NDFP Media Office
January 23, 2017
Hundreds of migrant Filipinos attended a peace forum held at the Basilica Santa Pudenziana in Rome yesterday afternoon.
The peace forum, which featured speakers from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) tackled salient points in the draft Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) currently being negotiated by both parties in the third round of the peace negotiations now being held in Rome.
The audience, many of whom were members of Migrante chapters in Rome, Milan, Bologna, Florence and other cities in Italy mainly asked questions on how the peace negotiations would impact the serious problems of poverty and unemployment in the Philippines that have compelled millions of Filipinos to look for jobs abroad.
NDFP consultants Adelberto Silva and Randall Echanis expounded on the need for genuine land reform and national industrialization in order to resolve economic backwardness and generate jobs for the millions of Filipinos entering the labor force annually.
Silva assailed the fact that existing GRP economic policies have run counter to industrialization efforts. In particular, he cited that even the processing of scrap metal in the Philippines faces constraints because Philippine economic policies allow as much as 70% of recyclable steel products in the country to be exported to other economies.
Echanis, on the other hand, cited the difficulties encountered by Philippine farmers as a result of neoliberal economic policies that allow the dumping of foreign agricultural produce in the domestic market.
They underscored the need for Filipinos both in the homeland and abroad to continue airing their demands and aspirations to the peace panels to ensure that the negotiation’s outcome would be beneficial to the Filipino people.
They added that the Filipino people should also demand the satisfactory implementation of any agreements on socio-economic reforms and political and constitutional reforms that may be signed.
The peace forum is the second to be organized by the Filipino Chaplaincy in Rome. The first forum held last October at the same venue featured NDFP Senior Adviser Luis Jalandoni and panel member Coni Ledesma as speakers.
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