QUEZON CITY – The Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) on Thursday, August 24, said that the government must treat the people as agents of change and not as objects of development.

During the interview with the Media House Express in the QC Media Hour program hosted by Manila Standard veteran report and Quezon City Press Club, Inc. (QCPC) re-elected President Rio Araja, FDC Secretary General Dr. Rene Efreneo said that they are pushing for a self-reliant economy and litigation and adaption, especially with the climate change, through reforestation and others.

Dr. Efreneo added that the majority of Filipinos should be able to avail of sufficient power such as in land reform through people empowerment by way of a participative and inclusive economy.

According to the FDC executive, the people in power should be the one to mobilize and unify the majority Filipinos so as to attain a robust economy.

Dr. Efreneo noted that the number of poor Filipinos is so huge, saying that 80 percent of workers is informal, including the endo (end of contract), fishermen, farmers, who should be mobilized by the government.

Dr. Efreneo, who is also a dean emeritus of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City, stressed that the government should pay attention to the basic people’s needs such as food, shelter and education, among others.

“Lahat ay naghahanap ng kabuhayan. Kapag pinagsama-sama ay lalakas ang kanilang kabuhayan,” Dr. Efreneo said.

“Pagbangon sa pangingisda ay napakaliit na example pero napakahalaga,” he added.

“Yun mismong mga magsasaka ay dapat bigyan ng stability ng presyo ng kanilang agricultural products,” he said. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.