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The Ateneo Policy Center (APC) Political Dynasties Dataset is a continuing effort to track leadership patterns at the local government level in the Republic of the Philippines. In particular, it traces the presence and extent of political clans, comprised of elected politicians with family members also in elected office prior to or during their term in office. In the economic development literature, very few studies contain empirical estimates of dynastic patterns at the local government level.

The project was pioneered by the Asian Institiute of Management (AIM), but with the continuing support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Ateneo Policy Center established its expansion. Research volunteers at AIM, Ateneo de Manila, and other academic institutions contributed to sharpening the dataset over time.


To track political dynasties, individuals with the same family name are tracked in each province. While this  method was used in previously published research in peer-reviewed journals(Mendoza et al 2016, Querubin 2016), it has its limitations. First, consanguinity is tracked beyond family name, especially in cases where political families intermarry. Second, individuals in the same province may share the same family name, but may not be related.  Querubin notes in 2016 that this is less of a concern in the Philippines than in other countries due to the unique way the Spanish distributed family names across different provinces. Third, the data only tracks positions in local elections, and does not include national offices, party-list representatives, and Barangay officials. Nevertheless, the data shows a snapshot measure of the widespread presence of political dynasties in the Philippines.

About the Visuals

About the Visuas

The first visual is a PICTOGRAPH of the number of fat dynastic politicians in 2016. If the number of positions in the province exceed 100, the value is scaled to 100, rounded up, and presented in the pictogram. For example, Cavite’s 103 fat dynastic officials is represented by39 of the 100 persons in the graph.


The second visual is a TABLE of the number of fat dynastic politicians for the positions Governor, Vice Governor, Provincial Board Member, House Member, Mayor, and Vice Mayor in each Province in 2016. Darker colors means a higher percentage of fat dynastic officials for that position in 2016.


The third visual is a TREEMAP of the most common last family names for officials for all local positions in the province in 2016. Larget Squares and darker colors means a higher number of individuals for that family name.


The fourth visual is a FLOW CHART that shows one particular family and their positions occupied from 2004 to 2016. The officials were vetted using official sources, such as news articles, and are provided at the bottom of each page.


The fifth visual is a LINE GRAPH that shows the provincial poverty incidence from the Philippine Statistics Authority. A high poverty incidence means poverty is more common in the province. Poverty Incidence is defined as the percentage of families/individuals with income/expenditure below the poverty threshold in a given year.

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