Asean 2015

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By Carlos Legaspi Jr.

Questions that Matter

Saturday, May 3, 2014


HOLY Week, Labor Day, and a lot of events have passed and now we are confronted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) 2015. One of the components of the Asean Union is the full implementation of the Asean Free Trade Agreement (Afta). We are already pestered and being tortured by other components like the Expanded Value Added Tax, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp) and it extended tentacles, General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT-WTO); climate change issues, K to 12 basic education curriculum, trade liberalization, outsourcing schemes of employment, reproductive health law, casualization, and wage controls and rationalizations. These are just preparations for the united

Southeast Asian region.

Afta had been a discussion during the passage of the GATT-WTO in the late 90’s. It was discussed that soon there will be a universal market in the Asian Region where tariffs will be uniform and quotas will no longer be honored. In short, the cheaper the goods, the more the demand. It will now be the world market that will dictate the prices of Asian products.

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Key players in the sugar industry had envisioned the ill-effects of the agreement. They already conducted many summits and researches to study the effect of Afta to the sugar industry. Afta for sure will greatly affect both productivity and income. The administrations had to devise programs that will cushion the impact of the implementation of Afta. One of which is the harsh and erroneous implementation of the Carp and the Carper laws. The Carp demoralized the planters and motivated the farmers but soon has really destroyed a great part of the whole agriculture sector and the sugar industry. In fact today, sugar industry players are told not to fear Afta and Asean 2015 for this is a welcome to world development. No less than Sugar Regulatory Administration chief is telling the industry players to keep calm for there is nothing to worry. However, she tells the planters to increase productivity. What does this mean? There is really something hidden in this. What is it? I do not know!

Our government since the time of Mrs. Aquino had been dictated to conform to the United States economic plan. The administrations fear that whenever the Philippines will not adhere to the plans of the US, US will hold back all aids and support to the US-dictated and dependent administrations. Everything in the Philippine government is being dictated by the US. Now, even young people are being influenced to serve the interest of the Americans and not to serve the interests of the country. Where are we going here?

I have known a lot of good young student leaders but when I tried to talk to them about independence and nationalism, there response would be internationalism and global cooperation. This is how the young minds have been washed by the imperialist mentality. Many called me a communist or a radical leftist for I often speak against big imperial force. I pity the young people for being clouded by the “milk and honey” of international relations. It is good to know their system but to praise them over ours is a philosophy of nihilism.

In conclusion, all the things that we do today will greatly affect the generations to come. We have to be vigilant and be honest in our intentions. Are we for the Philippines or are we for Asean or are we for the USA’s command? It is for you to answer.

Pope St. John Paul II and Pope St. John XXIII; St. Ezekiel Moreno; St. Lorenzo Ruiz and St. Pedro Calungsod; Msgr. John Liu and John Su; and Engr. Faraon Lopez, pray for us.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 03, 2014.

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