By Yas D. Ocampo
Davao City – The National Democratic Front (NDF) said it was ready to show its counterparts from the Philippine Government (GRP) its draft of a national industrialization program, which is one of the more salient points of agreement being worked out by both parties amid plans of the resumption of peace talks next month.
In a statement, NDF reciprocal working committee on social and econominc reforms (RWC SER) member Randall Echanis said both parties will be crafting measures to benefit various industries.
These are the industries of coconut, sugar, abaca, bamboo and rattan, clothing and textile, pottery and furniture, as well as processing of meat, dairy, spices, fish, fruits, vegetable and other agricultural by-products.
The NDF consultant these industries were considered “essential mainly to ensure food production for local consumption and develop an agri-based economy.”
“In our discussion with farmers, they reiterated that particular crop lines and rural-based industries can be developed depending on the actual needs of the people and with the objective of establishing rural industries that will lay the ground for national industrialization. Raising agricultural productivity, and provision of agricultural research and development and support services to farmers were also proposed,” he said.
“Correct policy framework is significant in order to reinvigorate rural areas. The sooner we resume with the negotiations, the sooner we can address the needs of the people and the ailing local economy,” Echanis added.
He also pointed out that rural-based sectors were looking forward to the resumption of the formal peace negotiations that will discuss and firm-up unities on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development and fast-track discussions on other pertinent sections of the proposed Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER).
“The people’s strong clamor for the continuation of the formal peace talks is enough conducive environment for the GPH and NDFP to return to the negotiating table and discuss thoroughly concrete and doable reforms,” he noted
He also underscored that “genuine development and industrialization of vast rural areas is possible. If a genuine agrarian reform program, rural infrastructure and support services are in place, farmers can unleash their full productive capabilities.”