Pilipinas Conference 2021: “Recovering Philippine Democracy Beyond 2022″

In the last five and a half years, three trends have emerged, converged, and contributed to the current phenomena of democratic reversals in the Philippines, namely, the advent of strongman populism, corrosive investments, and COVID-19 corruption.

In varying degrees, the said conditions have by and large impacted upon the democratic values of transparency, accountability, rule of law, and citizen’s participation. The COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, has created a space for more corruption to take place. Reports of misused funds in the pandemic response have surfaced over the past few months.

One thing, however, that overbears across these values and gives the needed elbow room for populism, polarization, rule of persons and fear, and pandemic management deficiencies to prosper is the neglect for institutional oversight and participation mechanisms.

Over and above the democratic challenges that Philippine society has to confront is the prevalence of disinformation and misinformation. While information integrity enables citizen to acquire credible and timely information, the pandemic of disinformation divides communities, corrodes unity, and dampens the democratic resolve.

It is in the spirit of democratic renewal that the Stratbase ADR Institute conducted Session 5 of its annual Pilipinas Conference. Entitled “Recovering Philippine Democracy Beyond 2022”, the discussion aimed to bring forth forward-looking social and political analyses that bear specific and general political recommendations. As a whole, these governance perspectives collectively represent a platform agenda for thought leaders—from the national and local government, business sector, academe, and civil society—to discuss and share their insights on the pressing agenda of the next administration.


Welcoming Remarks
Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit
President, Stratbase ADR Institute

Opening Remarks
Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales
Former Ombudsman of the Philippines;
Former Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines

Keynote Address
Commissioner Michael Aguinaldo
Chairperson, Commission on Audit

Opportunities for Citizen Participation in the Pandemic
Dr. Francisco Magno
Trustee & Program Convenor, Stratbase ADR Institute;
Professor of Political Science, De La Salle University

Reducing Inequality in the Philippines: Rationale & Reform Options
Dr. Ronald Mendoza
Dean and Professor, Ateneo de Manila University – School of Government (ASOG)

National Budget as Public Investment
Ms. Zy-Za Nadine Suzara
Executive Director, Institute for Leadership, Empowerment, & Democracy (iLEAD)

Beyond Health Measures: Towards a Genuine People’s Health Agenda
Dr. Leni Jara
Executive Director, Council for Health & Development

Role of the Youth in Philippine Democracy
Ms. Natalie Christine “Ching” Jorge
Chief of Party, USAID-The Asia Foundation, Youth Leadership for Democracy Program

Why the Stakes are High for Democracy in 2022
Dr. Julio Teehankee
Full Professor of Political Science & International Studies & Former Dean, College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle University

Closing Remarks
Judge Raul Pangalangan
Former Judge, International Criminal Court;
Former Dean, University of the Philippines College of Law

Hose & Moderator:
Atty. Jenny Domino
Non-Resident Fellow, Stratbase ADR Institute

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