Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Cost of War in Mindanao

This statistics were taken from FVRs column.

Government statistics show that during the period 1970-1996, some 73 billion pesos were spent by the AFP for arms/ammunition in the campaign against the secessionist MNLF and its splinter groups, including the MILF. As result of President Estrada's "All-Out" war policy in Mindanao launched late April 2000, an estimated average of 20 million pesos daily was spent for a 3-month period thereafter (a total of 1.8 billion pesos). Despite the heavy spending, that offensive cost the lives of 431 soldiers and 624 wounded. Moreover, infrastructure damage was pegged at 202 million pesos while 125 million pesos in crops/livestock/fisheries were destroyed.

Today, with the war raging...more expenses are expected while the rest of the masses are suffering from inflation and massive unemployment.


Another is:

The social costs were even more staggering. Per DSWD figures, starting in April 2000, some one million persons were displaced or rendered homeless by President Estrada's policy of "All-Out War•" Due to the crackdown on the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) the following year, more than 200,000 persons were dislocated. That number increased in 2003 with an additional 750,000 evacuees. From 2000 to 2004, ultimately, some 2,000,000 persons became "internal refugees", losing loved ones, homes, farms and livelihood.

Considering both explicit and implicit economic losses, OPAPP reported that from 1975 to 2002, losses in Mindanao ranged from 5 to 10 billion pesos annually, which equates to the astronomical total of 135 to 270 billion pesos for 27 years.

These costs could have been put into good use, and could have helped alleviate poverty in Mindanao.