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CSO Development and Reform Agenda for 2016-19

In 2009, in midst of a global economic crisis, mal-governance across all levels of the country and the clockwork devastation brought about by extreme climate change, CODE-NGO and many other civil society organizations (CSOs) put forward a Development and Reform Agenda (DRA) identifying priority actions in the hope that these will guide the succeeding administration in steering the country towards democratization and development. This agenda was based on four pillars: (a) Ensuring Empowerment and Democratization, (b) Reducing Poverty and Inequality, (c) Building Peace and (d) Promoting a Sustainable Economy and Environment. Sectors have joined hands since and continue to cooperate in pushing for transparency in people’s participation in governance, building and maintaining peace, improving access to social services and the fight against corruption.

Much has been done, but much remains to be accomplished still. Despite the Philippine economy growing since 2001 and currently being one of the fastest growing in Asia, the effects of this growth have yet to be widely felt. A huge percentage of the Filipino population is still living in poverty. Income inequality and general class disparity in the country remain to be one of the worst in the world.

Guided by the Sustainable Development Goals for 2016 – 2030 adopted by the United Nations in 2015, a review of the status of actions on the previous DRA and nationwide consultations, this 2016 – 2019 Agenda is still grounded on the four pillars above. It is hinged primarily, however, on the very urgent need to empower ordinary citizens – from small farmers and fisherfolk to indigenous groups and others – and to decisively reduce poverty and inequality in all its forms.

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