For Immediate Release
Jennifer Tong, Policy and Communications Director
firstname.lastname@example.org / (202) 783-3566 x101
Philippine Debt Repayments from Marcos Regime Overshadow Relief Monies to Assist with Typhoon Reconstruction
Jubilee USA Calls for Moratorium of Debt Payments and Public Audits of Loans in Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
WASHINGTON - Two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, the world has responded with astounding generosity, donating tens of millions of dollars to aid in the recovery effort--$37 million from the United States government alone. Unfortunately, since the typhoon struck on November 8th, the Philippines has spent more than $310 million paying off overseas debts, and it will spend a total of $6.7 billion this year alone. Some of those debts are from the corrupt and abusive regime of Ferdinand Marcos. Lenders are still collecting repayments on these loans, taking away resources that could be used to rebuild after the typhoon, and to further protect the Philippines from the repercussions of climate change.
“This is an opportunity for lenders to acknowledge that debts from the Marcos regime must be cancelled,” noted Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, a debt monitoring organization. “In the wake of such devastation, we need a moral accounting of the loans the Philippines are repaying. We must have a public audit.”
The destruction of Typhoon Haiyan was devastating, resulting in the deaths of more than 4,000 people, the displacement of more than 4.4 million, the loss of livelihoods for 5 million workers and total economic losses of up to $15 billion.
The devastating impacts of the world’s largest-ever recorded storm illustrate why lenders like the World Bank should review the $60 billion debt burden held by the Philippines. Some of these debts were inherited from the rule of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s and 80s--a period of repression and martial law. Loans poured in from these same international lenders, who turned a blind eye to the regime’s abuses, crimes and corruption.
“What people are living through on the ground is horrific. I can’t believe that so much money is going to lenders who supported a corrupt regime while there is so much suffering,” commented LeCompte.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.