while consumers suffer the consequence of high prices. From salt, onion to rice and sugar – all basic national commodities rely upon importation to the harm of local producers.

Now, the government is once again set to import 22,000 metric tons (MT) of onions, 330,000 MT of rice and 150,000 MT of sugar to purportedly fulfill the expected shortage of national supplies. Instead of buying these from Filipino farmers and supporting their production to reach levels enough for national demands, the inept regime depends upon imported supply even though this fail to lower prices of these products in the market.

In the midst of the present energy crisis, the US-Marcos regime also approved the 100% foreign ownership in the renewable energy industry and the renewal of the private contract of the controversial Malampaya gas field in Palawan. Rather than renationalizing the said gas field, Marcos opted to continue the policies of denationalization and privatization in this vital sector. Experts are concerned with the consequences of this move especially since there is an existing worldwide energy crisis and countries from which the Philippines formerly buy its supply, such as Indonesia, are also tightening their energy export policies.

Meanwhile, private companies quickly take advantage of the newly opened alternative energy supply sector to ensure their own hold over contracts and gains. In Bikol, there looms a geothermal exploration project in Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur to be conducted by Premier GeoExcel Inc. (PGEI), a wind power project by the Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners in those same provinces and an already existing solar hybrid power plant owned by the private company David M. Consunji, Inc. (DMCI) in the province of Masbate.

There is no end to the sufferings and hardships brought by these convoluted neoliberal policies thriving within the country. The people must mobilize to oppose and frustrate these.

Heavier is the burden of neoliberalism upon the people under the US-Marcos regime