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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.

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FDC womens dayMANILA, Philippines – A day before the celebration of International Women's Day, more than 500 women members of the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) took to the streets of Manila Wednesday urging President Benigno S. Aquino III to honor the government's "social debt," especially to Filipino women who now "carry heavier burden due to the deficiencies of past and present administrations."

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Protestors from the Freedom from Debt Coalition, Philippine Movement for Climate (PMCJ) and JSAPMDD marched to the US Embassy in Manila on November 24 to demand for climate justice, particularly for the US and Annex 1 countries to honor their historical responsibilities, curb their GhG emissions and provide reparations for their climate debt.

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FOUR Filipina activists may be deported after they were arrested in Bali, Indonesia for participating in a protest against an Asian summit attended by the world's leaders, including US President Barack Obama.

Lidy Nacpil, Malou Tabios, Rhoda Viajar and Manjette Lopez, all members of the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), may either be deported or face criminal charges in Indonesia, the group said in a statement issued on Saturday. Nacpil, Tabios, and Viajar act as secretariat of the regional group Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JS-APMDD).