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Stakeholders identify bolder, clear-cut reforms for better Philippine political engagement

Issues, challenges after post-2022 polls assessment

QUEZON CITY – In support of constituency-building efforts for electoral and political reforms, the Ateneo School of Government (ASoG), through Project PARTICIPATE, held a focus group discussion with electoral stakeholders last August 31 to identify gaps in the legal electoral framework and discuss possible solutions to address those gaps.

Citing the recent May 2022 elections, Project PARTICIPATE Chief of Party Dr. Julio Teehankee stressed in his welcome remarks that “we have a lot to learn and unlearn as much as to do.”

He cited new challenges in election administration and threats to Philippine democracy including disinformation surge as well as vote-buying and selling which he said has taken a modern form. “On top of these challenges is the growing dominance of political dynasties that impacts our country’s politics, governance, and development,” he added.

Among the speakers were former Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Commissioner Atty. Luie Tito Guia who talked about the needed election law reforms, Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS, Inc.) Legal Consultant Atty. Donatello Justiniani who presented the current proposed legislations on electoral reforms, and Democratic Insights Group Co-founder Telibert Laoc who shared details on open election data.

For his closing remarks, relayed through a proxy, ASoG Dean Philip Arnold Tuaño stressed the importance of discussions “to our collective work as we find ways to advance political and electoral reforms, given the challenging circumstances including the fact that democratic institutions are under threat.”

He relayed the support of ASOG to the initiative citing the role of the institution as an ally in the collective pursuit of the governance reforms. To bolster the support, he said that they “look forward to continued collaborations and taking strategic steps to put recommend

ASoG co-organized the event with its consortium partners in the project including National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), La Salle Institute of Governance (LSIG), IDEALS Inc., and Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO). It is the first of consultation series activities of the consortium composed of academic institutions, non-government organizations with its network, and election watchdogs.

In the coming months, the identified reforms will be further refined and actions to push for the legislation of the reforms will be taken.


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