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THE GREEN TEAM

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THE GREEN TEAM

Post  Admin on Sun May 09, 2010 7:48 am





MY CORE VALUES
MY VISION FOR A DYNAMIC NATION

We are into the second decade of what is now called the Pacific century. Around the rim of this great ocean, hundreds of millions are lifted out of poverty by sustained rates of economic growth. Innovation and technological changes move quickly, assisted by modern governments committed to rapid social changes.

While we sit at the center of the world’s most dynamic region, the Philippines staggers behind its neighbours. Our poverty rate remains unacceptably high. Our infrastructure and logistical system remain backward. Our agriculture is stagnant. Our industry has been nearly wiped out by high power costs. Our public revenues always fall short of our needs and force us into indebtedness.

These conditions are compounded by our vulnerability to natural calamities, situated as we are on both the typhoon and volcanic belts. Global warming will inflict a heavier toll on our development and expose many of our communities to peril.

There is no simple solution to what we might call the Philippine malaise. Together, we need to devise a comprehensive plan that will magnify our strengths and diminish our weaknesses. We need to think and act strategically, ensuring the best possible future for our people. We live in a new century and a new world order. We cannot deal with the new realities using old mindsets, attacking new challenges with old ideas.

At the core of a comprehensive national response to the large challenges that confront our nation are the institutions of governance. These institutions enable us to act collectively and achieve goals we set for ourselves as a nation. Our institutions of governance are weak. Our first challenge is to make them strong, to make them reliable instruments of the national will.

We need to reinvent government, transform it from a set of outmoded institutions that inhibit our potentials into an effective mechanism that enables all of us to seize opportunities, build social wealth and protect the most vulnerable. Government must lead rather than merely administer; help our communities build up human and physical assets rather than consume resources. Our people’s trust in political leadership must be restored and their faith in the possibility of liberating government reinforced.

Central to this task is leadership that is based on merit, authority that is based on clear mandate and governance that is based on accountability. It can only be based on a democracy firmly anchored on a firm sense of civic responsibility and a government constantly aware of its duties as steward of the nation’s assets and guardian of its future.

MY CORE VALUES

I believe that countries can be strong only if their primary institutions are strong. The most basic institution is the family. It is the unit of trust, responsibility and caring that makes possible communities that are supportive, productive and safe. The state must reinforce families and empower communities.

We inhabit this earth by Divine Providence and share it with all its endowments. We must behave responsibly towards nature; ensure its conservation and sustainability. Future generations must not be denied the means to meet their own needs. The destruction so far wrought on the atmosphere, the seas and the forests must be reversed in our lifetime. In everything that we do, we must account for long-term consequences. We are responsible for nurturing future generations.

I believe that human dignity and well-being are best served under conditions of economic freedom. Under such conditions, innovation and productivity are unrestricted. The power of choice is ensured. Opportunity is multiplied. Efficiency is a virtue. Other freedoms that enable individuals and communities to constantly reinvent similarly become possible.

For economic freedom to be realized, the state must provide a reliable legal system that guarantees fair play and a set of policies that encourage competition, enforce contracts and reward excellence. That will be the basis for a social order that rewards skill and hard work, ensuring the best conditions for wealth creation and enabling individuals to be their best.

The most prosperous societies are also those that are most free. These are markets that are fully contestable, thereby discouraging monopolies. They are markets driven by trade, thereby encouraging real productivity. These are markets that are not distorted by subsidies and protectionist policies, therefore encouraging the best standards of efficiency. These are economic regimes where the freedom of choice of analytical consumers is paramount, therefore averting the rise of oligarchies.

I believe in the intrinsic humaneness of open societies. They enable diverse beliefs and practices to co-exist in harmony. They respect freedom of worship and the ecumenism of many faiths. They respect the lifestyle of choices of individuals and encourage the creativity of a people. They guarantee the constant regeneration of our culture and guard against the tyranny of dogma. Human rights and civil liberties can only be truly practiced in an open society.

I believe in the superiority of representative democracy as a form of government. No matter its imperfections, especially as it has evolved in this country, it is still better than all other options of rule. The failings in our practice of representative democracy, we need to remedy by improvements in the system--- not by the rejection of democratic politics. There is no other means to build a better future than through the processes of accountability and consensus that representative democracy fosters.

This is the moral compass by which my leadership will be guided.

MY VISION FOR A DYNAMIC NATION

The Philippines deserves a place among the most vibrant emerging economies of the world. The country does not want for talent and resources. What we lack is the institutional capital that will enable the country to seize historic opportunities before it; a legal and policy framework that will enable us to attract a larger share of investment flows; a bureaucracy that makes doing business easier; a security capability that will finally enable us to end the last yet most protracted armed insurgencies in the world; and an educational system that will produce the highly skilled workforce that will bring us to the cutting edge of the new economy.

Over the medium term, we need to radically alter our economic and investment policies to make them more receptive and responsive to the demands of the new global economy. Bureaucratic reform has been the toughest nut to crack for all previous administrations. It is something that must be urgently done over the next few years if we are to break out from the trap of low growth.

There is no further reason for significant swathes of the country to continue to suffer from marauding insurgencies. Armed conflict has cost many of our communities immensely, not only in terms of loss of life and destruction of property but more so in terms of missed opportunities. In the areas where armed conflict happens, infrastructure could not be built, farms and enterprises have been abandoned, and investments are absent. Already impoverished by the presence of insurgent groups, the communities in the affected areas live in fear of harassment and suffer the extortion of armed gangs. These basic communities must be immediately liberated from fear, violence and poverty so that their participation will be harnessed in the governance of public programs.

Government, in the near term, must make the required strategic investments in closing the infrastructure gap and in quickly raising the quality of our educational system. The first will enhance the domestic and international commerce. The second will multiply our human capital, the driving force of our economic growth.

We are now in the process of detailing a comprehensive plan for state strategic intervention through the first two years of my presidency. One of its critical and immediate elements is a massive low cost housing particularly a medium rise in-city program that will reduce disaster risks and spark urban redevelopment. It is a plan that will require a tremendous amount of political will and public support. It will set the stage for our economy to grow at a rate at par with the most dynamic economies of our region. If we are able to sustain economic growth at about 8%, we will finally be able to reverse the tide of poverty and begin creating a dynamic, resilient and modern economy for the next generation. We will not balk at doing the tough things that need to be done.

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RENEWING THE FILIPINO SPIRIT

Background

As Leaders and Members of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD and as Filipinos seeking to propose, initiate and implement progress and positive change in the Philippines, in order to secure for our country and for our posterity a better future, to improve the well-being of each and every citizen, and to renew the hopes, aspirations and the true goodness and spirit of the Filipino, we propose the following commitments, principles and actions that our Party, its members, and its standard bearers are committed to promote, to fight for, and to advance:

Basic Principles

The Lakas-Kampi-CMD, all its members and party standard bearers, under the guidance of the Supreme Being, stand on the following core beliefs and principles:

Centrist Humanist Agenda
“MAN is made in the image and likeness of God” is the core principle of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD Party and the Centrist Democrat International, from the very start. Politics and government policies should serve the greater good of the greatest number of people in the society. We recognize the family as the basic unit of our society; therefore, all our efforts should be directed towards upholding and protecting to further strengthen the dignity and integrity of the individuals comprising it.

Service as the Essence of Leadership
Service is the essence of political representation. Leadership must therefore be deployed only to ensure that services are secured to improve the well-being of the Filipino citizenry. The progress of nation must be for the greatest benefit of the greatest number of Filipinos. The achievement of better socio-economic and political conditions comes mainly from working hard, from the determination of leaders to imbibe the right values and beliefs. We pledge a return to core moral principles like stewardship, service to others, personal responsibility, shared sacrifice and a fair chance for all – values that emanate from the integrity and optimism of our heroes, founders and preceding generations of Filipinos.

Character and Integrity
A good leader must be of strong character and integrity. More than anything else, he or she must embrace the true essence of public service as a calling. He should also have a clear grasp of the ideals and obligations of the Office one is elected to – which goes beyond the personal self. One must always be guided by what is best for his country or constituents even if this entails great personal sacrifices on his part. In the end, his strength of character and integrity would give him the will to resist temptation. This strength of character and integrity does not come with the office – these traits are nurtured through years of public service.

Transparency and Accountability as Means to Building Public Trust
We commit to continue the good legacies of our forbearers in achieving sustainable economic and social development for our country, and thus, regain OUR high stature in the international community as virtually found on the values of respect and utmost confidence. We must emphasize that the value of “Utang ng Loob” is only about returning goodness with goodness. But when the requested return of kindness is morally wrong, nothing is worth the reputation of any leader that he or she, together with his family and forebears, have painstakingly nurtured over time.

People Empowerment as the Basic Requirement in the Advancement of Democracy
We advocate the principles of a democratic system for which our institutions are built as cornerstones to safeguard the basic rights of our people. We believe in the power of ballot through the capacity of our people to make informed and responsive decisions.

Social Market Economy as Key Strategy Towards Sustainable Development
We believe in private property, competition, free price formation, and freedom of movement of work, capital, goods and services as the key features of a Social Market Economy which aims to improve the social balancing of economic outcomes by way of inclusive and sustainable development policies.

Vision and Goals for the Nation

The Lakas-Kampi-CMD envisions a thriving and dynamic Philippine society that is able to lift its people from deprivation, support the freedoms and responsibilities of a democratic social order, provide the opportunities for advancement in the social ladder, and offer the joys of living in secure, pleasant communities – where poverty is minimized if not totally eradicated, conflicts are resolved peacefully, the national culture and heritage is continually enriched and the government is an effective enabler of the human capacities and basic services.

The Lakas-Kampi-CMD shall therefore exert utmost efforts to provide for a social, economic and political order that promotes greater access to education, human capital and social services, greater investment in enterprises and the creation of good paying jobs, the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and the empowerment of local communities to afford themselves the necessities of rising standards of living and improvement of the well-being of each and every Filipino.

Strategies for Change

In order to advance the positive changes that we seek to institute, the Lakas-Kampi-CMD shall foster and promote:

1. Economic Sustainability and Enhancing Competitiveness
Economic growth is anchored on Wealth Creation, and is the primary objective of our economic platform.

-There must be more income opportunities for the countryside if we are to raise economic growth on a more inclusive and equitable basis. This means that we must improve the government’s support for higher agricultural productivity and for creating more off-farm employment. Under a Lakas-Kampi-CMD administration, we shall pour more resources to programs and projects that will increase farm yields, enhance the shelf life of farm produce, improve marketing capabilities and provide the needed livelihood funding support to our farmers and fisherfolks. We must utilize the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA) and Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Funds (ACEF) to create maximum benefits to our small struggling farmers in the countryside.

-The country’s public sector debt can only be reduced with better fiscal management. We must collect more taxes – not by imposing new ones, but with dramatic improvements in the administration of taxes. Over the long term, the reduction of tax rates, including the Value Added Tax and income tax, will help spur more demand in the domestic economy. However, this must come with a better collection record from the business sectors and may be adopted on a sector by sector basis as the government is able to reduce its fiscal deficit.

-Given the current problems of the economy, the most important priority is to make it grow by encouraging more investments in agriculture, in manufacturing. The resulting increase in production and incomes will definitely help improve our tax effort.

2. Inclusiveness and Social Justice
Health, Education, Housing and the Protection of our Worker shall be on top the party’s social development agenda:

Education – The talents and minds of our countrymen is our greatest resource. Government should do its utmost to pro-actively provide for quality universal primary and secondary education that is accessible to all. Tertiary education must also be supported by way of providing for a massive student loan program to enable all qualified students to fulfill their dreams of gaining more knowledge to improve their life-chances.

Students shall also be given the option to receive technical-vocational education in order to allow them to enter productive employment and contribute at an earlier stage to their families’ earnings and to national production. What needs to be changed is the bias of Filipino parents and Filipino public against technical education. We have to prove that there is value in technical education, technically educated people can lead, and they can be engines of change in the community so as for the younger people to aspire to have technical education.

Health – A universal participative health care system shall serve health and well-being of the Filipinos to afford quality health care for all. This shall be a cooperative undertaking between and among the national government, local government units, public and private institutions and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

Housing – Shelter is one of the most basic needs of people. The prosperity of any society will be measured by its capacity to provide each and every family a roof over their heads. Mass housing should be a mandatory item in the BOI IPP list to ensure automatic access of socialized and low-cost mass housing to fiscal incentives.

OFWs – The protection of our migrant workers actually begins with protecting them at the point of recruitment. We must install more safeguards so that recruiters can provide more assurances of safety for our OFW’s. There should be a more active network of support systems to monitor the conditions of each and every Filipino worker abroad. Government must help establish a system of mutual assistance in every country where Filipino communities are present, to help them cope with emergency problems such as illness, legal issues and repatriation support.

3. Higher Standards of Governance
-The Lakas-Kampi-CMD shall institutionalize the concept of performance audits for each and every agency of the government, including the local government units. The government should adopt the best practices, such as performance score cards and oversight reporting and monitoring in order to exact accountability from national government officials as well as local government executives.

-Transparency and accountability would be stronger with the help of a non-state force – the free media and public opinion. We shall to seek to institute community governance groups and multi-sectoral watchdogsover each agency, district, province and city to as partners in performance-based monitoring and oversight to directly provide information on how well or how badly government projects are implemented.

-To deal with corruption we must have no tolerance for it and give less temptation to people by providing adequate compensation for public sector employees. Government processes should be more transparent and should have strict timelines that are client-oriented.

-At the same time, there must effort to improve the standard of living of government officials, to make rules more reasonable and transparent and to reduce the incentives to corruption by removing the institutional impediments to the discovery of the fruits of corruption, such as bank secrecy and tax confidentiality. We support the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act, and to computerize land registration.

4. Decentralization and Autonomy
-We believe that there is no strong state in the world where basic services are done by the national government. Our goal for the local government units is really to build their capacity to take the lead role in the delivery of public services. The local government units must take the lead in keeping peace in their communities, disaster relief and relief operations, and in shepherding the provision basic health and education services, in community infrastructure as well as in revenue generation.

-The national administration should utilize policy and program funds as a means to create national-local partnerships in the implementation of government programs, by augmenting the limited funds of the LGUs. Good performing local government units, in accordance with the performance governance scorecards, should be rewarded. However, our poorer municipalities that have been newly formed have to function. They should be given preferential attention in terms building up their capacities. Reward is in one setting. Capacity building is in another.

-But the most crucial thing is alignment between national and local government incentives and directions – an alignment which must consider the fact the we are multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, and multi-conditional.

5. Genuine Peace and Development
-The Lakas-Kampi-CMD believes that peace and security is a pre-condition to the onset of sustainable development in the country. By expanding the country’s economic infrastructure, and enhancing peace and security through the 3D strategy of development, dialogue, and deterrence, major investors will be encouraged to invest in industries that will pave the way for sustainable job creation.

-The multi-faceted problems in Mindanao, such as land disputes, religious conflict, specter of terrorism, should be addressed separately in partnership with the local government units. There really should be an honest to goodness disarmament effort for all non-governmental armed groups.

6. Constitutional Amendments
-We recognize that the 1987 Constitution is a reactive constitution, partly with the purpose to remove all vestiges of a dictatorial regime – a transient goal that it has already performed. Nonetheless, it has much room for enhancements to reduce its ambiguities that have hampered the creation of synergies among our government institutions and to remove its restrictive provisions, which have adversely affected the pace of the country’s economic development.

-The Lakas-Kampi-CMD espouses the call for a constitutional convention where various proposals advocacies and issues shall be discussed openly, by delegates freely chosen by the people. This convention shall, among others:

tackle the need to evolve whole concept of local autonomy with the end in view of increasing the capacity of the LGUs to serve the people, granting the flexibility for Congress to decide on increasing to regional and local autonomy, such as the creation of a separate Palawan region on its own.
review the present structure of government with the end in view of moving towards a presidential unicameral system, where members of the cabinet can be taken from the assembly or the congress.
amend the overly restrictive economic provisions not merely for foreign investment but also for domestic investment. The proposal to allow foreigners to own land in the country must be tempered by limitations as to the size of the lands they can own for residential as well as industrial purposes and only during the course of their doing business here. Certain types of land ownership should be acceptable such as commercial, industrial, tourist and residential lands above certain values. Agricultural lands and low cost housing should not be adversely affected.
-We all recognize that the 1987 Constitution is not perfect. Charter change should not be assailed before it even begins. That being said, it is also the responsibility of our political leaders to ensure that our people will not cast any doubt about possible personal gains on the part of those conducting the process. If we must go through it, we should: (1) proceed early in the term of the new administration, (2) use the least controversial mode of a constitutional convention, and (3) make sure that each amendment shall be itemized in the ensuing referendum process.

Priority Policy and Legislative Agenda

Our policy agenda covers the above thrusts and strategies for change, and the will to continue to the good programs of the current administration in the areas of social and economic reform, to enhance the country’s competitiveness as an investment location and as tourist destination, to reduce inefficiencies in the operations of the government, to foster stewardship of the environment and our natural wealth, and to remove the practices and processes in every government agency that are unfavorable to the citizenry at large. The following shall comprise our initial policy and legislative agenda, to wit:

A. SOCIAL POLICY AGENDA
Universal Participative Health Care

To provide 100% health care for the Philippine population, especially for the poorest among our poor, we should establish a universal participative health care system that shall be cooperatively undertaken between and among local and national government, public and private institutions and the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). The program may adopt the principles of micro-insurance, which some companies and non-governmental organizations are already offering on a limited scale. This should provide the widest health insurance coverage to all our people at the least cost.

Improving Public Health Services

In order to remedy the continuing deterioration of our health delivery systems, we shall rationalize our regional hospital system and make private ventures into health care attractive to investors. In the early 1990s, public hospitals were hastily devolved to local governments. However, local governments were not ready to operate public hospitals and had neither the financial means nor the trained personnel to deliver health services. The hospitals were reverted to the national government but large portions of their budgets were devolved to local governments. The Health Department had little means to improve medical services.

Basic Education Sector Reform

We will invest heavily in the knowledge and education of our young, to make them capable and responsible players in an evolving economy as productive workers or as entrepreneurs. We shall work to close the classroom deficit, reduce the teacher to pupil ration in public schools and support the continuous improvements of all schools, enhance teacher quality, and raise learning outcomes by aligning our curriculum design with those of the rest of the world. We will support the development of educational kits that may be digitally delivered to all public schools to build a uniform base of quality learning for our children. These shall involve adopting competency-based standards for hiring and deployment of teachers, further developing the basic education curriculum linked to desired learning outcomes, a multi-year budget format for basic education, school based management wherein every school would come up with their specific school improvement plans with the active involvement of local stakeholders, among others.

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)

The Lakas-Kampi-CMD initiated the implementation of the 4P’s program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in order to ensure that no poor child’s education gets left behind because of extreme poverty. The only way pupils and their families can get out of poverty is by making them productive agents and contributors to the national economy.

Student Loan Program

We will pursue the establishment of a student loan mechanism to help poor but deserving individuals enter into college and finish their education. This program will provide our high school graduates the opportunity to study in college with the least worries of repaying its financial obligations right away. This provides them the vehicle to study with convenience, and without the burden of discontinuing studies in the middle of tertiary education because of lack of finances. This will allow our young people to repay their loans once they already have a job, through their SSS contributions. Students who are interested in this program must apply for an SSS number, as an assurance from our government’s part that they will be repaying their loans. Complementary to this, scholarships shall be given to important yet unpopular courses that the country needs in development, such as international relations, public policy and planning and highly specialized science courses.

Technical and Vocational Trainings

The Lakas Kampi CMD shall vigorously pursue the expansion of technical and vocational education in order to address the requirements of local industries as well as the demand of employers overseas for improved technical skills. This will enhance industrial productivity within the domestic economy and boost the competitiveness of Filipino workers abroad. The current Jobs-directed Scholarship Program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) aims to extend financial assistance thru scholarship grants to poor but deserving students to pursue TVET and equip them with skills for wage employment, self-employment and/or entrepreneurship. It will allow eligible TVET providers to participate in the grant system for courses responsive to the needs of the communities in terms of job generation and employment facilitation.

Protection of Migrant Workers

We shall pursue a balanced approach towards overseas employment by seeking to provide adequate job opportunities in the country while at the same time aiming to protect those who able to acquire overseas jobs. The protection of our migrant workers actually begins with protecting them at the point of recruitment. We shall seek to develop and tap into the entrepreneurial potential of the people within the country to provide more income opportunities to returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). We must install more safeguards so that recruiters can provide more assurances of safety for our OFW’s. There should be a more active network of support systems to monitor the conditions of each and every Filipino worker abroad. Government must help establish a system of mutual assistance in every country where Filipino communities are present, to help them cope with emergency problems such as illness, legal issues and repatriation support.

B. HASTENING ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
Creating Agri-Entrepreneurs

Our agriculture has remained largely stagnant because of sheer neglect. Most of our farmers have been using 19th century technology with little success in improving their yields and harvests. We will refocus agriculture and agrarian reform support systems towards improving farm productivity, more trainings on better farm technology, improving access to credit, more post harvest facilities and support for farm marketing that to ensure that the gains of farming will be most concentrated on the farmers. The only way to liberate the rural poor is from misery to create a new generation of farmer-entrepreneurs armed with the new knowledge that our own scientists and technicians have developed over the last few decades, who can raise the productive potential of every unit of land.

Tapping OFW Remittances for Direct Investments

Our financial and capital markets must likewise adopt more innovative responses to address the low savings rate in our country. Our overseas workers send back to us around $18 billion dollars yearly – but we have yet to harness these as job-creating investments. If we must double the level of investments within the economy, we must aim to convert even just ten percent of this immense wealth into our direct productive investments.

Support for Macro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

Our government must also look into ways of providing financial and technical support for Macro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), in terms of loan grants and the upgrading of equipment and machinery. All in all, research must be directed towards finding ways for the government to minimize bureaucratic obstacles and ownership restrictions, provide adequate utility supplies, and allow for quick and easy access to international markets geared towards enticing local and foreign investors to engage in manufacturing and production in the country.

Competition Policy

We must establish a comprehensive competition policy that diffuses the control of a few players over much of the economic assets in the country. We shall encourage private investments particularly in capital-intensive industries. This policy should properly define monopolies and oligopolies and anti-competitive behavior, clarify penalties and sanctions and establish a regulatory body that can efficiently implement the competition policy. Considering the intricacies innate in developing a competition policy, government must start the process.

Infrastructure Development

The lack of infrastructure has been a major constraint in attracting more investments. Years of underinvestment and poor maintenance has resulted in inadequate in transport facilities such as airports, ports and shipping, railways. The Lakas Kampi CMD shall seek to enhance the country’s system of infrastructures by requiring the integration and convergence of various transport networks to develop intermodal systems that can support efficient transport of people and goods across regions and across the major island groups. We intend to encourage LGUs to plan together for their regional development for which they should be able to access Official Development Assistance funds. It is important that infrastructure in the Philippines has to keep pace with our goal of hastening the growth of the economy.

Public-Private Partnerships in Infrastructure

Given its very narrow fiscal space, the national government is only able to finance an infrastructure spending of 2-3% of GDP, compared to the 7% that the World Bank suggests for developing nations. The Lakas Kampi CMD shall promote public-private partnerships in infrastructure build up, especially in critical growth areas and in helping to capacitate lagging regions and provinces. We will encourage Build-Operate-Transfer projects to be implemented at the local level, provided that these are not redundant and they will complement inter-regional integration.

Inter-Island Logistical System

We shall continue expanding the Strong Republic Nautical Highway system initiated during a Lakas Kampi CMD administration. This has been a most solid response to the uneven development of the island economies, where much of the rural poverty happens because they are cut off from the mainstream of commerce. Unless we rapidly develop our inter-island logistical system, we will remain an economy with wide regional disparities, which create second-generation problems such as massive internal migration leading to the expansion of the urban poor, insurgency and separatism, continued economic marginalization of cultural communities. There is also a need to further liberalize our shipping, ports, air transportation and cargo service, and telecommunication services.

One Town, One Project

Complementing the opportunities opened by the nautical highway system is the One Town, One Product program initiated by the Department of Trade. This program has the potential of quickly creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in small communities. We will expand financing programs for micro, small and medium industries and link these enterprises with the rapidly modernizing retail sector. This will ensure a pattern of development that creates jobs, brings the marginal communities to the mainstream and upgrade the entrepreneurial skills of the population.

Improving Revenue Administration

We will continue to reform our taxation in order to achieve a broader tax base that will enable us to lower tax rates to match global benchmarks. We push for reforms in our tax administration and establish more efficient systems and procedures and benchmarking of tax collection. We shall vigorously implement the attrition system on revenue generating agencies, which provides for the transfer or severance fromgovernment service for failure to meet collection targets, provision of performance standards and review mechanisms and provision of incentivesto our performing collection agency.

Rationalization of fiscal incentives

We shall reform the current system of fiscal incentives in the country which is complicated, fragmented, inefficient, and costly in administrative and revenue terms. The vulnerability of the tax incentive system to syndicated crimes of graft and corruption has resulted to substantial revenue losses and distortions in resource allocation. Aside from the additional revenues that it will generate, rationalizing the current fiscal incentives structure is ultimately concerned with implementing an incentive system that is easy to manage, administer, and monitor, which will encourage a healthy business environment in our country.

Housing

The prosperity of any society will be measured by its capacity to provide each and every family a roof over their heads. Mass housing shall be made a mandatory item in the BOI IPP list to ensure automatic access of socialized and low-cost mass housing to fiscal incentives. Shelter is one of the most basic needs of people. We will also encourage the growth of rental and lease-to-own housing projects by providing them adequate credit flows and incentives.

Resettlement of Urban Poor

The issue with most of our urban poor is the lack of opportunities for housing security. They reside on lands owned by other people or by the state. We shall institute a program of urban renewal that will provide for medium rise housing, to be funded with ODA funds. This will allow for the recovery of 75% of the occupied areas for commercial and other productive use, without driving current occupants away to far flung localities. The on-going NHA projects show that medium rise housing units are very affordable (P2500 per month) payable over 25-30 years. The recovered lands can be utilized for productive economic projects that could eventually employ the medium rise housing beneficiaries.

Mining and Quarrying

As a matter of national policy, we should be able to cautiously utilize these resources to hasten the development of the economy and the reduction of poverty in the country. However, mining projects must respect the will of the local communities and provinces where they are situated. Sustainable development is a major balancing act which must involve local communities in the decision making processes, especially in the extraction of our natural resources. The issues over local revenue shares, and the disposal and processing of pollutants and tailings, which could affect the social acceptability of such projects, must be addressed. Mining is a major contributor to the growth of our economy because the Philippines is rich in mineral resources such as natural gas, gold, nickel, copper, chromites as well as non-metallic elements. The industry employs over a hundred thousand workers and has the potential to absorb much more. But we have yet to make a dent on the total potential of our mineral resources which runs in the trillions of dollars.

C. IMPROVING GOVERNANCE
Anti-Red Tape

We will institute measures to simplify all government systems and procedures from the national government departments down to the local government units. Information materials on the procedural guidelines and timelines shall be explicitly posted in every office where transactions are made. All heads of agencies as well as LGUs shall be held accountable for the implementation of this policy.

Reengineering the Bureaucracy

We will ask Congress to enact a 3-year program to reengineer the bureaucracy that at the same time provides for incentives and safeguards for the welfare of our good civil servants. The mandates of each and every government agency shall be reviewed. All government agencies and/or units within agencies must be able to justify their existence in terms of the benefits and outcomes of their services to their respective clients. Employees in non-essential offices and units shall be subjected to an early retirement program but with attractive benefits, and training and assistance for alternative livelihood options, including possible service outsourcing contracts with the agencies where they used to work.

National-Local Coordination on Agency Programs

We shall re-design the way national agencies work so that their services do not stop at the regional levels – which have little perceptible impact to our local communities. We will encourage national-local partnerships for the implementation of national programs and policies. We will encourage national government will agencies to design their service delivery programs to complement LGU efforts on similar services and to augment the meager resources of the LGUs.

Monitoring and Oversight

Special response teams parallel to every government department shall be established to receive monitoring reports, complaints and discreet reports on any acts of graft and corruption. We shall also encourage vigilance among our people in monitoring the way government agencies are implementing the various government programs.

Use of Information Technologies

We will vigorously pursue e-governance to quickly enhance efficiency in the public sector, increase transparency, widen citizen access to services and ensure accountability. The promise of new technologies is immense. We must bring these technologies to bear on our systems of governance — from upgrading the capacities of our local governments to making our national government more responsive to all constituencies.

Disaster Response

We support the enactment of a National Disaster Law that would provide greater flexibility to local government units in disaster risk management, allowing the use of more than the current limits (5% of IRA), not just for disaster response but also for disaster preparedness. This will enable Local Government Units to purchase more logistics in terms of rubber boats, trucks and all other live-support and life-saving mechanisms, even before calamities arrive. More training should be conducted, especially at the local level in terms of coordination, communications, and actual rescue and relief operations. We must also designate specific open elevated areas as disaster evacuation points other than school buildings. We will ask our local government units as well as civic organizations to establish joint action plans for securing their communities and providing needed materials and supplies. At the national level, we shall channel resources to improve the forecasting capabilities of our weather and geological agencies and also to establish more detailed geo-hazard mapping to enhance our disaster preparedness.

Priority Development Assistance Funds

The Priority Development Assistance Funds of legislators is actually a form of equalization in the geographic distribution of government resources. The issue arising from these funds is really in the way the projects are chosen and implemented. However, there is a need for greater transparency in this regard. We shall impose the condition that projects and programs to be funded under the PDAF should be the result of public consultations and town hall meetings conducted with the LGUs and civil society.

D. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
Climate Change and Global Warming / Reforestation

The Philippines can best contribute to anti-climate change efforts by way of a massive reforestation program, which can help absorb significant amounts of greenhouse gasses. The first order of business is to demarcate the forest lines of the country with visible boundaries on the ground and use assisted natural regeneration (ANR) methods to re-vegetate our forests. A Lakas Kampi CMD administration shall set aside at the least P 5 billion every year for forest dwelling communities that will provide regular income support for families in forestry cooperatives. We shall leverage these projects against the carbon funds to be able to provide better community services to the beneficiaries. We shall also encourage urban informal settlers to be trained and be part of reforestation program because this could give them a better alternative to improving their families’ futures as compared to remaining in blighted urban conditions.

Biofuels

We support the development of alternative sources of energy, especially because the Philippine economy is highly dependent on fuel imports. The creation of a strong biofuels industry would not only provide dollar savings from imported fuels, but also thousands of new jobs not only in the cities but more importantly in the country-sides. Brazil has done this with their highly successful bio-ethanol program. We have plenty of corn and sugar lands that can provide the needed inputs for biofuels. We shall also develop jathropa as an alternative source of fuel that can provide jobs for our upland communities.

Solid Waste Management

At the policy level, the Solid Waste Act has the clear mandate for solid waste management, which includes handling and final disposal of hazardous wastes. We must encourage as far as possible the recycling of waste materials. LGUs must ensure that at their level, the support system in terms of collection, recycling and disposal are made available. Waste management is principally local government concern but it really begins in every home. We shall support more trainings and information drives on waste management to inculcate the philosophy that every citizen has an obligation to help, especially in waste segregation and composting. We shall also spearhead Environmental Compliance Audits with the support of local communities, civil society, professionals as well as college students.

E. PEOPLE EMPOWERMENT
Peace and Order

Peace and order is a pre-requisite to any attempt at economic and socio-cultural development in any society. We need to instill a culture of peace among our people. The Lakas Kampi CMD is set pursue peace and order founded on the primacy of the Philippine constitution, which the Philippine government must uphold at all times. There must always be government presence in the various conflict areas not only to our protect villages but as a deterrent to any potential aggression on the part of insurgents and separatists.

Illegal Fishing

We all recognize that our fisher-folk are among the poorest and most neglected sectors in the countryside. With little government support, they use very simple boats that allow them to fish not far from the shores. Often, they employ unsound and unsustainable practices such as blasting and poisoning – which have destroyed much of the country’s coastal resources, and which in turn further reduced their daily catch. We shall provide them better options by way of a new program for cooperative fishing, providing them village refrigeration, and assisting them to build their own marketing networks.

Illegal Drugs

Government must enlist the cooperation of every community in the fight against illegal drugs. Drug trafficking has become a very serious problem in the Philippines. Reports show that the street value of illegal drugs has reached tens of billions of pesos. This means that there is now a proliferation of this problem in many parts of the country. We must review the strategies of law enforcement agencies with respect to this malaise, especially in the areas of intelligence, deterrence and full prosecution of drug offenders. The current programs of law enforcement agencies may no longer be adequate or their strategies already compromised.

For all of these goals and action commitments, we seek the support of the Filipino electorate.

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