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Make mining companies pay 500pxThe extraction of natural resources in many countries in Asia has long served as a foundation for the concentration  of wealth and power in the hands of a few -- at the expense of communities, marginalized sectors, and the environment. Our shared experiences of large-scale mineral extraction under colonial occupation and the neoliberal drive of governments to attract foreign investments in extractives are deeply intertwined with a long history of peoples’ struggles for lands, livelihoods, and human rights in mining-affected communities across the region. These are also part of a continuing  history  of labor exploitation and sustained and systematic  transfers of wealth, natural resources, indigenous knowledge,  and other assets from the Global South to the Global North. A situation that has produced  immense, profoundly immeasurable social and ecological debts owed to the peoples of the Global South.

Multinational corporations in the extractive industry and their shareholders from local elites  have enjoyed long standing guarantees of profit accumulation from ownership and control of vast mineral, oil and gas reserves, boosted by generous fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. Where the collusion of corporate and elite interests dominate politics and policymaking, the capacities and political will of governments to fulfill their human rights obligations, climate commitments, and sustainable development goals are severely undermined and eroded.

Download laid-out November 26 Statement in PDF format Here

 The multiple crises of health, economic recession and climate emergency present us with the urgent challenge and unique opportunity to chart  a different path and reject economic policies and development paradigms that harm people and the planet. It is thus alarming when governments and international actors look uncritically at the extractive industry as part of the ‘solution’ to economic development challenges  without regard for  its links to illicit financial flows, human rights abuses and the climate crisis.  Environmental abuses and other unjust practices of the extractive industry must be stopped; the flaws and loopholes in national and international tax systems that enable mining, oil and gas companies to shift profits, practice systematic tax avoidance, and enjoy generous tax incentives, must be corrected.

On November 26, 2021, the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) joins advocates and allies on the Global Day of Action on Tax and Extractives to demand accountability for human rights and environmental abuses, to advance tax justice by transforming mining fiscal regimes, and to call on governments to make taxes work for people and the planet.

I.          Stop the plunder and exploitation of labor and natural resources, environmental destruction, and other unjust practices by mining companies!

The multiple crises experienced by mining-affected communities amidst the global pandemic exposed the continuing crimes of mining corporations against peoples of Asia. In India, hazardous working conditions and underpayment of wages are persistently reported by workers in coal mines, whose toxic fumes were also proven to weaken respiratory health and increase vulnerability to COVID-19 of surrounding communities. In Indonesia, the government introduced several reforms to the Mining Law that granted automatic permit extensions and expanded the scope of tax incentives enjoyed by the mining sector despite reports on the heightened vulnerability of over a hundred mining-affected communities to natural disasters. In the Philippines, the government lifted the nine-year restriction on mining licenses, thus allowing the continuation of human rights and environmental destruction without consequence.

These incidents illustrate a very bleak picture of mining’s impacts on communities in Asia. Women in mining-affected communities are likewise facing additional threats to their livelihood and obstacles in accessing necessities such as water and food due to displacement of communities and degradation of natural resources. Mining corporations and state forces have also taken advantage of lockdown restrictions to violently bear down on the resistance of indigenous tribes and other marginalized sectors, deepening the accumulation by dispossession of lands and suppression of their rights to defend their communities from encroachment. Despite the risks and impacts faced by workers, women, and indigenous peoples, profits gained by mining corporations have skyrocketed in 2021 to higher than pre-pandemic levels.

II.          Make mining corporations pay their just share of taxes! Stop corporate tax abuses and other illicit financial flows in the extractives industry!

Amidst widespread exploitation and abuses on human rights and the environment, governments have reinforced the regulatory stranglehold of the mining industry through tax and fiscal regimes that grant a range of incentives, treaties, and agreements exclusively offered to mining corporations, usually lasting more than a decade. Embedded in fundamental Mining and Investment codes of many Asian countries are several loopholes for mining companies to pay meager revenues far below baseline corporate tax rates. Massive discrepancies between profits generated by the mining industry and their paltry tax contributions reveal the magnitude of foregone revenues.  This staggering revenue loss sharply undermines domestic resource mobilization in countries that direly need to rebuild essential public services that have been crippled by decades of privatization and urgency of pandemic-related social demands.

On top of fiscal incentives and legalized instruments enabling tax avoidance, mining corporations deliberately take advantage of several gaps in the broken global tax architecture, financial secrecy through tax havens, and corporate restructuring to engage in aggressive tax planning and reduce tax obligations to national governments. Legislative lobby groups of mining corporations actively plan around tax competition in Asia and globally, especially in levies specific to the mining sector such as royalties, processing and export taxes. These underline the importance of the voices and demands of resource-rich developing countriesin pushing for an inclusive, democratic, and transparent intergovernmental body on global tax rules under the auspices of the United Nations.

III.       Make taxes work for people and the planet! Advance a transformative agenda for realizing social, economic, and environmental  justice! 

Our demands for accountability from mining corporations and governments to address peoples’ urgent needs are nevertheless rooted in the recognition that reforms in tax regimes and stricter regulations on labor and human rights are still fundamentally inadequate to address the destructive intergenerational impacts of large-scale mining on the environment and local communities. Threats to biodiversity and livelihoods, displacement, and climate impacts will continue to encroach upon peoples’ welfare and further threaten the planet’s future as long as economies remain heavily reliant on natural resource extraction for production and commodity exports. Because of these impacts inherent in the continuation of large-scale mining activities, governments in Asia must profoundly rethink industrial policies that regard extractivism as a pillar of development. We must progressively shift away from economic systems that prioritize profits of mining corporations and embedded interests of political elites over the urgent demands of mining-affected communities, workers, women, and other mining-affected sectors, and the people’s demands for just, sustainable, equitable and democratic  economies.

We demand governments in Asia to:

1.      Tax the Rich, not the Poor!Address the biases of tax systems that favor elite interests and impose unjust tax burdens on the people. Stop corporate tax abuses and all forms of illicit financial flows! Strengthen and enforce financial transparency mechanisms.   Work for a truly inclusive, democratic, transparent and accountable intergovernmental mechanism for governance on international tax matters under the auspices of the United Nations.

2.      Advance tax justice in the extractive industry!Make mining companies and MNCs pay their fair share of taxes.   Probe and sanction tax abuses of mining corporations.

3.      Stop the exploitation and abuse of workers in the mining and extractives industry. Uphold the rights and promote the welfare of all marginalized sectors and communities affected by the mining industry.

4.      Stop environmental destruction and other abuses of mining companies!Make mining companies pay for reparations and ecological restoration.

5.      Put an end to economic dependence on natural resource extraction by working towards system change and transforming our deeply extractivist economies towards a peoples’ vision of sustainable, just, equitable and democratic economies that prioritize people and planet over corporate greed and profit-driven elite interests.    



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Lidy Nacpil 
APMDD Coordinator


COVID19 brought staggering challenges to survival to people everywhere, most of whom have already been dealing with economic precariousness, impacts of an escalating climate crisis,  and violence in many forms.  This is especially true for women, for people of color, for indigenous peoples, migrants, farmers, workers and others who have had to grapple with additional layers of discrmination and marginalization.


Massive mobilization of finance on an unprecedented scale, much more than that has been mobilized so far, is so desperately needed. It is needed not only for peoples’ survival but to undertake a profound transformation of the system to solve the multiple crises we are facing. We fight for these financial resources on many crucial fronts. 


One is on the strengthening and broadening of the global debt movement to demand unconditional debt cancelation by all lenders for all developing countries and changes in international and national economic and financial unequal relations, flawed frameworks  and unjust policies to break the vicious cycle of indebtedness. 


The responses of the international financial institutions, the G20 and all other lenders to the debt problem, in the wake of COVID, has been so pathetic. The four tranches approved by the IMF thus far, the latest one just last month, for debt payments cancellation for less than 30 countries, has only amounted to US$802 million, a drop in the bucket compared to close to US$400 billion annual external public debt payments of low and middle income countries. 


The Debt Service Suspension Initiative of the G20 which ends this December, amounts thus far to only US$5 billion worth of suspended debt payments since May 2020 for more than just 40 out of 73 eligible countries. Not only have these debt relief initiatives failed to deliver what is needed, fiscal responses to the COVID pandemic are going to leave the global south with much worse debt problems. Lending during COVID has risen by 30 percent. 


We demand debt cancellation as a matter of justice to address unsustainable debt but also illegitimate debt, and we urge movements to reassert the issue of illegitimate debt again as part of a broader effort to counter; debunk and resist the flawed and narrow assumptions and frameworks of lenders on what it means to be in a debt crisis, which for them it is just about our ability to pay back the debt; and what are just and enduring solutions. 


Another important arena is our campaign to demand the full delivery of climate finance obligations by wealthy countries, or developed countries as they are called under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This obligation is based on developed countries' huge share of historical and continuing responsibility for the climate crisis. Climate finance is not aid or assistance; it is owed to all peoples and communities of the global south to cover adaptation as well as loss and damage costs in the south, and is also part of the wealthy nations’ share of mitigation actions. Their historical and continuing emissions are so huge that it is not enough for them to reach real zero emissions domestically. They have to fulfill the rest of their fare share by financing more mitigation actions to be carried out in the south. 


In 2009, rich countries promised to raise US$100 billion annually by 2020, and thus far they have failed. The COP26 Glasgow Pact merely urged countries to double their climate funding by 2025. But based on current contributions, doubling these contributions will not even reach US$100 billion. The US$100 billion is actually just a small fraction of the climate finance obligations. According to UNFCCC’s own standing committee on finance, the climate finance needs of developing countries amount to trillions of US dollars. 


Wealthy countries actually spend many more times of this amount in public subsidies for fossil fuels. For example, the G7 governments spent a combined total of US$200 billion on fossil fuels in 15 months since January 2020 whereas their climate finance pledges to the UNFCCC financial mechanism since 2001, in the last 20 years, amounted to only US$23.7 billion so we all know where their priorities lie. 


We are of course also fighting the flaws and inequities of national and global tax systems and illicit financial flows. This is a critical fight not only to raise more resources for public services, for climate action and for social justice programs; it is also a fight to reduce tax burdens and biases against workers, the poor, women, and to stop the tax abuses of multinational corporations many of which already cause other major problems in our economies. Right now, we are in the middle of a fight against the OECD-G7-G20 Tax Deal which favors multinational corporations and elites. A minimum corporate tax rate of 15 percent is well below the average corporate tax rate in Africa and Asia. Further, the formula for the allocation of tax revenues favors wealthy countries over the global south. 


Together, we are not short of clear policy and structural alternatives and proposals for both immediate reforms and strategic changes not just on these finance issues but on many other related fronts like trade, but what we need to work more is our power, our strategies and our actual efforts. 


A most critical lesson from the climate crisis is that we do not have much time. Whatever we have been doing to build power and to fight for immediate as well as strategic changes, have to be scaled up in scope, intensity and speed. As we challenge our governments to shift away from ‘business as usual’ and be swift and ambitious in their climate actions, we must also challenge ourselves, our organizations and our movements to be more bold, daring, ambitious and work harder and faster for social change. This involves changing the balance of power, the relations of power, as part of the realities we face is that those in power today are the very ones who benefit from the system we seek to change.  


*Delivered at the opening webinar of the Eurodad Policy Forum, “"The Covid-19 Crisis: Portal or Dead End?", 22 November 2021. For the full webinar, watch it in Eurodadvideos, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5tF9TUHSpI.  

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19 November 2021


The mining industry in the Philippines is built upon centuries of plunder and pillage of natural resources, exploitation of labor, environmental degradation and violations of human rights especially of indigenous peoples and other mining-affected communities. As in other extractives sectors, the mining industry across the world has also grown immensely from the accumulation of massive profits through shadowy financial deals and tax avoidance while enjoying generous tax incentives and other privileges from governments. It is of little surprise therefore that the Pandora Papers and other leaks of financial documents have consistently linked local business and political elites with mining connections to offshore accounts and shell companies that enable them to shift profits to tax havens and hide their untaxed wealth.

The massive social costs of these illicit financial flows fall heavily on the shoulders of mining-affected communities whose access to essential public services such as water, electricity, healthcare, and education has been gravely obstructed by the monopolized control of mining corporations over the use of their lands and resources. Unjust practices of tax avoidance by mining corporations revealed in the Pandora Papers thus critically erode tax revenues badly needed to provide for peoples’ urgent needs, especially the poor, women, and other marginalized sectors who are burdened with tax obligations that are systematically avoided in turn by wealthy mining elites.

Despite the meager contribution of mining and dirty energy to national output and employment, the Philippine economy continues to be held hostage by extractivist exploitation and the deep-rooted complicity of national and local political elites in the deregulation of the mining and energy sectors.

During the COVID-19 pandemic where hazards faced by Filipino workers have intensified, the Philippine government has once more exposed its allegiance to business elites who have forced their will and declared the mining sector as an “essential” economic activity, expressly allowing continued operations despite the health and safety risks inherent to the industry. Large-scale mining corporations have also taken advantage of government suppression on mobility and economic activity during the pandemic, violently silencing organizers and environmental defenders in mining-affected communities.

Far from condemnation or investigation of these unjust practices, actions taken by the Duterte administration affirmed that calls for justice and accountability have fallen on deaf ears. Government’s privileging of mining activities is given a new lease on life with Executive Order (EO) 130 that lifts the ban on new mineral agreements granting tax and non-tax incentives for mining corporations, opening several loopholes for mining corporations to cut down on tax payments for at least 25 years.

Violations in ensuring workers’ occupational safety and the urgency of plugging leaks in tax revenues for essential public services alarmingly intersect in the case of Apex Mining Co. Counting billionaires Dennis Uy and Enrique Razon – both parties to key government infrastructure and logistics contracts – among its directors, Apex Mining exclusively operates gold mines in Davao de Oro and Benguet. Not only does the corporation benefit from tax holidays granted under multiple Mineral Product Sharing Agreements (MPSAs), Apex Mining’s extractivist business model is also built upon layers of financial secrecy. Its wholly-owned subsidiary – Monte Oro Resources and Energy Inc. (MORE) – owns two companies officially registered in the British Virgin Islands, a known tax haven where corporations store hidden wealth to avoid tax and legal obligations, in spite of generating profits directly from mining activities in the Philippines, Sierra Leone and Uganda where these undeclared assets are undervalued and undertaxed.

Over 20% of Apex Mining’s workforce was also reported to have contracted COVID-19 in localized outbreaks from October 2020 to January 2021, affecting even the communities surrounding the mines. The Department of Health has raised concerns that the conditions of work in enclosed spaces of mining tunnels and poor ventilation heighten the risks of virus transmission, prompting an investigation on Apex Mining’s occupational safety standards, with results remaining undisclosed thus far.

The case of Apex Mining Co. serves as a glaring emblem of many mining corporations in the Philippines whose profits flourish by depriving workers and the Filipino peoples of basic needs for survival. These unjust practices are at great risk of being brushed under the rug with the Philippine government upholding Apex Mining Co.’s MPSA until the 2030s and granting additional tax holidays and incentives to mining corporations through E.O. 130. 

We thus reiterate our calls for justice and accountability for tax and labor abuses by corporations in the extractives sector. We urgently call upon government agencies to actively involve mineworkers and mining-affected communities in an independent probe of labor practices and working conditions in mines and other mining-related operations to ensure that labor, health and safety, human rights, and environmental standards are in place.

As peoples’ organizations in the Philippines and in Asia committed to tax, labor and environmental justice, we present the following calls and demands for tax justice in the extractives industry:

  1. Stop the plunder and exploitation of labor and natural resources, environmental destruction and other unjust practices by mining companies! Uphold the rights of workers, indigenous peoples, women and other marginalized sectors in mining-affected communities. Mining and other extractive companies that bring harm to communities and the environment and/or have a long or outstanding track record of labor and human rights abuses must be shut down while ensuring just transition for workers and communities that may be affected.
  2. Stop corporate tax abuses and other illicit financial flows in the extractives industry! Scrap wasteful tax incentives such as those included in the MPSA! Government agencies must also probe into mining corporations’ layers of financial secrecy to recover hidden and untaxed wealth of the elite, and channel these funds to ensure quality public services for all, especially for women, indigenous peoples, and other marginalized sectors in mining-affected communities.
  3. Advance tax justice in the extractives industry by ensuring a comprehensive and effective tax regime, including through resource or export taxes on the export of raw materials from extractive activities, taxation of services related to extractive industries and progressive environmental taxes. Financial transparency and accountability mechanisms and other anti-abuse measures must be strengthened and applied to prevent corporate tax avoidance and other types of illicit financial flows. Levy progressive and adequate tax rates on mining and extractive activities.
  4. Put an end to economic dependence on natural resource extraction by working towards system change and transforming our deeply extractivist economies towards a peoples’ vision of sustainable, just, equitable and democratic economies that prioritize people and planet over corporate greed and profit-driven elite interests.


Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino
Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD)

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G20, World Bank-IMF, private lenders slammed for debt-creating, self-serving debt solutions

Drum-beating calls for debt cancellation, Asian groups stressed greater burdens on people and planet in the wake of the urgency of public funding for essential services, failed business-as-usual debt solutions, vaccine inequities, economic downturns and the climate crisis


Manila, 28 October 2021—   Calls for debt cancellation rang out from several Asian cities as members of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) marched on the streets today demanding that public funds go to people’s needs, and not debt service.

“The need to speak out is stronger and more urgent than ever, especially since the solutions imposed upon us by these lenders are leading us to deeper debt, poverty and inequality,” APMDD Coordinator Lidy Nacpil said.

APMDD and its members organized the coordinated activities as part of the Global Days of Action for Justice and Debt Cancellation from Oct. 14-30, an initiative supported by debt justice movements from around the world.   

She noted the temporary and very limited  debt suspension measures that end this year for low-income countries and the failure to address equally dire conditions in middle-income countries. “The backlash of resuming debt servicing will be severe. Add to that the payment of both old and news debts with the huge increase of lending since the global COVID pandemic began.  There can be no genuine move towards rebuilding from the pandemic and the multiple crises without cancelling debt and freeing up financial resources for people’s survival.”

Leody de Guzman, Chairperson of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, asserted debt cancellation as a vital step towards a just socio-economic recovery and rebuilding. “We have long demanded the cancellation of debts, much of which is illegitimate for having enriched politicians, destroyed the environment and eroded local livelihoods.” 

The Freedom from Debt Coalition pointed out the Automatic Appropriations Law, a Marcos legacy that holds to this day which prioritizes debt service in the budget, regardless of people’s needs. Coalition president Dr. Rene Ofreneo scored the law as “patently unjust when public money is urgently needed for adequate, sustained and long-term solutions to the multiple crises”. He added that “it must immediately be scrapped to shift people’s money into vaccines and public health, job creation and climate resilience.”

Secretary General of the national women’s movement, Oriang, Oyette Zacate highlighted debt cancellation as key to fulfilling women’s rights. “Women pay with their unpaid labor, when the government fails to amply finance public health systems because it puts debt service first before people and rights. Cancelling the debt can unlock public funds needed for the government to fulfill its obligation under the Magna Carta of Women to realize women’s rights.”

Manjette Lopez, president of the party-list organization SANLAKAS, said that “it’s high time to move away from business-as-usual and trickle-down economics approaches debunked by the pandemic ''. Instead of bailing out corporations and private lenders, “public money must fund a people’s stimulus where jobs are created, direct income support for affected individuals and households are given, and the budget for health doubled to re-build and strengthen the public health care system, particularly community-based primary health care.”

In other Asian cities, from Lahore, Farooq Tariq, General Secretary of the Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee, scored the adverse impact of debt on social spending. “Where is the money for public services? Nearly half of our people live below the poverty line and about 70% have not yet been vaccinated against COVID19. Yet over $1 billion per month will be claimed from us in external debt payments until June 2023.” He noted the temporary debt suspension measures that end this year for low-income countries and the failure to address equally dire conditions in middle-income countries. “When the temporary debt suspension ends in December this year, we will feel the severe backlash of resuming debt servicing on top of new debts that the Pakistan government has incurred. Debt cancellation will unlock funds that should be used to raise urgently needed resources for people’s survival.”

In Karachi, other APMDD members scored the “perfect debt trap” of Pakistan. Saeed Baloch, Secretary General of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) said: “We are trapped in debt servicing while ordinary working people are barely surviving. This has to change because lives are on the line. Debt cancellation is what we urgently need.” Baloch noted the temporary debt suspension measures that end this year for low-income countries and the failure to address equally dire conditions in middle-income countries.

In the Nepal capital of Kathmandu, Abishek Shrestha of the Digo Bikas Institute decried the limited debt suspension of the G20 that his country applied for. “What will happen in 2022, when we are obliged to return to servicing external debts? We have also incurred new debts that will likely bind us to social spending cuts at a time when our people need public health and social services.”

In Indonesia, Muhammad Reza Sahib of the People’s Coalition for the Right to Water (KRuHA) underscored the impact of debt and neoliberal policies pushed by the G20 and international financial institutions on local communities. “Indonesia, like other countries of the Global South, is trapped in the never-ending cycle of debt and water injustice, and this has all to do with the wholesale acceptance by our governments of the neoliberal policies championed by the G20, World Bank and IMF. Water privatization has led to the neglect of public systems and infrastructure and made us more vulnerable to COVID-19 so we say no more to these injustices, we do not owe these loans, and we should not pay them.” 

For more information:


Mae Buenaventura

Phone: +63 917 560 8096



Bruce Amoroto

Phone: +63 939 377 9312


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6 Lidy Nacpil of the Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development (center) presses for new tax rules to be negotiated in a proposed United Nations Tax Body. Labor Leader Ka Leody De Guzman (left) calls for the scrapping of VAT and institution of a wealth tax in the country. Sanlakas Secretary General, Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, moderated the press conference.



The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) today slammed the 15% minimum global corporate tax rate jointly proposed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), G7, and G20, calling it the “tax deal of the rich” and instead called for the creation of a tax body under the United Nations (UN).

“Under the guise of, or pretending to be helpful as part of COVID-19 and multiple crises responses, the OECD, which is the organization of 37 wealthiest countries in the world, in collusion with the G7 and G20, are now putting forward and promoting a tax deal that will actually result in more benefits for corporations and governments of wealthy countries rather than the Global South,” APMDD coordinator Lidy Nacpil said.

“We are taking this occasion to express our rejection because in a few hours, the G20 will be convening its summit, and this is an important time to raise our voices,” she added.

World leaders are expected today to endorse plans for a global minimum tax on corporations during the first day of the G20 summit in Rome. The policy is supposedly intended to prevent businesses from skipping from country to country in search of lower tax rates.

“It sounds progressive because in some places the taxation of corporations is below 15%, so it makes it appear that they want to increase the level of corporate taxes to a minimum of 15%. But many of us in the south are rejecting this, because in reality, the average corporate tax in Africa and in Asia is 20% to 30%,” Nacpil stressed, adding that the 20% corporate tax rate is already one of the lowest in Southeast Asia.

Nacpil further said the 15% minimum tax rate means that many countries in Asia and in Africa will be pressured to lower their current corporate taxes, which will mean more benefits for corporations rather than for people and for the government.

“We want to end inequality in global tax rules and rulemaking, and one of the important steps is to create a global democratic and transparent body in the UN, to take up global tax rules,” she said. “This should be part of sweeping changes in the global economic and financial system to address its many flaws.”

DSCF6335 Tax justice campaigners led by the Asia People's Movement for Debt and Development (APMDD) denounce the "tax deal of the rich" at the University of the Philippines Hotel a few hours before the start of the G20 Summit in Rome.

The APMDD also rejected the second part of the “tax deal of the rich,” which is the proposed allocation of the net increase of resources raised from the minimum 15% corporate between the home countries of the corporations and where they actually earn their wealth or profits.

“Our tax experts have said quite clearly that in the proposed allocation, it is the governments of wealthy countries, where many of these corporations are headquartered or based that will get a bigger part of whatever net increases in tax revenues will be garnered from this proposed minimum tax rate,” Nacpil said.

“In the end, whatever little net resources are raised from this proposed minimum tax rate of 15% – and in some places it will not be a net benefit but a net loss – the countries in the south:  in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, will be getting a smaller part of that allocation. The wealthy corporations and the governments of the wealthy countries will benefit the most from this deal,” she underscored.

Moreover, Nacpil emphasized the need to “tax the rich, not the poor.”

“What we have on our domestic tax systems in many countries in Asia and in the world are systems that are putting undue burdens on people, on communities; on women; and on many sectors of society like workers, farmers, fishers, indigenous peoples, urban and rural poor, even young people,” she said.

“These burdens come in the form of very regressive tax systems. Regressive means these tax systems put the greater weight of tax payments on poor and marginalized sectors, on communities, on women, much more than on the rich and elites,” she added.

The APMDD coordinator said this was wrong because “the very principle of taxing citizens is for the government to be able to provide services, address inequities, and lift people out of their situation of poverty and marginalization, and fulfill basic human rights.

“If these tax systems are doing the opposite – being more burdensome for the poor, the marginalized, for women – then there is something fundamentally wrong,” she stressed.

Nacpil also said for taxes should for work for women to remove gender bias, discrimination against women, and to make sure that tax revenues are used for services for women.

“In many countries, tax systems are gender-blind and gender-biased. There is bias against women – not just gender-blind, not just blind to the situations that women face that must be considered when it comes to tax policies, but also outright bias. Many of the tax systems reflect discrimination against women and non-recognition of unpaid care work,” she said.

“One of the major changes we would like to see is making taxes work for women – addressing bias, addressing discrimination, addressing undue burdens on women, and for tax systems to recognize the invisible care work that more often than not, it is the women that provide,” she added.

Nacpil further stated that APMDD is also calling for tax justice in the extractive industries, saying it is “one of the industries that has created a lot of havoc and damage in many countries in the world.”

“Our natural resources are plundered by multinational companies and yet they pay very little taxes. We want to transform the extractive industries to stop extractivism in our countries, but also to make sure thatwhatever extraction activities will be allowed should be heavily taxed,” she said.