Strike-out interest payments on questionable loans: Philippine debt watchdog

December 17, 2007

All Headline News

The Philippine debt watchdog Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) has urged the country’s House Appropriations Committee and Finance Committee to reallocate $512.57 million worth of foreign debt-related funds to social services.

Included in the three feasible sources of financing FDC has identified for re-direction to public essential services, is a proposal to suspend interest payments for illegitimate debts.

FDC president Ana Maria R. Nemenzo claims that dropping interest payments on questionable loans, “striking-out interest payments for proposed loans” and “pegging the peso-dollar exchange rate at a more realistic level,” will provide “enough funds for basic and higher education, health care, environment and agriculture,” news agency AHN reports.

The debt watchdog also called on Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who chairs the Senate finance committee, said he and his counterpart from the House of Representatives, Congressman Edcel Lagman, who chairs the House appropriations committee, to maintain a special provision in the Senate budget bill that stresses: “no amount shall be used for the payment of interest payments on debts which are challenged as fraudulent, wasteful and/or useless, like but not limited” to what FDC labeled as illegitimate debts.

These loans include the Austria Medical Waste Project, Small Coconut Farms Development Project (SCFDP), Telepono sa Barangay Project, among others.

Categories: Asia, Odious Debts, Philippines

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