“It was an insignificant amount….” (what the Philippines lost at the Lehman Brothers’ collapse)

September 19, 2008

Last night, the second news report that really got my attention was the P15B that 6 RP banks have lost due to the financial collapse of the Lehman Brothers.

I read from the Philippine Star yesterday the headline indicating the amount.  6 RP banks ( three were named and the other 3 were not mentioned) who lost a total of P15B.

What really got me mad when a Malacanang Palace (our version of the WHITE HOUSE) was quoted as saying “yes, we lost… but it was just an insignificant amount…)

I could not believe what I heard!

An insignificant amount?

Universal Currency Converter© Results
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Memo: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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Live rates at 2008.09.19 02:04:08 UTC

15,000,000,000.00 PHP

=

320,649,971.01 USD

Philippines Pesos United States Dollars
1 PHP = 0.0213767 USD 1 USD = 46.7800 PHP

Almost $321M!!! you call that insignificant amount???

The last time I checked here are the facts in this country:

1. Majority of the people in the Philippines are not eating 3 full meals a day.

2. Majority of the people are under-employed.

3. Working overseas seems to be the only hope for the majority of the families here because the opportunities are no longer here.

4. The wars in Mindanao have demolished whatever anti-poverty gains the government has achieved the past several years.

P15B …. that is beyond what anyone could save up for in honest and truthful employment in the country.

For a government that still had to really explain all the scandals and anomalous transactions regarding the proposed broadband internet, access roads that were excessively charged by the hundreds of millions, by the amount of money that we are losing that should be benefitting the whole country, yes, by their reckoning P15B would be insignificant.

Tell that to the families who eke out a living. Students who worry if they can still pay their fees so they can take the exams. Mothers with nursing children who are wondering where and how to buy milk. Parents who are wondering how to feed their children. Employees in both private and public sectors who are wondering how they will pay their bills. Of thousands of people who are lining up at DSWD centers for any form of assistance.  Tell that to the thousands of families displaced by the wars in Mindanao and the families affected by the ship that sunk off the island of Romblon. ( the ship is still there with its toxic cargo).

P15B is more almost 4x the DSWD budget for 2008!

Oh no, please call it anything – but please do not call it insignificant.

To call it an insignificant amount is an insult to the millions of Filipinos who could have benefited if the money was theirs.

To call it insignificant was not only insulting.

It was revolting.

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