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FW: Please send this to people on your list who might appreciate this statement

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  • Robert Rabin
    vieques se solidariza con declaración filipina sobre el turismo y la explotación... _____ From: bieke_pr-owner@yahoogroups.com
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 4, 2008
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      vieques se solidariza con declaración filipina sobre el turismo y la


      From: bieke_pr-owner@yahoogroups.com [mailto:bieke_pr-owner@yahoogroups.com]
      On Behalf Of Julia Estrella
      Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 12:09 PM
      To: bieke_pr-owner@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Please send this to people on your list who might appreciate this

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: HYPERLINK "mailto:secretariat@..."Peace for Life
      To: HYPERLINK "mailto:forum@..."PfL Forum ; HYPERLINK
      "mailto:infolist@..."PfL Infolist
      Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 3:24 AM
      Subject: [PfL-Forum] Tourism Statement

      Tourism in the Philippines: A View from the Underside
      (A joint initiative of Peace for Life and ECOT, with the cooperation of the
      National Council of Churches in the Philippines, CONTAK Philippines and IBON

      October 21-22, 2008
      Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

      We are individuals and representatives of the church and of NGOs from labor,
      environment, culture and arts, rural development, health, indigenous
      peoples, women, and children’s rights in the Philippines participating in
      the Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism Consultation entitled Tourism in the
      Philippines: A View from the Underside on October 21-22, 2008.

      Amid the global financial crisis and the domestic economy’s stagnation,
      there is widespread poverty, a rise in joblessness, deterioration of the
      health and education systems, further displacement of people due to
      human-made disasters and vulnerability to natural calamities, increasing
      homelessness, and other social problems.

      The dire economic and social conditions of the people today are attributed,
      among other reasons, to decades of development aggression, a part of which
      is so-called “tourism development.” Government strategies on tourism since
      the introduction of neoliberal policies have intensified the
      commercialization of culture, history, and heritage sites, prostitution and
      human trafficking, child exploitation, the spread of diseases such as
      HIV/AIDS, and land dispossession and livelihood displacement, especially of
      the upland farmers, fishers, indigenous peoples and other national

      The government has played a pivotal role in exploitative and oppressive
      forms of tourism. Adhering to the policies of globalization being peddled
      by the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Bank,
      the government is pushing tourism as an engine of economic growth,
      employment, and the promotion of indigenous culture and history; however,
      they are actually advancing the interests of Trans-National Corporations
      (TNCs) in airline and shipping industries, hotel and restaurant industries,
      real-estate development, and travel agencies.

      We oppose current tourism practices and the government’s policy direction
      + offer the country's lands, including cultural and heritage grounds, and
      other natural resources, for exploitation by big business and TNCs in the
      guise of promoting economic growth as well as the country's history and
      + make national interests subservient to the profit interests of
      tourism-related industries such as airlines and shipping, big hotels and
      restaurants, so-called medical tourism hospitals, resorts, escort services,
      and other commercial tourist destinations;
      + prioritize medical tourism thereby tapping the country's best hospitals
      and medical services/facilities with a tour package for foreign visitors and
      making health and medical care even more inaccessible to millions of
      Filipinos, underscoring the government’s abandonment of its responsibility
      to provide basic health services to the people;
      + place culture in the service of tourism which is inimical to the
      development of national identity and genuine nationalism;
      + promote “so-called” traditional and indigenous culture and arts but in
      the process alienate Indigenous peoples from their traditional way of life
      and their capacity to develop as a people;
      + develop tourist sites and leisure facilities without regard to and at
      the expense of the local population and the environment;
      + lure tourists through images of women and the prospect of inexpensive
      sexual services due to underdevelopment; and
      + make children more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

      It is for these reasons that we declare our opposition to the Arroyo
      government’s tourism development program, specifically the proposed Tourism
      Act of 2008 making it a national policy to “foster robust tourism growth”
      and other legislations in consonance with the General Agreement on Trade in
      Services and Trade-Related Investment Measures which liberalize the service
      industries and give unrestricted entry to tourism-related TNCs.

      We must reject the pending Tourism Act of 2008 which is integral to the
      neoliberal agenda that expands the powers of TNCs to exploit the people, the
      culture and the natural resources of the country. The Act will only worsen
      and intensify the ill effects experienced with the current tourism policies.

      We believe that tourism can be a good instrument of understanding and
      solidarity among cultures and people—if we link the population to an ethos
      of protecting the environment, if we relate the people’s history of struggle
      with their present situation, if we affirm the people’s cultural and social
      life, and if we pursue the people‘s aspirations for justice, human rights,
      democracy and sovereignty.

      Within this context, we challenge the tourism industry by developing forms
      of ethical and socially responsible travel and recreation which foster
      understanding and respect for other cultures and beliefs.

      We shall promote and practice ‘solidarity tourism’ that
      + challenges the profit orientation and commercial basis of mass tourism;
      + offers opportunity to understand the Philippine context beyond its
      prevailing commercial image;
      + serves as a window to the struggle of people for peace and fullness of
      life for all;
      + offers an opportunity for mutual sharing, learning and participation;
      + that enables the formation of networks of people and organizations
      committed to work for justice and peace.

      We commit to a continued cooperation and networking with the Ecumenical
      Coalition on Tourism in the pursuit of ethical and socially-responsible
      travel and recreation.

      We challenge the Church, as a shepherd of the people of God, to stand and
      take action against unethical strategies of national development, as easily
      identified in the Arroyo government’s tourism policy that degrades human
      dignity and does violence to human communities. Voices of the faithful must
      denounce and oppose tourism as an instrument of oppression and exploitation.

      We call on the wider people’s movement for justice and peace to lead the
      opposition to the pending Tourism Act of 2008 and advance the pursuit of
      genuine development for the Filipino people. ##

      Peace for Life Secretariat
      2/F, Bp. La Verne Mercado
      Ecumenical Center
      NCCP Compound, 879 EDSA
      West Triangle, Quezon City
      Philippines 1104
      Telefax: (+632) 9278043
      Email: HYPERLINK "http://www.peaceforlife.org"secretariat@...
      Website: HYPERLINK "http://www.peaceforlife.org"http://www.peaceforlife.org


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