Friday, July 11, 2008

sovereign guarantee

Time and again, the common tao hears the enigmatic and now even seemingly hallowed phrase “Sovereign Guarantee”. Needless to say, the present government in particular, has made a specialization in making a good number of such impressive high sounding assurances, expecting the ordinary Filipino to look at “Sovereign Guarantee” as a sanctified and sanctifying official business. People are wherefore led to believe that they should jump for joy when the ruling administration is said to have given a “Sovereign Guarantee” here and there, to this or that bank, corporation and the like.

To make it clear and simple, following are the distressing and disgusting ingredients of this repeatedly invoked jargon “Sovereign Guarantee” in the supposedly hallowed halls of Malacañang, and wherever its distinguished principal occupant went to China in particular: One, it is but merely getting a loan, borrowing money, or simply making “utang”. Two, it is the government that gets the money, spends this as it sees fit, for whatever purpose it likes. Three, it is however the people who actually pay the loan made, the money borrowed, the “utang” incurred by Malacañang. How convenient! How sick!

In other words, “Sovereign Guarantee” is in reality nothing more that an exploitative government following the following agenda series. First is that the government officially seeks and gets one big loan after another from this or that foreign or local sources. Second is the same government that gives the solemn promise and assurance that the Filipinos are the ones who shall make full payments for all the loans made plus the interests incurred. Third is precisely the same government that thereafter directly gets the money and gleefully spends it according to its design and desire. Fourth is precisely the same government that imposes and collects heavy and continuous direct and indirect taxes from the people, young and old, rich and poor, oligarchs and beggars alike to pay the borrowings made. Fifth is definitely the same government that again seeks and gets more loans—and the same cycle goes on and on.

There would be no problem with a government that gets loans, that gives “Sovereign Guarantee”, that spends the money if—and this is a big “IF”—those in government especially the leading figures therein, are known for their honestly and integrity, and not infamous instead for the long litany of their gross graft and flagrant corrupt practices. The payment of taxes by the citizens to the government is a standard and acceptable practice if—and this again is a big “IF”—the public officials concerned particularly the highest authority in the land, enjoy credibility and has the trust of the people. But there is a huge, throbbing and disconcerting socio-ethical problem when a government with its chief executive is categorically and continuously rated as corrupt, very corrupt, and most corrupt. And this is exactly the cast of the Philippine Government today, under the present national leadership that is engaged in continuous big borrowings of money and that has made the still unborn Filipinos already in big debt—with “Sovereign Guarantee”!

11 July 2008