Note: there are three documents which constitute the Roxas-Robredo Platform – the first is the General Summary, the second is the Comprehensive Policy Document, and the third are Annexes relating to: (a) Addressing National Concerns (embodied by this entry); (b) the Development Agenda; and (c) the Legislative Agenda.
Strategies to Address Prevailing National Concerns
I. Transparency and Accountability
(1.1) As part of intensifying the drive for good governance, critical laws that will institutionalize anti-corruption mechanisms are needed. In particular, we will secure the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill that would cement transparency and accountability in government at all levels.
i. National Leadership
a. The President and Cabinet must truthfully and publicly declare their SALN
b. The President and Cabinet must sign a Waiver of Bank Secrecy Law
ii. Institutional: anti-corruption unit under the Office of the President
a. Ensure transparent, fiscally responsible, and timely delivery of public services and projects;
b. Review performance quality and mandates/functions of agencies to minimize discretion in decision-making; and
c. Review procedures and processes that are either unnecessary/outmoded or are unresponsive to the needs of citizens, such as scrapping the Overseas Employment Certificate, revising the procurement law and rules, reducing the number of signatures for licenses, etc., and extending the validity of passports to 10 years.
iii. Adopt the same standards of good governance applied nationally to local governments (provinces, cities, and municipalities)
(2.1) Peace in Mindanao
i. Work with Congress to pass an enhanced Bangsamoro Basic Law that is adherent to the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro;
ii. Pursue all components of the Normalization programs, under which we will continue to pursue an effective process of decommissioning; and
iii. Ensure the participation of stakeholders across tribal groups and organizations (e.g. Lumads, Moros, and Christians), and make sure they get the full benefits of the peace process, especially in terms of livelihood opportunities and education for the youth.
(2.2) Peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front
i. Draw up a one-time, big-time proposal for them to embrace Constitutional democracy and pursue their ideology under that framework, in exchange for a general amnesty; and
ii. Look for ways to implement reforms that bring development and good governance, and that address the roots of conflict.
(2.3) Immediate resolution of justice-related cases such as Lumad Killings and 2010 Maguindanao massacre is also crucial in the pursuit of long lasting peace towards inclusive development in Mindanao.
III. Inter-Provincial Disparities
As envisioned in the platform, the national government must equally capacitate provinces with the fiscal and administrative powers and resources to effectively anchor inclusive economic development within their jurisdiction.
(3.1) Provinces, together with cities and municipalities, must formulate their own provincial development plans and targets, which primarily contain local plans determined under the expanded bottom-up budgeting program (see Annex 2: Development Agenda).
(3.2) Increase government spending on infrastructure crucial in improving access of communities to social and economic services, and in supporting available opportunities.
Mass transit, as a priority, must be safe, reliable, affordable and multi-modal (different modes – train, light rail, buses, jeepneys, taxis) and must be effectively linked to each other to ensure a smooth flow.
(4.1) In key urban areas, particularly in Metro Manila, we will work on developing a sustainable, managed and inclusive solution for the mass transport problems in three points:
i. Construction – complete the construction of major road projects, the following for instance: the NLEX-SLEX Connector and Metro railway extension;
ii. Decongestion – decongest the metropolis through rationalizing bus franchising system and introducing a program of converting jeepneys into electric vehicle (mini-buses such as the COMET); and
iii. Discipline – encourage discipline among vehicle owners by putting up CCTVs that will monitor violations.
(4.2) Transfer NAIA to Clark to address existing airport congestion and improve the quality of the country’s airport service, which requires the creation of an efficient railway system that would connect the new airport to central hubs.
(4.3) Construction of the following modern railways and highways to connect parts of Luzon and reduce traveling time:
i. Commuter railways that will connect Calamba to NCR, and another connecting Calamba to Bicol;
ii. In the north, we will construct a commuter railway going to Malolos; and
iii. A high-speed highway from Bulacan going to Cabanatuan, connecting the eastern side of Luzon.
(4.4) Craft a clear urban policy to restructure urban blight and urban informal settler communities into habitable living areas in urban areas as well as in rapidly urbanizing areas. This would also address related issues such as traffic, flooding, pollution, and crime in urban areas.
(4.5) In rural areas, the government must increase the investment in developing infrastructures for transportation to improve connectivity of secondary/poorest towns and access of communities to opportunities (see Annex 2: Development Agenda).
V. Power/ Energy Security
(5.1) Revisit EPIRA and other laws to encourage greater competition in the energy market, which could lower power costs and lead to increased investment;
(5.2) Review fees and taxes that increase the cost of power;
(5.3) Empower electric coops toward achieving energy security, especially in the countryside and the growing urban centers outside Metro Manila;
(5.4) Diversify energy mix while ensuring that base load capacity, the minimum we need in terms of energy, can keep up with the rising demands of a growing economy and a growing population through developing and promoting clean, reliable and renewable sources of energy; and
(5.5) Intensify investment in research and development of renewable energy sources and in a clean approach to traditional energy solutions.
VI. Private Sector
(6.1) Enhance domestic investment climate to encourage private investments that could stimulate economic growth and lead to jobs creation, especially in rural areas.
i. Set the necessary policy and regulatory framework that would facilitate private investment, one of which is to implement simplified and standardized process of licensing and regulation;
ii. Provide the necessary infrastructure facilities and services and public goods to expand interconnectivity and support for the different sectors; and
iii. Collaborate with the private sector in conducting in-depth review of the supply chain to identify bottlenecks as well as strategies to address these bottlenecks and make enhancements towards eliminating inefficiencies.
(6.2) Continue to pursue public-private partnerships for infrastructure development, particularly in financing rural infrastructures, and immediate delivery of needed infrastructure and services for agriculture and fisheries.
(6.3) Encourage the private sector to venture in labor-intensive manufacturing subsectors to boost jobs creation.
VII. Integration with the Global Economy
Government interventions are crucial to ensure that integration with the global economy would not put local businesses at the disadvantage side, but would rather reap the full benefits from it.
(7.1) Ensure that there are (i) appropriate regulations; (ii) enhanced and suitable products/local supplier industries, (iii) competitive institutions, (iv) fully functioning infrastructure so that the country’s capital market is efficient and not prone to arbitrage.
(7.2) Increase investment in human resource development, technology upgrading, and information dissemination.
VIII. Foreign Affairs
(8.1) West Philippine Sea issue
In pursuing our legitimate territorial rights and interests in the West Philippine Sea, we will have a four-pronged approach: Internationalize, Legalize, Engage, and Deter.
i. Internationalize – continue to internationalize the matter by making sure the whole world understands the logic of our position. We will continue to seek friendly but honest discussions in multilateral dialogue institutions such as ASEAN, ASEAN Regional Forum and East Asia Summit.
ii. Legalize – continue to stress the rule of law. The Roxas-Robredo Administration will NOT abandon our case pending before the UN’s Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. We will advance it as a legitimate modality for settling disputes.
iii. Engage – engage China and make sure the West Philippine Sea issue does not become the sum total of our bilateral relationship. Economic and trade relations must continue to advance while we settle our differences in the West Philippine Sea through legal, peaceful, and friendly means.
iv. Deter – continue to deter any claimant’s possible use of force by accelerating the AFP Modernization Program. We will not only continue it, we will accelerate it. In a Roxas-Robredo administration, we will make sure the dreams and aspirations of our military to have a credible defense posture are met. We will also make full use of our alliance with the U.S. by implementing EDCA.
(8.2) Further professionalize and build the capacities of Foreign Service corps to make them not only more responsive to the needs of overseas Filipinos but also capable of conducting economic diplomacy such as promoting trade and investments toward enhancing the country’s economic development in relation to the world.
IX. Environment and Climate Agenda
i. Revise the Water Code to adopt an integrated water resource management as the framework that includes water demand management (water conservation, water efficiency, water quality, etc.) and ensure multi-stakeholder and community participation in the sustainable management of their waters;
ii. Expand the support for investments in water service providers and LGUs to invest in the treatment of sewage and septage, which is required under the Clean water Act; and
iii. Require government agencies, LGUs, private and business sectors to implement rainwater harvesting and storage at all levels – households, offices, schools, other institutions, companies, subdivisions, malls, etc. – to substantially reduce flooding and provide needed water during dry spells and droughts. For instance, roads must be built with rain catchment underneath, instead of just drainage canals.
i. Secure the passage of the National Land Use Act that will guide all land use planning in the country toward setting the final limits of our forest lands and rationalizing the different and, sometimes, conflicting land uses (CLOA, PAs, ARCs, among others);
ii. Enhance national greening program and raise the involvement of the local communities in it to ensure sustainability; and
iii. Review the national strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and assess its implementation, as well as address arising issues.
(9.3) Green Energy
i. Manage a 3-year transition to a renewable energy-powered economy toward attaining our commitment of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030 (commitment we submitted to the UN in December 2015);
ii. Ensure completion of the review of all issued coal plant permits;
iii. Increase investment in research and development of renewable energy sources;
iv. Put up a system of incentives for developing and using renewable energy; and
v. Integrate renewable energy early with Local Government and National Agency DRR agenda to help transition communities and local governments to clean energy pathways.
(9.4) Climate Resilience and Disaster Preparedness
i. Intensify support to LGUs for the implementation of needed adaptation measures and improve disaster preparedness of the local
a. Grow the People’s Survival Fund (PSF)—a key climate initiative of Daang Matuwid—from Php 1 billion to Php10 billion floor, and call on the international donor community to match our allocation to bring the total annual adaptation fund to Php20 billion;
b. Increase by 300% the Weather-Indexed Climate Insurance Coverage for households engaged in agriculture sector, government facilities;
c. Improve urban and rural climate change resilience through prioritizing climate-resilient infrastructure projects;
d. Ensure DRR command posts and key evacuation centers throughout the country and humanitarian government teams are equipped with modern solar response capability, especially relocation shelters and permanent settlements; and
e. Conduct regular assessment, with participation of communities, of local disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) plans to ensure responsiveness to the changing local terrain as well as local resources and needs.
ii. Support and institutionalize Project NOAH
iii. Adopt a tri-sectoral, inclusive approach – involving the government, the private sector, and civil society – in environmental and climate governance to provide a platform for collaboration among stakeholders crucial for policy-making and implementation.
iv. Integrate an environmental component in all government policies, programs and projects. For instance, location of any infrastructure project, such as roads and bridges, must consider the geo-hazards in the area.
v. Promote a climate-responsive national budget because the national survival fund is the national budget.
X. Human Rights
One of the cornerstones of our platform is to restore and protect the dignity in being Filipino. This entails the respect and protection of all freedoms and rights that every human being has, regardless of age, sex, religion, class, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, at every stage and in every condition. Towards this end, we will:
(10.1) Work for the full realization of every Filipino’s right to a dignified life by ensuring that they enjoy freedom from hunger, freedom from fear, and freedom to dream through the prioritization of the most impactful policy areas as well as clear programs and initiatives that have immediate, near-term, and long-term benefits for Filipino families.
(10.2) Fully enforce measures and secure the passage of necessary legislations to advance and guarantee the protection of human rights. In particular, we will assure strict and full implementation of the following—(i) Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act, (ii) Expanded Anti-TIP Act, (iii) Human Rights Victims Reparation and Recognition Act, and (iv) Reproductive Health Law; as well as enact (i) a comprehensive anti-discrimination law, and (ii) the Positive Discipline and Anti-Corporal Punishment bill to protect the rights of our children against violence.
(10.3) Guarantee swift delivery of justice by ensuring that all pillars of the justice system perform and deliver effectively—this includes, but not limited to: (i) strengthening the institutions and organizations that provide care and assistance to the victims or offended party; (ii) modernizing law enforcement agencies and improving prosecution services; (iii) continuing reforms in the justice sector, for instance the institutionalized Justice Sector Coordinating Council (JSCC) as well as programs like the Justice Zone and Hustisyeah; and (iv) enhancing correctional and rehabilitation facilities and programs. In line with justice delivery, we will pursue the immediate resolution of justice-related cases such as the 2015 Mamasapano incident, the 2010 Maguindanao massacre, lumad killings, and extra-judicial killings.
(10.4) Further raise people’s participation and involvement in reporting HR violations and in monitoring the implementation of HR measures and programs like the comprehensive human rights education through enhancing the capacity of Barangay Human Rights Action Centers (BHRAC).
(10.5) Strengthen the Commission on Human Rights and government agencies that directly affect vulnerable sectors—women, youth, children, persons with disabilities (PWDs), indigenous peoples (IPs), senior citizens, LGBT, workers, farmers and fisher folks. This is crucial in sustaining a rights-based approach to governance to ensure inclusive development.
XI. Women Empowerment
(11.1) Fully implement the Reproductive Health Law
(11.2) Create local enabling environments to facilitate the development of women micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprises
(11.3) Integrate gender sensitivity and human rights in staff training program of the police force and government agencies providing forensics, medico-legal, legal and social work services for women victims/survivors of gender-based violence
(11.4) Build capacities of existing Violence Against Women (VAW) Desks in every barangay, and ensure the establishment of VAW Desks in all barangays nationwide
(11.5) Amend or repeal existing laws on VAW towards making it more gender-responsive (see Annex 3: Legislative Agenda).
(11.6) Institutionalize gender-responsive standards in the set-up of evacuation centers and relocation sites as well as delivery of humanitarian services including the setting up of women- and children-friendly spaces
(11.7) Create a consultative mechanism among women civil society organizations (CSOs) that would serve as a venue for capacity-building and advocacy to engage the Gender and Development (GAD) planning and budgeting processes of national government agencies (NGAs), government-owned or controlled corporations (GOCCs), state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local government units (LGUs)
XII. Migrant Workers (OFWs) and Overseas Filipinos
While we create more opportunities – decent jobs and livelihood/economic programs – domestically so that working abroad is a matter of choice and not out of desperation, we will:
(12.1) Continue and enhance government assistance to provide stronger, efficient, and full support to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) such as legal assistance, counseling, training and preparation prior deployment, diplomatic support, and labor relations; and to returning OFWs such as repatriation assistance, social-economic reintegration program, medical and counseling services.
i. Improve the monitoring of all government officials posted overseas, particularly those at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), and take immediate steps to ensure legitimate grievances by OFWs are immediately addressed;
ii. Amend the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) charter to allow overseas Filipino Workers to pay the OWWA annual fee, even when they become jobless but remain overseas, to continue their OWWA membership for them to still be able to access its benefits when they need it most;
iii. Appoint an ombudsman or a body in the Department of Foreign Affairs that will investigate complaints, criticisms, suggestions and accusations of wrongdoings in the Philippine Consulate and seek solutions and appropriate actions;
iv. Look into setting up a genuine retirement and reintegration scheme for returning OFWs, and strengthen government entities that train returning OFW to find jobs, to receive training on how to start their own business, to access Pag-IBIG funds and other social services; and
v. Establish a clear mechanism for better coordination of all government agencies involved in promoting the welfare and protecting the rights of migrant workers and overseas Filipinos.
(12.2) Ease processes and transactions involved in securing overseas employment and/ or accessing consular assistance and services
i. Review all fees collected from OFWs and reduce or scrap whatever is deemed unnecessary or excessive;
ii. Review and cut down unnecessary processes and requirements in securing overseas employment (e.g. reduce the number of signatures required for a seafarer’s book, review the need for the Overseas Employment Certificate or OEC and other documentary requirements for travel of OFWs and their dependents);
iii. Ensure that the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) guidelines that mandate the “no placement fee policy” be fully implemented by (i) mandating a uniform course and fee for training would-be OFWs; (ii) strictly monitoring recruitment agencies and immediately imposing sanctions on those that violate this policy, including cancellation of their license; and (iii) forbidding POLO’s ongoing practice of conciliating illegal fee cases filed by OFWs;
iv. Study an amendment in the law increasing the validity of Philippine passport from 5 years to 10 years to eliminate the time and travel expenses for OFWs in distant places from the Philippine consulates; and
v. Adjust the work days of embassies and consulates to make it more responsive to the needs of overseas Filipinos.
(12.3) Ensure foreign posts support artistic and cultural endeavors of overseas Filipinos, including financial and promotional assistance.
(12.4) Harness the skills and potentials of overseas Filipinos to contribute to modernizing institutions and boosting economic development
i. Tap overseas Filipino scientists, technology experts, researchers, academicians, and development experts to provide expert advice and assistance to LGUs and government agencies in the formulation and implementation of development programs and projects.
ii. Through the embassies and consulates, welcome, encourage, and support charitable foreign medical missions to the Philippines by providing foreign medical missions with (i) information on target localities, local media groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other travel-related concerns; and (ii) technical guidance and assistance on accreditation, licensure, and importation of mission-related goods and supplies.
iii. Channel overseas Filipinos remittances to domestic investments
a. Develop overseas Filipino bonds and other financial instruments specifically suitable for the risk-return profile of Filipinos overseas and their families; and
b. Legislate regulations over the expanding remittance market—including the prohibition of transaction costs greater than 3% and incentives for competition among remittance firms—to protect remittances from wastage and channel them to investments.
XIII. Sports Development
(13.1) Enhance sports councils by (i) reviewing by-laws and governance of sports agencies; (ii) reorganizing and activating sports councils at the regional, provincial, and city/ municipal levels; (iii) building consensus on success indicators for the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) officials and national sports commissions; and (iv) appointing a Presidential Adviser to provide oversight and bring sports on the national policy-making table.
(13.2) Develop and support grassroots sports around the country by (i) strengthening and reinforcing school sports program; (ii) incentivizing fully-functioning leagues in various sports at the national, regional, provincial, and even the municipal/city level; (iii) investing more in team sports (capital and allowances) to develop unity and camaraderie; and (iv) developing a comprehensive sports database and identification system for athletes and coaches, as well as a sports development road map to be led by the PSC.
(13.3) Institute a National Sports Program, as well as a sports consciousness month.
(13.4) Formulate mandatory minimums, certification and accreditation system for sports practitioners (athletes and coaches) to professionalize the industry.
(13.5) Establish three regional training centers (in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao).
(13.6) Establish a national training center for Vision 20/20 Tokyo Olympics, “Aim the Olympic Gold”; as well as ensure efficient preparations for the 2019 SEA Games to be hosted by the Philippines.
XIV. Arts and Culture Development
(14.1) Unify the 12 cultural government agencies under an Arts & Culture Cluster within the Office of the President (through an Executive Order) to ensure close coordination among cultural agencies so they can better preserve and enrich our heritage.
(14.2) Designate an overall manager and coordinator for the Arts & Culture Cluster with the following functions:
i. Handle the said cluster and act as Presidential Adviser on matters concerning arts and culture;
ii. Refer and vet appointments, policies, and programs that will enhance competitiveness of cultural agencies; and
iii. Exercise oversight over the following:
a. Management of funds allocated for cultural agencies;
b. Creation of a National Heritage Center that will provide cultural institutions with permanent homes;
c. Augmentation of cultural agencies’ offices to suit their needs (i.e. retrofitting of the National Library, committing 8 hectares of land for the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the National Archives of the Philippines (NAP), and storage for the National Museum of the Philippines); and
d. Consolidation and rationalization of responsibilities and expertise of cultural agencies.
(14.3) Continue providing the wherewithal (FYI: 492% increase in allocation for 6 culture agencies: 2010–P607M to 2015–P3.598B) to further empower cultural agencies in preserving and enriching the Filipino heritage.