It is the principal objective of the Party and its members to strive to build a strong and economically developed Philippines that will:
- Foster strong love of country and unity among all its people, regardless of ethnic background, economic standing or religious belief.
- Provide fairness and justice to all and promote and provide equitable distribution of wealth to all citizens by giving them equal opportunities to succeed in life and enjoy the happiness that each Filipino truly deserves.
- Use the country’s strength to become a leader among the nations of the world to effectively and adequately protect the country’s national interests and the welfare of its people.
To achieve this primary objective, the Party and its members shall pursue and implement their objectives and beliefs, as narrated in this document, which form the basis by which the Party is founded.
For the past 60 years, the Philippines has never been able to fully realize its potential. Its past and present leaders tried to improve the country’s conditions, but unfortunately until now they have not achieved any significant success. While it can be argued that the present condition of the country was brought about by many factors, the Party believes that the first step that needs to be taken after these long years of trying and waiting is to provide a new set of faces that will lead this country. The present leaders are already set in their ways. They appear to be captives of practices that have been handed down from one generation of leaders to another, and from which these leaders apparently can no longer get away from.
For this reason, the membership of the Party excludes all national and local officials who were elected and those who were appointed in the Executive Department in the past. This membership policy does not in any way intend to cast aspersion on the integrity and character of these elected and appointed officials. It merely manifests the Party’s belief that the country needs a completely new set of leaders so that these leaders can embark on the necessary and important reforms in public governance and pursue the economic improvement of all the Filipino people quickly and successfully.
The Party, however, recognizes that some of these elected and appointed officials may share the beliefs and ideals of the Party and have carried on an exemplary political life. On a case to case basis and upon proper evaluation, any such person may be invited by the Central Committee, acting as a whole, to be a member of the Party.
The Party’s primary goal is the substantial eradication, if not complete elimination, of poverty that presently affects a great number of the Filipino people.
While it is recognized that general economic growth may alleviate poverty, it is the Party’s aim to put the goal of poverty eradication into primary focus and, for this purpose, the Party shall seek to make the appropriate organizational changes in the Executive Department and to give priority in allocating funds for this major goal. More specifically, the Party advocates creating a Department of Poverty Alleviation (or a more appropriate name). All agencies of government whose activities currently relate to the poor and the eradication of poverty will be collapsed into this department. More functions will be added, as necessary, to achieve this Department’s objectives. To start with, all government funds that cover activities that do not serve any important purpose or that can be dispensed with will be reallocated to this Department. In broad terms, the Party shall approach poverty eradication in the following manner:
In general, formulate and implement policies and measures that will promote high, sustained economic growth that will open more employment opportunities for Filipino labor and narrow the present wide gap between rich and poor.
Establish and carry out the overriding principle that the poor must help themselves and change the attitude that was fostered among them of asking and waiting for dole-outs. The Government’s role is to provide assistance to enable the poor to discover and develop their own strengths and use their own resources to help themselves.
Immediately contain the spread of illegal dwellings or squatting and start providing the homeless and squatters with decent and affordable homes by adopting the following programs:
− The first order of business is to identify and locate those Filipinos who are living in sub-human conditions (those living under the bridges and similar abode) and relocate them immediately to a properly developed area where they will be provided decent shelter, education in primary and secondary schools, personal care and hygiene, livelihood activities and training for employable skills. At the same time, the places that will be vacated must be sealed so that no one will ever live there again.
− If not obtainable from the last census, a special and separate census shall be taken of all squatters in the country to clearly establish the magnitude of this problem.
− With the help of local governments, no additional squatting will be allowed in these identified locations.
− Develop and execute a program that resettles the identified squatters or allows them to obtain property rights to their existing dwellings, but only after the adoption of a decent housing development plan – one that shall be followed when making improvements and reconstructions in the future – for the location of these dwellings.
− The vacated areas shall be sealed, transferred for development, or planted with trees so that they will not be used again for squatting.
− In providing assistance to the additional people who will become homeless, a program will be developed that will require these Filipinos to register in their respective province or city. These emerging homeless people will be given priority in resettlement a la “Gawad Kalinga” so that they do not add to the squatting problem. In the meantime, they will be asked to stay where they are presently located.
− Study and develop an affordable program where a People Development Officer (PDO) will be assigned to each identified urban and rural poor area. With assistance from the local governments, these PDOs will manage the implementation of the squatting containment and resettlement programs described above and provide assistance to the community to which they are assigned with regard to livelihood activities, compulsory attendance by children in school, access to water and electricity, sanitation, hygiene, access to health care, cleanliness, and other activities that will improve the living condition in the community.
Encourage and motivate the parents to keep their children in school and finish primary and secondary education to give these children better opportunities in life.
These programs are expected to gradually reduce poverty in this country and bring it to the barest minimum over time.
- It is expected that to execute these programs, a huge amount of money will be needed over time. This should not deter the party from starting these programs, which will allow the country to effectively deal with the poverty problem and provide measures of success on a continuing basis. The Party believes that with proper and adequate planning and expert execution, these programs can be developed and carried out successfully.
The enforcement of the land reform law shall be accelerated and executed fairly.
The Party believes that agrarian reform is a policy that relates to the poor. For this reason, the present Department of Agrarian Reform shall be collapsed into the proposed Department of Poverty Alleviation so that proper coordination and faster implementation can be made in providing assistance to the farmer, who acquires a piece of land, in seeking a viable livelihood.
The beneficiaries of land reform shall be given control over the use of the land provided to them. The Party rejects the currently allowed alternative of giving to the farmers shares of stock of corporations that have become owners of the undivided land. This type of agrarian reform does not embrace the spirit of the land reform program, which is to give the farmer ownership and control over the land. With proper amendments in the existing law, the land reform cases previously dealt with in this form shall be unwound and fair compensation given to the original owners of the land.
The Party believes that the citizens must be reminded that the proper enforcement of land reform law is necessary to create a successful Philippine nation that will eventually provide benefits and a better life to all – to the previous landless and to the former landowners.
As part of the overall strategy to alleviate poverty, agricultural development shall be intensified and pursued with vigor.
There have been many studies done and measures taken in the past to develop agriculture, but the implementation has so far not produced the desired results. These studies and measures shall be reviewed and evaluated to find out where the problems lie. A long-term revised overall plan shall be developed and timelines established for their implementation.
The Party believes that a high standard of education is extremely necessary for the Philippines to be able to compete in a world that is increasingly becoming intertwined and connected as one whole living, as well as market, place. It is therefore urgently necessary for the country to improve its educational system. For this purpose, the Party supports the following programs for improvement:
Increase the period of elementary and high school education from the present 10 years to 12 years to align the length of schooling with what is universally practiced. An adequate plan shall be developed to implement this program in an orderly and affordable way.
Like elementary education, make high school education compulsory. A mechanism shall be established to enforce this policy.
Recognizing that the poor are unable to keep their children in school because of lack of money:
− provide free breakfast, lunch or both, as necessary, in at least the elementary school level, in all the poor areas in the country.
− require the local government to provide transportation for school children to and from school, at least at the elementary school level.
− establish a policy for schools not to require the students to buy unnecessary things, like school uniforms, etc.
Raise the standards of education for teachers.
Provide remedial training for teachers with low performance, or remove them from the service.
Improve the compensation of teachers to make the teaching profession more attractive.
Provide adequate facilities for all elementary and high schools.
Provide each school access to the internet and start providing computers to each elementary and high school, regardless of location.
Review and improve the curriculum of elementary and high school education and give emphasis to, among others:
− providing more effective education to foster love of country and the Filipino people
− developing better reading, writing and computing skills
− providing basic knowledge in the use of information technology
In college education, restrict the entry to overcrowded professions like accounting and law by imposing quotas, and encourage entry to professions and skills development programs that produce professionals the country needs more of, like engineers, doctors, scientists, entrepreneurs and information technology professionals.
The Party recognizes that education is an important equalizer that must be provided to the poor. Those among the poor who have the aptitude for further studies must therefore be given access to higher education through scholarships, loan money, or some other means. This is a matter that requires serious study and for which the Party shall develop a comprehensive and affordable program.
The Party also recognizes that the foregoing programs require large sums of money. In the allocation of funds and resources, education shall be given priority after poverty alleviation.
A universal health care program shall be established to provide the poor, especially the young and the elderly, access to medical care and hospitalization. Even before such program is established, the state shall provide proper nutrition to the infant children of the poor and pay for the treatment of rare diseases and deformities, like cleft palate, among the poor under properly-controlled but uncomplicated systems.
Health care is another equalizer to which the poor shall be given access.
The Party believes in and adheres to a free economic system where prices and economic rewards and penalties are determined by market forces through healthy competition. The Government’s role is limited to providing and enforcing rules of proper conduct and acting as arbiter and decision maker in case of conflicts. In performing its role, the Government must endeavor to promote a fair distribution of economic wealth. Among the Party’s specific economic advocacies and programs are:
Promotion of sustained high level of investments, local and foreign. The Party believes that this goal can be achieved over the long-term by fostering good public governance and maintaining peace and order. These two major goals are exactly the same goals of the Party that are evident in the various specific objectives and beliefs laid down by the Party in this document.
Promotion of high level of employment. This can be achieved by making continuous efforts to stimulate the economy and promote investments. The Party recognizes that this by itself is one complex area and there are many pieces that need to be put together. Adequate attention and evaluation shall be given to every important piece. One important consideration, and for which the labor sector shall be consulted, is lifting the minimum wage law requirement in the rural areas. Such policy may stimulate more economic activities and create more employment in the rural areas and may lead initially to lowering of prices, particularly in agricultural products, and therefore provide the rural workers more purchasing power.
In the present globalized world, the country needs to compete successfully with the rest of the world. The Party recognizes that the country can not compete in every activity. The country must select the activities that the Filipino people can be good at and strive to excel in these activities. The Party shall develop a top level economic program that will identify these activities and then determine the necessary infrastructure development, preferred geographical location, education and training that will maximize the Filipino people’s potential for success in these activities. The appropriate policies shall be developed in this connection and shall be based on a total approach and not on a scattered and disconnected basis. As envisioned, the economic program shall be designed based on the economic development needs of each region, province or city and the corresponding plans shall be cascaded down to these levels.
It is recognized that the cost of doing business in the Philippines is comparatively higher than most of our neighbors. The significant costs shall be identified and policies formulated to try to bring down these costs wherever possible. It is very important for the country to be competitive in the global market.
Exporting activities shall be further promoted. A key factor for success is the quality of goods that the country exports, including agricultural products. The Government shall develop a policy requiring local exporters to promulgate quality control standards and procedures in their own shops that shall be subject to periodic evaluation and review by the appropriate government agency.
The Party adheres to a regime of low inflation rate, down to the lowest rate possible. Without compromising the independence of the Bangko Sentral, this policy shall be communicated and discussed with the Bangko Sentral for appropriate implementation.
It is the Party’s belief that healthy competition must always be fostered and promoted in the Philippine market. For this reason, the Government shall install a Fair Trade agency that will provide appropriate regulation to ensure just competition in the market place. Practices such as monopoly, cartel, and price fixing shall be eradicated and commissions of such unfair and uncompetitive practices shall be appropriately penalized.
- The Party is dedicated to the development of a robust capital market as an important element in economic development. The capital market must provide an effective alternative and complementation to bank lending in stimulating investments. For this reason, the Government shall endeavor to further strengthen the Securities and Exchange Commission and make it an effective regulator of the capital market by imposing and maintaining fair trading in the market. In addition, the Government shall also take steps to accelerate the transfer of control of the Philippine Stock Exchange from the stock brokers to the investing public to eliminate the conflict of interest that presently exists in the Exchange.
All existing infrastructure development plans shall be reviewed and the following plans for the entire country developed:
Long-term broad plans
More detailed medium-term plans
The long-term broad plans shall provide an expansive blueprint for development relating to irrigation systems, national highways, railways, bridges, ports, airports and other infrastructures. From these broad plans, more detailed medium-term plans shall be developed for those projects that are feasible for the duration of the selected medium-term period. These medium-term plans shall embody a prioritization of the broad plans established on the basis of the estimated benefits that the projects would provide for the greater number of the Filipino people, in general, and for the development of the poorer areas of the country, in particular. Priority shall be given to the latter.
The infrastructure development plans shall include development plans for each region, province and city. These plans shall be developed in consultation with the local government units (LGUs) and shall relate clearly to the economic development programs referred to elsewhere in this document.
To be included in these plans are long-term national transportation programs, as summarized below:
A long-term National Highways Program shall be developed similar to the Eisenhower Program that was initiated in the U.S. in the 1950’s which, as carried out, improved significantly the U.S. national economic productivity. This National Highways Program shall include:
− Paved roads that will connect each community, particularly farming community, to the main provincial highway.
− Provincial highways that will connect all the towns in each province.
− National highways that will connect all the provinces in each island.
− Trans-Philippine highways that will cover substantially all parts of the country by connecting adjacent islands to the extent possible. Such connections shall include bridges and ferry systems where such connections are economically feasible.
Similarly, a long-term National Railways Programs shall be established for each major island, particularly for the transport of goods. Priority shall be given to Mindanao.
Shipping policies shall be thoroughly reviewed and decisions made to promote safer shipping, encourage better competition, and bring down shipping cost for both passengers and cargo.
- Consideration shall be given to providing subsidies in appropriate form, amount and duration, to private airlines to encourage them to schedule flights to destinations that are not currently serviced by airlines.
The Party believes that a comprehensive review of the tax system must be made. The tax system must be used to spur economic progress. In this review, the following significant matters shall be considered:
Laws and regulations that tend to inhibit, discourage, or slow down economic activities shall be identified and amended accordingly.
Tax rates shall be reduced in areas where doing so will generate more economic activities and redound to greater tax collection.
Complexities in compliance with tax laws and regulations shall be identified and simplified.
The tax laws and regulations shall be enforced strictly. Citizens who evade paying their taxes shall be made accountable and penalized appropriately. The Party shall evaluate the ability of the existing tax collection agencies to fully enforce the rules and regulations for tax collection. More effective collection processes and procedures shall be introduced; consideration shall be given to hiring third parties if doing so will provide better results. If ultimately deemed necessary, the existing collection agencies shall be replaced.
The Party adheres to a policy of achieving a balanced budget. The Party, however, believes that at times deficit spending must be employed to spur the growth of the national economy, especially at times when it becomes necessary to pursue large-scale infrastructure development. In such cases, the resulting annual deficit shall be limited to a reasonable level and deficit spending shall not be resorted to on a continuing basis for a long period of time.
The Party recognizes the pervasive adverse effects of continued deficit spending and believes that it must be avoided at most times and be limited to reasonable levels when deficit spending becomes unavoidable.
The Party also believes that a proper and responsible balancing of expected revenue and budgeted expenditures shall be observed at all times.
Substantial funds are needed for poverty alleviation, education and infrastructure development to get the economy growing at reasonably high rates on a sustained basis. However, a very large amount of funds are trapped in annual debt service. To spur economic growth immediately and to achieve higher annual rates of growth, a substantial amount of these trapped funds must be freed and used to fuel wide economic development. For this reason, the Party believes that the terms of the outstanding debt must be renegotiated to substantially reduce the amount of annual debt service. It must be emphasized, however, that the Party also strongly believes that the country must not renege on its foreign debt. The country must continue to service the debt on the basis of existing terms until such terms are amended on a mutually acceptable basis.
The Party recognizes that for the creditors to even agree to sit down for a renegotiation, the country should provide clear indications that the amount that will be freed would be put to good use and that the country would be in a much better shape in the near term. The Party shall endeavor to put together a viable economic program covering the near future to precisely show such plans and expectations and convince the creditors that they are not taking a bigger risk.
The Party shall prioritize the renegotiation of the foreign debt in its economic agenda.
The Party believes that achieving economic progress that benefits all the people within reasonable time requires slowing down population growth. For this reason, the Party shall develop a population management policy that will be articulated nationwide. This population management policy shall not be made compulsory. Compliance shall be voluntary and shall depend upon each person’s beliefs. The Party, however, advocates providing those who would like to practice population management easy access to the means of doing so at affordable prices.
As part of this population management policy, the Party shall be making a recommendation to the Filipino people of a goal of 2 to 3 children for each mother.
The country is presently beset by two debilitating insurgencies – the NPA and MILF conflicts that have been going on for many years. It is a sad condition. But no economic progress for the country as a whole can be sustained without finding solutions to these conflicts.
The Party recognizes that these conflicts were primarily brought about by long-standing and widespread poverty. And to the extent that the economy improves and the improvement benefits the poor, these conflicts could be reduced to some degree. However, such economic improvement can not be sustained without containing these insurgencies. It is therefore important that while efforts are made to achieve economic progress, solutions must also be found to address the present NPA and MILF conflicts.
The Party adheres to the policy of finding peaceful solutions to these conflicts. It is hoped that as the Party is able to achieve initial successes in its economic agenda, the NPA and MILF may be motivated to hasten the conclusion of peaceful negotiations. The Party is open to any workable political solutions, but it cannot accept the dismemberment of the nation as a solution.
The Party shall listen and have an open mind to any proposals, but the solutions shall be beneficial to the entire Filipino nation.
The Party believes that the present form of government is not necessarily the cause of the country’s past and present problems, although the Party also believes that there is probably another form of government that can more effectively take the country to faster and sustained political and economic development. Changing the form of government now, however, is not the immediate solution. The immediate solution is good public governance. This can be accomplished by having the country governed by a cohesive political force whose members share the same vision and beliefs in improving the life of the people and who are willing to work hard together to get things moving in the right direction. This solidarity is what the founder of the Party aims to achieve by founding Buklod.
At the appropriate time, the Party shall consider the merits of changing the form of government. If and when this occurs, the Party shall advocate the calling of a constitutional convention.
The Party rejects federalism as a solution to the country’s mounting problems. Throughout world history, federalism was adopted by certain nations as the most acceptable form of union precisely to unite previously autonomous and semi-autonomous states that wanted to pursue common national goals, including common defense. This condition does not exist in the Philippines as it has been a united nation for hundreds of years. Federalism is a step backward and may just lead to the dismemberment of an already united Filipino nation. The country’s problems are about good public governance and economics, and not about the form of political subdivision.
The Party advocates increased decentralization of government services to the LGUs. Education, health care and agricultural services must be fully decentralized, with the central government retaining the authority to promulgate national policies in these areas. Public works, like farm-to-market roads, provincial roads, bridges, etc. that will benefit only a particular province or city must be fully decentralized. The national government will retain responsibility for public works that will serve the whole country, a region, or several provinces and cities. The same principle shall also apply to all other government services.
Full decentralization must be carried out in an orderly manner and must provide a proper timetable that will enable the LGUs to acquire the capability to assume the decentralized activities.
Additional and adequate funding must be allocated to the LGUs to cover the cost of the decentralized activities.
Along this line, the state colleges that were founded and are currently supported by the national government shall either be given to the LGUs to operate or integrate with their present higher education facility, or privatized. The National Government can not possibly provide oversight to these colleges effectively and efficiently. Because of their large number, the required National Government representation to the boards of these colleges can not be strictly complied with because of work overload on the specified representatives.
The Party upholds and supports the existence of the two autonomous regions in the country – the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao and the Cordillera Autonomous Region.
The Party advocates providing adequate protection, guidance and assistance to these two autonomous regions to enable them to successfully carry out their respective charters.
As stated elsewhere in this document, the Party advocates much greater decentralization of government services to the LGUs. In determining the allocation of funds to the LGUs, greater weight shall be given to the degree of need for economic development. If this factor is not given greater consideration, the current relative condition of the poorer communities will be perpetuated, which is not acceptable.
The Party shall study and develop a formula for allocating funds to, and sharing of tax revenues with, LGUs in order to spur the economic development of the poorer areas of the country.
In this regard, the Party rejects the legislature’s continuing use of the pork barrel system. The Party believes that these funds should be given to the LGUs or to poverty alleviation activities for much better use.
It is a common belief that the national bureaucracy is bloated. For this reason, the Party shall endeavor to reduce the size of the national bureaucracy by at least one-third. The savings that will be generated will be provided as salary increases to those that will remain.
The reduction will be done in an orderly manner and over a period of time. It shall come from regular attrition and separation from service of those with low performance. Those who will be separated from the service shall be fairly compensated. Private employers will be requested to give priority for employment for those who will be separated from public service.
The Party also believes that the compensation of public servants should be increased. For this purpose, the Party will embark on a comprehensive study to determine the effects of designing compensation package for public servants that is competitive to that of the private sector, and to ascertain how to implement such a compensation package. The Party believes that as the economy improves due to the reforms that shall be undertaken by the Party, the achievement of this objective is very much possible.
It is the common impression among the Filipino people that graft and corruption is pervasive in government service. The Party has resolved to strongly fight this evil. The greatest contribution that the Party will make to achieve this goal is to provide the Government with leaders who are free of the stain of graft and corruption and who are committed not to practice this scourge. These leaders will serve as role models for the lower ranks to follow and they themselves shall do what is necessary to eradicate graft and corruption in their respective areas of responsibility. In addition, the Party advocates carrying out the following measures:
As stated elsewhere in this document, improve the compensation of all government personnel over time to levels that are competitive with that of employees in the private sector in equivalent positions.
Develop an appropriate government service orientation program and require each existing and future government personnel to attend this program.
Establish a mechanism that can more effectively identify occurrences of graft and corruption.
Give the government department heads the authority to suspend those charged and suspected of committing graft and corruption, without violating their rights to be proven guilty.
- If found necessary, the Party advocates providing the President of the Philippines emergency powers to revamp the entire National Government bureaucracy to rid it of grafters.
The Party believes that more attention and seriousness of purpose need to be devoted to the preservation of the country’s natural resources and the reduction of environmental pollution. In this light, adequate policies and implementation procedures shall be formulated in the following significant areas:
The extent of forest cover that the country needs to retain shall be established and actions shall be taken to restore the cover to that established level within a reasonable timeline.
A comprehensive review of timber licenses shall be made. If found necessary, all or some of the existing licenses shall be cancelled and those forest areas that will continue to be used to harvest timber shall be bidded out in an auction.
Illegal logging shall be stopped. If necessary, additional and properly-equipped forest police shall be recruited. The local government shall be given part of the responsibility in this connection. The citizenry must provide help by reporting to the authorities the violators of the country’s forest laws.
If found feasible, import taxes on imported timber shall be reduced so that the prices of imported timber will be lower than the prices of local timber, thus discouraging illegal logging.
A census shall be taken of Filipinos who inhabit the forest and who depend on “kaingin” agriculture for their livelihood. They shall be resettled in an orderly manner and given access to alternative means of livelihood.
In adopting the foregoing measures, the adopted policies shall provide for safety nets for Filipino labor that may be dislocated.
A reasonable width of space along riverbanks and other waterways and around lakes and other bodies of water must be freed from human habitation or commerce, except for fishermen in fishing communities who shall be given access to these waterways and bodies of water. The established space shall be devoted to greenery or parks for all Filipinos to enjoy. A similar policy shall be developed and enforced for coastal areas. For this purpose, constructions or any works currently being undertaken on the established space shall be stopped. The existing structures shall be dismantled within a reasonable period of time and the owners fairly compensated. The people who are squatting in the established space shall be given priority in the resettlement programs.
Existing environmental policies, including those relating to air and water pollution, shall be further strengthened and strictly enforced. If necessary, the enforcement of these policies shall be spread over a reasonable length of time to provide the affected parties time to adjust to these policies.
- A comprehensive national policy for waste disposal, including sewerage, shall be formulated that will apply to all provinces, cities and towns. This national policy shall be enforced by the LGUs.
All laws and regulations relating to land use shall be consolidated into a national code and updated to follow international trends and practices. Among other considerations, the objective of providing a pleasant living environment to all citizens, regardless of economic standing, shall be given important consideration. Requirements shall be made for:
Establishment of municipal parks of specified minimum area for each town and city.
Adequate width of sidewalks along all provincial, municipal, and farm-to-market roads. These sidewalks shall be planted with shade trees at even intervals.
Planting of trees inside residential lots exceeding a specified land area.
No commerce shall be allowed along national highways, except those commercial activities that serve the motoring public. The required easements shall be planted with trees. The national highways shall be used solely as carriageway from one populated area to another and shall be free of obstacles usually created by commercial activities to make road travel faster and therefore lead to economic efficiency. As a practical matter, exceptions may be given for certain existing national highways, but these highways shall be identified and additional commercial or residential improvements thereon shall not be allowed.
Those citizens who will be adversely affected by the foregoing requirements shall be given reasonable time to comply.
The Party strongly adheres to the declaration in the Constitution that “Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military.” The responsibility of the Armed Forces is to the Filipino people and to the Philippine State. It must at all times respect and recognize the mandate of duly constituted civilian authorities.
All segments of the Armed Forces shall be modernized to make them an effective force in defending and preserving the interests and territorial integrity of the Philippine nation. However, priority shall be given to the ground troops fighting the current insurgencies. These troops shall be adequately equipped with appropriate armor and given adequate mobility. The second priority shall be given to the Navy and the Coast Guard. They shall be provided with adequate number of ships and boats that are appropriately equipped. The Philippines is a large archipelago and its long territorial boundaries require protection from foreign intruders and local dissidents using the seas.
To help provide funding for the modernization of the Armed Forces, considerations shall be given to initially reduce the number of troops and the savings used for modernization. However, as the economy improves, the troop strength shall be restored to its normal level.
For the police to be an effective force, it must rid itself of graft and corruption. The factors that will help achieve this goal shall be identified and implemented. Such factors may include better recruiting, improved training (especially in proper behavior), improved compensation, more effective identification of deviant behavior, and prompt and decisive enforcement of penalties for violations of proper conduct.
It is very important that the upper ranks of the police corps be cleaned first so that they can serve as exemplary role models for those in the lower ranks. Proper consideration shall be given to selecting the leaders of national police from civilians trained in police work as opposed to those trained and developed in military discipline.
The Party supports maintaining the police function on a national basis as opposed to giving control over the police force to the LGUs. The present national character of the police force provides a better check and balance in the use of this force and provides a structure that leads to faster mobilization in case of national emergencies.
The police function must not only be employed in an effective manner, but also in a conduct that is fair to all Filipinos, regardless of economic or social standing or religious belief.
The police function is a very important factor in developing an orderly society. The Party shall closely attend to the substantial improvement of the police force to make it become a respected and effective contributor in promoting and maintaining peace and order in the country.
The Philippines is always susceptible to natural disasters. The country needs a permanent force to provide appropriate disaster response and rescue whenever and wherever disasters occur. For this purpose, the Party advocates requiring the Fire Department to take this responsibility and undergo training that will enable it to handle such disasters. When properly installed, this capability can be mobilized immediately in case of disasters and give the citizenry an added sense of protection and safety.
It is also a common perception that the judicial system is generally corrupt. Like the police function, the justice system must be applied fairly before our country and its economy can progress any further. An unfair application of justice has very damaging effects not only to the party that was treated unfairly but also to that party’s children and these children’s children. Moreover, justice that is dispensed to favor interest groups because they have money to spend obstructs and hinders economic development that benefits all citizens and perpetuates crimes and law violations that should have been punished.
The Party shall endeavor to rid the judicial system, including the prosecution function, of corrupt justices, judges and prosecutors. If deemed necessary, the Party shall advocate providing emergency powers to the President of the Philippines to clean up the judiciary and prosecution systems and free them of corruption.
The country is also beset by rampant crimes against persons and properties. Among these crimes, the most damaging and painful are drug trafficking, kidnapping and smuggling. It is a common belief that the effective prevention and prosecution of these crimes are hindered by widespread graft and corruption in the police and judiciary system. As stated elsewhere in this document, the Party shall endeavor to make the national police function a more effective force in preventing and fighting crimes and to revamp the judicial system so that it can dispense justice with fairness. In addition:
The Party shall advocate imposing more severe penalties for drug trafficking, similar to those imposed by some of the country’s neighbors who are successful in checking this crime.
- Special attention shall be given to smuggling. This crime robs the country of substantial amounts of tax revenue and makes local productive labor idle. The smugglers, especially the big ones, shall be found and made accountable for their crimes.
The country is uncontrollably moving towards a direction where its citizens are neither good in English, Filipino or their respective dialects. This condition inhibits creativity and slows down national progress. A clear decision shall be made as to which common language the Filipinos shall use as the country moves forward.
Many studies and debates have been going on in Philippine society with regard to the choice of language to use as medium of instruction in school. For as long as the country has not made a clear decision as to what common language it shall eventually use in everyday life and in school, the studies and debates with regard to this subject will forever be inconclusive. Unfortunately, the local languages have not developed. They have lagged very much behind in modern times, especially in the sciences and the arts. It is practically impossible for the language of modern sciences, arts, medicine, mathematics, technology and the like to be embedded in the local languages.
On the other hand, the issue of nationalism is a very strong factor. Also, the issue of the effectiveness of the use of a foreign language in instruction, especially in the early years of its implementation, is also an important consideration. Nevertheless, the Party shall endeavor to face this challenging issue forthright and make a recommendation to the Filipino people through a national referendum, together with the necessary implementation plan.
The Party shall continuously articulate to the Filipino people that they also have a responsibility for their own progress and development. Among these responsibilities are:
To recognize that they shall help themselves. The Government shall provide assistance to give them a good start and help them discover, realize and develop their own strengths and promise. But they shall exert their own efforts to succeed in life and provide a brighter future to their children. They shall not expect dole-outs from the Government.
To practice discipline by following laws and regulations, including the payment of taxes.
To respect the rights of other citizens in the same way that they want to uphold their own rights.
The Party shall also develop campaign programs to ask the people to follow and observe certain norms of behavior that will help in the nation’s pursuit of national progress and well-being. These are:
Practicing cleanliness in one’s surroundings. The Party advocates establishing a policy whereby each citizen is responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the areas around the citizen’s abode and the portion of the road in front of his house.
Practicing promptness in all the citizen’s dealings and commitments. Doing so will provide efficiency in the way the country does its business. The sad connotation of “Filipino time” shall be made a relic of history.
Lining up in an orderly manner for services, whether Government or private services.
- Always respecting the rights of others – in the roads, in public places, and in public activities and events.
It is recognized that the implementation of the Party objectives and beliefs as recited in this document is very complex, extremely difficult and will take time to carry out. However, the Party strongly believes that a start must be made and the complex and difficult tasks can be divided into parts and pieces which by themselves will be less difficult to achieve. While the achievement of these objectives and beliefs as a whole will take a longer time to realize, it is the Party’s expectations that substantial progress can be achieved in the next several years with the help and cooperation of the Filipino people.
It is also recognized that some integral parts of these objectives and beliefs are currently being carried out in one form or another. In those particular cases, the Party’s own declarations must be read in terms of providing intensity of purpose and greater resolve to succeed in the achievement of these objectives and beliefs.
The proposition that the Party can provide the country with good governance and therefore propel it to progress and prosperity is strongly founded on the basis that the Party will be a cohesive group of well-meaning Filipinos who share the same beliefs and vision for uniting the Filipino people, uplifting their economic well-being, and fostering their happiness and pride. For this reason, the Party shall be admitting as members only those Filipinos who share the Party’s objectives and beliefs, as recited in this document, without any reservation. The Party members who may be given the privilege of serving the Filipino people shall conduct themselves in the highest standard of behavior. Any member whose performance is in conflict with the pursuit of the Party’s fundamental objectives and beliefs shall be expelled from the Party and shall be replaced if he or she is holding an appointive position. Similarly, any member who commits graft and corruption shall be similarly expelled and replaced. Any member who violates other expected norms of behavior for the position he or she holds, or is found to be grossly inefficient, shall be given appropriate sanctions.
While the Party and its members adhere to the principle of separation of Church and State, recognizing the enormity of the challenges before us, we publicly implore the guidance of the Divine Providence and ask: May God help us.