Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) Draft

INITIAL WORKING DRAFT
FOR DISCUSSION PURPOSES ONLY

 

COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENT
ON SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC REFORMS
BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE
PHILIPPINES AND THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT OF
THE PHILIPPINES

 The GOVERNMENT OF THE
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (GRP),
represented herein by the
GRP Panel

 and

 The NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT
OF THE PHILIPPINES (NDFP),
represented herein by the
NDF Panel

 Hereinafter referred to as “THE PARTIES”

 PREAMBLE

WHEREAS, poverty, structural inequity, destitution and marginalization have historically impeded the social and economic development of the Philippines and have engendered armed conflict and social unrest;

 WHEREAS, two decades of armed conflict in the country has resulted in countless deaths, dislocations and so much sufferings among the people and wastage of scarce economic resources;

WHEREAS, the Filipino people demand and deserve a life of peace, justice, dignity, prosperity, freedom from want and violence;

WHEREAS, the pursuit of social and economic reforms to promote the common good and respond to the needs of the Filipino people are among the crucial processes in the consolidation of a just and lasting peace;

WHEREAS, the GRP and NDF, having signed The Hague Joint Declaration, have committed to the holding of formal peace negotiations to resolve the armed conflict and attain a just and lasting peace;

NOW THEREFORE, the Parties, without reservations, do hereby solemnly enter into this Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms.

PART I: FRAMEWORK OF THE AGREEMENT

 ARTICLE I. Declaration of Principles

The Parties declare and adopt the following principles to serve as the guiding precepts in the interpretation, appreciation and implementation of the provisions and stipulations of this Agreement:

Section 1. Negotiating Framework. Peace negotiations are concluded within the framework of mutually acceptableprinciples on national sovereignty, democracy and social justice, as embodied under The Hague Joint Declaration of 1 September 1992, and reaffirmed by the Breukelen Joint Statements of 14 June 1994 and the subsequent agreements therefrom.

Section 2. Common Good. It is the common good, the welfare and interest of the Filipino people, that is the foremost concern in the efforts to resolve the armed conflict and achieve a just and lasting peace. The active participation of the people, therefore, must be sought in pursuing this common good.

Section 3. Pursuit of Reform as Conflict Resolution. The peaceful pursuit of social and economic reform is an integral part of the overall effort to resolve the armed conflict and as such, is crucial to laying the foundation for a just and lasting peace.

Section 4. Pursuit of Social Justice. Social justice is the foundation for a lasting peace since it defines the right of the people to human dignity and a decent quality of life. To achieve this, there is need to eradicate the social, economic and political inequities in the society through equitable diffusion of wealth and political power for the furtherance of the common good and to free the people from the bondage of poverty, inequity and marginalization.

Section 5. Pursuit of Authentic Development. Social and economic reforms also bring about authentic development, that must be people‑centered, equitably distributed, and environmentally and socially sustainable. Under these, the cost and fruits of development are fairly and equitably shared; bayanihan solidarity and self‑reliance are promoted; national patrimony and environment are protected; true worth of human labor is upheld; rights and dignity are respected; and individual members of the society are able to realize their full human potentials. Authentic development must also necessarily achieve both material and spiritual growth, and preserve the Filipino culture, family values, democratic institutions and heritage.

Section 6. Participative Development. The right to development of the individual members of society also carries their right to participate, contribute to and enjoy social, economic, cultural and political development. In view of this, the enhancement of people’s active participation in all aspects of development promotes social justice and economic growth. The attainment of greater social justice and full development should, therefore, involve the participation of all sectors of society, including its poorest and marginalized members.

Section 7. Common Ground for Cooperation and Collaboration. As an integral part of a comprehensive Peace Agreement, this Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms shall provide the common ground for cooperation and collaboration of the Parties in peacefully achieving authentic development for the country and advancing the welfare of the Filipino people.

Section 8. Ensuring Continuing Dialogue. As the conclusion of this Agreement may not sufficiently encompass all the issues that sustain the conflict, there is a need for the Parties to jointly identify post‑settlement mechanisms to ensure continuing dialogue for the resolution of these issues. 

 ARTICLE II. Specific Objectives of the Agreement.

 In support of the overall thrust for resolving armed conflict and achieving just and lasting peace, the Parties forge this Agreement towards attaining the following specific objectives:

Section 9. Enhance the Reform Processes. To enhance the reform process by identifying a shared vision ensuring the adherence of development to social justice, equity, ecological sustainability and genuine people empowerment for achieving social and economic development.

Section 10. Identify Specific Reform Measures. To define the specific reform measures on the levels of principle, policy, program and project feature, toward the realization of the above shared vision for authentic development.

Section 11. Strengthen the People’s Participation. To promote people’s participation in the reform and development processes through the mechanisms jointly identified by the Parties. and the appropriate environment for the efficient operation of these mechanisms.

Section 12. Ensure Continuing Dialogue. To establish effective mechanisms for continuing dialogue to address issues which may not be sufficiently covered even after the conclusion of this Agreement, including the continuing disagreements between the Parties which cannot be realistically resolved within a reasonable period at the negotiating table.

Section 13. Unify the People for Nation Building.  To provide fora to unify and mobilize the country’s social and political forces under a spirit of cooperation and oneness, to effectively combat poverty, structural inequity, destitution and marginalization among the Filipino people.

 

 PART II: NATIONAL ECONOMY AND PATRIMONY,

INDUSTRIALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT

 ARTICLE III. National Economy, Industrialization and Development.

 Section 14. Pursuit of Self‑Reliant and Independent Economy. Consistent with the agreed upon principles and objectives of this Agreement, the Parties recognize the need to evolve and develop a more self‑reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos which shall ensure a more competitive Philippine economy and a more equitable society for the country.

Section 15. National Agenda for Growth and Equity. The GRP reaffirms commitment to achieve for the national economy a sustainable growth with equity through democracy. This national agenda for growth is preceded by the achievement of political stability; the opening of the economy by dismantling monopolies and cartels and leveling the playing field of enterprise, and reducing corruption and inefficiency in the society. In particular, national agenda shall be directed to the modernization of the economy, industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform, through industries that shall make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets.

  ARTICLE IV. National Patrimony, Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development.

 Section 16. Achieving Sustainable Development. The Parties recognize the need to preserve the natural resources and protect the environment to achieve sustainable development. Further, the Parties uphold the right of the Filipino people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature.

Section 17. Economic Growth within the Framework of Sustainable Development. The Parties reaffirm their resolve to pursue an economic agenda not at the expense of the environment and natural resources but under a development policy framework of sustainable development in accordance with the following:

Protection and enhancement of the quality of the environment.

  1. Equitable access to the development and use of the country’s natural resources, not only for the present generation but for the future generation as well.
  2. Recognition and application of a true value system, including social and environmental cost implications relative to the utilization, development and conservation of the natural resources.

ARTICLE V. Social Justice and Sustainable Development for the Basic and Marginalized Sectors of the Philippine Society.

 The structural inequities in the Philippine society have historically impoverished, exploited and marginalized the majority of the country’s population. This primarily include the farmers, fisherfolk, and labor sectors who toil to provide society with its most basic needs. Other disadvantaged sectors include the indigenous peoples, urban poor, women, elderly, persons with disabilities, youth and children in especially difficult circumstances, whose life situations have made them extremely vulnerable to exploitation.

Section 18. Special and Focused Protection of the Sectors. In view of the situations of impoverishment and exploitation, the Parties recognize the need to provide special and focused attention to the basic and marginalized sectors in order to enhance their rights to human dignity and social justice.

Section 19. National Agenda for the Basic and Marginalized Sectors. The GRP reaffirms its commitment to pursue empowerment and focused interventions on the needs of the basic and marginalized sectors. Towards this end, the government shall continue to vigorously pursue a comprehensive national agenda which shall promote self‑help and self‑reliance, and ensure access to quality basic services, capability enhancement programs, gainful employment and credit to enable them to realize their full potentials. In particular, the agenda shall be continuously pursued towards:

  1. Recognition and promotion of the rights of the indigenous peoples within the framework of national unity and development.
  2. Expansion of the access of the urban poor to and security in their basic needs.
  3. Provision for the security of the informal labor sector in gainful undertakings, and their eventual absorption into the formal sector.
  4. Protection of the rights and welfare of the migrant workers.
  5. Protection of the rights of women and enhancement of their role in national building.
  6. Enhancement of the role of the senior citizens in the development process.
  7. Mainstreaming persons with disabilities into society.
  8. Harnessing potentials of the youth as partners in national building.
  9. Securing the welfare of children, particularly their rights for survival, development and protection.

ARTICLE VI. Agrarian Reform and Rural Development.

 Section 20. Key to Social Justice. The Parties recognize agrarian reform and comprehensive rural development as the key for achieving social justice, equity, sustainable development and genuine empowerment of the farmers and agricultural workers.

Section 21. Agrarian Reform and Development. The GRP reaffirms its commitment to continue the implementation of a comprehensive agrarian reform program to promote social equity and foster greater productivity, through intensified land distribution and provision of adequate and sustained support services to farmer beneficiaries, taking into account the following:

The right of landless farmers and regular farm workers to own, directly or indirectly, the lands they till or, in the case of other agricultural workers, to receive a just share of the fruits of their labor.

The right to land should be governed by a just and democratic distribution of all agricultural lands consistent with national priorities and applicable laws of the land, taking into account the concerns of the small landowners, just compensation, ecological and developmental or equity considerations.

Farmers, farmworkers and landowners, including cooperatives and other farmers’ organizations, have the right to participate in the planning, organization and management of the agrarian reform program.

  1. Agrarian reform must address not only land tenure but likewise the need to develop the capabilities of agrarian reform beneficiaries to become efficient and competitive agricultural producers.
  2. There is a need to provide the farmers with the opportunities and incentives to raise their productivity and incomes, secure fair prices for their produce, and improve their standards of living.

 ARTICLE VII. Fisherfolk and Aquatic Reform.

 Section 22. Preferential 0ption for the Fisherfolk. The Parties recognize the right of subsistence fishermen and fishworkers to the preferential use of communal marine and fishing resources, both inland and offshore, and to a just share from the product of their labor in the utilization of these resources. The Parties also recognize that this option includes the protection of their offshore fishing grounds.

Section 23. Initiatives to Promote the Development of the Fisherfolk. The GRP reaffirms continuance of its national efforts to achieve an authentic and sustainable development of the fisherfolk, through the following:

  1. Ensure the judicious utilization, management, renewal and conservation of fishery and aquatic resources.
  2. Strengthen the participation of the fisherfolk in the formulation and implementation of policies and programs affecting the utilization, development and management of the fishery and aquatic resources, through the institutionalization of their representation in decision making bodies.
  3. Strict implementation of fisheries laws with the active participation of the fisherfolk.
  4. Strict enforcement of laws against piracy and poaching by foreign vessels in Philippine territorial water.
  5. Protection of the rights of the fisherfolks through provision of technical, institutional and credit support.

ARTICLE VIII. Indigenous Peoples/Cultural Communities.

 Section 24. Recognizing the Indigenous Peoples. The Parties recognize the rights of the indigenous peoples to self‑determination,, and the need to ensure that they realize these rights without hindrance or discrimination.

Section 25. National Program for the Indigenous Peoples. The GRP reaffirms continuance of its implementation of a comprehensive national program, formulated in consultation with the sector, to actualize the rights of the indigenous peoples for their development, most importantly the following:

  1. Full recognition, protection and sustainable development of their ancestral domains and the natural resources thereat.
  2.  Guarantee of their political, economic, social and cultural well‑being, in particular the applicability of their customary laws governing property rights or relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domains.
  3.  Empowerment and participation in governance, within the framework of democracy, social justice, national unity and development in the Philippines.
  4.  Promotion of their cultural integrity, preservation and development of their cultures, traditions and institutions.

PART III: SOCIAL JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT

 ARTICLE IX. Urban Poor.

 Section 26. Upholding the Rights of the Urban Poor. The Parties recognize the need for deliberate and focused interventions to uphold the rights of the urban poor.

Section 27. Interventions for Urban Poor. The GRP reaffirms to sustain its vigorous efforts to promote the welfare of the urban poor through an active urban renewal program under which their rights to decent living conditions are realized and sustained, through the following:

  1. Affordable housing and sustainable communities for the urban poor.
  2. Unhampered access to employment opportunities, livelihood and quality basic services, including skills and capability building programs.
  3. Meaningful participation in the formulation of policies and programs affecting their rights and welfare.
  4. Strengthening the institutions for the promotion and protection of their advancement and development.

ARTICLE X. Informal Labor Sector.

 Section 28. Security for the Informal Labor Sector. The Parties recognize the need to enhance the protection of the rights and welfare of the informal labor sector.

Section 29. Initiatives for the Informal Labor Sector. The GRP reaffirms its continued pursuit of a deliberate program to uphold the rights and sustainable development of the informal labor sector, specifically to attain the following:

  1. Absorption in the formal sector where its potentials are maximized.
  2. Full protection by labor laws and equal access to programs and services for workers of the formal sector.
  3. Participation in decisions and programs affecting the sector.
  4. Organization into unions, cooperatives and other forms of associations which can institutionalize its bargaining posture for the viability and development of members. 

ARTICLE XI. Migrant Workers.

 Section 30. Recognizing the Migrant Workers. The Parties recognize that Filipino migrants workers, who constitute a significant portion of the country’s human resources, is a vital social‑economic force of the Filipino society. As such, the protection of their rights and welfare, and the development of their potentials are consistent with attaining social justice and sustainable development to ensure a just and lasting peace for the country.

Section 31. Protection of the Migrant Workers. The GRP reaffirms its efforts to protect the rights and welfare of the migrant workers consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of Migrants. Along with this, the government shall continuously rationalize its overseas employment program towards its reorientation to a selective posture under which migrant workers may establish a niche for maximum development of their potentials.

ARTICLE XII. Women.

Section 32. Role of Filipino Women in Nation Building. The Parties recognize the role of women in nation building and the need to protect their rights and ensure their fundamental equality before the law with Filipino men.

Section 33. Women Empowerment. The GRP reaffirms continuance of its measures to empower women for nation‑building, through a national strategy for their mainstreaming into the development process, including:

  1. Promotion of full equality and development of the Filipino men and women through the integration of gender concerns in national plans.
  2. Institutionalization of assistance to women.
  3. Strengthening women’s participation in government bodies with critical influence on development of the sector.
  4. Protection of women from sexual harassment and strengthening of mechanisms which address special women concerns.

ARTICLE XIII. Elderly.

Section 34. Contribution of the Elderly in Development. The Parties recognize the significant contributions of senior citizens to society and the need to promote and protect their rights, including the further enhancement of their participation in nation‑building.

Section 35. Initiatives for the Elderly. The GRP reaffirms its commitment to the promotion of the participation of the elderly in nation‑building through efficient delivery of services and benefits to improve the quality of their lives; motivate and encourage their families and the communities they live in to adhere to the valued Filipino tradition of caring for the elderly; and strengthen institutions facilitating the developmental roles of the elderly.

ARTICLE XIV. Persons with Disabilities.

 Section 36. Recognizing Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). The Parties recognize PWDs as part of Philippine society and thus, there is a need to promote the improvement of their total well‑being and their integration into the mainstream of society.

Section 37. Promotion of the Welfare of the PWDs. The GRP reaffirms its efforts to pursue and fast‑track the social and economic reform measures for the rehabilitation, self‑development and self‑reliance of PWDs, and their integration into the mainstream of society, through:

  1. Institutionalization of the mechanisms for the rehabilitation, self­ development and self‑reliance of PWDs, and their mainstreaming into society.
  2. Improvement of PWDs’ access to adequate and quality social services, including training and skills development programs, which are responsive to their circumstances.
  3. Expansion of PWDs access to employment and gainful opportunities. 

ARTICLE XV. Youth.

 Section 38. Youth as Partners in Development. The Parties recognize the vital role of the youth in nation‑building and the need to promote and protect their physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well‑being.

Section 39. Achieving National Goals with the Youth. The GRP reaffirms its efforts to advance the interests and conditions of the youth, through an integrated and comprehensive program, to make them partners in realizing national goals under which they are among the major agents and targets.

ARTICLE XVI. Children.

 Section 40. Children in National Life. The Parties recognize children as a vital component of Filipino family life which is a basic autonomous social institution of the nation. The achievement of social justice and sustainable development, therefore, requires the protection and promotion of the children’s rights and welfare.

Section 41. National Focus on Children. The GRP reaffirms pursuit of an overall program to provide special protection to children from all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation and discrimination, and other conditions prejudicial to their development.

 PART IV: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT

 ARTICLE XVII. Implementation. The Parties recognize their individual and joint responsibilities for ensuring the effective and efficient implementation of the provisions of this Agreement as follows:

Section 42. Unilateral Commitments. Both Parties commit to accelerate the implementation of their respective unilateral commitments under this Agreement and their other initiatives which may further enhance the attainment of the social and economic reforms herein stated. For this purpose, the Parties shall jointly designate the appropriate structures which shall ensure the effective implementation of this Agreement.

Section 43. Mechanism for Coordination. A Joint Implementation Committee shall be agreed upon by both Parties to serve as focal point of coordination in the implementation of the common areas of concerns under this Agreement and the commitments thereto. The Committee shall also provide the mechanism for addressing issues and concerns affecting the timely implementation of the provisions of this Agreement.

Section 44. Socio‑Economic Forum. The GRP, upon the signing of this Agreement, shall establish a broad‑based Socio‑Economic Forum, where private development organizations, sectoral formations, academe and research institutions acceptable to both the GRP add NDF shall be represented, to provide fora for enriching policy formulation and execution affecting the socio‑economic sector.

In this regard, the Forum shall recommend the needed legislation, policies and programs for the furtherance of the objectives of this Agreement to appropriate government bodies such as Congress; Legislative‑ Executive Development Advisory Council; Social Reform Agenda Council; and pertinent Cabinet Clusters and Regional Development Councils.

Section 45. Funding. A Trust Fund for the Consolidation of Peace shall be established by the GRP to finance the implementation of this Agreement. The mechanics of the allocation and uses of the Fund shall be jointly agreed upon by the Parties.

ARTICLE XVIII. Monitoring the Implementation of the Agreement. To ensure timely and meaningful attainment of the objectives of this Agreement, the Parties agree to jointly and closely monitor its implementation. Towards this end, the GRP and NDF agree to create the National Commission for the Consolidation of Peace (NACOOP), upon the approval of the final comprehensive Peace Settlement, to serve as the oversight body for the implementation of this Agreement. As such, the NACOOP shall have the following features:

Section 47. Composition. The NACOOP shall be composed of equal numbers of representatives of the GRP and NDF Panels, and the national NGO community. It shall be chaired by a Filipino of recognized integrity and chosen by mutual agreement of the Parties.

Section 48. Terms of Reference. The NACOOP shall have the following functions and powers:

  • To serve as an oversight, verification, monitoring and review body over the Parties’ implementation of and compliance with the Peace Agreements. As such, the Parties agree to consult NACOOP prior to the adoption of any initiatives related to Peace Agreements and vice versa;
  •  To have direct access to the President of the Republic of the Philippines and meet with him on a regular basis or when deemed necessary for the furtherance of the Peace Agreements. Similarly, it shall have access to and may inspect any activity or site germane to the implementation of the provisions of the Peace Agreements;
  • To initiate measures or recommend the same to enhance the provisions of the Peace Agreements; and,
  •  To tap government agencies and/or private sector groups to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the Peace Agreements. Relatedly, the NACOOP shall formulate its own Work Program, establish its appropriate Secretariat Support, and maintain its own operational budget.

Section 49. Institutionalization of NACOOP. To sustain the momentum of the implementation of the Agreement, a pertinent law shall be enacted to institutionalize the NACOOP. Towards this end, the Parties shall cause the drafting and submission to both Houses of Congress of the appropriate bill.

 

IN WITNESS, we sign this Agreement this ____________day of                         1998, at ______________.              

 

FOR THE                                                                            FOR THE

GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC                           NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC

OF THE PHILIPPINES                                                   FRONT OF THE PHILIPPINES

 

By:                                                                  By:

 

Amb. Howard Q. Dee                                                         Luis G. Jalandoni

Chairperson                                                                          Chairperson

GRIP Negotiating Panel                                                     NDFP Negotiating Panel

 

Rep. Jose V. Yap                                                                 Fidel V. Agcaoili

Member                                                                                 Member

 

Sol. Gen. Silvestre H. Bello III                                          Coni K. Ledesma

Member                                                                                 Member

 

Atty. Rene V. Sarmiento                                                    Asterio B. Palima

Member                                                                                 Member

 

Zenaida H. Pawid                                                                Jojo S. Magdiwang

Member                                                                                 Member

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