Citizen Monitoring Group Calls on Voters to Turn the 2022 Polls Into an Accountability Platform

Accountability frontliners from various parts of the country have recently urged voters to turn the upcoming May elections into an “accountability process, where candidates have to be made answerable for their performance or lack thereof.” 

The call was made by Government Watch (G-Watch) in a statement that was released exactly two months before the 2022 polls. An independent action research and citizen monitoring organization that is present in 12 local sites, G-Watch emphasized the need to elect officials who will “restore checks and balances in government, strengthen accountability institutions, uphold merit-based public management, and support independent civil society monitoring and advocacy.” During the COVID-19 crisis, G-Watch monitored the social amelioration program, citizen health entitlements and vaccination, noting many lapses and gaps in the response of the national government.

The G-Watch statement on the May polls was adopted after their five-day national meeting and learning exchange that was held in Pasig and Baguio City from March 4-8, 2022. Mayor Vico Sotto, a member of the G-Watch Executive Board, also attended the second day of the meeting and shared the experience of the Pasig City local government in fighting corruption.

Noting the importance of the upcoming polls, Amelia Mancera of G-Watch-Southern Leyte emphasized the need “to be more vigilant since society’s issues and concerns become amplified during election time.”

One of these pressing problems is the spread of fake news. According to G-Watch accountability frontliner Gemar Barola, “since this is becoming an era of disinformation, accountability should be taken very seriously.” He appealed to the public to “demand for transparency and accountability from those who seek for power by investing in education and fact-checking for truth and authentic news.”

Gabriel Peralta of G-Watch-Quezon City underscores that a key lesson from the country’s experience with the pandemic is that, “we need leaders who are transparent and accountable.” His colleague Maribel Sumagay shares this sentiment, stating that, “Our nation deserves a president who is accountable and transparent to its people.” 

For his part, Mickel Ollave of G-Watch-Puerto Princesa sees elections as a mechanism for choosing the best leaders. “Ang eleksyon ay isang epektibong pamamaraan para pagpanagutin, palitan ang mga tiwaling lider at panatilihin ang mga lider na matitino,” he said. (Elections are effective mechanisms to hold account and change corrupt officials and keep those who deliver.)

G-Watch volunteer Jun Tingson offered a similar thought, saying that, “Election is the best time for citizens to engage in accountability, so that they can vote for the best candidates for the country.”

Noting their experience in Dumaguete, G-Watch volunteer Cindy Uy affirmed the importance of accountability in elections: “Accountability in elections creates an enabling environment where citizens freely choose leaders, ensure that development agenda are implemented, periodically monitored and corrective actions done efficiently and effectively,” she said.

Khalid Camar of G-Watch Lanao del Sur also reminded voters that, “in the coming elections, not only politicians should be made to account, citizens too, as they decide for the future of the country.”

Joy Aceron, G-Watch convener-director, says “G-Watch work is above and beyond the elections, but the electoral exercise remains a crucial accountability mechanism that can enable and advance good governance, so it has to be engaged.”

G-Watch, in its statement, offered six-point agenda for the next administration, which includes: 

  • Ensure access to relevant, useful and clear information.
  • Pass the Freedom of Information Law.
  • Bolster transparency mechanisms and efforts.
  • Ensure that feedback, complaint and grievance redress mechanisms properly work so that the concerns of citizens can be adequately addressed.
  • Enhance the capacity of accountability institutions, mechanisms and programs inside government.
  • Ensure that the country’s legal framework remains supportive, facilitative and enabling of progressive civil society, including independent citizen accountability efforts.



Press Release 

10 March 2022 

Contact Person: Victoria Maglanque 

E-mail: government_watch [at] 0917-1860298