Think Pieces

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

11 June 2012
Narrating the Future

Society should have a soul—authority. This authority should have a sense of reason that guides and directs—the legislative power. A will that acts and implements—the executive power. A conscience that judges and punishes the bad—the  judicial power. Those powers should be independent in the sense that none of them should infringe on the authority of the other. However, the latter two should submit to the former, as will and conscience submit to reason. The executive and judicial cannot separate themselves from the laws passed by the legislative, but the latter does not have any other judge except public opinion, or the people themselves.

6 May 2012
A Sunday Reflection on Political Reform Work

Without a constituency rooted below in society and social movements, institutional reform will not stand a chance in Philippine politics.

Hence, if we want reforms in elections, we should build a constituency that will push for and claim those reforms. And this can only be done if electoral and party reform imperatives are mainstreamed and linked in other advocacies in governance and development work. 

4 May 2012
Government-Citizen Engagement Leading to Empowering Change

If we go down to the grassroots, talk to people, engage government and enable people and government to engage, trusting they would constructively engage, we'll see how everyday a certain Ate Inday or Pastor Nunez struggles to assert their rights, claim what's due them and in the process challenge the existing power relations. How by simply being informed, by caring, by simply asking a question, by reaching out to others and knowing what others are concerned about, by wondering and being bothered with questions on why some gets more than others who need it most, how by simply being a concerned and active citizen, they shake the foundations of injustice and abuse in the country and reclaim the public space for themselves and the many.

14 September 2011
Textbook Count: Leading the Way, Throughout the Years

Textbook Count basically provided the blueprint of what we refer to now as Social Accountability, Constructive Engagement, Demand for Good Governance and similar terms that talk about engagement of citizens in governance to enhance transparency and accountability. Even before these terms were coined, there was already the practice and that was primarily Textbook Count. 

2 April 2011
Learn. Laugh. Make a Difference: Training on Social Accountability, the G-Watch Way!

ASoG’s brand of education is the marrying of theory and practice where academic knowledge is used in order to solve practical problems of our time. It tries to achieve that balance between the realm of ideas and the concrete realities that ideas must contend with to make a difference in real time, real space.

Our approach to change and development is what we call a mosaic approach where scattered efforts and actors working towards change and development are facilitated by the School to come together as pieces of the puzzle that if put together would form an alternative picture of the country.

This seminar serves as another classroom of ASoG. It will be a microcosm of what we endeavor to achieve all over the country.

11 February 2011
Briefly, On Political Dynasty

Our premise why dynasties are problematic in democracy is it undermines accountability since decisions that affect the public are made in private sphere (the family). Hence, our working definition of political dynasty is it exists when members of a (nuclear) family occupies seats that have direct mandate to check and balance each other and have legal authority over other means of accountability. It is a state of political monopoly that cancels out checks and balance mechanisms.

20 December 2010
G-Watch Localization: Daring to Go Where Politics is At

G-Watch Localization aims to engage the local level to develop a G-Watch application that is attuned to local context and realities. It takes into account the decentralized policy context, the situation and condition of citizen participation in local governance, the nature and practice of the local government unit and the backdrop of socio-cultural realities prevalent and strong at the local area like primacy of kinship, prevalence of patronage and machismo, to name a few. It situates itself in the areas of monitoring and evaluation which remains weak despite the mandated avenues for citizen participation due to sheer lack of resources for it, the lack of capability and its seeming lack of urgency in comparison to other concerns.

1 December 2010
When Misallocation of Resources Perpetuates a Form of Injustice

The implication on this seemingly innocent case of misallocation of projects is arguably a vicious cycle of social injustice where those who in need are further deprived because of their condition of un-having, of not having project pre-requisites such as roads, electricity, land, numbers; while those who have enough or have more are given more because of the condition of having, of being accessible, conducive and having the numbers that bring votes.

16 June 2010
Dare More. Be More...Because the Country Needs No Less

The key of the past not repeating itself is us. We know this in our hearts and it is great that there are a lot of us who have taken the challenge of being the difference to make a difference. If we factor in ourselves and be one of the variables that will change the tide, then perhaps, change has a chance. In doing so, we need to dare ourselves to be more. This is the clear lesson from history. We need to do our part and yes, there are good signs that we will.

7 June 2010
That Critical Link and Delicate Balance that Make Change in the Philippines Possible

The news that the FOI Bill failed was frustrating, but it should serve as a wake up call. Not only that we must make power accountable, we must reconstitute power; for as it is now, the power configuration in our society only allows limited reforms and hardly any radical changes. Important legislations that deepen democracy by giving more power to the people and making the exercise of power more accountable like the FOI Bill will hardly have a chance and our toil to make a difference will be more of the same without making any difference in the existing power structure. This is why it is most critical that while we continue our governance work now, we do not lose sight of the important task of developing our political party system, continuing the political engagement with the new administration and creating a reform-oriented context for the next elections through electoral reform and political education.