Estrada plans to tax, mortgage "squatters"

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at SPAMtao.ca
Wed Jun 28 20:41:13 MDT 2000



_______As reported in "Philippines News" 12-18 June 2000

THE US-ESTRADA REGIME OF THE PHILIPPINES PLANS TO "SAVE" SQUATTERS

Philippine President Estrada unveiled a plan to tax, finance, mortgage,
license squatters such as those barely existing at the Payatas garbage
dump shanty town.

The government is considering privatizing such lands and selling them to
squatters. He suggested small loans as "assistance" to squatters to make
them to buy back land and embark in "legitimate" business undertakings.

Targeting the petty trading of the poorest of the poor near urban areas
that squat in places such as garbage dumps, Estrada and his henchmen hope
to channel some of the estimated $132 billion-a-year value of the
underground economy into the hands of the rich. They want to make all
subsistence activity illegal and regulate it, forcing petty traders and
garbage scavengers to register and licence their activities. This would
enable the government to demand taxes as well.

The government claims that underground activity is scandalous,
implying it amounts to theft from society. Foreign investors getting more
and more leary of the Philippines since he took office, Estrada hopes to
deflect the movement to oust him by measures such as increasing open
military and economic attacks on the people. He declares that this
speculative figure of $132 billion in black market activity is greater
than the total foreign investments in the Philippines in the past 40
years.

Once again the US-Estrada regime can think of no other way out of its
political and economic crisis than squeezing the life out of those who
suffer the worst.

END



Macdonald Stainsby
-----
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