Think Pieces

Browse Think Pieces and other opinion articles published on G-Watch as well as other websites. 

30 June 2022
NO ONE X-cluED! The Department of Education Has a Plan to Continue Learning Amid COVID-19. The Youth Are Making Sure It Gets Implemented.

By: Francis Isaac

Dirk Tamayo was doing well in his studies prior to the pandemic. Enrolled in a private school in Pangasinan, he was at the top of his class, but was also looking forward to the end of the term like any grade four pupil.

“I was excited to attend our Recognition Ceremony,” Dirk remembered. “And I was hoping my mom would also allow me to attend our school's three-day summer camp after that.”

But anticipation gave way to disappointment when classes were suspended in early 2020 due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

30 March 2022
On Freedom of Information: A Message to Government

I write this piece to give an unsolicited advice and needed reminder to government offices and officials on their access to information practices. This particularly becomes crucial at this time after years of rollback in key governance reforms and threats to civic spaces, and given the need for accurate information to fight fake news in the elections and as a centerpiece agenda for the new administration to improve the responsiveness and efficiency of governance.

9 March 2022
Make the 2022 Elections an Accountability Platform! A Statement of Government Watch (G-Watch) on the Upcoming May Polls

Make the 2022 Elections an Accountability Platform!  

A Statement of Government Watch (G-Watch) on the Upcoming May Polls


10 February 2022
Scaling Textbook Count, Youth-Led Style

Scaling Textbook Count, Youth-Led Style

Remarks in the Launching of Multiply-Ed

By: Joy Aceron

Pasig | 7 February 2022


5 August 2021
Rollback on Participatory Reform Gains in Government Procurement?

By: Joy Aceron*


After attending the online two-day training of the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB) for Civil Society Organization (CSO) observers last July 29-30, I can’t help but reflect on whether there has been a significant rollback in the participatory reforms in the country’s government procurement.

8 July 2021
Making Elections an Accountability Platform (MEAP): Explaining the Idea

By: Joy Aceron and Francis Isaac



In the past weeks, G-Watch local sites have started conducting their citizenship education sessions to make the elections an accountability platform. The said initiative aims to provide a safe and open platform for citizens, citizen groups and communities to collectively reflect on the situation of the country, reaffirm basic democratic values and processes and try to identify shared agenda in engaging the upcoming elections to get back on track on the agenda of democratic deepening in the Philippines.

18 March 2021
One Palawan Lang: The National Significance of the Palawan Plebiscite

By Mickel Ollave and Joy Aceron*

Analyzing the national significance of the recent Palawan plebiscite from an insider-outsider perspective, Mike Ollave and Joy Aceron, in this piece, contends that the Palawan plebiscite post positive implications on the country and its citizen movements. The Palawan plebiscite shows that top-down agenda initiated by the powerful can still be defeated by mostly citizen resistance below. The Palawan election proves a clean peaceful democratic electoral exercise remains feasible even amidst the pandemic. An electoral exercise can still be issue-based and an opportunity for the powerful to be held to account.

18 November 2020
Are Sectoral Bodies Truly Empowering to Marginalized Sectors?

By: Joy Aceron

Sectoral bodies are participatory institutions that are unique in the Philippines. The creation of sectoral bodies through laws demonstrates how Philippine institutional-legal framework values people’s participation and sectoral representation. Sectoral bodies institutionalize representation of marginalized sectors in governance, providing sectors formal access to decision-making to ensure sectoral concerns and issues are addressed. It is a mechanism for inclusion that directly addresses political disenfranchisement and inequality.

Some of the key sectoral bodies created through law are the National Youth Commission (NYC), National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) sectoral assemblies and councils, and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).

15 October 2020
Sustaining Reforms Amid the Pandemic?

By: Joy Aceron*

With 4.4 million households as beneficiaries, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is the biggest social protection program of the government. Sustained across three (3) administrations (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Noynoy Aquino and Rodrigo Duterte), with its ambitious poverty reduction and participatory reform agenda withstanding three transitions, the program’s resilience is worth looking into and learning from.

3 August 2020
Does the PNP View Ordinary Filipinos as the Enemy?

At around 11 in the morning of July 27, two officers from the Manila Police District (MPD) entered the nave of the Quiapo Church, walked towards a small group of activists sitting on the back pew, and without any warning, seized a blue-and-white paper bag containing several placards from party-list group Akbayan. The officers did not immediately offer any explanation for their action, but as Rappler’s Camille Elemia wrote later in her article, the posters “were not being used” when the incident occurred.