Cordillera youth groups slam $1-B loan to IMF-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Militant youth groups coincided protests with the arrival of President Benigno Aquino III here on Monday to condemn the National Government’s recent commitment to lend US$1 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Kabataan party-list spokesperson Vencer Crisostomo these funds could have been spent in improving basic education, employment, food security among other national concerns.
He said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) could have lent the money to Filipinos where majority of the population still lies below the poverty line.
Some 30 militant youth groups trooped near Benguet State University assailing President Aquino’s decision.
But Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma said the US$ 1 billion (roughly P42 billion based on prevailing exchange rate) is merely a manifestation of the country’s economic capacity.
Coloma said the country has been borrowing from the IMF for the past 40 years and it was during this administration that they were able to overturn this from being perpetual borrower to a lender.
The Palace spokesman said the country is now of good economic standing with the BSP, having enough resources through its economic standby fund to extend a credit line through the IMF.
He also said the money would be idle in the BSP but with it being extended as credit to other country’s facing financial slump, the country would earn additional revenues from interests.
Coloma also underlined the funds would not in any way affect the national budget of the country that remains separate under the National Treasury, while the credit line would come from the economic standby fund of the BSP.
He said the amount is also a small percentage of some P2-trillion budget expected to be appropriated by the Aquino administration next year.
“We should take achievement this proudly rather than view it negatively,” he said.
The bulk of the improvements in the economic standing of the country, he added, came from the export of Philippine products with contributions from some $18 million dollars annually remitted by overseas Filipino workers and the growing Business Process Outsourcing the country.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 27, 2012.