Twenty (20) emerging leaders in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) finished the five-part training program of the Political Party Development Course (PPDC) last April 10, 2021. The online course was organized by the Ateneo School of Government under its Participate.
The program featured a combination of local and foreign experts in the field of politics and governance that serve as resource persons for the five modules.
To recap, Module 1, which ran from March 1 to March 6, focused on the elements of a genuine political party, political parties under the Bangsamoro Organic Law, new electoral dynamics in the region, and the importance of political parties in the region. Dr. Julio Teehankee served as the main resource speaker for the module.
This was followed by Module 2 which provided a deep review of the constitutional prescriptions of free speech and assembly and discussed the concepts of separation of powers and genuinely principled political parties with Atty. Michael Henry Yusingco as the resource person. Prof. Etta Rosales also provided a learning session on building political parties.
Prof. Paul Hutchcroft led Module 3 as the resource person where he discussed the political parties in electoral systems, political parties in public policy and the formulation of development plans, and political strategies and discourse.
Module 4 emphasized policy development process and legislation in a parliamentary government, coalition-building, the role of opposition parties, and political communications with Prof. Andrew James Harding as the resource person. For her part, Ms. Melinda Quintos-De Jesus, Executive Director of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, provided a learning session on the role of media in governance.
The last module led by Dr. Soeren Keil tackled tradition and courtesy protocols in managing debate, engaging citizens and sector-based organizations, building political parties through people engagement and people-centered political parties. Prof. Bridget Welsh gave a learning session on citizen engagement and political parties.
Through this course, ASOG aims to capacitate emerging leaders in BARMM with principles and practices that will enable them to form distinct and disciplined political parties, form them to become competent and credible politicians who will espouse democratic ideals and translate electoral platforms into performance, and provide them a wider perspective from the experiences of their counterparts from other countries. After the training component, mentoring sessions will be held from June to December.