Sunday, August 20, 2017

Activist Doctor Receives Threats Anew

Health Alliance for Democracy strongly condemns the people behind harassment and threats from unknown elements to Dr. Darby Santiago. At 12:52 pm today, Dr. Santiago received his second death threat via text message.

In the past few weeks, Dr. Santiago, Doc Darbs to his patients and friends, has been vocal about hospital budget cuts and decreased budget for preventive health programs for 2018. "This is definitely alarming, in view of the fact that people get killed and get brushed aside because of the 'tokhang' campaign," said Dr. Santiago in his Facebook post. The text message read "Ingat ka. Dumadami atraso mo" from mobile number 09322374703. A few years back, Doc Darbs received a similar text message which read "Isang bala ka lang, ingat ka doc."

In the past months, five doctors have been killed mercilessly by unidentified men; justice still elusive. These killings, along with the growing number of killings perpetrated by state forces, has become a real threat to the common people, even professionals and doctors.

Dr. Darby Santiago is an ophthalmologist who specializes in retinal surgery and serves thousands of patients all around the Philippines. He is the first retina surgeon of the Ilocos Cordillera Region for the past 11 years. He is also a regular board examiner of the Philippine Board of Ophthalmology. Doc Darbs is also an academic professor at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine and De La Salle University College of Medicine. He is the chairperson of Health Alliance for Democracy.

HEAD calls on members of the health sector to be extra vigilant in these times of trouble. Despite harassments and threats, we encourage everyone to be strong and steadfast in their commitment to serve the people. Let us unite in the outrage against these threats to our colleagues. We also call on the public to condemn the brutal killings and unite in the call for justice.##

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Health Groups Gather at the Senate in Support of Judy Taguiwalo

The progressive health sector joins the youth, teachers, the urban poor, workers, and farmers in support of Judy Taguiwalo, current Department of Social Welfare and Development chief. "We highly commend her service to the people, putting them in top priority and rejecting policies that permit corruption and patronage politics," said Dr. Darby Santiago, Health Alliance for Democracy chairperson.

With Judy as DSWD chief, the nation has seen one of the quickest responses from government agencies. Relief goods came quickly despite landslides and road blockades after Typhoon Lawin devastated Cagayan Province. The same was true after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Leyte. DSWD was also one of the first relief teams on site during the Marawi conflict.

Taguiwalo, for most of her time in DSWD, rejected using DSWD funds as pork barrel for senators and congressmen. Patronage politics was out of the question. "This, we believe, is the reason why there are parties and/or individuals, members of the cabinet and militarists, who want her out of President Duterte's cabinet," said Dr. Santiago.

"Judy's rejection as DSWD chief will be a mere replay of what happened with Gina Lopez, who was rejected as Department of Environment and Natural Resources chief after instilling reforms that allowed the department to actually protect the environment," he added.

HEAD believes that the confirmation of Judy Taguiwalo, together with Rafael Mariano of the Department of Agrarian Reform, ultimately benefits the interests of the common people, farmers, and the urban poor. Their track record is proof of their success as public servants. Their rejection, on the other hand, would only serve the interests of the bureaucrats and oligarchs, whose greed is intent on exploiting government funds and laws through these government institutions.

"Upon their rejection from cabinet positions, the Duterte administration will be left with nothing: neither substantial reform nor change for the very same people that Duterte vowed to serve. Whatever achievement the Duterte administration had through these government institutions will be lost," added Dr. Santiago. "It is the coffers of corrupt politicians, bureaucrats, and the oligarchs that would prosper instead."

For these reasons, the health sector continues to support the confirmation of DSWD chief Judy Taguiwalo, and DAR chief Ka Paeng Mariano. The Duterte administration should stop listening to the dictates of the bureaucracy, as well as the whispers of his pro-US militarist officials. Duterte must uphold the interests of the masses. Confirm Judy!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

2018 National Budget for Health: More Money for Curative, Privatized Health Care

The proposed 2018 budget for health is bigger but not necessarily better. According to Health Alliance for Democracy, much of the P164 billion budget is focused on curative rather than on preventive healthcare and will mainly benefit the private sector.



"The Duterte administration inherited many complex health problems that require both short- and long-term solutions," according to Dr. Gene Nisperos, HEAD vice-chair. "But the 2018 health budget does not seem to reflect these solutions."

Once again, the National Health Insurance Corporation, or PhilHealth, will get the lion's share with P57 billion. This represents a 7% increase from its current budget and accounts for 35% of the entire national budget for health.

At the same time, almost all of the hospitals under the Department of Health will suffer an average of 24% cutback in their maintenance and operating expenses. Many will have 30% to 40% cuts.

The DOH-retained hospitals represent the last vestiges of health care services provided by the DOH. With such significant cuts in the budget for the maintenance and operating expenses of these hospitals, the DOH is practically crippling their ability to serve and leaving them to fend for themselves.

Moreover, preventive health programs, including those that focus on significant public health concerns, like tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV infections, will be short of P16.7 billion in budget as these suffer a whopping 52% budget cut.

"What does this all mean? That the DOH is allocating more money for curative care, which is more expensive and less cost-effective, rather than on preventive care. For a government that alleges limited resources, this is unsound policy." Nisperos said.

"But the curative care will be provided more by private hospitals and facilities rather than DOH hospitals. Right now, only 37% of hospitals accredited by PhilHealth are government run. So private hospitals and big pharmaceuticals will be grinning their way to the bank as they bilk PhilHealth of its billions," added Nisperos.

For HEAD, the DOH is sending the wrong message: with PhilHealth, the government is now a mere purchaser of health services rather than a provider of it.

"Once more, relevant health services and public health gives way to political expediency. This is the neoliberal program in health. Sadly, the people will be the ones to suffer for it," Nisperos concluded.

Is this really the kind of "legacy" this administration wants to leave?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Complete turnaround for health in Duterte’s second SONA

In his second State of the Nation's Address, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reiterated his administration’s dependence on the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, or PhilHealth. He said that PhilHealth coverage will be expanded and that the No Balance Billing policy will be strengthened.

For Health Alliance for Democracy, such statements are a complete reversal of his earlier stance against PhilHealth.

"More than a year after being elected into office, President Duterte has completely backtracked on PhilHealth and now continues with the Department of Health's band-aid solutions to age-old public health problems," said Dr. Darby Santiago, HEAD Chairperson. "He has forgotten that during the 2016 presidential debates, he was the only candidate to criticize PhilHealth, for which he was applauded and supported by many who wanted to see real changes in health care."

Protesters gather at Batasan ave. to ask President Duterte what has become of his
promised change on the president's second State of the Nation Address, July 24, 2017.
At that time, he was already convinced of the general ineffectiveness of PhilHealth that despite its ballooning budget and supposed coverage of the poor, patients still shouldered more than half the cost of their hospitalization.

"But now, Duterte is singing a different tune," Dr. Santiago said.

An effigy by the health sector, depicting Duterte and his health agenda,
where bureaucrat capitalists and imperialists benefit instead of the people.
Strengthening the No Balance Billing policy is useless when there are not enough government-run hospitals and when health facilities are poorly funded and understaffed. Even indigent members wind up paying for the medicines themselves or worse, go to private centers because these are the only ones nearby.

"Is this what President Duterte meant by change? That he will just do more of the same old things?"

The presidential backpedalling is not new. In his recent pronouncements, President Duterte has turned his back on the substantive issues and immediate concerns of Filipinos.

He promised to end labor contractualization, support genuine land reform, assert an independent foreign policy, and pursue the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines before and after he won the presidency.

For HEAD, the direction that the Duterte administration is taking reveals much of the interests it now represents. "President Duterte is now far removed from the people he alleges to serve. This is not the leadership we deserve. This is not the change that we want," Dr. Santiago lamented.##

Sunday, July 23, 2017

SONA 2017: Change in Health, Non-existent and Intangible

"What change would you expect if the Duterte Health Agenda pursues the same neoliberal policies that the previous administrations pursued? The answer is nothing," said Dr. Darby Santiago, Health Alliance for Democracy Chairperson. "Change in health is non-existent and intangible."

Gomampong Gymnasium, Baloi, Lanao del Norte, jampacked with evacuees from Marawi City. Evacuees line up on the left side of the image for the medical mission/checkup. Photo taken June 15, 2017.


"Privatization and corporatization of healthcare in its various forms continue. Budget cuts plague our public healthcare delivery system. Medicine and vaccines remain lacking in communities, while millions worth of these rot in storage rooms," added Dr. Santiago. "Then there's the casual killing of doctors who serve communities, further depriving the poor of much-needed healthcare and medical attention."

"Malnutrition worsened. HIV cases increased. Countless data prove that the health of Filipinos has in fact worsened. Yet the Department of Health and the Duterte administration has yet to implement policies that would result to substantial change," added Dr. Santiago. "Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results, therefore DOH is insane to think that neoliberal policies will solve the ills of our healthcare system."



"One thing is clear: the fascist Duterte administration cannot bring real change; the change we need remains in the hands of the Filipino people through our collective action and empowerment," added Dr. Santiago. "Our struggle for a free, comprehensive, and progressive healthcare must continue. Our struggle for a just and peaceful society shall flourish."##

Martial Law Extension Means Extension of Humanitarian Crisis, State Abuses – Health Groups

Health Alliance for Democracy strongly condemns the extension of martial law in Mindanao up to
December 31, 2017. By voting for the extension, the Congress and the Senate have exposed themselves as mere tentacles to the President and his rabid dogs Lorenzana, Esperon, and Año.

As the bureaucrats pander to their precious soldiers, largely lost in the narrative is the massive humanitarian crisis that Duterte's martial law has brought upon the people of Mindanao. Half a million Moros have been displaced, the Lumad have been forced out of their communities by the military, and human rights violations abound not just in the south but in the entire country.

Students hold placards in front of the Philippine General Hospital in an action against Martial Law in Mindanao.


And yet, the political elite have dismissed the massive evacuation and civilian deaths as mere "collateral damage" to the US-AFP counter-terrorist agenda. It is clear which masters they serve.

HEAD likewise condemns the detention and calls for the release of the #Kabataan8 who launched a lightning protest during the session. The incident is a reminder of how a reactionary state responds to legitimate public dissent.

Without any hindsight, Duterte and his allies continue to address the conflict in Mindanao and in the entire country through a rightist, militarist policy. But time and time again, history has taught that the enduring socio-economic crisis in the country feeds the growth of rebellion. Because of this, his martial law, as that of his hero Ferdinand Marcos, will ultimately fail.

The health sector is resolute in standing with the Filipino people against Dutert's martial law and his fascist rule. It will march on Monday, during the president's SONA, to show its indignation and call for the lifting of martial law. President Duterte must serve the Filipino people, not the US imperialist agenda of waging war for its own profit.##



Sunday, July 16, 2017

DOH blasted for ‘washing hands’ over Cavite provincial doctor slay

Health Alliance for Democracy blasted the Department of Health for again downplaying its responsibility in the protection of health personnel. This, following the killing of Cavite Provincial Health Officer, Dr. George R. Repique, Jr. Dr. Repique is the third physician to be shot and killed within the last five months.

HEAD together with PROJUST (Protection and Justice for Frontline Healthworkers) held a candle lighting action in front of the Philippine General Hospital on July 13 for the killing of Dr. George Repique Jr.


In an official statement on Friday, DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial deplored the killing and acknowledged the string of unresolved killings of doctors, but she makes no mention of what the department will do in response to this.  In fact, in the five months since Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas and Dr. Shahid Sinolinding have died, no clear mechanism has been put in place to protect the other frontline health workers currently in the field.


All the DOH has done is to pass on this responsibility to local government units – an utter absence of commitment, sincerity, and leadership. While it continues to watch by idly, doctors are dying and health workers are being harassed. This is not the DOH we deserve.

Candles lit for Dr. George.
HEAD calls on the DOH to do the following:

1. The department should come up with a clear, unequivocal statement that it will protect its health workers at all cost and that it will work tirelessly to get justice for them;

2. It should set up a mechanism by which it can get complaints and immediately assist frontline health workers;

3. It should meet with the DILG to delineate their respective tasks and responsibilities in protecting health workers;

4. It should immediately undertake the thorough investigation of these cases as well as complaints raised by other frontline health personnel regarding harassments and threats;

5. It should insist that the PNP and DOJ bring the full force of the law against the perpetrators; and,

6. It should ask President Duterte to make a strong stance on protecting health workers, the same way that he persistently does for his soldiers.

The DOH should not simply "support efforts to obtain justice" in these killings, but should exercise clear leadership for the protection of those who serve.##

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Third Doctor Killed under Duterte: Cavite Provincial Doctor Shot Outside Hospital

Health Alliance for Democracy strongly condemns the murder of Dr. George R. Repique, Jr., Provincial Health Officer of Cavite. He is the third doctor to be killed in five months, after the killing of Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas in March and Dr. Jaja Sinolinding in April.





Justice is yet to be served for Dr. Drey and Dr. Jaja, and the death of Dr. Repique confirms the continuing impunity in our country. We demand justice for our killed colleagues. We demand that perpetrators be arrested and punished. The Department of Health cannot dismiss his death as another isolated case and must take concrete steps to protect frontline health workers.

Dr. Repique was a member of the University of the Philippines – College of Medicine class of 1993. He had a very strong public health perspective and had partnered with the UP Community Health and Development Program. He was the Provincial Health Officer of Cavite when he was shot on July 11, just outside General Emilio Aguinaldo Memorial Hospital. He died in the emergency room.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

AFP and Martial Law: Direct Threat to Lives and Well Being of People

"Terrorism and state terrorism have always been threats to lives and well-being. But you do not solve a problem by creating a bigger problem. Maute is a problem, but the Armed Forces of the Philippines and their implementation of Martial Law is a bigger problem," said Dr. Joseph M. Carabeo, Secretary General of Health Alliance for Democracy.

"What should have been a simple police problem and failed intelligence has been rewarded with vast military powers and authoritarian rule, directly threatening people's rights," added Dr. Carabeo. "We must remember that even without Martial Law, the police and military have been the primary violators of human rights in the Philippines. With the suspension of basic rights under Martial Law, we fear worse human rights violations by state forces."



"It doesn't help that fake news probably fueled the declaration of Martial Law, throwing the people of Mindanao into chaos. The people now 'turn to' the foremost human rights violators, the military, as their knight in shining armor," said Dr. Carabeo. "This condition drowns out the voices of the victims of military abuse, at the same time diminishes the evil and discriminatory character of aerial bombings, as if it can only be directed to their target terrorists. But the picture of thousands of people fleeing their communities is enough testament to the worsening situation than the military frenzy hopes to address."

"The peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, which aims to address the roots of our social problems, have also become a casualty," lamented Carabeo. "The panel and the people's hard work towards attaining a just and lasting peace has gone down the drain, at least for now. No justice, no peace, no health."


Health Alliance for Democracy beseechs the help of fellow health professionals, health workers, health science students and health advocates to call for the end of Martial Law in Mindanao. Vast military powers and authoritarian rule under Martial Law is an additional threat to the people of Mindanao. Casualties among civilians will only increase through aerial bombings. Never again to Martial Law!##

Thursday, May 11, 2017

HEAD Joins Global Resistance against RCEP and Imperialist Globalization

Health groups under the Health Alliance for Democracy joined the multi-sectoral protest action against Imperialist Globalization on May 11, 2017. "The closed-door meetings between world economic leaders, businessmen, and countries involved in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership pose serious threats to basic human rights, including health," said HEAD Chairperson Dr. Darby Santiago.


RCEP is a free-trade agreement between the ten member states of ASEAN, with China bearing the lead role in response to the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnerships. Specific details behind RCEP remain secret, although several leaks point to the same neoliberal policies of liberalization, deregulation, and privatization that are in the TPP. "Health workers' rights are primarily at risk: these trade agreements seek to facilitate cheap labor and resources from the Philippines and other underdeveloped countries in Southeast Asia. Aside from low wages, these entail worse working conditions as corporations want to secure more profit," said Dr. Santiago.

"What's even scary is the drive to intensify patent laws, which will worsen the people's access to cheaper medicines. RCEP ensures that private companies will own exclusive rights to produce drugs, including the generic ones, resulting to monopoly and higher cost of medicines," added Santiago. For starters, branded HIV/AIDS medication costs 13,000 US dollars per person per year; the generic version only costs 67 US dollars. Generic drug pharmacies are also at risk of going out of business.


"The investor-state dispute settlement seals the deal to completely reject these imperialist impositions. Under RCEP and similar free-trade agreements, trans-national corporations can sue country states if that country's laws and constitution prevent them from reaping profits," added Santiago. Whether we win or lose the case comes the litigation costs, such as in the MWSS v Maynilad case where we paid 52 million US dollars for litigation alone. "It's tax payers' money, which could have been spent for free healthcare or salaries of health workers. Worse, it meddles with our sovereignty. The welfare of the people would be in peril."

"That the head of states discuss economic treaties with businessmen behind closed doors warrant public scrutiny. It compels us to ask, 'what about the people?'" said Dr. Santiago. "Health care, education, labor conditions, agriculture and other basic services, struggles fought and won, are in danger of being lost by the people en masse. The Duterte administration must prioritize its primary stakeholders – the Filipinos people – and reject these economic neoliberal impositions."

Amidst these great challenges, the people's resistance against these free trade agreements grows stronger by the minute. Health Alliance for Democracy joins the international clamor to resist RCEP and the ever growing threat of imperialist globalization in Southeast Asia. We call on our fellow health professionals, health workers, health science students, patients, and health advocates to join the resistance. Our collective action together with multi-sectoral groups shall prevent RCEP and free-trade agreements from endangering the very fabric of our society.##

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Health Groups Support #OccupyBulacan!

Health Alliance for Democracy and other health groups will join the People's Caravan in support of #OccupyBulacan on March 18, Saturday. "This Occupy movement is a culmination of the urban poor's desire to liberate themselves from dire and unhealthy living conditions," said HEAD Secretary General Dr. Joseph Carabeo. "Where the government fails, the people will assert."

"Homelessness unnecessarily exposes people to sickness and disease. The Duterte administration should therefore acknowledge the legitimate demands of the urban poor and heed their call instead of tagging as anarchy their assertion and collective action," said Dr. Carabeo. "The urban poor communities under Kadamay assert their rights because the government institutions have been failing, yet these failures are shrugged off as a mere problem of bureaucracy. President Rodrigo Duterte should stand with the people."

HEAD members participate in a medical mission in the relocation sites occupied by Kadamay in Pandi, Bulacan.


"When we say health, the environment where people live is a huge factor. Decent homes contribute greatly to the prevention of disease," said Dr. Carabeo. "It doesn't help that when the poor get sick, the rotting public healthcare system also fails to give them free and adequate treatment."
Urban poor communities under Kadamay occupied around 5000 houses in a relocation site in Pandi, Bulacan on March 8. The group occupied vacant houses that have dilapidated over time as these have remained unused for years. On March 17, they occupied additional 1200 houses in Pandi Atlantica.

"The Duterte administration and the National Housing Authority along with the local government units should take further steps to improve the living conditions in the relocation sites," added Carabeo. "Electricity and water are among the basic needs that people need to attain a healthy and clean environment. Immediate action must be taken to ensure that the rights of the people are prioritized."

HEAD is one with the urban poor in their struggle for decent and healthy living conditions. Health groups will bring food, water, and health services to the occupied relocation sites as part of the People's Caravan in support of #OccupyBulacan.

Two Doctors in Two Months: On the killing of rural doctor Sajid "Jaja" Sinolinding

Health Alliance for Democracy condemns in the strongest terms the killing of Dr. Sajid "Jaja" Sinolinding in Cotabato City, Tuesday. The ophthalmologist was shot dead alongside his security escort in his clinic by a gunman who posed as a patient.

HEAD is outraged that two doctors have been ruthlessly killed in two months. Last March Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas, a municipal health officer in Lanao del Norte, was shot in the back—his and Dr. Jaja's killers remain at large.

"How many more health workers need to die before the Department of Health and this administration stop idling around and start protecting our barrio doctors?" asked Dr. Joseph Carabeo, HEAD secretary-general. "Every day front line health personnel are putting their lives on the line to serve their countrymen, but the government repays them with indifference, deaf to the bullets that kill them."

Health groups under the Protection and Justice for Frontline Health Workers (Pro-Just) call to stop the attacks on health workers, April 7, 2017.


"What's glaring in Dr. Jaja's case is that he already had a security escort. This did not stop him from getting killed," Carabeo remarked.

Carabeo implored the DOH and the local and national governments to hasten the investigations on the deaths of Dr. Perlas and Dr. Sinolinding. "The underserved areas have lost much-needed doctors, and that their cases remain unresolved sends a chilling message to health workers all over the country," he said.

The DOH in particular must stop hiding behind the local government units and the national government, and assert its role as protector of health workers. "There have been cases where local governments were involved in the harassment of health workers and professionals. These must be taken more seriously. The continuous harassment and killings of health workers and health professionals must not be dismissed as 'isolated cases'. Simply transferring health workers from one community to another will not stop them from being targeted," warned Carabeo. “If not the DOH, then who else will?"

HEAD calls on members of the health sector to be steadfast in their commitment to serve the people by uniting in the outrage against the murder of their colleagues. It also calls on the public to condemn this brutal killing and unite in the call for justice.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Neoliberal Policies Make People Crazy

"Neoliberal attacks and imperialist impositions threaten and worsen social determinants of mental health," said Dr. Joseph Carabeo, Secretary General of Health Alliance for Democracy, as health groups under the International League of People's Struggle–Health Commission, People's Health Movement–Southeast Asia, and the Coalition for People's Right to Health gathered in front of the World Health Organization office on UN Avenue, Ermita, Manila on World Health Day, April 7. "We collectively bring attention to the public and the policy holders, both global and local, the various issues that undermine the attainment of the people's right to health."

WHO takes on depression as the theme on this year's World Health Day. They acknowledged social inequality and the importance of social and physical determinants in achieving mental health, which include access to health resources, job security, public safety, and shelter among others. "Yet they are silent on continuous neoliberal attacks and imperialist impositions that threaten and worsen these very determinants," said Dr. Carabeo.

"In a nutshell, neoliberalism seeks to open up basic social services such as health to the market for profit, while the government forces down our throats the policies that permit this desecration of social services," explained Dr. Carabeo. "It justifies the imperialist need to open up new avenues for profit and business, so that imperialist countries and their bureaucrat capitalist allies can continue to prosper. Privatization or corporatization of healthcare is one prevalent example."

Health groups pose for photos: Social conditions such as poverty, landlessness, militarization, low wages and budget cuts affect mental health.


"The neoliberal policy of privatization or corporatization undermines access to health resources as the cost of services soar," added Carabeo. "Worse, government funding is redirected to health financing such as PhilHealth instead of direct hospital services, leaving patients at the mercy of health insurance and private hospitals seeking higher returns. Trade liberalization on the drug industry in the form of drug patents limits the production of cheaper if not free medicines. Meanwhile, neoliberal policies on employment such as contractualization undermine the job security of health workers. The list goes on as the health of the masses erodes along with these determinants."

"The Duterte administration and the Department of Health must not abandon its responsibility and ensure that public health interests are not trampled by business interests," added Carabeo. "The World Health Organization on the other hand must take further steps to press governments to pursue policies on the economic and political levels that promote mental health instead of undermining it. Neoliberal attacks on health in the Philippines must stop!"

"World Health Day should be a day for championing the people's right to health. We must resist neoliberal attacks and imperialist impositions on health. Let us bring these issues to the attention of the public and concerned institutions as we continue to struggle for our right to health!" Carabeo ended.##

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Justice Must Be Served Stat! Protect Frontline Health Personnel Now!

Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) joins #BlackMonday and stands in solidarity with the collective condemnation of the killing of Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas. Dr. Perlas was the Municipal Health Officer of Sapad, Lanao del Norte when he was shot and killed last March 1.

Health personnel at the frontlines, including doctors, nurses, and midwives, face various difficulties and dangers in the performance of their duties. Yet the most dangerous of these hazards are those that are man-made: intimidations, harassments, and actual acts of violence that constitute not only gross human rights violations but also direct threats on their lives. This must stop.

Health professionals, health workers, and health science students mourn and condemn the killing of Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas.


We call for the swift institution of justice. Without the immediate resolution, conviction, and punishment of the perpetrators, the death of an MHO and a former member of the Doctors to the Barrios program of the Department of Health sends a chilling message to those who wish to serve in underserved areas. This must not happen.

We call on the DOH to come up with an unequivocal policy on the protection of health workers, both in the private and public sector, especially those who serve in disadvantaged and marginalized areas. The DOH, as well as the Duterte administration, should initiate actions and programs that will ensure the protection and security of health personnel all across the country. This must be done now.

We call on the health sector to honor the memory of Dr. Drey and others like him by remaining steadfast in their commitment and by continuing to serve the underserved.

We call on the general public to continue to express their outrage and join the clamor for justice. Let us link arms as we move forward with greater conviction and resolve.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

HEAD condemns killing of Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas


Health Alliance for Democracy condemns the killing of Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas, a dedicated community doctor serving in Sapad, Lanao Del Norte under the Doctors to the Barrios program by the Department of Health. The group calls on the Duterte government, the DOH, and the local government unit to thoroughly investigate the incident, go after the assailant/s and/or mastermind of the crime and accord the due penalty.

"Justice for Dr. Drey can also be served best if the government can assure the continuity of health services in the communities that he left and by addressing all obstacles to the delivery of health services including a secured environment for our health providers especially the volunteer doctors and nurses to the underserved areas," said Dr. Joseph Carabeo, HEAD Secretary General.

"While there will be chilling effects on present and future volunteers, we will not let this incident be used by the DOH to downsize further target volunteers and cut its budget allocation as it did in 2017, allegedly because there are few takers," Dr. Carabeo added. "Instead, the DOH should assert its protective, assuring, and influencing role for the unhampered delivery of service by its personnel."

HEAD will continue to exalt and support our heroes in health as they continue to serve in various difficult communities and dare turn their backs to the lure of lucrative practice in the city or abroad. Padayon gihapon!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

On EDSA 31: State fascism will intensify people’s resistance – health group

Health Alliance for Democracy joins the Filipino people in commemorating the 31st anniversary of the toppling of the US-Marcos dictatorship and the victory against state fascism, February 25, Saturday.

Health workers march towards Gate 2 of Camp Aguinaldo.


"We do not forget that the mass movement led the growing clamor against the widespread poverty, social injustice and political repression of the time," said Dr. Joseph Carabeo, secretary-general of HEAD. "This is the same, albeit stronger, mass movement that is now calling out the Duterte administration for the intensifying attacks on the people’s political, economic, and social liberties."

Following his withdrawal from the GRP-NDFP peace talks and his declaration of an all-out war, human rights violations have become more rampant throughout the country. According to KARAPATAN, Duterte has on his record 30 individuals languishing in jails for being advocates of human rights in their communities; they are now part of the 300 political prisoners yet to be freed despite being charged with trumped-up cases, most of them suffer from poor health. Even those from other factions of the ruling elite, such as the Liberal Party’s Leila de Lima, are made example of.

For all of the intensification of the human rights violations and political persecution, still left unaddressed are the old neoliberal policies perpetrated by regimes from Marcos to Noynoy Aquino: an import-dependent and export-oriented economy, contractualization and unjust wages, regressive tax policies, and ill-afford social services such as health and education.

Carabeo reminds Duterte, "all the fascist wars by past regimes failed because the basic ills of the people, the root causes of the armed conflict, were never addressed. Deaf to the lessons of history, they insisted on giving the wrong remedy to society's illnesses. The poor and hungry have become more convinced that the only way to achieve real change is to take up arms and overthrow this repressive state. "

Duterte would be very wise to take a completely different course: stop the all-out war enacted by the AFP and continue the peace talks. This is the perfect avenue for him to collaborate with the NDFP in enacting the socio-economic reforms that will address the root causes the armed rebellion. Or else, the war will endure.

In remembrance of the Filipino people’s victory more than three decades prior, and inspired by the increasing strength of the national democratic movement, the health sector stands resolute with the masses in the face of the intensifying fascist attacks on the people. "We will continue to join the struggle for true freedom and just peace," Carabeo ended.##

Friday, February 17, 2017

Health Sector Joins Clamor to Continue GRP-NDFP Peace Talks

Just peace and the attainment of people's health have become more elusive with the declaration of an "all out war" against the revolutionary forces of the New People's Army. Hundreds of professionals, health workers and health science students under Health Alliance for Democracy therefore joined the Black Friday protest to echo their sentiments on the government's withdrawal from the peace negotiations.

Health groups marched along Taft ave. toward Bonifacio Shrine
The substantial agenda on socio-economic reforms and political constitutional reforms have seen unprecedented progress during the third round of talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. "The health sector hopes that the peace talks continue to discuss further the comprehensive reforms, which will ensure not only quality and free health for Filipinos, but a healthy society as a whole," said HEAD Secretary General Dr. Joseph Carabeo.

"President Duterte, by listening to his militarist advisers and peace spoilers, has abandoned an alternative pro-people socio-economic policy drafted by both the GRP and NDFP panels by prematurely ending the peace talks and declaring an all-out war," Dr. Carabeo added. "Instead of addressing the roots of armed conflict, the Duterte administration inadvertently spreads misery as communities are militarized and human rights are violated by the Armed Forces of the Philippines."

"The substantial agenda on SER and PCR addresses the socio-economic roots of armed conflict, and this is the meat of the present peace negotiations. Duterte can still redeem himself by continuing the peace talks and honoring all previous agreements such as the JASIG and CAHRIHL. The Joint Monitoring Committee must also be enabled to receive and resolve cases of human rights violations springing from the inevitable fighting between the AFP and the NPA," Carabeo added.

 "The people’s clamor for a just and lasting peace is the ever compelling reason for peace talks, and we are one with the people in saying 'peace talks ituloy!'" concludes Carabeo. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Primer on the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER)

CASER: Repormang Sosyo-Ekonomiko Tungo sa Kapayapaan
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Praymer sa panukalang Kasunduan sa Repormang Panlipunan at Pang-Ekonomiya (Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms o CASER) sa pagitan ng Gobyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas (GRP) at ng National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)
Sa pag-upo sa pwesto ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, muling bumukas ang usapang pangkapayapaan sa pagi- tan ng Gobyerno ng Republika ng Pilipinas (GRP) at ng rebolusyonaryong kilusang pambansa demokratiko na kinakatawan ng National Democratic Front of the Phil- ippines (NDFP) sa negosasyon. Layunin ng usapan na makamit ang makatarungan at matagalang kapayapaan sa pamamagitan ng pagresolba sa mga ugat ng armadong labanan.
May apat na sustantibong adyenda ang usapang pang- kapayapaan:
1.) pagrespeto sa karapatang pantao at international humanitarian law;
2.) repormang panlipunan at pang-ekonomiya;
3.) repormang pampulitika at konstitusyunal; at
4.) pagtigil ng labanan at disposisyon ng mga pwersa.

Ang bawat adyenda ay may kaakibat na mga kasunduan. Noong 1999, pinirmahan ang unang kasunduan, ang Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRI- HL).
Sa praymer na ito, pagtutuunan natin ng pansin ang pa- nukalang kasunduan patungkol sa ikalawang sustantibo- ng adyenda: ang Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).

1. Ano ang CASER?
Ito ang binubuong kasunduan sa pagitan ng GRP at ng NDFP kaugnay ng mga repormang panlipunan at pang-ekonomiya. Itinuturing itong pinaka-ubod ng usapang pangkapayapaan dahil lalamanin nito ang mga
CASER: Repormang Sosyo-Ekonomiko Tungo sa Kapayapaan - Isang Praymer 2
kongkretong hakbang upang lutasin ang mga suliranin ng kahirapan, pagka-atrasado at kawalan ng hustisyang pan- lipunan na nasa kaibuturan ng armadong labanan.
Bago natapos ang ikalawang round ng peace talks noong Oktubre 2016, nakapagbuo ng pinagkaisahang ba- langkas ng CASER ang magkabilang panig. Nilaman nito ang saklaw at balangkas ng CASER na bubuuin sa ikatlong round ng peace talks.
Ang bawat panig ay may kani-kaniyang panukala na sisikapin nilang pagkaisahin sa isang kasunduan. Kapag napirmahan na ang pinagkaisang kasunduan, ang CASER ay ipapatupad ng bawat panig sa kani-kaniyang saklaw ng kapangyarihan at awtoridad.

2. Ano ang saklaw ng CASER?
Ang mga patakarang sosyo-ekonomiko ang siyang nag- tatakda kung paano gagamitin ang kayamanan ng isang bansa para sa pag-angat at kapakinabangan ng lahat, kung hindi man ng mas nakararami. Kabilang rito ay ang mga usapin tulad ng pagmamay-ari ng lupa, halaga ng sahod, laki ng tubo, presyo ng mga bilihin, sistema ng pagbubu- wis, mga regulasyon sa pamumuhunan, kalakalan, pau- tang, at pagpapaunlad ng iba’t-ibang sektor ng ekonomiya (agrikultura, industriya, serbisyo). Kasama rin dito ang mga patakaran kaugnay ng mga batayang karapatan sa kalusugan, pabahay, edukasyon, tubig, kuryente, trans- portasyon, komunikasyon, kultura, at iba pa. Samakatu- wid, ito’y mga patakarang may direktang kinalaman sa sikmura at pang-araw araw na kagalingan ng karaniwang mamamayan.
3 Bagong Alyansang Makabayan - Enero 2017
Sa matagal na panahon, ang mga patakarang so- syo-ekonomiko na ipinapatupad ng GRP ay pabor lamang sa mga malalaking at monopolyo kapital- istang dayuhan at iilang mayayaman at makapangyarihang
pamilya (oligarkya), bagay na nagdudulot ng matindi at malawakang kahirapan, pagsasamantala at pang-aapi, laluna sa masang anakpawis. Sa pamamagitan ng CASER, maitutulak ang pagbabago sa anti-mamamayang siste- mang ito.

3. Paano isasalarawan ang kasalukuyang patakarang sosyo-ekonomiko ng gobyerno?
Sa nakaraang tatlo at kalahating dekada, ang “neo- liberal” na doktrinang ekonomiko ang namayani sa ka- buuan ng mga patakarang sosyo-ekonomiko ng GRP. Sa ilalim ng neoliberalismo, binibigyan ng buong la- yaw ang pribadong kapital, laluna ang mga dayuhang monopolyo kapitalista, na dambungin ang ekonomi- ya ng bansa habang tinatanggal ang anumang ka- kayanan ng gobyerno at mamamayan na sagkaan ito.
Tampok sa mga patakarang neoliberal ay ang pagbukas ng ating ekonomiya sa walang habas na paglabas-masok ng mga dayuhang produkto at kapital (liberalisasyon), pagliit ng badyet sa serbisyong panlipunan at pagsa- sapribado ng mga pampublikong pag-aari at serbisyo (pribatisasyon), pag-alis ng mga regulasyon sa operasyon
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CASER: Repormang Sosyo-Ekonomiko Tungo sa Kapayapaan - Isang Praymer 4
ng mga pribadong negosyo at pagkamal nila ng tubo (de- regulasyon), tuluyang paglusaw ng lokal na produksyon at ekonomiya at dominasyon ng dayuhang kapital (de- nasyunalisasyon) at pagpasan ng bigat ng pagbubuwis sa malawak na mamamayan (regressive taxation).
Sa tabing ng salitang “globalisasyon,” ang mga pataka- rang ito ay dinikta ng mga dayuhang imperyalista, sa pa- ngunguna ng Estados Unidos at mga ahensyang pandaigi- digan na dominado nito tulad ng International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) at World Trade Organi- zation (WTO), upang panatilihing ang Pilipinas bilang pinagkukunan ng murang hilaw na materyales, balon ng murang lakas paggawa, at merkado ng sobrang produkto at kapital ng malaki at mauunlad na kapitalistang bansa. Kasabwat nila ang mga lokal na malalaking negosyante, malaking panginoong maylupa at mga burukrata kapital- ista (korap na matataas na opisyal ng gobyerno) sa siste- matikong pandarambong sa ating ekonomya, likas yaman at lakas paggawa.
Habang kumakamal ng limpak-limpak na tubo ang mga dayuhan at naghaharing uri, sadlak naman sa kahirapan at pinagkakaitan ng demokratikong karapatan ang mam- amayan -- ang mga manggagawa’t malamanggagawa, magsasaka, mangingisda, katutubong komunidad, pam- bansang minorya, karaniwang empleyado’t propesyunal at maliliit na negosyante. Kulang na kulang ang trabaho at kabuhayan, napakataas ng presyo ng mga bilihin at serbisyo, korap at hindi maasahan ang gobyerno. Dahil dito, milyun-milyon sa ating mga kababayan ang napupw- ersang mangibang bayan para lamang maitaguyod ang kanilang mga pamilya.
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Kung hindi mababago ang ganitong patakaran at kala- karang sosyo-ekonomiko, hindi uunlad ang bansa, ma- nanatiling walang pagkakapantay-pantay at hindi maka- kamit ang makatarungan at pangmatagalang kapayapaan. Magpapatuloy ang mga sigalot at armadong tunggalian sa lipunan, pangunahin ang armadong rebolusyon na pinamumunuan ng Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)-New People’s Army (NPA) at kinakatawan ng NDFP.

4. Paanong mababago ng CASER ang mga mapaminsalang patakaran at kalakarang ito?
Magiging makabuluhan lamang ang CASER kung ito’y magdudulot ng pagbabago sa kasalukuyang neoliberal na patakaran at mga programa ng gobyerno. Sa usaping ito, akma ang panukalang CASER ng NDFP dahil layunin ni- tong talikuran ang mga patakarang neoliberal ng GRP at ipatupad ang mga proyekto at programang mag-aangat sa kalagayan ng batayang masa at mas malawak na mama- mayan.

5. Ano ang nilalaman ng CASER patungkol sa pamban- sang ekonomiya?
May tatlong mayor na programa ang CASER sa pagpa- paunlad ng pambansang ekonomiya:

A. Repormang agraryo at pag-unlad ng kanayunan
Susi sa pag-unlad ng pambansang ekonomiya ang pag- wakas ng monopolyo sa lupa ng malalaking panginoong maylupa, pag-angat ng kabuhayan ng maliliit na magsa- saka at mangingisda, at pagpapaunlad ng agrikultura at pangisdaan.
CASER: Repormang Sosyo-Ekonomiko Tungo sa Kapayapaan - Isang Praymer 6
Sa panukalang CASER ng NDFP, ipa- pamahagi ng libre ang lupang agrikultural sa mga magsasakang walang lupa na nais magbungkal nito. Ku- kumpiskahin ang mga lupang kinamkam ng mga dayuhang korpo- rasyon at mga despo-
tikong panginoong maylupa. Ang malalaking plantasyon at corporate farms ay ililipat sa pag-aari ng mga kooperatiba o asosayson ng mga magsasaka at manggagawang bukid.
Bibigyan ng karampatang kompensasyon ang mga may- ari ng lupang ipapamahagi at papayagang magsaka ng hanggang limang ektarya sa kanilang dating pag-aari. Mas mataas ang bayad sa lupa ng mga propesyunal, OFW at retiradong empleyado na nakapagpundar ng hindi hi- higit sa 15 ektarya sa loob ng 10 taon.
Ang mga magsasakang makakatanggap ng lupa ay bibig- yan ng pamahalaan ng libreng irigasyon at mga impra- struktura at pasilidad sa produksyon at pagmemerkado, subsidyo sa binhi at kagamitan, crop insurance, murang pautang at suportang teknikal sa tulong ng kanilang mga kooperatiba at asosasyon. Titiyakin ang nakabubuhay na sahod, sapat na benepisyo at karapatang pag-uunyon ng mga manggagawang bukid. Kikilalanin ang karapatan ng maliliit na magsasaka na makinabang sa coco levy fund, sugar amelioration fund at tobacco excise tax.
Ipagbabawal ang land use conversion, usura, pagtatayo ng kampong militar sa mga lupang saklaw ng repormang
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7 Bagong Alyansang Makabayan - Enero 2017
agraryo at malakihang importasyon ng mga produktong agrikultural na makakapinsala sa kabuhayan ng magsasaka.
Saklaw ng repormang agraryo ang mga lupa at tubig pang-pangisdaan. Ang mga palaisdaan, sh pen at sh cage higit sa tatlong ektarya ay ibabalik sa pagiging ku- mon na pangisdaan o kaya’y ipapamahagi sa mga kooper- atiba o asosasyon ng mga maliliit na mangingisda. Ipag- babawal ang malalaking commercial opereytor (barkong 10 tonelada pataas) sa loob ng 15 kilometrong municipal shing grounds.
Payayabungin ang mga industriyang pang-kanayunan, kabilang ang industriya ng niyog, asukal, karne, gatas, to- bacco, abaca, isda, pagpoproseso ng pagkain, asin, sea- weed at iba pa.

B. Pambansang industriyalisasyon at pag-unlad ng ekonomiya
Katuwang ng re- pormang agraryo ang pagtataguyod ng mga industri- yang Pilipino para sa paglikha ng mga kagamitan sa pro- duksyon at produk- tong pang-araw- araw gamit ng ating mamamayan. Sa
pag-unlad ng sektor ng industriya at pagmamanupaktu- ra, dadami ang bilang ng de-kalidad na trabaho, tataas ang sahod ng mga manggagawa, uunlad ang siyensiya at teknolohiya, at aangat ang antas ng pamumuhay ng sam- bayanan.
CASER: Repormang Sosyo-Ekonomiko Tungo sa Kapayapaan - Isang Praymer 8
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Sa panukalang CASER ng NDFP, titiyakin ang pag-aari at kontrol ng mamamayang Pilipino sa ekonomiya upang matiyak na ito’y nagsisilbi sa pambansang interes at pan- gangailangan. Lilimitahan sa 40% ang pagmamay-ari ng dayuhan sa anumang negosyo.
Pangunahing salik sa pag-unlad ng ekonomiya ang pagtataguyod ng mabibigat na industriya at mataas na teknolohiya. Kaugnay nito, isasabansa at ilalagay sa pag-aari o kontrol ng pamahalaan ang mga estratehikong industriya ng kuryente, tubig, pagmimina, langis, trans- portasyon at telekomunikasyon. Titiyakin na ang mga ito’y nagbibigay ng sapat, mura at de-kalidad na serbisyo at produkto sa malawak na bilang ng mamamayan at naglu- luwal ng pag-unlad sa marami pang sektor ng ekonomiya.
Titiyakin din na ang mga susing industriya ay nasa pag-aari at kontrol ng mga Pilipino, kabilang ang mga in- dustriya ng bakal, kemikal, makina, electronics, gamot, tela at damit, pagkain at inumin, sasakyan, gamit at ma- kinang pansakahan, at mga batayang produktong pang- konsyumer. Bubuwagin ang mga kartel at kukumpiskahin ang mga malalaking kumpanyang pag-aari ng mga dayu- han at malalaking Pilipinong komprador upang pagsilbi- hin sa programa ng pambansang industriyalisasyon. Sa halip na maging instrumento ng pandarambong, ang mga ito’y patatakbuhin batay sa pangangailangan ng mama- mayan at lokal na ekonomiya.
Mahalaga rin ang matibay na ugnayan at tulungan ng malalaking industriya sa maliliit at katamtamang laking negosyo. Bibigyan ng pagkakataon ang mga may-ari ng micro, small at medium enterprises (MSMEs) na umun- lad sa pamamagitan hindi lamang ng pagbaba ng gastos sa produksyon (kuryente, langis, tubig, telekomunikasyon
9 Bagong Alyansang Makabayan - Enero 2017
at imprastraktura) kundi, kumprehensibong suporta sa pautang, teknolohiya, distribusyon at pagmemerkado ng kanilang mga produkto. Huwag nang sabihin pa, tatang- galan ng mga pabigat mula sa gubyerno ang mga MSMEs tulad ng korapsyon, burukratikong red tape at walang katuturang regulasyon at mga pabigat na buwis.

K. Proteksyon sa kalikasan at rehabilitasyon at kompensasyon sa mga napinsala
Hindi uunlad ang ekonomiya kung hin- di babaliktarin ang deka-dekadang pan- darambong sa likas na yaman ng bansa at ang dulot nitong pagkawa- sak sa kalikasan at ko- munidad. Kailangang makabawi ang mga na- sirang kalupaan, kagu-
batan, hangin, karagatan at mga tubig dulot ng nakasi- sirang paraan ng produksyon, polusyon, kapabayaan at natural na kalamidad. Mahalagang protektahan ang mga natitira pa.
Sa panukalang CASER ng NDFP, ipahihinto ang naka- sisirang gawain tulad ng malawakang paghahawan ng gubat, open-pit mining, reklamasyon at plantasyon. Ipag- babawal ang pagtotrosong pang-eksport, pagtatambak ng basura mula sa ibang bansa, at mga peligrosong produk- to at gawain sa agrikultura. Kasama sa ipagbabawal ang mga aksyong militar ng gobyerno at dayuhang tropa na nakakapinsala sa komunidad at kalikasan, pati ang pag- pasok ng mga armas nukleyar, biological at kemikal.
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CASER: Repormang Sosyo-Ekonomiko Tungo sa Kapayapaan - Isang Praymer 10
May diin ang CASER sa paglilimita ng pagmimina. Titiya- king nakatuon ito sa pangangailangan ng pambansang in- dustriyalisasyon at gumagamit ng paraang hindi nagdud- ulot ng malawakang pagkasira sa kalikasan. Ipagbabawal ang pagmimina sa mga isla, dalampasigan, pangunahing gubat at watershed area, at lupang pang-agrikultura.
Titiyakin ang rehabilitasyon at kompensasyon sa mga komunidad at indibidwal na biktima ng mga kalamidad at aksidenteng pangkalikasan.
6. Ano ang nilalaman ng CASER patungkol sa karapa- tan pang-ekonomiya, panlipunan at pang-kultura ng mamamayan?
May tatlong mayor na bahagi ang CASER sa usapin ng paggalang sa mga karapatang ito:
A. Paggalang sa karapatang ng mga anakpawis at inaaping sektor
Sa panukalang CASER ng NDFP, ki- nikilala at pinanga -ngalagaan ang mga pang-ekonomyang karapatan ng mga magsasaka, mang- gagawang bukid, mangingisda, mang- gagawa (lokal at OFW), mala-mang-
gagawa, empleyado, propesyunal at kanilang mga pamilya. Pangunahin dito ang seguridad sa trabaho at kabuhayan, nakabubuhay na sahod, pagsali sa mga organisasyon at unyon, sapat at de-kalidad na serbisyong pampubliko,
11 Bagong Alyansang Makabayan - Enero 2017
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maagang pagtugon ng gobyerno sa kanilang mga hinaing, at kalayaan sa matataas na buwis at bayarin ng gobyerno.
Ginagarantiyahan rin ang karapatan ng ilang ispesyal na sektor:
Kababaihan - pantay na pagtrato sa lahat ng aspeto ng trabaho at kabuhayan, sa pagpapagaan ng gawaing ba- hay at pampamilya, sa reproductive health at sex education, sa anim na buwang maternity leave with pay pati paternity leave, proteksyon sa diskriminasyon at karahasan, same sex marriage, diborsyo at iba pa.
Mga bata - karapatan sa tamang pag-aruga pangunahin sa pagtiyak na ang kanilang mga magulang ay may sa- pat na trabaho at kabuhayan. Tinitiyak ang karapatan sa pagkain at kalusugan, ayuda laluna sa mga batang lansangan, at pagwakas ng mapagsamantalang pagpa- patrabaho sa bata at karahasang pisikal at sekswal.
Nakatatanda - suportang pinansyal at serbisyo upang sila’y manatiling aktibo at produktibong bahagi ng li- punan, kasama ang sistema ng pensyon para sa lahat ng nakatatanda at mga pasilidad at serbisyo sa komunidad na pang-nakatatanda.
May kapansanan - karampatang serbisyo at pagsasanay ng mga may kapansanan upang sila’y maging produkti- bo at nagagamit ng husto ang kanilang mga kakayahan; pantay na oportunidad sa pagtrabaho.
Kinikilala ng panukalang CASER ng NDFP ang sumusu- nod bilang karapatan ng masang anakpawis at mama- mayan:
CASER: Repormang Sosyo-Ekonomiko Tungo sa Kapayapaan - Isang Praymer 12
13
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan - Enero 2017
Serbisyong panlipunan - kasama ang pagbaliktad ng pa- takaran ng pambabarat ng pampublikong pondo at sa pagsasapribado ng mga serbisyong panlipunan at pag- tiiyak na ito’y naigagawad sa mga pambansang mino- rya.
Edukasyon - kasama ang libreng edukasyon hanggang kolehiyo at technical-vocational sa pangunguna ng mga pampublikong paaralan, at pagtaguyod sa isang maka- bayan, siyentipiko, makamasa at demokratikong siste- ma ng edukasyon. Ititigil ang programang K-12, titiya- kin ang nakabubuhay na sahod at libreng pagsasanay sa mga guro at non-teaching personnel, at ang pagre- speto sa mga demokratikong karapatan at kagalingan ng mag-aaral. Titiyakin ang karapatan sa edukasyon ng mga pambansang minorya na may pagpapahalaga sa kanilang sariling kultura at tradisyon.
Kalusugan - pagtaguyod ng pangakalahatang sistema ng libre at de-kalidad na serbisyong pangkalusugan para sa lahat at paghinto sa patakaran ng pagsasapri- bado ng mga pampublikong ospital at serbisyo. Bibig- yan ng prayoridad ang preventive medicine, nutrisyon at pagpaplano ng pamilya. Titiyakin ang pagkakaroon ng mga doktor at manggagawang pangkalusugan lalu- na sa kanayunan at itataas ang kanilang mga sahod at benepisyo. Tatratuhin bilang isyung pangkalusugan ang usapin ng bawal na droga at gagawan ng angkop at epektibong programa ng rehabilitasyon ng mga biktima nito.
Pabahay - itatag ang isang kumprehensibo at pamban- sang programa sa pabahay para sa masa, lalu na sa maralitang lungsod, manggagawa’t mala-manggagawa. Ang mga maralitang komunidad ay hindi basta-bastang idedemolis kung walang karampatang programa sa
on-site o in- city relocation at sapat na tu- long sa pagli- lipat, pabahay, kabuhayan at mga serbisyo.
Tubig - titiya-
kin ang kara-
patan sa sapat
at ligtas na tubig at serbisyong sanitasyon kasama ang pagbabaliktad ng patakaran sa pagsasapribado ng ser- bisyo sa tubig.

Kuryente - titiyakin ang sapat at murang kuryente sa pamamagitan ng pagbaliktad sa patakarang sa pagsa- sapribado at deregulasyon ng industriya ng kuryente sa ilalim ng ibabasurang Electric Power Industry Re- form Act (EPIRA). Ibabalik ang papel ng National Pow- er Corporation bilang pangunahing tagapamahala ng industriya mula paglikha hanggang distribusyon ng kuryente. Itutulak ang paggamit ng mga renewable energy sources sa iba’t-ibang komunidad at kooperatiba ng kuryente.
Pangmaramihang transportasyon - isusulong ang kum- prehensibong programa sa pangmaramihang transpor- tasyon sa buong bansa, kabilang ang pag-aayos ng siste- ma ng trapik at regulasyon sa pamasahe. Babaliktarin ang patakarang pagsasapribado ng LRT at MRT, mga tollway, pier, paliparan at iba pang imprastruktura.
Komunikasyon - tatratuhin ang komunikasyon bilang serbisyo publiko at titiyakin ang daan sa mura at maaa- sahang serbisyong komunikasyon at impormasyon,
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CASER: Repormang Sosyo-Ekonomiko Tungo sa Kapayapaan - Isang Praymer 14
kasama ang libreng internet at daluyan ng tradisyunal na midya at social media.
Pamamahala sa basura - ang maayos na pangongolek- ta, paghihiwalay, pag-recycle at pagtapon ng basura ay ipapasailalim sa pag-aari at kontrol ng gobyerno. Hi- himukin at tutulungan ang mga komunidad na mag- tatag ng pasilidad sa recycling, composting at iba pa.
Paghahanda at pagresponde sa sakuna - titiyakin ang maaga at sapat na paghanda at mabilis na pagresponde sa mga sakuna at kalamidad, at kumprehensibong reha- bilitasyon ng mga nasalantang komunidad. Bahagi rito ang paglalatag ng isang civil defense system na binubuo ng iba’t-ibang samahang sibilyan sa komunidad.
B. Pagpapalaganap ng makabayan, progresibo at makamasang kultura
Sa panukalang CASER ng NDFP, binibigyang pansin ang mga problemang ng atrasado, kolonyal, elitista at makasariling kaisipan at kulturang iniluwal ng panli- punang krisis at pinalala ng neoliberalismo. Kaugnay nito, isusulong ang isang kumprehensibong programa na mag- tataguyod ng isang mapagpalaya, makabayan, siyentipiko at makamasang kultura. Bahagi nito ang mga reporma sa sistema ng edukasyon, midya at komunikasyon, agham at teknolohiya, sining at literatura, relihiyon, mga pagpapa- halaga, lengguahe at simbolo, palakasan at libangan.
Ilan sa mga partikular na panukala ng NDFP sa lara- ngang ito ang sumusunod:
Edukasyong makabayan, siyentipiko at makamasa - Babaguhin ang kurikulum, mga libro, materyales at pagsasanay sa paaralan upang ituro ang tamang kasay-
15 Bagong Alyansang Makabayan - Enero 2017
sayan mula sa punto
de bista ng pakikiba-
ka ng mamamayang
Pilipino. Bibigyang
diin ang pagmama-
hal sa bayan, pag-
papahalaga sa ating
mayamang kultu-
ra at mga tradi-
syon tungo sa higit
pang pagpapaunlad
nito. Sa mga baranggay, bibigyang prayoridad ang maagang edukasyon na maglilinang ng pantay na pagtrato sa mga kasarian, pagpapahalaga sa komu- nidad at sa kalikasan. Ipapatupad ang mga programa sa pagbabasa at pagsusulat sa bawat baranggay.

Progresibo at maka-mamamayang midya - Ang industiya ng musika, pelikula, broadcasting, paglilimbag at soft- ware ay titiyaking nagbibigay ng maaasahang impor- masyon at pagsusuri at humimok ng kritikal na pag-ii- sip at positibong pagkilos ng mamamayan. Sa larangan ng pampublikong impormasyon, susuportahan at po- pondohan ng gobyerno ang pagtatayo ng mga “people’s media organizations” upang malayang maipapahayag nila ang mga tunay na kalagayan, interes at hangarin ng taumbayan. Titiyakin naman na ang pribadong me- dia networks ay maglalaan ng oras at lugar para sa mga programang may progresibo at makabayang paksa. Sa lahat ng ito, gagarantiyahan ang kalayaan sa pananali- ta, pamamahayag at impormasyon. Ititigil ang censor- ship, aalisin ang kriminal na aspeto ng libel, at titiyakin ang pagpasa ng isang batas sa freedom of information na sasaklaw sa tatlong sangay ng pamahalaan.
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CASER: Repormang Sosyo-Ekonomiko Tungo sa Kapayapaan - Isang Praymer 16
Makabayan, progresibo at makamamamayang sining at literatura - Titiyakin ang sapat na pondo para sa pro- duksyon ng mga sining biswal, musika, literatura, teatro, pelikula at iba pang disiplinang pansining, na naglalaman ng mga kalagayan at hangarin ng ma- mamayan. Itatatag ang mga “Community Centers for Culture and the Arts” sa antas rehiyon, lungsod at ba- ranggay upang mapaunlad ang gawaing pangkultura sa malawak na hanay ng mamamayan. Pauunlarin ang paggamit ng Filipino bilang pambansang wika habang sinusuportahan ang paggamit ng iba pang wikang Pili- pino sa mass midya, edukasyon at literatura. Titiyakin ang suporta sa paglilimbag ng literatura at iba pang sulatin sa mga wikang ito. Ipagbabawal ang pagsira at pagkamkam ng mga lugar at bagay na makabuluhan sa ating kultura.
Karapatan at kagalingan ng mga guro, manggagawa sa midya, sining at kultura - Igagalang ang karapatan sa usapin ng seguridad sa trabaho, nakabubuhay na sahod at pagbubuo ng organisasyon ng mga manggagawa sa larangan ng edukasyon, sining at kultura, gayundin ng kanilang mga karapatang sibil at pampulitika. Titiya- king maitayo ang mga pambansang unyon na magtatak- da ng mga pamantayan para sa kanilang kagalingan, ka- kayanan at etika upang maiwasan din ang pang-aabuso at korapsyon. Titiyakin ng gobyerno ang pagbayad ng equity fees ng mga dayuhang artista o nagtatanghal at iba pang proteksyon sa industriya.
K. Pagkilala sa lupang ninuno at teritoryo ng mga katutubo at pambansang minorya
Sa panukalang CASER ng NDFP, kinikilala na mula pana- hon ng mga Kastila hanggang sa kasalukuyan, biktima
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ang mga katutubong mamamayan (indigenous peoples) at Bangsamoro ng pinakamatinding diskriminasyon, pagsa- samantala at pang-aapi. Inagaw at patuloy na inaagaw sa kanila ang kanilang lupang ninuno, winawasak ang kani- lang mga komunidad at sinasalaula ang kanilang kultura.
Upang itama ang makasaysayang pagkait sa kanila ng katarungan, gagarantiyahan at bibigyang daan ang kani- lang karapatan sa sariling pagpapasya at kalayaang isu- long ang pang-ekonomiya, pampulitika at pang-kulturang pag-unlad batay sa sarili nilang kakayanan at nang walang panlabas na panghihimasok. Kasama rito ang usapin ng teritoryo, pampulitikang awtonomiya, pamamahala
ng lupa at mga likas na yaman sa kanilang mga teritoryo at lupang ninuno, paggamit ng sa- riling wika, kus- tombre at tradi- syon, at kalayaan sa pananampala- taya.
Sa partikular, bubuwagin ang National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) na hindi kumakatawan sa katu- tubong mamamayan. Ibabasura o aamyendahan ang mga batas, patakaran, proyekto at kasunduan na lumalabag sa karapatan ng katutubog mamamayan at Bangsamoro. Kabilang dito ang Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA), mga kaugnay na probisyon sa Konstitusyong 1987, mga makaisang panig na kasunduan kaugnay ng pagmimina, pagtotroso, pagtatayo ng dam, plantasyon at planta ng kuryente, at iba pang tinaguriang “development” projects at mga maanomalyang Certi cate of Ancestral Land Titles
CASER: Repormang Sosyo-Ekonomiko Tungo sa Kapayapaan - Isang Praymer 18
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(CALTs), Certi cate of Ancestral Domain Titles (CADTs), at Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development Protection Plan (ADSDPP). Ipapasa ang isang bagong batas na tumi- tiyak sa kanilang karapatan sa sariling pagpapasya.
7. Ano ang nilalaman ng CASER patungkol sa soberan- ya sa eknomiya para sa pambansang pag-unlad?
Susi sa pag-unlad ng anumang ekonomiya ang angkop na mga patakaran sa panlabas na kalakalan at pamu- muhunan, at sa mga aspetong pampinansya. May dala- wang mayor na bahagi ang CASER sa mga usaping ito:
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A. Makabayan at progresibong relasyong panlabas sa ekonomiya at kalakalan
Sa panukalang CASER ng NDFP, ang relasyong panla- bas sa ekonomiya ay babaguhin upang sumuporta sa mga layunin ng pambansang kaunlaran na inilatag sa mga naunang bahagi ng kasunduan.
19 Bagong Alyansang Makabayan - Enero 2017
Itatakwil ang mga neoliberal na patakarang liberal- isasyon, pribatisasyon, deregulasyon at denasyunal- isasyon na dikta ng mga kapitalistang bansa sa pangu- nguna ng US at ng mga international multilateral agencies tulad ng IMF, WB, WTO, Asian Development Bank at iba pa. Rerepasuhin at kung kinakailangan ay iaatras ang pag- sapi ng Pilipinas sa mga ahensyang ito kabilang na rin sa Asia Paci c Economic Cooperation (APEC). Itatakwil din ang mga makaisang panig na free trade agreement (FTA) at bilateral investment treaty (BIT) sa ibang bansa. Ititigil ang panghihimasok at panggagantso ng mga malalaking kapitalistang bansa sa pamamagitan ng kanilang O cial Development Aid (ODA). Ang lahat ng ito’y nagpapana- tili sa Pilipinas bilang malakolonyal at malapyudal na ekonomiyang bukas sa pandarambong ng mga dayuhang monopolyo kapitalista.
Ihihinto ang sobrang pagpapakandili ng ekonomiya sa US at Japan at palalawakin ang relasyong ekonomiko sa mga bansa sa Silangang Asya, sa tinaguriang BRICS coun- tries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) at iba pang bansa sa Ikatlong Daigdig (Third World).
Titiyakin na ang pagpasok ng dayuhang puhunan at kalakal ay hindi makakapinsala sa lokal na agrikultura, industriya at serbisyo, bagkus ay makakatulong sa pagla- go nito. Bibigyan ng prayoridad ang mga negosyanteng Pilipino sa mga insentibo at suporta sa pautang, bu- wis, taripa, foreign exchange at iba pa. Kokontrolin ang paglabas-masok ng dolyar at iba pang foreign currency para hindi bulnerable sa mga malalaking ispekulador at maiwasan madiskaril ang lokal na ekonomiya. Ang oryentasyon ng mga export processing zones at enklabo ay babaguhin upang umayon sa layunin ng pambansang industriyalisasyon, tumugon sa pangangailangan ng lo- kal na merkado at maseguro ang mga karapatan ng mga
manggagawa dito.
CASER: Repormang Sosyo-Ekonomiko Tungo sa Kapayapaan - Isang Praymer 20
B. Makabayan at progresibong patakarang pam- pinansya
Ang pera ang itinuturing na dugo ng ekonomiya. Sa pa- nukalang CASER ng NDFP, ang pamamahala sa pinansi- ya, kabilang ang pampublikong pangungutang, pagtak- da ng pambansang badyet, suplay ng pera, patakaran sa pagbabangko, interes sa pautang, pagtakda ng foreign exchange rates, paglabas ng dayuhang kapital, pagtakda at pangongolekta ng buwis, at iba pang may kinalaman sa pera ay itutuon sa pangangailangan at pag-unlad ng mamamayang Pilipino.
Ang Bangko Sen- tral, mga bangko at pampinansyang insti- tusyon ay magtitiyak na may sapat na pon- do para sa mga pro- grama ng repormang agraryo, pag-unlad ng kanayunan, at pambansang indus- triyalisasyon. Ang
Land Bank of the Philippines ay pangunahing tutugon sa pangangailangan ng mga magsasaka at kanilang mga kooperatiba at samahan. Ang Development Bank of the Philippines naman ay tutugon sa mga pangangailangan ng mga malalaking proyektong industriyal at Pilipinong negosyante. Ang Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank ay tutugon sa mga partikular na pangangailangan ng Bang- samoro at mga taga-Timog Mindanao. Samantala, muling isasabansa ang Philippine National Bank upang tumugon sa pagpapaunlad ng buong ekonomiya. Ipagbabawal ang dayuhang pamumuhunan at pag-aari sa mga bangko at - nancial institutions upang seguruhin ang gamit ng mga
21 Bagong Alyansang Makabayan - Enero 2017
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pondo nito para sa sosyo-ekonomikong pagpapaunlad ng bansa. Palalakihin ang papel ng mga manggagawa sa pag- papatakbo ng mga bangko at pampinansyang institusyon.
Itatakda ng gobyerno ang palitan ng piso sa dolyar at iba pang pera at hihigpitan ang regulasyon sa pangungu- tang upang maging matatag ang sistemang pampinansya at maging kapakipakinabang sa lokal na eknomya, mga proyektong pangkaunlaran at lokal na negosyo. Lilimita- han ang dayuhang pangungutang at gagawa ng mga hak- bang para pigilan ang mapinsalang paglipad ng kapital mula sa bansa.
Ipapatupad ang progresibong sistema ng pagbubuwis na sumisingil nang mas malaki sa mga may kaya at mas maliit sa mahihirap. Bubuwagin ang value-added tax at lalakihan ang buwis sa mga luho at bisyo katulad ng alak, sigarilyo at sugal. Babawasan ang income tax sa mahi- hirap at maliliit na negosyo habang palalakihin ito sa mayayamang korporasyon at pamilya.
Bibigyan ng prayoridad sa kabang yaman ang edukasyon (6% ng GDP) at kalusugan (5% ng GDP), subsidyo sa pen- syon at social security (15% ng GDP), mga pampublikong kagamitan tulad ng tubig, kuryente at transportasyon, im- prastruktura at pagpapayabong sa mga produktibong sek-
tor. Babawasan ang badyet sa militar at pagbayad sa utang at ibabasura ang ba- tas sa awtomatikong pagbabayad ng utang pampubliko (Presidential Decree 1177). Bubuwagin ang sistema ng pork
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CASER: Repormang Sosyo-Ekonomiko Tungo sa Kapayapaan - Isang Praymer 22
barrel. Mamumuhunan ang gobyerno sa mga proyektong magluluwal ng maraming trabaho.
Palalakasin ang mga batas at patakaran kontra kora- psyon at maglulunsad ng mga kampanya para linisin ang gobyerno ng mga korap at abusadong opisyal.
8. Paano ipapatupad ang CASER?
Kapag napagkasunduan, ang CASER ay ipapatupad ng GRP at NDFP sa kani-kaniyang saklaw at proseso hang- gang marating ang pinal na resolusyon ng armadong la- banan. Sa bahagi ng GRP, idadaan nito sa kanyang mga angkop na sangay at departamento ang pagpapatupad ng mga probisyon ng CASER, kabilang ang pagpasa ng mga bagong batas at patakaran at pag-amyenda ng Konstitu- syon ng Pilipinas.
Sa bahagi ng NDFP, idadaan ito sa pamamagitan ng kanyang mga organo ng kapangyarihang pampulitika, mga pangmasang organisasyon at ng NPA.
Mananatiling epektibo ang CASER kahit na magpalit ang liderato ng bawat panig at anuman ang kalalabasan ng negosasyong pangkapayapaan.
9. Ano ang magagawa ng karaniwang mamamayan para isulong ang CASER at usapang pangkapayapaan?
Nilalaman ng CASER, partikular ang panukala ng NDFP, ang mga batayang kahilingan ng masa at karaniwang mamamayang Pilipino para sa sapat na trabaho at kabu- hayan, maayos na serbisyo, hustisyang panlipunan, pam- bansang kaunlaran at kulturang progresibo. Makakamit lamang ito kung maipaparamdam sa magkabilang panig,
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GRP at NDFP, ang malakas at malawak na suporta rito ng mamamayan.
Kung gayon, mahalagang magpahayag tayo ng supor- ta sa usapang pangkapayapaan, partikular sa panukalang CASER ng NDFP. Magagawa natin ito bilang indibidwal at bilang bahagi ng mga organisasyon o grupong ating kina- papalooban. Ipaalam natin sa ating mga kamag-anak at kaibigan ang tungkol sa usapang pangkapayapaan at CAS- ER. Mas mainam kung ang ating mga organisasyong kina- papalooban ay pormal na makapaglalabas din ng sarili nitong pahayag ng pagsuporta.
Lumahok tayo sa mga pagkilos at aktibidad na tumat- alakay sa mga isyung kaugnay ng usapang pangkapaya- paan. Gamitin natin ang CASER bilang dagdag na larangan ng paggigiit ng ating mga pang-sosyoekonomiyang kahil- ingan. Idiin natin na hindi matatapos ang armadong la- banan hanggat hindi nabibigyan ng tunay at kongkretong solusyon ang ugat ng kahirapan at pang-aapi sa ating bayan.
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan
Enero 2017
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