Press Release
April 14, 2009

Jinggoy leads RP delegation to IPU;
calls for more action vs. poverty, financial crisis

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, leading the Philippine delegation to the recently-concluded 120th assembly of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has urged parliamentarians of the world to "be ever more critical and creative in crafting effective legislation" in the face of modern-day crises, especially, the global financial turmoil.

"Surging food and fuel prices, climate change, pandemic diseases, terrorism., and now, the global financial crisis continue to threaten the peace, democracy and development of many countries," Estrada, chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and the joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment, stressed in his speech before the IPU.

The senator said, "It is still the problem of poverty which continues to be on top our agenda as parliamentarians. However, due to this financial crisis, the poverty being sought to be eliminated continues to strangle the hopes and dreams of our countrymen. This crisis has now emerged as the most immediate threat to the lives and well-being of our citizens."

Estrada proposed actions that parliamentarians must undertake to mitigate failures in financial and bank regulation that resulted to the crisis, prevent further escalation of the crisis and avert its repeat in the future, and, ensure a sound foundation for the rebound of affected economies, to wit:

1. parliamentarians from developed countries must avoid putting in place policies, structures and norms that undermine or exclude interest of developing counties;

2. aid partners must maintain aid flows;

3. initiating new deliberations on the "new international financial architecture" being created, particularly though the newly-formed G-20 Summit of the world's largest national economies;

4. take action to ensure that all major financial institutions, markets and instruments are subject to appropriate degree of regulation and oversight; and,

5. that parliaments call for establishment of mechanisms for international policy coordination to include more developing countries in the decision-making process of world financial institutions.

"Parliaments, as the hallmarks of the elected representatives of the people, play a central role in the governing processes which defend and preserve peace, democracy and development," Estrada said as he likewise underscored, "In times of crisis or in peace, parliaments also serve as architects of development."

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