Think Pieces

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

26 March 2020
A Question Amidst the COVID 19 crisis: Where has all the health budget from sin tax gone?

As it seems, the Philippine health sector is ill-prepared for the COVID19 outbreak. This is not surprising after budget cuts, corruption allegations, politicization of health governance and political leadership’s focus on security and order going after opposition, activists and poor drug offenders.

24 March 2020
How Vulnerable are the COVID-19 Procurements to Corruption?

On March 23, 2020, the House of Representatives and Senate deliberated and passed a bill that grants immense powers to the president to address the COVID-19 threat. The proposed legislation was quickly signed into law on March 25, 2020 with the title Bayanihan We Heal as One Act or Republic Act 11469.  

Among the powers granted to the president by RA 11469 are exemptions to the government procurement law in order to undertake procurements in the most “expeditious manners” (Section 4.k). Some of the items listed that can be procured with exemptions include:

  • Goods, such as personal protective equipment (PPEs), different surgical, laboratory, medical equipment, supplies and consumables, testing kits and other needs to be determined by the Department of Health
  • Good and services for social amelioration measures in favor of affected communities
  • Lease of real property or venue for use to house health workers or serve as quarantine centers, medical relief and others
  • Establishment, construction and operation of temporary medical facilities
  • Utilities, telecommunications and other critical services in relation to the operation of quarantine centers, medical relief and aid distribution centers and temporary medical facilities

22 March 2020
Mahusay at Epektibong Demokratikong Tugon sa COVID-19, Hindi Diktadurya

Naninindigan kami na hindi na kailangang palawigin pa ang kapangyarihan ng Pangulo upang magkaroon ng epektibong tugon sa COVID-19. Sapat na ito upang bigyang direksyon at liderato ang gobyerno at buong bansa sa pagsugpo ng COVID-19.

Ang kelangang palakasin ay ang kakayanan ng mga frontliners sa health sector at local governments sa pamamagitan ng pagbigay sa kanila ng mga tulong at suporta na kanilang kagyat na kailangan.

16 March 2020
Prioritize Support for the Public Health System! Pass a Supplemental Budget for Public Health Response to COVID-19 Now!

A Statement of Government Watch (G-Watch)* on the COVID-19 Crisis

A crisis like no other is upon us. The COVID-19 pandemic has already killed 12 people in the Philippines with 140 found positive cases as of March 15, 2020. The numbers continue to grow. In the world, more than 140,000 people have been infected by this deadly virus and has claimed the lives of almost 6,000 individuals.

9 March 2020
On Elite Capture, the Poor and Patron-Client Networks

By: Joy Aceron

In my continuing readings of evaluation studies on participatory reforms, I noticed that the concept of elite capture is repeatedly pointed out.

I like how one material (Saguin 2018) differentiates elite control vs. elite capture and the measures to address them using existing literature.

21 February 2020
Why the Need for Accountability Education?

Last February 14, Valentine’s Day, G-Watch had its 3rd Ako, Ikaw, Tayo May Pananagutan (AIM-P) Awareness-Raising Campaign Day with the theme “Kabataan, Pusuan ang Pananagutan.” This year’s campaign focused on engaging young people in accountability conversations, especially officials of Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Councils).

All over the world, today's youth are leading collective actions to address pressing issues such as social injustice, corruption, abuse and climate change. In the Philippines, participation of the youth is given so much recognition and importance that it has now been institutionalized in every barangay through the SKs. However, SK as an institution needs strengthening and support. G-Watch aims to contribute to this by engaging SKs in accountability work

21 February 2020
Ano ang Pananagutan? Isang Repleksyon sa G-Watch Ako, Ikaw, Tayo May Pananagutan 2020

By: Francis Isaac

(Ang sulating ito ay batay sa talumpating binigkas noong 14 Pebrero 2020 sa Batasan Hills National High School, Lungsod Quezon sa pagpapasimula ng Spoken Poetry Competition bilang bahagi ng Ako, Ikaw Tayo may Pananagutan Awareness-Raising Campaign ng G-Watch.)

9 December 2019
Reclaiming the Inclusivity Agenda: Further Notes on the ‘Reform-Revolution Continuum’

Inclusive politics and governance, inclusive development and growth, inclusivity, inclusiveness –these are the most recent buzzwords within development community and among political elites these past few years. In the Philippines, even the military and police are arguing for their greater involvement on the premise of inclusivity.

16 August 2019
Why Sovereignty Should Concern Every Filipino Today

The government needs to reclaim being the government of this country that protects and cares for its people by asserting and advancing Philippine sovereignty on the West Philippine Sea. Filipinos need to remind the Duterte government of what their being the government for and who ultimately owns the power that those in government temporarily hold. 

16 August 2019
How Participatory Reforms Can Enable Voice But Fall Short Of Transformation

Reforming the budget process to be more open and participatory to civil society and citizens has become a popular approach around the world. This trend represents great potential for democratic transformation, especially in countries where the allocation of public resources has long been left in the hands of a few. However, attempts to undertake such reforms in the Philippines have had mixed results. The Philippine experience with Bottom-Up Budgeting (BuB) offers valuable insights into the pitfalls that must be avoided for participatory reforms to be transformative.