Campus journalists protest against trade liberalization

Photo by Aries Gupit

Photo by Aries Gupit

“The 9th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a bane to poor countries whose people and natural resources are continuously exploited and plundered by ‘developed’ nations for their own gain, leaving ‘underdeveloped’ economies in poverty,” said Marc Lino Abila, National Secretary General of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP).

CEGP, along with other youth organizations, marched in solidarity (in different parts of the Philippines) with the protesters in Bali, Indonesia, where the WTO meeting takes place. Protesters in other parts of the globe also marched against trade liberalization.

“WTO and ‘developed economies,’ led by the United States, promise development to ‘Third World’ countries through trade liberalization. However, this has and will lead to privatization, deregulation, and denationalization of the economies of ‘developing’ countries including the Philippines,” Abila explained.

“’Third world’ countries are obligated by WTO to put restrictions on agriculture, service, and industry,” Abila furthered. “To cater the needs of wealthier nations, they control ‘underdeveloped’ economies through unjust agreements under WTO.”

In the Philippines, agreements under WTO caused the influx of imports damaging agriculture and industry. Privatizing and deregulating social utilities such as electricity and fuel made the prices higher. Workers continue to have menial pay due to the global competition for cheap labor. “These are just a few of the effects of WTO in poor countries,” Abila stressed. “WTO said that it would end poverty, but it does the opposite.”

“WTO is trying to salvage the ‘Doha Round’ in this meeting in Bali. Because of the militant protests of people across the world, WTO hasn’t reached significant agreements,” Abila said. “We call on the Filipino youth and people to join the protest to oppose trade liberalization and, once and for all, junk WTO!” ends Abila. ###