ROME, Italy – The Philippine government is proposing to implement social-economic projects to communities ahead of an agreement on social and economic reforms in the new round of talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines here.

Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza in an interview said the parties had a “non-agenda conversation” where the GRP presented the proposal of having “social-economic projects” that will benefit the communities even before signing a final peace agreement.

Dureza said the proposal would be similar to what was implemented for the Bangsamoro peace negotiations.

“We are copying a little bit the template of the Bangsamoro that while negotiations are ongoing, we’d like to improve the lives of the people there, not in the context of anti-insurgency, not to undermine the movement of the CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines), NDF,” he said describing it as a “confidence building measure.”

He said the challenge to negotiations is on the actual implementation of the signed agreements.

“We really want to have a final peace agreement but as you know very well, huwag natin masyadong asahan ang final peace agreement because if you sign a final peace agreement, we have learned from the Bangsamoro that the more challenging part is its implementation,” he said.

Dureza said he believes that the NDFP will welcome it “immediately.”

He said they will send a briefer to the NDFP on how it was done with the Bangsamoro peace process.

“Hopefully they can look at it and maybe try and enhance in accordance to what they want, what is comfortable with them and if they finally agree, we have already formed our respective committee on the socio-economic part of the work,” said Dureza.

Dureza said he volunteered to chair the project and that the government has already identified its members for the project.

‘Not anti-insurgency’

Dureza said the project is not for anti-insurgency since the revolutionary movement will get to form their own implementing agency.

“They will choose the area to implement projects,” he said.

Dureza said the project would also involve Red fighters of the NPA to capacitate them.

“So that when the final peace agreement is signed they will also be capacitated to probably implement projects,” he said.

He said the project should be acceptable to the NDFP and the donor countries.

He said the government and the CPP may generate more support from the Donor community “so the pie will be bigger on the ground.”

Dureza clarified that the project will only serve the purpose of temporary relief to communities while the parties are still negotiating.

“The bigger work and fund will come when the final peace agreement is signed,” he said.

Dureza said if this pushes through it could be a “milestone” in the negotiations.

NDFP open, but…

Meanwhile, Jalandoni said while they are open to the government’s proposal they would like to ensure that the projects will really benefit the communities.

He said they will look at the proposal closely and study and would like to get the experience of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, if indeed the projects were helpful.

“Open din pero kailangang pag-aralan yung mga kumpletong bagay kasi yung mga masa at organisasyon ng rebolusyonaryong kilusan ay gumagawa na ng mga social economic projects nila para sa kanyang pangangailangan, pangangailangan ng hukbo, pangangailangan ng taumbayan. Ang experience niyan ang military ang sumisira nitong projects ng mga masa sa komunidad,” Jalandoni told reporters.

(We are also open but it needs further study because the masses and revolutionary organizations are already implementing social economic projects for their needs, the needs of the New People’s Army, the needs of the people. Their experience is that the military destroys these projects in the communities.)

He said they are also wary that foreign donors who will participate in the project are against the peace talks. (

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