In Filipino, SANLAKAS means “pinag-isang lakas ng mamamayan” the collective strength of the people.
It is a national COALITION composed of sectoral and people’s organizations united in the struggle for social change.
In 1998 until 2004, SANLAKAS has been engaged in the legislative arena as a PARTY LIST ORGANIZATION representing the marginalized sectors in congress, articulating their perspective and initiating actions to ensure that national laws and policies will serve their best interest.
By making the most of every possible opportunity to promote the people’s agenda and engaging the various stakeholders in every possible venue- from the ‘parliament of the street ‘, to the House of Representative, up to the Supreme Court – SANLAKAS has made its presence felt.
It has carved its own niche in the national political landscape as staunch advocates for the promotion of human rights and social justice.
SANLAKAS shares every Filipino’s dream of a peaceful, progressive and democratic nation, where every person regarless of age, gender, ethnic, cultural, social, political and economic background:
1. Has a fair chance of ensuring that they and their families will have jobs and reliable means of securing resources that will enable them to put food on the table, send their children to school, seek appropriate health care services where needed, live in decent affordable housing and clean, safe, and secure communities.
2. Has the opportunity to participate in community development efforts that foster self-reliance and collaboration as well as empower citizens to build a genuine ‘power powered’ democracy from the grassroots up to the national levels of government.
3. Has access to the full measure of legal protection through the fair and consistent enforcement of pro-people laws.
4. Has reason to hope that the goal of an improved overall quality life can be attained TODAY rather than in some uncertain future, and can be had by all Filipinos rather than just the few who own the wealth and rule the land
SANLAKAS shares our people’s vision and believes that to uphold social justice, to protect and promote human rights we must dismantle all forms of exploitative political, economic, social and cultural barriers such as:
=> The exclusion of workers, farmers, fisher folk, the urban and rural poor from crucial policy and decision-making processes and governance structures.
=> The exploitation and oppression of women at home, in the workplace, the media and other socio-cultural contexts; discrimination against gays and lesbians and other individuals by virtue of their sexual orientation.
=> The blatant disregard for and continuing violation of the rights of the Moro people, lumads and other indigenous peoples and the continuing policy of war to quell their centuries’ old resistance to domination, their struggle for peace in their own ancestral land.
To work for genuine political reforms at all levels of government and sustain people’s active participation in national development, we must promote and affirm our principles:
• That a genuine democratic government is one where political power truly resides in the hands of the majority of our people.
• That decentralized and autonomous local governance structures should be strengthened by promoting principles of transparency and accountability among all who hold public office.
• That national development can only be achieved through a sovereign economy that:
=> Is free from foreign domination and exploitation;
=> Strives for a balance between agricultural and industrial development;
=> Ensures the equitable allocation of resources and social wealth;
=> Promotes ecologically sound, environmentally protective and sustainable practices in the production, marketing and distribution of goods and services.
•That genuine international solidarity must be based on non-interference, mutual cooperation, and peaceful co-existence among nations and among peoples, therefore:
=> Onerous treaties such as the existing military agreements with the United States have no place in our foreign policy
=> All just international conventions, agreements and treaties such as those dealing with human rights, war crimes, environmental protection and the like must be adhered to and complied with to the letter and spirit.
=> A policy of non-alignment must be adopted, denouncing any forms of war or aggression being waged by other nations against other sovereign nations.
=> Proactive and vigilant effort on the part of the government is needed to protect and promote the rights and welfare of migrant Filipino workers.
SANLAKAS is committed to translating the rhetoric of principles and convictions into concrete actions by:
=> Conducting educational programs, research and information campaigns on current national and local issues as well as global concerns affecting the people.
=> Organizing the people in communities and workplaces and building their capacity to serve as active and responsible members or leaders in their own communities by instilling the values of unity and cooperation.
=> Mobilizing the people and other stakeholders to initiate appropriate actions and innovative activities in response to specific issues or policies affecting their ranks.
=> Legislative advocacy and lobbying work to ensure that the voice and demands of marginalized sectors are amplified and heard in Congress.
=> International solidarity work through linkages and participation in global social movements.