The devastation caused to the Philippines as a result of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) has shocked us all, and people have responded to the overwhelming crisis with incredible generosity. While emergency relief is essential to help with the immediate havoc caused by the Typhoon, we must remember that the Philippines has long struggled with the an unsustainable burden of unjust debt.
In fact, the Philippines is forced to send $22 billion out of the country in debt repayments every day.
Many of these debts are inherited from the odious rule of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s and 80s – a period of Martial Law when loans poured in from these same international lenders, who turned a blind eye to the government’s crimes and corruption. As our partners in the Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippines, ask: ‘Why pay debts we don’t owe?’- they are calling for an audit into the debts to find out which are illegitimate and should never be paid.