Joining the country in marking the 40th anniversary of the imposition of Martial Law, research group IBON looked back on its founding during the military rule, and affirmed its role as an alternative source of research, analysis, education and information on socioeconomic issues.
IBON was established at a time when information was suppressed by the Marcos dictatorship and the public was kept in the dark on the real situation of the economy. Art editor Luis Jorque, who was a political detainee during the early years of Martial Law, related that like many groups during the time, IBON worked cautiously amid a very repressive environment.
Initially, IBON came out with a fact sheet on economic data, which was illustrated by volunteer artists like Jorque. From an initial 200 copies, the fact sheet had to be reprinted to another 2,000 copies because of public response.
Speaking before the IBON board and staff, executive director Sonny Africa said that the country has not seen substantial changes, especially in the Philippine economy, since the Martial Law. He added that, decades after its founding, IBON remains committed to continue its research, education, and information work because the socioeconomic conditions that gave birth to it remain unchanged and have even worsened.
Specifically, IBON’s current campaign to promote nationalist economics through publications, textbooks, and partnerships with schools, academe, business and people’s sectors has become more urgent.
During the same board meeting, newly-elected chairperson Prof. Judy Taguiwalo, who was also a Martial Law activist, said that as in the Marcos years, there is a need to call for an economy that addresses the people’s needs instead of following a design directed towards foreign and local elite interests. (end)