Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Global Meltdown and the Philippines: Great Depression or Great Transformation?

THE GLOBAL MELTDOWN AND THE PHILIPPINES: Great Depression or Great Transformation?
An Emergency Conference on Crises and Alternatives

Balay Kalinaw, University of the Philippines-Diliman
November 12, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM

The world is entering what could be the worst global financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s – just as the food, employment, and climate crises are intensifying. These multiple crises threaten the lives of millions of already poor and suffering people across the globe, including in the Philippines. More workers could be unemployed; migrant workers could be sent home. Government services, limited as they are, could be further curtailed. Pensions and savings could be wiped out. Prices could soar just as incomes plunge. More will suffer from hunger, eviction, or displacement. The politics of authoritarianism or fascism could prevail.

But as the old paradigms and policies responsible for the crises are discredited, the crises also opens up new opportunities for pushing for the alternatives that could lead to a Great Transformation: one that will lead to raised living standards, social welfare, ecological justice, democracy, and equity.

In the face of this unprecedented historical moment and the stark choices ahead, this conference aims to provide a timely opportunity to share accurate analyses of the crises, consolidate concrete recommendations, and discuss ways of working together to push for alternatives. Working together, however, requires discussing the following key questions which we hope to tackle at the conference:
- What demands/initiatives should we be making at this point?
- What demands/initiatives are common to all/the most groups?
- What, if any, are potential contradictions among the demands/initiatives?
- What are the gaps in terms of our advocacies? On what areas/issues do we still need to come up with demands/initiatives because they’re not currently addressed by existing ones?

Tentative Program:

8:30 AM Registration

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Session 1 - Multiple Crises 101: The Economics and Politics of the Global Financial, Food and Environmental Crises and their impacts on the Philippines

11:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Session 2 – How should we respond?: People’s Solutions and Alternatives – Action Points, Legislative Agenda, Campaign Ideas, etc?

A. Plenary: Some initial ideas to kick-start discussions (11:00 AM to 12:00 PM)

Lunch (12:00 PM to 1:00 PM)

B. Workshops (1:00 PM to 2:30 PM)
C. Plenary – Reports from workshops and discussions (2:30 PM to 3:30 PM)

Break (3:30 PM to 3:45 PM)

3:45 PM to 5:30 PM
Session 3 – Where do we go from here?: Next steps in Pushing for our Solutions and Alternatives


The conference will have presentations to enable participants to more fully understand and to be able to discuss the dynamics and implications of the financial crisis. There will also be thematic workshops to allow participants the opportunity to exchange ideas on how to respond.

The conference is envisioned to be the broadest gathering possible of all those concerned about the impacts of the crises and committed to pushing for democratic, equitable, and just alternatives.

Given the wide interest in the issue, please confirm your participation by faxing or e-mailing the registration form below to 433-0899 or Registered participants will be prioritized in terms of seating.

To cover the cost of the venue, lunch and snacks and conference materials, we request for solidarity fees of P100/participant. This fee can be waived based on capacity to pay. We urge capable organizations to sponsor others’ fees. Inability to pay will not be grounds for refusing anyone admission.

All the best,

(See list below)

'As of 29 October 2009:

Action and Solidarity for the Empowerment of Teachers (ASSERT) | Action for Economic Reforms (AER) | Alab-Katipunan | Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) | Balay Rehabilitation Center | Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) | Center for Labor Justice (CLJ) | Center for Rural Empowerment Services in Central Mindanao (CRESCENT) | Development Roundtable Series (DRTS) Thematic Working Group on Foreign Policy | Development Roundtable Series (DRTS) Thematic Working Group on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development | Development Roundtable Series (DRTS) Thematic Working Group on Trade and Industrial Policy | Focus on the Global South | Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute | Global Call to Action against Poverty – Philippines | Individuals from the National Economic Protectionism Association (NEPA) | International South Group Network | Kalayaan! | Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KPD) | Kilusang Mangingisda (Fisherfolk Movement) | Labor Rights and Democracy (LARIDE) | League of Urban Poor for Action (LUPA) | Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRC) | Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan (MAKABAYAN) | Makabayan – Pilipinas | Mindanao Peoples' Peace Movement (MPPM) | Mindanao Tri-People Women’s Resource Center (MTWRC) | Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) | Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan (KAISA-KA) | Pambansang Katipunan ng Makabayang Magbubukid (PKMM) | Pambansang Samahan ng mga Kilusang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) | Partido Kalikasan Metro Manila Airshed | Partido Manggagawa (PM) | Peace Women Partners Inc | Progresibong Alyansa ng mga Mangingisda (PANGISDA) | Popular Education for People's Empowerment, Inc. (PEPE) | Resource Center for People's Development | Rural Poor Institute for Land and Human Rights Services (RIGHTS Network) | SANLAKAS | SUMPAY Mindanao | Teatrong Bayan | Third World Movement Against the Exploitation of Women | Third World Network (TWN) | Union Network International-Philippine Liaison Council (UNI PLC) | UP Alyansa ng mga Mag-aaral para sa Panlipunang Katwiran at Kaunlaran (UP ALYANSA) | UP Center for Women’s Studies (UP CWS) | UP Third World Studies Center | UP Diliman University Student Council | Women and Gender Commission - Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (WGC-AMRSP) | Women’s Education Development Productivity Research Organization (WEDPRO) | World March of Women – Pilipinas | Youth for National Democracy

Copies of the presentations have been made available in the Focus on the Global South website, click here to download.