Discussions on social and economic reforms (SER) during the peace talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) today has been delayed after both reciprocal working committees (RWC) differed on the outline of the agreement.
For the NDFP, the outline “should be based on addressing the roots of the armed conflict while the GRP wants an outcomes-based outline.”
“We have exchanged with the GRP an outline of a comprehensive draft on social and economic reforms that includes agrarian reform, national industrialization, environmental protection, environmental protection, rights of the working people, foreign economic and trade relations, and, monetary and fiscal policies,” says Julie De Lima, chairperson of the NDFP-RWC-SER.
“We also welcome the GRP’s acceptance of the NDFP draft as the working draft of the discussions on social and economic reforms,” De Lima said.
De Lima said that while both parties agreed to adopt the “preamble and declaration of principles” of the NDFP draft, the GRP wants the ‘bases, scope and applicability’ to be deferred” until they have exchanged a more detailed outline of the nine-point outcome.
“It was the GRP who requested the postponement of discussions on the CASER for them to elaborate on their nine-point outcomes-based proposal,” says De Lima.
“The main purpose of the peace negotiations is to address the roots of the armed conflict which, among others, includes poverty, landlessness, joblessness, hunger, and inequality,” De Lima said adding: “placing the outcome ahead in an outline of an agreement on social and economic reforms is like putting the cart before the horse.”
The GRP vowed to elaborate on their proposed outcome and present it tomorrow morning since it contains, according to the NDFP are “mere generalizations” and fails to include details on how to achieve the outcomes.
The GRP’s nine-point outcome includes poverty eradication, environment and climate justice, globally competitive economy, adequate and quality social services, reduced inequalities, peaceful rural communities, food security, living incomes, and gender equality and representation. “These issues are all addressed in more detail in the NDFP draft outline,” De Lima said. #