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philippines june 25 2012As women who primarily carry both the privilege and burden of social reproduction and care for the human family and ecology, and participate as well in activities that drive societies and economic production, we express our deep concern at the debates and discussions assessing the last two decades since the first Earth Summit and the solutions being forwarded to address the conditions of crises we are caught in today.

The Green Economy

A major push coming from UN agencies, corporations and North governments has taken the form of the Green Economy – the framework that will supposedly address crisis conditions in water and food, energy, the economy, climate and the environment. But we find that behind this cunningly coined concept, is the clear intent by neoliberal forces, primarily corporations, to monetize and commercialize nature, thereby addressing the current crisis of capitalism and pursuing goals of extraction, unhampered growth, mindless consumerism, wealth accumulation and monopolization. This is simply a further elaboration of the ideological framework of neoliberalism that is now being extended to nature.

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philippines june 20 2011Expect more natural disasters, social and economic inequality and marginalization in the near future once the United States and other Northern countries succeeded in ramming through its proposed "Green Economy" in the upcoming Rio+20 Conference.

A historic conference to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 20-22, this year, the Rio+20 Conference or the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), will review the extent of compliance by the participants to the first UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in 1992 also in Rio.

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philippines june 11 2011MANILA, Philippines – As members of the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC) meet on Thursday to discuss the Mindanao power situation, members of advocacy group Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) staged a protest urging lawmakers to exempt the Agus and Pulangi hydropower complexes in Mindanao from being privatized, and to replace the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) for its unfulfilled promises.

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ADB Protest Action 1MANILA, Philippines – As the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) 45th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors commenced here Wednesday, various cause-oriented groups, led by the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), trooped to the Philippine International Convention Center, the venue of the ADB meeting, to protest the Bank's role in the privatization of the energy and water sectors and in pushing coal and other dirty technologies in Asia and the Pacific.

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On April 10, 2012, JSAPMDD organized a roundtable discussion on tax and trade at Mesa Restaurant in Tomas Morato, Quezon City, Philippines. The discussion, which was attended by 10 participants was intended to share and generate comments and feedback on the initial findings of a JSAPMDD research on tax and trade. Atty. Golda Benjamin, who was commissioned by JSAPMDD to conduct the study led the discussion as she presented the outline of her research.

JSAPMDD Regional Coordinator Lidy Nacpil explained that the research looks at trade agreements and tax incentives across Asian countries as well as the impact of tax incentives on investments and resource mobilization and domestic revenue sources.

Golda then provided a presentation on the topics and issues that the study covers. She said that she would provide a background on the EU-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement and the status of the negotiations and then proceed to discuss why tax policies matter in a non-WTO agreement as she tackles issues from market access to market dominance. She would also look into the EU’s possible tax interests in relation to the ASEAN.

The study would discuss tax harmonization as a function of regional integration as well as the removal of export taxes, which is the main interest of the EU. There would also be a discussion on how to tax corporate income and how much corporate tax while the study compares the territorial principle which is common among EU countries and the residence principle which is used in the ASEAN countries. Golda said the study also seeks to find out whether reduction and harmonization of tax rates would create greater pressure to provide more tax incentives. Also, the research would look into Philippine excise taxes.

Lidy suggested that the study include data on estimated revenue losses for every per cent change in corporate tax rate. She also proposed that the research include the effect of tax incentives on domestic revenues and a discussion of the erosion of a country’s ability to use tax for its own interests.