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Sen.

Manny Villar / Nacionalista Party

IN RESPONSE TO THE PEOPLES’ CONCERNS

The Philippines is basically an underdeveloped agricultural country. Majority of its people still live in
the rural areas and support themselves through agriculture and fisheries. The nation’s main problem is
widespread poverty and social injustice. The main thrust of our platform is emancipating the people
from poverty and injustice.

Self reliant and sustainable economic development program shall be pursued by implementing agrarian
reform, increasing agricultural productivity and developing domestic industries. The problems of
environmental destruction, climate change and recurring calamities shall be comprehensively addressed.
High priority shall be given to education, health, housing and other basic social services.

Economic development should be coupled with reforms ensuring social equity and respect for human
rights. People empowerment and good governance are vital to implementing meaningful reforms in the
economy, politics, culture and foreign relations.

A foreign policy based on respect for national sovereignty and ensuring mutual benefit shall be charted.
The policy of economic liberalization and blind adherence to “globalization” must be reviewed. Unequal
economic, military and other foreign treaties and agreements must be corrected.

Ang Bayan higit sa lahat!

On agriculture and rural development

The development of our agricultural lands and providing livelihood opportunities shall raise the standard
of living in the rural areas and increase manpower productivity.
Food production should be geared towards food self sufficiency. Emphasis should be given to staple
crops such rice and corn.

We shall review the policy on trade liberalization in agriculture and provide support and safety nets in
order to protect local producers and at the same time giving them access to global market. We will
provide support to farmers in the form of appropriate agricultural inputs and post harvest facilities. We
should open market opportunities for local products by providing for new roads and bridges to access
and facilitate mobility.

We need to develop rural industries by providing forward and backward linkages, access to technology,
and micro finance. We shall facilitate the development of agri-business and entrepreneurship.

We shall promote ecologically sound and scientific farming techniques to conserve land for future
generations, develop local seed varieties and lessen dependence on chemical-based fertilizers and
insecticides

We need to promote fisherfolk’s participation in the management, protection and conservation of marine
and coastal resources.
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We shall promote the rights and welfare of indigenous people and migrant dwellers in upland
ecosystems.

We shall develop a National Land Use Policy that promotes optimum utilization of natural resources for
agricultural production, housing, institutional facilities, industrial zones and parks and other needs to
maintain ecological as well as economic viability.

On agrarian reform

Effective land distribution and thoroughgoing land reform is the government’s mechanism to address
landlessness. A land to the tiller program is a vital element of a comprehensive strategy for economic
and social development.
Basically the aim is to provide land to the landless tillers in recognition of the long years of diligent
labor that farmers and farm workers have put in order to harness and in making the lands productive.

For existing CARP beneficiaries there should be access to rural finance and technical support to improve
land productivity and generate income. Farmer beneficiaries who have arrears in amortization shall be
given the opportunity for relief or condonation of their debts.

Government must compensate small and medium landowners who were not indemnified but were
covered by the current land reform program and to pursue land distribution with compensation to the
remaining land owners covered by the land reform law. Business opportunities shall likewise be offered
to landowners parting with their lands.

Offer joint ventures with big landowners to promote development of competitive and new industries that
will provide employment opportunities, stable revenue source and a vehicle for the growth of our export
industry.

On the development of manufacturing and local industries

The key to economic growth, aside from agriculture development, is the promotion of a viable
manufacturing sector. The development of local industries should be supported by available subsidies
and loans and technical support from government for them to grow and survive.

Provisions for government subsidies and tax relief for Filipino industrialists and SMEs should be
explored to encourage local investors to go into the manufacturing business and venture into developing
strategic industries side by side with the government as partner.

In the immediate, the Filipino manufacturing sector shall be given priority alongside with agriculture to
address the impact of the global economic crisis and unfair foreign competition. Public sector
investment will be developed even as private initiatives shall be promoted to venture into developing our
local industries and in the use of our natural resources.

If efficiently done, almost always manufacturing spurs growth by providing jobs and reducing
dependence on imports. To start with, there is a huge local market that will sustain local industries as
long as production output and consumer goods are of good quality, affordable and competitive to
international standards.

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The role of SMEs in economic development has been well recognized. SMEs have been regarded as an
important contributor to employment generation and wealth creation in a developing economy.
The development of SMEs call for various policy reforms to help them in the face of heightened
competition and globalization.

There must be a program to promote patriotic awareness among consumers to use and buy locally
produced goods.

The benefits of development must be shared with labor for it to be self-sustaining. With a viable and
strong manufacturing industry, domestic job generation will be sustained and wages will be sufficient to
give a life of dignity and pride for our workers. Likewise, government revenues shall be stabilized and
outmigration to foreign countries systematically reduced.

Foreign investors are welcome to invest in the Philippines as long as the national patrimony and
economy is protected and not compromised. Foreign investors shall be allowed access to land through
the lease system.

The Nacionalista Party is weary of simplified solutions for complex problems, like the problem of
foreign investments. It does not believe that issues such as this should be settled by proposals to amend
the Philippine Constitution. The outright grant of land ownership to foreigners should not be favored.
There are other possible and equally effective models such as providing incentives for the return of local
capital that has been transferred abroad.
Land ownership has always been an important component of building up the Filipino middle class and it
should not be easily compromised.

Trade and investment policies and agreements that are disadvantageous to the country and the people
should be reviewed and corrected. Promotion of partnership with donors and foreign investors should be
based on agreements that are mutually beneficial to our country and people.

Develop government capacity to enter into new industrial accord either through joint venture with local
capital and/or foreign investors to promote growth and provide services to our people.

On the rights of the working people

Due to the current economic slow-down and in the face of difficult local capital build-up, government
should provide for a stimulus package to immediately address the need of laborers and employees for a
just and decent wage. A reasonable, legislated wage hike shall be considered as an option alongside with
the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards in addressing the demands for wage hikes.
Measures will be put in place to strengthen job security.

Local banks shall promote borrowings and provide loans to local capitalists for them to help their
businesses grow. With the availability of fresh funds, businesses can earn decent incomes that shall
allow them to eventually provide productivity incentives to their employees.

On basic social services

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We shall increase investments in human capital development through the improvement and expansion of
free primary and secondary education, greater access to tertiary education, and the improvement of basic
health services while developing a comprehensive health care system especially for the poor.

Priority programs shall be focused on the most marginalized sectors of our society as they are also our
biggest source of manpower and human resources for agriculture, industry and services.

We shall vigorously pursue various various forms of debt relief from international financial institutions
and foreign banks and prioritize the allocation of funds to basic social services and the development of
agriculture and industry.

On the environment and disaster response

We need to utilize the country’s natural resources for our people’s development in a sustainable manner.
We shall resolutely address and solve the problem of large scale destruction of the environment and
work for the preservation and regeneration of a healthy ecological balance.

WE shall set in place a comprehensive disaster preparedness and response program and contribute in a
meaningful way in the worldwide effort to mitigate and solve the problem of global warming and
climate change.

On good governance and public accountability

One of the main reasons for the worsening corruption and other crimes in the Philippines is impunity,
where allies of the Arroyo administration and high public officials escape serious investigation and
prosecution while the opposition and dissenters are harassed with trumped up charges and political
repression. In order to promote good governance, it is important to hold accountable Pres. Gloria
Arroyo and other high public officials and personalities for possible charges of plunder, electoral fraud,
gross human rights violations and the cover-up of these crimes.

The statements of assets, liabilities and net worth of public officials shall be made accessible for public
scrutiny. Lifestyle checks shall be seriously pursued starting with the President and other high ranking
public officials. The Government should ensure utmost protection of all whistleblowers exposing crimes
of public officials. Cases of graft and corruption shall be exposed and prosecuted to the full extent of the
law. Full recovery of the Marcos ill-gotten wealth will be pursued.

On human rights and justice

Justice and indemnification will be provided to the victims of human rights abuses under the martial law
regime as well as under succeeding governments.

The comprehensive recommendations of the report of UN Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial
Executions Philip Alston shall be immediately addressed and implemented.

On the peace process between the GRP and the CPP/NPA/NDF and other armed hostilities

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Insurgency is the result of a persistent poverty condition in society. To address this issue is to solve
widespread poverty. The peace process provides an avenue to exchange ideas and approaches to address
our poverty stricken society. Meanwhile, while still in the process of negotiations and to humanize the
ongoing armed conflict, both parties should observe and strictly comply with international humanitarian
law and other joint agreements reached in the earlier periods of the peace process.

It is important to both parties to pursue peace with sincerity and with the aim of solving the armed
conflict through genuine economic development benefitting our country and our people first and serving
the global community second.

There should be confidence-building measures at the various stages of the negotiation. A compromise
should be reach on contentious issues.

The temporary cessation of hostilities should be in the form of mutually agreed upon commitments.

Once peace is achieved, there should be provisions for constants dialogue and review of commitments to
prevent the recurrence of animosity and discord.

On foreign relations and the Visiting Forces Agreement

An independent foreign policy based on the respect for national sovereignty, peaceful settlement of
conflicts and mutual benefits of concerned countries shall be charted.

We need to promote and increase trade relations with our Asian neighbors in the spirit of equality and
mutually beneficial accords. We should learn from each other the knowledge built around years of
technology, research and development and marketing promotions .

The Visiting Forces Agreement must be reviewed and its terms negotiated - specifically on Philippine
criminal jurisdiction, the prolonged presence of US troops and non-combat participation - based on the
provisions of the fundamental laws of the land.

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