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Policy Dialogue Series 2004

Academe Meets the Political Parties
1 March 2004, 2:00-5:00 pm, Claro M. Recto Hall, Faculty Center

As the May 2004 Elections draw near, the public is still in the dark as to what the candidates have to offer. Both the media and the political surveys have focused on personalities leading the race, with little attention to party platforms and programs.

After the disarray in the selection process of candidates for the elections, the parties are largely silent on issues pertaining to socio-economic reforms, governance, foreign policy, and peace and order, which are the top concerns of the different sectors of society. The spotlight is inadvertently turned to the aspirants, with their populist “motherhood statements” on where they are leading the nation.

It has often been said that political parties in the Philippines are based on personalities, not on platforms and ideologies. But individuals do not aggregate demands of sectoral interests. Ideally, parties become the key venues where policies and programs are shaped. In the end, it is still the parties who can be made accountable to their constituents and to the people come post-electoral politics. While it may be true that voting patterns in the Philippines have reflected preference for personalities rather than parties, the platforms of the political parties should still be subjected to public scrutiny.

This first installment of the TWSC Policy Dialogue Series 2004, Academe Meets the Political Parties, aims to provide a venue for parties/party-coalitions, the academic community, and the larger public to discuss and debate each party’s platform and long-term programs. The specific focus will be on the areas of economic policy, foreign relations, and peace and order.

  1. Economic Policy
    • What is the party’s overall macroeconomic framework and principles for economic development?
    • Particularly, what program for industrialization does it seek to pursue?
    • What are the party’s strategies for trade and industry and how will these be implemented in an environment where the country is becoming more and more integrated in the global economy?
    • What kind of fiscal and monetary policies will it institute, based on its program for industrialization and trade and industrial policies?
  2. Foreign Relations
    • How does the country envision its relations with the United States?
    • Specifically, what are the party’s position and strategies on bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, and on the US military approach to the issue of terrorism?
    • What are the principles and policies in relation to regional integration?
    • What are the parties core negotiating positions with regard to multilateral institutions of global governance?
  3. Peace and Order
    • What strategy will the party adopt as a response to the growing incidence of criminality and insurgencies?
    • Specifically, how will the party address the problems posed by drug and kidnapping syndicates both in urban and rural areas?
    • What kind of approach will the party undertake to address the protracted war waged by the Communist and Muslim rebel groups?


Political Parties:
Manuel Peña, Lakas-CMD/K4
Jaime Galvez Tan, Aksyon Demokratiko/Alyansa ng Pag-asa

Carmen Abubakar, Institute of Islamic Studies, UP
Clarence Pascual, Philippine Center for Policy Studies, UP
Herman Joseph Kraft, Department of Political Science, UP

Copyright © 2004 Third World Studies Center
Website Design: Tina Calasanz / Layout and Content: Sharon Quinsaat / TWSC Photos: Yuko Yamashita