Alternative Parties, Alternative Programs

Prof. Leonor Magtolis Briones
UP National College of Public Administration and Governance

UP Academic Congress: Election and How to Choose Leaders
Malcolm Hall, UP College of Law February 04, 2010

The importance and significance of the 2010 elections: country in crisis
Economic and financial  state of the economy, state of public finance, looming fiscal crisis due to huge deficit.  0.9 % GDP growth for 2009  P272.5 billion deficit as of Nov 2009  Social crisis  rise in poverty; crisis in health and education

26.9 % poverty incidence among Filipino families (2006)  27.6 million poor Filipinos (2006)  7.6 % unemployment rate or 2.9 million jobless Filipinos (as of July 2009)  19.8 % underemployment rate or 7 million people (as of July 2009)  37,925 permanently displaced workers due to establishments resorting to permanent closure/retrenchment due to economic reasons, Jan-June 2009 (per DOLE)

Country in crisis, con’t

political crisis

ineffectiveness and corruption of the present political system; non-democratic elitist character of dominant political parties

environmental crisis

climate change and climate change adaptation frequency of natural disasters, disaster management

P206 Billion or 2.7 % of GDP – total damage and losses due to typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng P207.88 Billion – estimated needs for recovery and reconstruction over 2009 to 2012

moral crisis; governance crisis

The clamor for reform and change
the general mood is that of change -- change in leadership, in governance and ways of selecting leaders

increasingly active participation of the youth in the electoral process

the search and challenge of out-of-the box solutions to persistent problems
 

dissatisfaction with traditional political parties

search for alternatives and the emergence of alternative parties

Alternative Parties

Some National Parties  Ang kapatiran  Partido ng Marangal na Sambayanan  Bangon Pilipinas
Some Party Lists which typify alternative programs  Akbayan  Bayan Muna  Kaakbay Partylist  MDG’s  budget reform

Alternative Programs: The case of ABI/Social Watch
• Partnership between CSOs and legislators for greater participation in budget process
• Capacity building; • preparation of alternative budget;

• campaigning for alternative budget; • Monitoring and budget tracking; • advocacy for legislative budget reforms.

ABI Gains in 2009 Budget
Environment Environmental Management Bureau, Bantay Gubat and Bantay Kalikasan Program, Recycling of Agricultural and Forest Wastes 1,154,700,000.00

Basic Education

Teachers, Pre-School, MOOE, GASTPE, Computerization, Science & Math Equipment, Library Hub Program and Education Learning Centers, IT Equipment, Basic Education Madrasah
State Universities and Colleges Additional certified inbred seeds and production support for organic producers

4,581,951,000.00

Higher Education Agriculture

559,225,000.00 650,000,000.00

Health

Rural Midwife Placement Program, Resident Physicians, Health Promotion, Hospital and Health Facilities, Purchase of Mercury Free Thermometers

71,355,563.00

Total (Php)

7,017,231,563

Choosing a Leader
• at present, selection of a leader is highly personal; many voters select with • hearts; others with their stomachs
• choosing a leader ideally should be issue-based • careful consideration of party platform and programs for social development is essential • ideology is an important consideration

Giving alternative parties a chance
alternative parties, party-lists and alternative program should be seriously considered

many tired old formulae have failed; the time has come to consider alternatives

Role of the academe to participate in the electoral process and inform the public of alternative programs

Challenge in choosing the next leaders
• To choose a leader with clear and viable program for addressing the critical condition of public finance – taxation and revenue, deficits and debt
– P 272.5 Billion deficit (Jan – Nov. 2009) – P 4.42 Trillion outstanding debt (as of Oct. 2009)

– P 74.38 Billion revenue shortfall (Jan – Sept 2009)

• Candidates should be challenged to present their program on how to provide for critical social services which is key to development