Need for Total reform prompts formation of New Political party
‘IT has now become necessary for ordinary citizens to become involved in national political affairs.”
The clear continuing failure of the past and present governments to push the economic and political development of the Philippines, particularly their inability to reduce substantially the present extensive spread of poverty, spurred a concerned group of ordinary citizens to form their own political party.
The party, Buklod, was organized and its registration was approved by the Commission on Elections in 2009. Buklod’s formation was spearheaded by the founder of top auditing firm, Punongbayan & Araullo, Benjamin Punongbayan.
The new national political party aims to provide an alternative to the current breed of ineffective and self-interest-motivated political leaders, who are trapped in a dysfunctional system and practices, in leading the country to a new thrust to seek to achieve the long-sought aspirations of the Filipino people for a much better life.
Buklod, the vernacular for Union, aims to boldly thrust the Philippines through large-scale reforms hinged on well- formulated programs which are enshrined in a party document called Buklod Objectives and Beliefs.
The primary focus of these reforms is eradication of poverty. Finding the solution to this long-term problem has now become very urgent. Poverty still remains unacceptably extensive.
According to the latest SWS survey, more than 50 percent of Filipino families rated themselves poor.
Buklod aims to provide direct state intervention to deal with this problem in two major ways. One is to provide reasonable assurance that the children of poor parents who almost always were unable to complete basic education to finish high school and thereby break the cycle of poverty. Buklod plans to do this by providing free meals and transportation to children of poor parents under the poverty threshold and using moral suasion to parents to keep their children in school using available means, including the barangay system.
The other major thrust is to provide those families under the poverty threshold a piece of land for free where they can build a home ala Gawad Kalinga with government financial assistance. The party considers the adoption of this public policy as a modest form of restitution to the current economically poor descendants of our ancestors who were dispossessed of the use of the land during the Spanish conquest and administration. Buklod’s calculations indicate that this program is affordable and doable over a reasonable period of time.
Punongbayan said that Buklod’s program of government also covers other major thrusts relating to the increasing employment and sustaining high economic growth. These include embarking on a more engaged and intensive development of agriculture, small businesses and tourism; identifying and developing the economic activities that the Philippines and Filipinos can do best; reduction of the cost of doing business; developing a blueprint for long-term infrastructure development, particularly in all forms of transportation, including those that will connect the country’s major islands.
On political development, Buklod’s chairman indicated that the party will advocate and favor to pass laws relating to anti-dynasty, freedom of information, wider decentralization of government services to the local governments and the reallocation of government funds for that purpose and elimination of the pork-barrel system in whatever form.
Buklod is also advocating stricter implementation of environmental laws for the benefit of future generations of Filipinos.