The Filipino people must unite and oppose the Japan Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) which Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed with then Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi last year in Helsinki, Finland.
Much has been said (all are true) about the dangers posed by this lethal trade pact to the Philippines such as the transformation of our country into a dumping ground of Japan’s toxic and hazardous wastes, the accelerated annihilation of our health care system because of the expected massive out-migration of our health workers to Japan, and the de-skilling of our health professionals; it is vital to point out another lethal blow this accord would bring not only to the Philippines but to the rest of the third world.
A bi-lateral trade treaty that is first of its kind, the JPEPA allows the Philippines to deploy labor (professionals, nurses, care givers) to Japan, in exchange of its capital goods and apparently, its hospital wastes.
When Gloria Arroyo inked this trade deal with Japan, it has officially made known to the whole world that we Filipinos are reduced to being mere products and commodities like bananas, mangoes and coconuts.
JPEPA: newest tool to blackmail poor nations
The JPEPA is a precedent setting treaty. Its advent essentially made official, the trade of humans as commodities. Never before in civilized history have we witnessed a nation enter into a pact with another nation, with its citizens as its principal bargaining chip.
The JPEPA is nothing but a prescription of mighty nations to blackmail the 3rd world into kneeling to their every demands and whim. With the JPEPA, imperialist powers have learned a new method of hostaging poor nations aside from keeping them buried in debt and dependent in their so-called ‘aid’. They know all too well that they can easily grab the colonial and semi-colonial countries, such as the Philippines, by their necks with only an open ended promise that these rich nations will hire the vast reserves of the third world’s labor force.
It is a maneuver of imperialist powers to tighten their stranglehold on poor nations especially in the wake of successive collapses on the negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is noteworthy that if the JPEPA pushes through, all previous agreements entered by the Philippines and Japan in the WTO is superseded.
This lethal trade deal if approved will definitely plunge further not only the Philippines but also the entire 3rd world into even graver poverty and stagnation.
This is why it is imperative that we implore the conscience of the Philippine Senate, as the sole treaty ratifying body in the land, to reject the JPEPA. It is safe to say that the fate of the rest of the 3rd world lies on them.
The JPEPA issue is a potential litmus test to the opposition dominated Philippine Senate. Let’s see if our distinguished Senators, whom the Filipino people entrusted with their ‘protest votes’ against the detested Arroyo regime, will truly side with the people and call for the scrapping of this lopsided treaty.
Even those Senators who are eying the Presidency in 2010 should disclose their position on the issue. Those who are for the ratification of the treaty will surely be junked by the Filipino electorate in the 2010 presidential elections.
In the meantime, the Filipino people must unite as a nation and militantly stand against the JPEPA. Our hospital workers in exchange for Japan’s hospital wastes? No way. ###