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How could the Philippines, a country rich in natural and human resources, find itself by 1990 in the position of the sixth most indebted nation in the world? Rosalinda Pineda-Ofreneo traces the origins of the nation’s debt crisis, and – with evidence from projects supported by Oxfam – she illustrates the social and environmental impact of the government’s structural adjustment programme, showing how health and education services have deteriorated, forests have been denuded, and seas over-fished. But her interviews with members of women’s groups, farmers, fisher folk, and tribal people show how some grassroots groups are finding new ways of making a living, and of making their voices heard in the political arena.

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