Published: June 25, 2012
Workers led by labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno picketed the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) office in East Ave., Quezon City today to condemn the $1 billion pledge for the International Monetary Fund’s crisis fund saying the multilateral agency is not really helping workers and the poor in other countries.
The workers condemned the Aquino government for saying that the loan will be used to help countries suffering from the global economic crisis and that it will redound to the benefit of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
“The IMF is not helping the workers and the peoples of Europe and the world. It is in fact making life harder for them by imposing austerity measures in exchange for aids and loans,” said Leadro Gerodias, KMU deputy secretary-general.
“How can this loan help OFWs when it will make life worse for ordinary households abroad on which they depend? It may mean the retrenchment of many of our Filipinos,” he said.
“The fact is, money from the country’s foreign exchange reserves, part of which comes from OFW remittances, will be used by the IMF in ways that will harm OFWs,” he added.
KMU said, the IMF is actively pushing governments to implement austerity measures as an assurance that badly needed loans to governments will be paid.
Among these measures are the reduction of spending for social services, massive retrenchment in government offices, increase in retirement age and reduction in pensions for retirees.
“The Aquino government is making a pro-imperialist lie in saying that the IMF is helping countries cope with the crisis. The workers and peoples of Europe and the world are in fact, up in arms against the IMF and its austerity measures,” he said.
Responding to sharp criticisms against the pledge, the government said that the amount will be sourced from the country’s foreign reserves which come from OFW remittances and earnings from the country’s exports.
“The country’s foreign exchange come from the labor of our OFWs and workers. We cannot sit back and relax as the Aquino government following the IMF’s dictates, uses these against fellow workers and poor people in other countries,” said Gerodias.
“The Aquino government should find ways of using the country’s foreign exchange reserves in ways that actually benefit OFWs and Filipino workers. Lending it to the IMF will harm, rather than help, OFWs and workers,” he added.