Lunes, Mayo 6, 2013

What we stand for - The SANLAKAS Partylist Legislative Agenda

What we stand for
The SANLAKAS Partylist Legislative Agenda
Aaron Pedrosa
3rd Nominee, SANLAKAS Partylist

When SANLAKAS pursued electoral engagement the first time the partylist system of representation was adopted in Congress in 1998, it carried with it that singular collective vision it shared with the underrepresented basic masses. – that is widening democratic spaces for direct intervention, participation and articulation of the ordinary pedestrian’s sentiments in the established reins of power.

SANLAKAS continues to believe in exhausting all arenas of struggle to organize and represent the sovereign interests of the masses, of the working people and “invisible” sectors of society, across a broad range of issues that to this day have taken backseat to the political platform being advanced by mainstream, traditional political actors – their platform being entrenching and fortifying a system that worries less and less about how government should play a central and proactive role in helping those who have less in life meet the fundamental necessities dictated by everyday life – a platform that demands for less of government at a time when people are waging their battles against poverty, unemployment, deprivation and injustice – the social milieu which defines the prevailing condition of avast majority of our people.

By engaging parliament, so to speak, SANLAKAS hopes to present an antithetical paradigm – an antithesis to a development model that is oblivious to the plight of the people, one that puts people precisely in the heart of the so-called development.

To complement the grassroots organizing, a tradition and continuing narrative that SANLAKAS has built on for two decades now, SANLAKAS once again dares to present its critical analysis of plaguing and burning issues and translate this into concrete, well-meaning measures and tangible actions through legislation – to breathe life into the lofty ideal of a hayahay na bukas, bring it from the discursive realm down to laws of relevant application.

SANLAKAS has drawn up a 14-point program which essentially captures the vision of a hayahay na bukas:

· It is time to make housing cheap and accessible to all, to ensure Filipinos roofs on their head, of decent houses they can rightfully call home.

· It is time to curb unemployment and underemployment and reverse the government’s standing labor export policy by creating jobs at home and ensuring protection to our labor force overseas; to uphold workers’ right to security of tenure.

· It is time to afford justice to the backbreaking labor exerted by our workers by guaranteeing them with a living wage as against the standing cheap labor policy punctuated by unrealistic and uncompetitive wage levels.

· It is time to uphold education and health as primordial human rights starting off with appropriate and responsive financing in accordance not only with international treatises but as mandated by our Constitution.

· It is time to ensure food on the table, thrice a day; for government to feed a large section of its famished, malnourished and undernourished population by investing in our agricultural sector, by empowering our fisherfolks and farmers, by providing ample support to those who tend the fields and brave the seas for our nourishment.

· It is time to bring down the cost of electric power, of dismantling the private oligopoly that bleeds families of potential savings, of tapping into clean, safe and renewable energy sources based on the actual power requirements of the people and sustainable development and not of corporate expansionism.

· It is time to regulate oil prices and insulate consumers from market volatility, of ending a liberalized regime which allows oil companies to whimsically hike pump prices, unchecked and unregulated.

· It is time to empower citizens with information by pushing for greater accountability from public servants through proper disclosure of their assets and liabilities, of their dealings and transactions,of contracts entered into in the name of the people.

· It is time to rationalize our fiscal policies, of addressing the debt problem that would result in our liberation from the debt bondage, of ultimately repudiating illegitimate debts and holding those who wantonly benefitted from this indebtedness to account.

· It is time to strengthen the promotion, respect and defense of human rights by putting teeth on existing human rights mechanisms and removing existing structures and policies which undermine our human rights effort.

· It is time to institutionalize climate justice as a policy framework, a lens from which all foreign relations and trade arrangements should be anchored, to stand up for community resiliency in the face of climate change, of facilitating the transition to a low carbon economy without compromising the integrity of the environment.

· It is time to say no to unfair multilateral and bilateral trade and foreign policy arrangements that relegate our sovereignty into the periphery of negotiations and external linkages, of making our government work for our people and not allow our sovereign will to play second fiddle to impositions from so-called allies and trade partners.

This is our collective vision. This is what we stand for. And if you believe that it is high time to realizethis vision, if you believe in this vision of a hayahay na bukas, then indeed, it is time to get SANLAKAS back toCongress!

Thank you and padayon!

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