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; (b) the Development Agenda (embodied by this entry); and (c) the Legislative Agenda.
As we move closer to our collective dream of becoming a modern and developed country where every Filipino enjoys freedom from fear, freedom from hunger, and has freedom to dream, we will shift certain accountabilities and responsibilities away from the national to the local. Local governments will be empowered with capacities and resources in assuming a greater role for the progress of their constituents. This is our vision of governance—a governance that delivers and empowers.
We will reinvigorate the organization of government in a manner not only consistent with laws (e.g. LG Code) but also in such a way that we can maximize the efficiencies of the government at all levels. The National Government (the President and Cabinet) will work as enabler while the local government will focus on determining local targets and plans. Cities and municipalities together with the people will set the direction for targeted, specific interventions that will build the capacities of every Filipino family. On the other hand, in convergence with national sectoral agencies and cities and municipalities, provinces will formulate development plans and targets prioritizing the advancement of cross-cutting sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, and tourism.
To support local governments, a 100-billion expanded bottom-up budgeting (BUB) fund will be made available to them, on top of the internal revenue allotment (IRA) for local governments. Each local government working closely with the people will have the capacity to plan according to BUB funds allotted to them. Such fund is solely based on population size; political affiliations and patronage will not play a part.
Provincial development plans must contain the following:
- Mapping of gaps in infrastructure facilities and services necessary to support priority sectors – particularly in agriculture and fisheries, education, and health – and creating a road map to address these gaps;
- Road map for the development of specific sectors as well as identified secondary hubs within their jurisdiction;
- Harmonized local (cities and municipalities) plans and targets, making sure that these are allocated with budget responsibly and have undergone the process required under the expanded BUB program; and
- Strategy for implementation, as well as monitoring and evaluation.
In particular, focus of development plans must include but not be limited to the following:
I. Agriculture and Fisheries Sector Development
(1.1) In convergence with the DA, the provinces must determine their own development road map for agriculture and fisheries, which include, but is not limited to, identifying gaps in infrastructure and facilities, as well as product and income diversification programs.
(1.2) At the national level, we will enhance the management of the agriculture and fisheries sector:
i. Strengthen the DA bureaucracy by instituting effective management system; and
ii. Set up necessary mechanisms to enhance stakeholders’ participation through the Agriculture and Fisheries Councils (AFCs).
(1.3) Specific development targets for agriculture and fisheries sector are as follows:
i. Make credit and better insurance available to households engaged in agriculture and fisheries
a. Provide affordable and accessible credit to farmers and fisher folks that would help them in financing the necessary farm and fishing inputs; and
b. Increase by 300% the Weather-Indexed Climate Insurance Coverage for farmers, government facilities (also identified under the Environment and Climate Agenda).
ii. Invest more in effective extension programs as well as transfer of technology and facilities crucial in addressing efficiency and resiliency challenges.
a. Provide post-harvest (e.g. thresher mills, dryers, storage/refrigeration equipment, etc.) to reduce wastage, and make these available to every town;
b. Invest in the improvement of production and innovation capacity of farmers and fisher folks through training such as on the use of appropriate technologies (e.g. fish finder) and innovations on production, farming systems, and fishery practices; and
c. Increase resiliency of the sector against climate risks and disasters as well as pests and diseases through research and technology, and introduce income diversification programs.
iii. Increase investment in infrastructure development to improve connectivity and address efficiency challenges in the sector
a. Create networks and facilitate linkage of agriculture to industry and services sectors; and
b. Ensure the completion of the construction of existing farm-to-market road projects, as well as provide funding to address infrastructure gaps identified in the provincial mapping and needs assessment.
iv. Ensure effective implementation of structural agriculture reform initiatives
a. Completion of land distribution of remaining land acquisition and distribution (LAD) balance covered by agrarian reform and delivery of support services to farmers;
b. Make sure that the National Fisheries Industry Development Program is implemented; and
c. Fully recover the coconut levy funds and secure that coconut farmers will truly benefit from its utilization.
II. Food and Nutrition Security
A national council on food and nutrition security will be established to help provincial governments in formulating development plans and targets that will guide the whole-of-government approach to combat hunger by:
(2.1) Addressing short- and long-term issues on food affordability, availability and quality and safety.
i. Map out and determine farm-to-market road gaps and create a road map to close it towards reducing wastage as well as production/transport costs;
ii. Create programs that support inter-cropping, consolidation, and similar initiatives that will increase and diversify sources of income of farmers and fishers;
iii. Encourage membership in rural-based organizations and cooperatives to increase access to productivity programs; and
iv. Subsidize SSS and PHIC contributions of poorest farmers and fisher folk.
(2.2) Substantially decreasing the number of Filipino families who suffer from involuntary hunger and improve their nutrition
i. Implement targeted school feeding and de-worming programs to children in poor communities
ii. Provide food vouchers or food stamps for barangay-identified urban poor families vulnerable to involuntary hunger, for a pre-defined period
(2.3) Empowering farmers and fishers families, and other agriculture and fisheries stakeholders by giving them a voice in determining the priorities of their communities
i. Harmonize, improve, and expand government programs that provide farmers’ access to credit and insurance
ii. Through the expanded BUB program, provide funds to finance community-driven sustainable agriculture programs
III. Industrial Sector Development
(3.1) At the national level, we will review existing industrial policies and reform, if deemed necessary, to address bottlenecks towards having an industrial policy that will (i) identify industries and sectors where the country and the provinces can have comparative advantage; (ii) identify human resource development programs focused on the industries and sectors; (iii) embark on trade facilitation measures; and (iv) pursue trade-related infrastructure projects such as port and airport relocation projects (from NAIA to Clark) with road and railway connectivity to address ports and airports congestion.
(3.2) Develop and ensure the complete implementation of industry-specific manufacturing resurgence road maps.
(3.3) Enhance local supplier industries by revitalizing key sectors, particularly manufacturing.
(3.4) Cluster the industry by linking agriculture and input suppliers with enterprise, MSMEs with big businesses, and producers with domestic and global markets to increase the value-added of products and develop economies of scale.
(3.5) Provide local incentives for enterprises engaged and to be set up under the resurgence road map.
(3.6) Increase support for the halal industry by providing information on and monitoring halal manufacturing practices, international standards, and production technologies in production firms to enter foreign trade in the halal industry and create decent jobs.
(3.7) Forge partnerships with educational and research institutions for technology upgrading, human resource development, and information dissemination.
IV. Tourism Development
(4.1) At the national level, we will forge partnerships with ASEAN countries for multiple-destination tour programs and ASEAN Common Visa to increase tourist arrivals.
(4.2) Develop a tourism network in every province to encourage tourist arrivals, lengthen tourist stays, and increase tourist spending by clustering hotels, restaurants, retailers, suppliers, transport firms, advertising and tourism agencies, currency providers, and research companies.
(4.3) Solidify tourism branding through intensified marketing in key and new tourist sources.
V. Infrastructure Development
(5.1) Through a province-wide assessment and planning, provision of social infrastructures and basic services must be determined with improved preparation, budget allocation, and monitoring of implementation.
(5.2) Infrastructure development for social protection and services
i. In the health sector, a province-wide assessment of healthcare facilities and needs will be done to determine the needs of each town (e.g. dialysis center). Machines will be provided (purchased) by the national government and made available to every town; and
ii. In the education sector, substantial programs on developing educational infrastructures (e.g. classroom, laboratory facilities, etc.) as well as quality will be continued and improved. Through provincial governments, mapping of educational needs to determine infrastructural gaps in the sector will be conducted.
(5.3) Further accelerate the development of transport infrastructure in rural areas to support different sectors of the economy towards fostering local economic growth and stimulate the participation of local communities in economic activities.
i. Through the DOTC and the DPWH, offset regional imbalance on infrastructure spending programs to support/improve connectivity of rural areas to urban centers; and
ii. Continue to pursue PPPs and encourage the private sector to invest in/finance infrastructure programs, especially in secondary/poorest towns.