Advocate’s Overview: Let it be: “Not the Beatles song”


By ARTHUR L. ALLAD-IW

Garbage remains to be a city problem as manifested by the scattered discards in various areas. The scent of pines is no longer sniffed but the reeking smell of garbage.

The dumping area for the city’s garbage is not the main issue here. There will always be a local government unit which can accommodate – open arms – the city’s garbage as long as the price is right.

I view that the problem of the garbage is traceable to over-consumerism due to the national government policies of a liberalized and deregulated economy. I came to remember this system known as “let it be.” Of course not the popular Beatles song but the French term “Laizes Fair.”

The French term translated into English actually means “let it be.” It is however more used in the economic system where the market is left for the market forces to have an “equal playing field.” But no, to dictate is the more appropriate term. It is also known as free trade.

Of course in such kind of world arrangement, the products of most industrialized states have the advantage over the developing or underdeveloped states.

The “let it be” system is actually the system today under the General Agreement on Tariff and Trade or GATT, a borderless economic system. No more protectionism, nay nationalism concept.

Everything must give way to borderless economy.

Hence almost all members of GATT have adopted a liberalized and deregulated economy. And when it comes to goods, underdeveloped countries, whose industries are not yet developed become dependent on industrialized countries’ goods.

The underdeveloped countries become dumping grounds or garbage areas, for overproduced or surplus goods from industrialized states. Look at the cell phones for example. We are a dumping area of various cell phone products from other countries. And we are gaining a reputation as the top country in Asia, after China, when it comes to text messages. And who gains more on this system?

Back to the garbage issue. The Philippines is not only a dumping area of goods and products from industrialized states. The country too can become a dumping ground for garbage – chemical, industrial, and possibly even nuclear.

The JPEPA (Japan Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement) is a concrete example. Once this treaty between Japan and the Philippines (anchored under the GATT) if approved, Japan can accommodate our health workers in their country. Of course, said critics of the agreement pending in the Senate, “ in exchange of the country’s accommodation of Japan’s industrial and chemical wastes garbage.”

The GATT shows how third world countries are institutionally exploited by the economically advance states. It exposes an unequal system worldwide where the economically advance states exploit poor states, no longer in the usual exploitative loan system as concretized by the IMF-World Bank sucking the remaining financial resources of poor countries but now with goods and services where those industrialized can produce more than their people’s needs.

Now I do not wonder why various states after World War II failed to approve the inception of the GATT during that period. #(NorDis)

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