Tag Archives: FCAID

[Event] Tayo ng dumalo sa Talakayang Reporma ng Bayan, 28 Marso 2012, 8am – 6pm

Tayo ng dumalo sa Talakayang Reporma ng Bayan, 28 Marso 2012, 8am – 6pm
by Faith-based Congress
March 25, 2012

TUNAY NA REPORMA, IPATUPAD!
KATARUNGANG PANLIPUNAN PARA SA LAHAT!

  • Pabahay at Hanapbuhay para sa Mamamayan!
  • Lupang Ninuno para sa Katutubo!
  • Kayamanang Dagat para sa Mangingisda!
  • Tunay na Repormang Agraryo para sa Magbubukid!
  • Tamang Pasahod at Seguridad sa Hanapbahay para sa Manggagawa! Itigil ang Kontraktuwalisasyon!

K99 People’s Reform Agenda
Dumalo sa Talakayang Reporma ng Bayan, 28 Marso 2012, 8am – 6pm
Association of Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP)
Sta. Potencia St., corner Cabildo St. Intramuros, Manila

[Featured Site] Faithbased Congress Against Immoral Debt, http://fcaid.ph

About FCAID
http://fcaid.ph/about-fcaid.html

The FCAID network is a joint project by the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) and its faith-based members and partners (KKK, AMRSP, JPICC-AMRSP and ISACC). Although it has its own processes and decision-making powers, FCAID works very closely with FDC.

The FCAID is a very loose network of organizations and individuals who are interested, passionate and dedicated to the debt advocacy. There is no need for a formal membership. To become a part of the network, the organization or individual will have to simply be a participant in any of the network’s initiatives (training, lobbying, creative or mass actions). In return, the partner will regularly receive updates and be invited to FCAID’s activities.

The network will also be on the look-out for those interested, have the skills and resources to help in the advocacy, an advance campaign training on the debt issue will be designed to prepare them as debt advocates/volunteers.

File photo source immoraldebts.wordpress.com

Immorality of Debt

Originally, incurring debt or even debt service is not considered innately bad or even forbidden. In fact, debt can be used by a country’s government as a tool for development when used appropriately. However, debt becomes immoral when it results to: 1) greed; 2) conflict, war and division; 4) slavery/burden; 5) abuse and fraud; and, 6) the use of unequal power relations.
The Faith-based Perspectives on the Debt

The Christian Perspective

1.“Wealth exists to be shared.” Ideally, there shall be no debts and no one asking money/resources from others or even lending money/resources to others because wealth is made by God for all people to share and benefit from.

2.Purpose and the Proper Use of Debts. In reality, incurring debts are inevitable. However to base it on moral standards, debts should only be used as a development tool. As assistance for those who will:

-Use debts in productive endeavors (e.g. business, something that will earn one a living) and therefore can be charged a minimal “interest” fee.

-Use debts for basic social purposes such as hospital bills, medicine expenses, education funds (tuition fees), food, agricultural expenses for small farmers and calamity funds, etc. for which interest cannot be charged from the borrower because the reasons for incurring it is survival.

However, these points raise the question: Does interest (rate) really help the borrower or is it mainly to generate profit for the lender?

The nature of assistance should be within the context of “genuine” help for people who are in need and it is only during times when money is used for progress or expanding of business can it be charged interest. But even that, the requirement should only be “minimal profit/interest” not USURIOUS interest. “Charging usurious interest rates is immoral!”

3.Third Party Debts or Institutional Debts. It is a fact that the National Government is mandated by law to represent the Philippines in agreements, negotiations and other official business transaction it enters into including those of loans. In simpler terms, the Government lends/pays money on behalf and using the name and money of the Filipino people. This fact may ONLY be acceptable, if in reality, projects to be financed by these loans genuinely improved peoples’ lives and welfare and if funds from the loans are to be used responsibly and without abuse of the Philippine laws and processes.

However through the course of time and experience, people have become silent witnesses to controversies and scandals, which involved large sums of money used for bribery and corruption and to finance projects that harmed the people and damaged the environment. Many of the projects advanced by the government were one-sided agreements in favor of a few (the elite or the country/bank where the loans were contracted). Most projects, if not all, were not well-thought out, unviable with no feasibility studies and other evaluative studies ever conducted by either or both of the contracting parties. Lastly, the people and communities were neither participant to the project process nor consulted.

To challenge those in doubt, name at least one loan agreement that is free from all irregularities.

4.Debt as Social/Structural Sin. The debt cycle has become a merciless entrapment to Juan de la Cruz. It burdens and buries him deeper into poverty.

Social/structural sin is the accumulation and concentration of many personal sins. Examples of which that are known to society are apartheid, racism, patriarchy, slavery, and others.

Debt, like the other recognized structural sins (i.e. patriarchy, racism, apartheid, slavery) is equal if not exceeds the gravity of these sins and these build a system that can trap a nation.

Injustices that were caused by debts entered into by the government recur and the level of gravity increases every time it is committed, thus, the debt trap. If the government does not do anything to free itself from the trap, then this becomes a vicious cycle.

5.Debt as a tool of the powerful. Fact is, “unequal power relations” do exist (the North and South Concept). The concept is based on a perspective which explains how north countries have exploited the natural resources of south countries to make them richer and powerful and how south countries have become sweatshops of north countries. The flight of resources from the south to the north countries has made the former, vulnerable and dependent. Depleted of their own resources, the south countries have no more means to spur their own development. These unequal power relations have created a very unfair position for the south countries.

It should be understood from these unjust practices that the debts claimed by the north countries from the south countries have already been paid for many times over, thus, maintaining the position that south countries do not owe anything to the north countries. In fact, the north countries should unilaterally cancel all the debts of the south countries and should even repay the south the amount equivalent to the natural and human resources that they have exploited and even more as reparations for the damage they have caused over hundreds of years. Thus calls such as, “Don’t owe, won’t pay!” and ”We don’t owe you but you owe us!

The Islamic Perspective

Papers/Materials discussing Islam and Debt are available for download. However, FCAID will be developing this perspective with Islamic groups/institute soon.

To know more about FCAID, please visit:

http://fcaid.ph/immorality-of-debt.html

http://immoraldebts.wordpress.com

[Event] Training on the Immorality of Debt – FCAID

The Faith-based Against Immoral Debts (FCAID) is a three-year old network of faith-based groups and individuals who envisions a debt burden-free society. Currently, it is on its second phase with the project, “Walking with the Poor: the faith-based sector as a voice of the voiceless for the country’s liberation from immoral debts.”

Debt is an issue that has been the root cause of worsening poverty and as a result brings about crises. For some, debt should be left within the realm of economic planners and managers. However for FCAID, debt is not simply a question of economics but more so an ethical and moral one. Therefore, debt is within the realm of the faith-based to address. It talks about not only forgiveness and charity but justice. Dependence on borrowings can impede a nation’s well-being and spiritual life.

In fact, it is an issue recognized in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. Debt in Scripture is mentioned mostly in contexts where the poor get indebted and are rendered vulnerable to lender abuse. It is assumed that there will always be poor in the land who, because of various misfortunes, are driven to seek relief in loans, subjecting them to exploitation and eventually, in extreme cases, slavery.

Debt as a priority of the faith-based community has taken a backseat for quite sometime now despite its importance. If the community is really serious about addressing poverty, then it is time to answer the hard questions, choose to side with the people and not maintain the status quo. Respond to the root cause of the problem, understand the issue, speak and advocate about the debt. As a network, we believe that the influential voice of the faith-based community is needed more than ever to amplify the voice of the poor, marginalized and affected communities, provide an alternative faith-based analysis and speak-up on the issue.

With that belief, the network developed a training module on the Immorality of Debt and used it for developing possible advocates.

However, we need more advocates who are willing to spend time and effort in working on the campaign and convincing others to join the cause so that the community can be a formidable voice on the issue.

The concept of immoral debts was specifically developed for the faith-based community to understand the relationship between debt and the possible harm it can do to people once governments become dependent on it.

For this specific training, we invite individuals who preferably came from the faith-based community, both the Catholic and Evangelical/Protestant, but also including leaders from indigenous peoples community to share on indigenous spirituality (i.e. catechists, JPIC and/or Social Action coordinators, Religion and/or Theology professors, Sunday school teachers, lay/parish leaders, religious/diocesan priests, nuns, pastors, Catholic school student council leaders, IP leaders). However, we are also inviting those who have experiences and are involved in social movements such as CSO advocates, which is one of the additional criteria. We also need participants who can represent his/her organization. Lastly, the network is on the lookout for participants who are willing to become real advocates who will work for the advocacy/campaign. Each organization is allowed to send two representatives at most to participate in the training.

The two-day training will be held on November 29-30, 2011, Tuesday to Wednesday at the BEC Development Center, Bgy. Asisan, Tagaytay City, Cavite. The training is free including transportation from Manila-to-Tagaytay, Tagaytay-to-Manila. However, transportation expenses of participants coming from provinces are not included in the package. We hope the organization that decided to send-in regional participants can take-on that expense as their counterpart/initial commitment to the advocacy.

The training is a very useful tool for understanding further the issue of debt – basic debt situation how does it relate to important issues like poverty and environment, the culture of Filipinos on the debt, its faith-based perspectives and how the faith-based community can help as debt advocates.

Attached with this letter is the tentative program of the two-day training and the participant’s registration form.

Should you have further inquiries about the event, please contact Jofti Villena (09088945174).

[Event] Blog Action Day for Climate Justice – FCAID

In solidarity with the victims of typhoons Ondoy (“Ketsana”), Pepeng, Frank and all other extreme weather events and disasters of the past here in Manila and all over the Philippines, the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) and the Freelance Writers of the Philippines (FWP) call on writers/bloggers/media workers to write their literary pieces, essays, tweets and slogans on “climate justice”. All these are to be submitted on September 26, 2011. See related FWP FB doc (Writers Unite) for details.

For those with blogs, you can upload your article in your own blogs and at the same time submit it on the day itself (platform or link to this site will be posted on Thursday). For those without blogs, you can submit your articles and pieces via climatejustice@groups.facebook.com. Also do follow us in twitter (@clim8justicePH) and flood it with your tweets on climate justice.

We see that writers can play a big role in this effort to best articulate the issue especially with political, manipulative moves by the rich, industrialized and overly-consuming countries (Annex 1), which don’t want to be accountable from their past actions on too much greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) brought about by unfettered industrialization and accumulation of profit. This hampers genuine actions to mitigate the impacts of climate crisis to the most vulnerable communities especially the indigenous people. We believe that writers can share the passion in spreading the message. Actions must be taken before the situation becomes even worst.

For the Philippine-setting, writers/bloggers can use the destruction of Sierra Madre Mountain Range in Central Luzon (forest and climate) and typhoon Ondoy as concrete examples where you can apply the concept of climate justice. There are many news articles, which you can use as source for these two cases. Aside from the 2nd year since Ondoy hit Manila, it’s also the Save Sierra Madre Day as proclaimed by Malacañang.

The following sources can be used to understand climate justice: Jubileesouth Asia Pacific Movement on Debt & Dev’t (JSAPMDD), Climate Justice Now! (CJN) , Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), World Bank Out of Climate Finance!, Third World Network (TWN) and Friends of the Earth International (FoE UK).

This is an awareness-raising initiative to push people to take action against climate change by claiming climate justice.

In return for those who will contribute, all submissions are bylined, with back-links for the promotion of their blogs. As contributions come in on that day, names of contributors will be mentioned in the tweets of clim8justicePH. If the writer/blogger is affiliated with FWP, we request him/her to mention that he/she is a member of FWP.

PMCJ is a movement composed of the affected sectors and communities, CSOs and POs that stand united in demanding for what we call climate justice. It is a concept that dwells on the anthropogenic or human causes of climate change, demanding the rich, industrialized, overly-consuming countries (Annex 1) to be held accountable for their abuse of the atmospheric space due to their too much emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Although globally all countries must do their share in solving the climate crisis, PMCJ believes that those countries, which caused the most damage must do more and make a significant contribution in resolving the crisis.

PMCJ also brings forward the demands and amplify the voices of the most affected and vulnerable communities, which is a step towards claiming climate justice.

This initiative is also in partnership with the Faith-based Congress of the Philippines (FCAID) and the Freelance Writers of the Philippines (FWP).

[Event] “Sierra Madre sa Tuwid na Daan” A Study Conference on the Faith-based Perspective & the Current Ecological Situation in the Philippines – Save Sierra Madre Network

“Sierra Madre sa Tuwid na Daan”
A Study Conference on the Faith-based Perspective
& the Current Ecological Situation in the Philippines

September 10, 2011 (Sat), 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
ESI, Miriam College, Katipunan Avenue, Q.C.

·       Understand the faith-based perspectives behind the ecology and the environment by emphasizing the significance of the faith-based community’s involvement in caring for the ecology and the environment.
·       Develop and firm-up consensus around the ecological situation of the country both historically and currently and how it transcends globally.

REGISTRATION FORM
Email to:
Jofti Villena <fcaid@yahoo.com>
Shirley Mansanal <savesierram@yahoo.com>
or Fax to: 9246399