Tag Archives: Featured

PSPC and UP PolSci co-organizes lecture on constitutional democracy

On 29 June 2018, the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) Program on Social and Political Change (PSPC), together with the UP Department of Political Science, co-hosted “How to Lose and Save a Constitutional Democracy,” a public lecture by Professor Tom Ginsburg, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law of the University of Chicago Law School. In this lecture, Prof. Ginsburg talks about his upcoming book, “How to Save a Constitutional Democracy,” which he co-wrote with Prof. Aziz Huq.

Aside from the public lecture, Prof. Ginsburg is in the country to serve as Senior Advisor to the Constitution Building Programme of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA). While in the Philippines, he visited the House of Representatives to discuss matters of constitution building and constitution development. He also joined the Constitutional Assessment of the 1987 Philippines Constitution Project, a joint undertaking led by International IDEA, the UP CIDS PSPC, and the UP Department of Political Science which aims to see how the Constitution has performed and achieved its objectives and to contribute to the process of charter change in the Philippines.

Prof. Ginsburg argues in his work that the weakening of democracy will not happen through a collapse, but more likely through a gradual erosion from inside. The agents that cause the erosion of democracy are either charismatic populists (i.e., a savior figure who will unify the people) and partisan degradation (where political parties use undemocratic means to stay in power). Furthermore, many of the tools of democratic erosion are actually legal, such as constitutional amendments, bypassing institutional checks, undermining the rule of law, eliminating electoral competition, and limiting freedom of speech and association.

Prof. Ginsburg also offers solutions that may save constitutional democracy. He primarily used the United States Constitution as an example in examining the weaknesses of the constitution and offering constitutional design ideas that prevent the erosion of democracy. However, he explains that the experience of the US is not so far detached to that of other countries.

According to him, constitutionalism must abstract power away from the person, but recent events in politics show world leaders attacking the media, undermining the rule of law, attacking individual judges, and abusing prosecutorial processes. At the same time, Prof. Ginsburg notes that we can also see that people are being awakened by this state of affairs and are motivated to see genuine change. A major political force may emerge as a backlash from the erosion of democracy and provides optimism in saving constitutional democracies.

PSPC and UP PolSci host lecture by Professor Dan Slater

On 27 June 27 2018, the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) Program on Social and Political Change (PSPC) and the UP Department of Political Science hosted a lecture by Professor Dan Slater, Director of the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies of the University of Michigan.

Professor Slater’s lecture, “Voting Against Democracy: Theory and Variation in the Philippines and Beyond,” gave students and faculty some insights on a research project he is currently working on with Professors Alexandra Filindra and Petia Kostadinova of the University of Illinois at Chicago. This project looks into the question and variation of popular support in democracies for leaders who lack democratic credentials or engage in undemocratic practices.

Taking off from his earlier work “Ordering Power: Contentious Politics and Authoritarian Leviathans in Southeast Asia” (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Professor Slater argues that the role of public support is vital to the durability of authoritarian regimes and in this project, he and his colleagues will investigate what leads people to support nondemocratic behavior and practices. With the challenges that democracies face today, using the dynamic between threats and gains as motivations for supporting nondemocratic regimes may give us an insight on the world’s current situation.

The research project will look into six country cases and Professor Slater’s focus will be on the Philippines and India. These countries were selected for their substantial democratic history paired with a substantial support for nondemocratic leaders and parties.

AltDev co-hosts colloquium on post-Brexit Britain

The University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) Program on Alternative Development (AltDev), Focus on the Global South, and Asia Europe People’s Forum (AEPF) hosted the public colloquium “Beyond Brexit: Britain in the Age of Far Right Populism and Global Inequality,” held last 31 May 2018 at the UP CIDS Conference Hall. Kolya Abramsky, a freelance author and editor of volumes on European and international issues, and Dorothy Guerrero, Head of Policy and Advocacy of United Kingdom (UK)-based campaign organization Global Justice Now, served as speakers for the event.

Britain voted to leave the European Union (EU) in 2016, a decision that surprised many and that has complex consequences which are yet to unfold. Some interpreted it as the revolt of the have-nots against neoliberal globalization, while others see rising xenophobia and perceived threats of immigration as the main concerns that swung the vote. Progressive and left-wing groups in Britain have varying positions about the EU—some campaigned for a Left Exit (Lexit) and some campaigned for the UK to remain within the EU. The British Left’s efforts during the referendum to expose corporate agenda as a roadblock to radical fiscal and environmental reforms in the did not lead to a deeper understanding of the UK’s role as co-architect of the current EU which favors the interests of the few and not of the many.

However, the rise of Jeremy Corbyn and his transformation from an idealist to a statesman is bringing hope towards a more compassionate Britain. What are the prospects for a “hard-Left Labour” to be the next government in Britain? Will it be able to put the “ferocious beast of free-market capitalism on a leash” before it devours all around it? Can the British Left defeat racism and put an end to the prevailing hostile environment for immigrants? What would a post-Brexit UK trade relations, especially with developing countries, look like, and how can we build a broader global solidarity for just trade and corporate accountability?

Historical context: The EU Referendum. In the early 2000s, there has been a strong critique on the EU, mainly coming from left-wing groups who are partially against some political modes and process within the union. The coming together of the countries under the EU was only made possible due to post-World War II integration, the consolidation of East and West Europe, the existence of peace, and the absence of political and economic crises. In 2015, both Corbyn and the EU referendum have been taking off, and the balance of power in Britain was already tipped to the far right. But due to breakout of the financial crisis, the political landscape had changed and led some parts of the internationalist Left and the ultranationalist Right to come together and support Brexit.

How did the Left respond to the EU integration processes? After the Second World War, there’s a very strong movement of the working class in Western and Eastern Europe. The post-WWII landscape changed as social revolutions began to thrive. Important sections of the Left responded to the global crisis of Stalinism, and the emergence and prominence of the Soviet Union.

The inter-generational gap. In terms of movement memory, the fate of memories and discourses of the Left during the 1970s in the UK is what is exactly happening in the Philippines. It becomes apparent in both the UK and the Philippines that the gap within the intergenerational links in the movement contributed to the weakening of social movements. In the Philippines, there is rich discourse on what the Philippine economy is (i.e., feudal, colonial), but discussion on its character is glaringly missing.

Impacts of industrialization and neoliberalism. In the UK, the neoliberal strategies of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher enabled a turn away from social development. As we try to explain Brexit, we see the trend of the British working class seeing migrants as competitors, without exacting accountability from the government for the unavailability of jobs. While other countries in Europe (such as Germany) continued to invest in production, build new technologies, and prioritize the sustainability and development of the labor force, the UK opted for finance instead of putting emphasis on production. Today, UK’s manufacturing declined to being only 8% of the country’s GDP, and the impact of the 2008 financial crisis to its working class was greater compared to other countries where manufacturing flourished.

Weakening of social movements. For the Left, the weakening of social movements was due to decline of spaces for campaigns outside the party system because of national policies. It is now almost impossible to organize huge protests, as compared to the situation in the 1960s or 1970s where left-wing groups, parties, and organizations flourished. There exists a question on how to introduce systemic change in the face of the Labour Party’s policies. Given this scenario, it is easier to engage and influence policies coming from the Labour Party towards initiating reforms. Hence, the outcome, in terms of trade strategy and migration issues for example, is that the British public has become more overtly racist and xenophobic, evident in increasing incidents of reported racist attacks in the country. As another example, trade relations between the UK and the United States (US) could be affected by US President Donald Trump’s desire to privatize the health care system in the UK, and similarly, there are proposed policies to charge migrants for health services.

Far-right populism and ultranationalism as a by-product of globalization. The rise of far-right populism and ultranationalism in the UK is borne out of the perception of both external and internal threats, embodied by trade interests (especially EU interests) and migrant worker competition, respectively. Furthermore, there is also a myth that the people of the UK is being victimized and that they must “take their control back,” which, in turn, is being espoused by conservatives and the new nationalists.

The Brexit lesson and prospects for progressive groups. With the current government and political situation, the shaping of the new UK after Brexit by progressive groups can be difficult. Relations between the United Kingdom and the Philippines remain cordial, as the two countries have signified renewed commitment and shared values.

The combination of Brexit and a Corbin-led government. There are various studies on the impact of Brexit on agriculture, a labor-intensive sector reliant on migrant workers. It is also interesting to look not on the condition of labor in Britain, but on how it responded to the labor conditions under EU, and on how labor unions from the energy and railway sectors fare after supporting Brexit.

(Written report courtesy of Raphael Baladad, Focus on the Global South–Philippine Office; photos courtesy of Fe Manapat, WomanHealth Philippines)

AltDev co-organizes forum on privatization of health

A public forum discussing the creeping privatization of public health was conducted at the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) last May 30, 2018. The event, entitled “Creeping Privatization of Health: Defending Public Health! – A Public Forum on Privatization versus Public Health,” was organized by Alternative Budget Initiative – Health Cluster, Social Watch Philippines, DIGNIDAD, Freedom from Debt Coalition, Focus on the Global South, Institute for Popular Democracy, Trade Justice Pilipinas, and WomanHealth Philippines, in cooperation with the UP CIDS Program on Alternative Development.

The forum aims to share information on the private sector’s initiatives to expand and intervene in the health sector, to discuss and understand the implications this would have on the public health system, and to explore what can be done to defend and strengthen the public health system.

Ms. Ana Maria Nemenzo of WomanHealth Philippines gave a briefer on House Bill 7347 or the Anti-Privatization of Public Health Facilities Bill, which seeks to defend public health from privatization.

It was then followed by a discussion regarding the event’s main theme. Among the speakers in the forum were Mr. CJ Castillo of Labor Education and Research Network (LEARN) and Ms. Mary Ann Manahan of World March of Women (WMW), who shared the result of their baseline study on private hospitals. Mr. Castillo discussed the hospital industry profile in the Philippines, while Ms. Manahan presented a case study on Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC) and its competitors and their efforts in privatizing health services.

A panel of reactors were also invited to further speak about the topic. All three reactors, namely Dr. Rene Ofreneo of the School of Labor and Industrial Relations (SOLAIR) at UP Diliman, Ms. Corazon Rio of Kilos Maralita, and Ms. Rosita Lacson of Pinagsamang Lakas at Karunungan ng Nakakatanda (PILKAN), agreed that the privatization of the health industry in the Philippines will not answer the need of the people in terms of adequate and efficient access to health services. Rather, it would further push ordinary people on the periphery of access, due to high cost of services sought for the betterment of their health. All three of them pointed out the need to be critical on this sweeping privatization of health and to act in order to stop it.

An open forum was also conducted which brought up inquiries from the participants on the implications of privatization of health on youth, access to basic services, universal and primary health care, and in the health policy system.

Ms. Zeena Manglinong of the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) synthesized the forum. She cited that a continuous spreading of awareness on the importance of defending public health services shall be done hand in hand with strategizing in the creation of a resistance movement against the creeping privatization of health.

(All photos courtesy of Fe Manapat, WomanHealth Philippines)

Former UP President Edgardo J. Angara, 1934–2018

May 16, 2018

The University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) extends its deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of former UP President Edgardo J. Angara on his passing. The UP CIDS was established as the policy research unit of the University of the Philippines System in 1985 during the term of Dr. Angara as UP President. In 1997, Dr. Angara supported the launching of the UP CIDS Public Policy Journal as an “authoritative journal for public policy guidelines in the Philippines.” The UP CIDS is also currently managing the UP President Edgardo J. Angara (UPPEJA) Fellowship Award which was founded by the UP Board of Regents in 1998. Initiated with funding from Dr. Angara, the Fellowship Award aims to promote high-level policy discussions and research on a wide range of topics that address national development goals and imperatives.

Marx @ 200: UP CIDS launched ‘Marx Bicentennial’ Lecture Series to honour Karl Marx

Starting this May 2018, the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS), through its Program on Alternative Development (AltDev), invites the public to the ‘Marx Bicentennial Project,’ a year-long lecture series that will commemorate the enduring global influence, impact, and relevance of the works of the well-known German philosopher Karl Marx.

This year marks the 200th birth anniversary of Marx who was born on May 5, 1818, or exactly 200 years ago. This UP CIDS commemorative event will feature at least 40 lectures from academics, social movement activists and civil society about Marx and his theory and practice. Marx as an economist, historian, political theorist, sociologist, journalist, and a poet, particularly has a huge influence on Philippine politics, culture, economy, literature, and society.

To kick off the UP CIDS year-long lecture series, economist Emmanuel de Dios provided a professorial lecture on “What the New Institutional Economics Owes to Marx”, on May 4, 2018, from 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM at the UP School of Economics.

On May 5, the actual birthdate of Marx, UP CIDS held an afternoon lecture-forum and cultural performances at the CIDS Meeting Hall in Diliman, Quezon City with keynote lectures by UP professors Roland Simbulan and Herbert Docena.

The lecture series aimed to: interrogate the diverse intellectual, political, and historical legacies of Marx and Marxism; revisit Marxist theory and practice in light of changing social, political, and economic contexts, such as technological development, the rise of social media, and the erosion of democracy across countries; assess the complex relationship of Marxism with other intellectual currents and disciplines, from gender, science, and biopolitics to literature, historiography, and political practice; determine how and to what extent Marxist theory and practice can inform, impede, and enrich questions of political and economic praxis.

The fora in the year-long lecture series will cover the following themes: Economy: Mode of Production; Marx’s Writings; Critical Theory; Art, Popular Culture and Social Media; Marx and the Working Class; State and Nation; Marxist influence on revolutionary movements; Marx and Gender; Civil, Social and Political Human Rights.

This bicentennial tribute is being coordinated by Eduardo Climaco Tadem, the convenor of UP CIDS Program AltDev, and a retired professor of Asian Studies at the UP Asian Center.

For inquiries, please email [email protected] or call the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies at 981-8500 loc. 4266-68. To receive updates regarding the schedules, topics, speakers, etc., please sign up on our mailing list: https://marxat200ph.wordpress.com.

UP CIDS August to December 2017 Year-End Report

In August to December 2017, following the appointment of Teresa S. Encarnacion Tadem, Ph.D. as Executive Director, the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) revived its programmatic thrust established in the 1990s under the directorship of Ma. Cynthia Rose B. Bautista, Ph.D. Nine programs tackling policy questions on education and capacity-building, development, the social sciences, as well as the Local-Regional Studies Network were conceptualized last year.

UP CIDS also hosted a number of activities such as public lectures, roundtable discussions, and conferences in August to December 2017 with guests from the University, government agencies and civil society organizations, as well as scholars from the Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Latin American regions.

In 2018, the programs convened by UP CIDS will be implementing their conceptualized agenda and activities in line with the role of the University of the Philippines as a research university in various fields of expertise and specialization on issues of national significance.

For a review of the events that transpired in the latter half of 2017 as well as a preview of its 2018 agenda, UP CIDS proudly presents its Year-End Report for August to December 2017.

The feature above allows for double-clicking to zoom in on the content.

The Year-End Report may also be downloaded here.

Building Capacity Securitizing Energy: Prospects & Challenges for the Philippines


Last 3 May 2018, the Strategic Studies Program (SSP) of the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS), together with the Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea (IMLOS), conducted the first of the Building Capacity series of roundtable discussions (RTD), entitled Securitizing Energy: Prospects & Challenges for the Philippines. The RTD focused on the status of energy security in the Philippines with representatives from government agencies, members of the academe, and professionals from various private institutions.

Assistant Professor Nelson Cainghog from the UP Department of Political Science and a fellow of the SSP gave the opening remarks. He expressed the need for these kinds of endeavors which aim to contribute to the discourse on national security. Prof. Cainghog also stated the growing need of the country in terms of energy and expressed hope that this RTD could start a conversation on how to develop policies towards securing adequate sources of energy.


Department of Energy Undersecretary Jesus Cristino P. Posadas presented the policies of the current administration with regard to providing power and securing energy reserves. Dr. Mario Aurelio, the Director of the National Institute of Geological Sciences, gave a presentation on the status of energy in the country from the perspective of a geoscientist. Clarifications were made with regard to the official policies of the Department of Energy and their implications on the policies of other departments, such as those of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Department of Science and Technology. It was also an opportunity to establish connections between the government agencies and the academe as the discussion dealt mostly with how policies crafted and advanced by the country’s policymakers and bureaucrats could complement the technical expertise of the country’s scientists and engineers.


The Building Capacity Series of roundtable discussions focuses on exploring the various kinds of strategic responses the Philippines should adopt in order to build national capacity in the face of changing power dynamics in the international system. The objective of the RTD series is to provide a venue for experts from various fields to discuss and share their insights on selected important matters, with the aim of contributing to the national security and development discourse.

UPCIDS-ISP held Focus Group Discussion on Shariáh Court and PD 1083

The UP CIDS-Islamic Studies Program (UP CIDS-ISP) initiated the first step towards the enhancement of PD 1083 by conducting a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on Shari’ah Court and Muslim Personal Laws (CMPL) among Ulama (religious scholars), members of the academe, women’s groups, representatives from non-government organizations (NGOs) and the youth sector, as well as Shari’ah counselors in partnership with the UP Institute of Islamic Studies and Anak Mindanao (AMIN) Party List led by Representative Amilhilda J. Sangcopan.

The FGD was held at Marcian Hotel in Zamboanga City on March 29, 2018. This is part of the series of consultations and activities that UP CIDS-ISP will undertake in collaboration with AMIN Party List to prepare a Bill that will elevate CMPL, otherwise known as Presidential Decree (PD) 1083, to a Republic Act through the Congress.

The establishment of Shari’ah Courts under the mandate of Presidential Decree 1083 affirms the pluralistic legal system in the country. Under this legal system, non-Muslims are governed by the Family Code whereas PD 1083 governs personal laws of Muslims. One of the most glaring examples of the differences between the two systems is the recognition of divorce and polygyny under PD 1083 while under the Family Code, divorce and polygyny are not recognized.

Apart from the urgency to elevate PD 1083 to a Republic Act, there are contentious provisions of the Code that need to be reviewed and amended as well as insertions of additional provisions that will make the Code truly responsive to the needs of the Muslims in the Philippines.

The Shari’ah Courts cater to the need of growing Muslim population in the Country pegged at 12 million or 11.0% of the entire population (NCMF statistics 2015).

AltDev co-sponsors public forum on the “Dengvaxia Nightmare”

The University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) Program on Alternative Development (AltDev) along with the Alternative Budget Initiative – Health Cluster, DIGINIDAD, Focus on the Global South, Trade Justice Philippines, WomanHealth Philippines, Inc., and the UP Third World Studies Center organized the public forum “Dengvaxia Nightmare – People Clamor: Did Anyone Really Care About People’s Health?” last March 9, 2018.

Ms. Ana Maria R. Nemenzo from WomanHealth Philippines explained that the forum was not intended to find out who is right or wrong or to point who is guilty and culpable. The forum approached the issue of Dengvaxia as a public health issue and looked at ways on how to avoid a similar public health problem from happening again in the future.

The forum began with University of the Philippines – Manila Health Policy graduate student  Maria Fatima Villena discussing Sanofi’s decision to change the Dengvaxia label. Aside from premature claims of absolute safety (in children aged 9 or more), the baseline risk was low. The sample population in the clinical trial was at 31,000 but 800,000 school-age children were vaccinated by the government. Villena also asserted that Dengvaxia is not an issue of age but one of serotype. What is worrying in the light of the “Dengvaxia Nightmare” is the public’s increasing distrust and lack of confidence in vaccination programs, healthcare services, and the Department of Health as an institution.

Mercedes Fabros from WomanHealth Philippines chronicled the timeline of civil society’s engagement with the bureaucracy. The Dengvaxia issue is a clear manifestation of how the health sector policy making, planning, budgeting, and monitoring principles and processes are closely interlinked. Fabros presented their group’s engagement with the government, citing organization and personal notes, news articles, and the House of Representatives–Department of Health budget hearing minutes. She stressed that the ₱3.5 Billion-worth Dengvaxia program was never discussed in any of these hearings in 2015 and during the budget preparation and legislation phases for the FY 2016 budget.

Amihan Abueva, the Regional Executive Director of Child Rights Coalition – Asia, focused on “Human Rights and Informed Consent: Safeguarding the Best Interest of the Child”. She presented action points for moving forward: a) transparency from the programming to the monitoring of services for children and for every citizen to be mindful of the child’s “best interest” when engaging with public programs and services; b) surfacing mechanisms allowing “child participation” in similar programs and ensuring informed consent; c) assertion of public servants in their right to capacity-building relevant to the performance of their functions; d) provision of remedial measures from the State that allows children and their families to seek effective remedies for abuse or violations when business enterprises are involved; e) prevention of the persistence of negative perceptions of the country’s Vaccination Program; and f) paramount consideration of the best interests of children in public programs and services.

Rachel Abian from the Concerned Parents of Vaccinated Children shared how she found out her child was vaccinated with Dengvaxia in 2016 and her experience engaging with uncooperative health centers and how they handled her child’s case. She also raised concerns not only for the mental health of the children vaccinated with Dengvaxia but also for the parents and family members.

The last panelist, Dr. Walden Bello, talked about the conflicts of interest in the public health sector. He touched on three things: Sanofi’s role, the Former Secretary Janette Garin and the Department of Health’s role, and his critique of the “Doctors for Truth” Statement.

Dr. Ramon P. Paterno, as panel reactor, presented the people’s oversight on health. He called for broadening people’s coalition from the Dengvaxia issue to oversight on health and health care; demanding Free Health Care for Dengvaxia immunized children to Free health care for “Dengvaxia” families to Free Health Care for all Filipinos based on citizenship and not enrollment in PhilHealth; and for organized and empowered communities to serve as a foundation to safeguarding our health.

The public forum was attended by 67 participants from various Civil Society Organizations, the academe, and the media.

* Photo credit to Fe Manapat of WomanHealth

AltDev hosts workshop on Universal Health Care

Maximizing the space for civil society voices, AltDev co-sponsored a multi-stakeholder workshop on Universal Health Care.

In an effort to continue the call for a comprehensive Universal Health Care (UHC) system in the country, a multi-stakeholder consultation of civil society groups, medical practitioners, and professionals was co-sponsored from March 19 to 20, 2018 by the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) Program on Alternative Development (AltDev).

The gathering was an opportunity for the broader civil society to take a closer study on the several versions of UHC Bill pending in Congress which is one of the priority legislations included in the Legislative-Executive Advisory Council list for the 2nd regular session of the 17th Congress.

This activity, mainly organized by ABI Health Cluster – Social Watch Philippines, was to recognize the significant role of peoples’ participation in shaping national policies such as the UHC Bill. Through a 2-day discussion and workshop, participants were able to develop their critique, positions, and recommendation on the UHC Bill, as well as strategize their upcoming plan to critically engage the legislators on this pending bill.

Civil society representatives in the workshop reiterated their campaign for a UHC that adheres to the principles of primary health care, by putting more emphasis on health as a human and constitutional right. With that recognition, they stressed that “every Filipino shall be entitled to healthy living, working, schooling conditions and access to needed promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services” that is of sufficient quality and effectivity and should be based on health needs and not on one’s ability to pay health services or providers.

In September 2017, the House of Representatives approved House Bill 5784 or an “An Act Providing for a Universal Health Care Coverage for All Filipinos and Appropriating Funds Therefore.” A counterpart bill, SB 1458, was also filed in the Senate last year. To date, with two other recently filed UHC bills in the Upper House, the Senate Committee on Health is already conducting regional public hearings and consultations.

* Photo credit to Fe Manapat of WomanHealth

MOST Academy on Inclusive Policy and Valorization of Knowledge on 21-22 March 2018

The UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS), in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Philippine National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM PH), will be holding the UNESCO Management for Social Transformation (MOST) Academy on Inclusive Policy and Valorization of Knowledge on March 21 to 22, 2018 at Brentwood Suites, Quezon City.

The UNESCO MOST Academy is a 2-day training-workshop which aims to strengthen the competence for evidence-informed decision making of UNESCO Member States. It serves as the culminating activity of a 6-month research project by the UP CIDS and UNESCO entitled “Valorization of Research and Evidence on Inclusive Social Development to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the Philippines”.

This project aims to promote the principle of social inclusion with a particular focus on increasing access to healthcare by addressing the shortage of primary care workforce. It includes a research of programs that address the shortage of health workforce and a training-workshop to enhance valorization of research and evidence for social inclusion. The project likewise serves as a space for NGA-CSO interaction/collaboration.

For more information and other related inquiries, please contact Nikka Garriga of the UPCIDS-UNESCO Project on Social Inclusion at [email protected] or via mobile at 0966 168 1343.

EMIT C4C Inclusive Value Chain Learning Session with Smallholders

Credits: Jollibee Group Foundation

On 22 January 2018, researchers from the EMIT C4C Center, together with faculty members from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and institutional partner Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF), conducted a learning session with representatives of various farmers’ organizations involved in the Farmer Entrepreneurship Program (FEP). The assembly was held in the office of the KALASAG Farmers Producers Cooperative (FPC) in San Jose, Nueva Ecija. The organizations represented included farmer leaders of cooperatives from Ilocos Sur, Laguna, and Benguet. Members of the City Agriculture and City Cooperative offices of the local government were also present.


Credits: Jollibee Group Foundation

The meeting commenced with a short tour of the KALASAG FPC’s farm sites and facilities, supplemented with informal information sharing on onion planting practices and technology. The tour was followed by discussions, where representatives exchanged challenges encountered and experiences gained as part of the FEP.

The learning session equipped the researchers with a more grounded understanding of the FEP and its implementation. More importantly, it provided an avenue for various farmers’ organizations to learn from each other.

A background on EMIT C4C is provided in the program profile found here.

MEETING: Department on Interior and Local Government-National Capital Region (DILG-NCR) Federalism Study

The UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies Program on Social and Political Change (UP CIDS-PSPC) will embark on a research project in partnership with the Department on Interior and Local Government – National Capital Region (DILG-NCR) that looks into the implications of federalism on the National Capital Region (NCR).

On March 1, 2018, UP CIDS PSPC and DILG-NCR met with prospective research partners from several UP institutions and units. Representatives from the UP School of Urban and Regional Planning (SURP), UP National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS), UP Resilience Institute – Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards Center (UPRI-NOAH Center), UP Institute for Islamic Studies (UP-IIS), UPD National Institute of Physics (NIP), UP College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Department of Political Science (UP CSSP DPS), and the UP CIDS Program on Alternative Development (UPAD) discussed the prospects and potential of the project.

The study aims to assess the strong and weak points of governance in NCR thus identifying areas that need reform. It also aims to identify the functions of the national government that can devolve to regional governments, such as NCR, and functions of regional governments that can devolve to local government units (LGU).

The project will adopt a multi-disciplinary framework that will look into the political, economic, social, and environmental aspects of governance and reform. The workshop generated insights and recommendations from the participants that will propel the project forward. It was highly suggested that a review of previous studies on decentralization and devolution, specifically in the context of NCR, be produced before further studies can be developed.

A comparative study of metropolitan arrangements in other federalist countries is a point of interest as well as determining the possible general principles with which formation of states may be based on. Other proposed topics were transport planning in NCR, Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in NCR, and rural-urban linkages under federalism.

EMIT C4C conducts Anchor Themes Workshop in UP Mindanao

Dr. Pelkmans-Balaoing (left) and Dr. van Tulder (right) of the Rotterdam School of Management

The EMIT C4C (Escaping the Middle Income Trap Chains for Change: Partnerships for Inclusiveness and Competitiveness), a program under the UP CIDS in collaboration with the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), conducted an Anchor Themes Workshop on 27 January 2018 at the UP Mindanao Campus in Davao City. The activity was organized by Prof. Glory Dee Romo of the UP Mindanao School of Management. Attendees include UP Mindanao faculty from the business, economics, and natural science disciplines, UP Mindanao graduate students, and guests from the government, donor agencies, and civil society organizations.

The workshop formed discussions surrounding the action research initiative of the EMIT C4C and its fundamental findings, which have engendered the anchor themes presented. The exchange with stakeholders both substantiated and enhanced the research data on the systemic issues of agriculture value chains. Dialogues on potential areas of partnership between EMIT C4C and UP Mindanao were also initiated through the forum.

UP Mindanao Chancellor, Dr. Sylvia Concepcion, delivered the opening remarks and attended the entire workshop. The speakers that tackled the Anchor Themes were Dr. Annette Pelkmans-Balaoing (Elaboration on the EMIT C4C and the Anchor Themes Workshop; Inclusive development and peace: The Unifrutti-LaFrutera-Hineleban case; and Undertaking Action Research Projects) and Dr. Rob van Tulder (Elaboration on the EMIT C4C and the Anchor Themes Workshop; The Nature of Wicked Problems; and Inclusive business strategies and peace) of the RSM, Prof. Vlademir Shuck (Democratizing Food Governance through Direct Marketing Strategies: The Case of Vegetable Farmer Clusters in Marilog, Davao City) and Prof. Thaddeus Acuna (Contextualizing inclusive business: Financial perspective) of the UP Mindanao, and EMIT C4C senior researcher, Ms. Jane Capacio (Cooperatives, Property Rights, & Agriculture Contracts). Dr. Pedro Alviola IV of the UP Mindanao facilitated the discussions as the moderator.

The Escaping the Middle Income Trap Chains for Change: Partnerships for Inclusiveness and Competitiveness (EMIT C4C) is a program under the UP CIDS that aims to develop action research cases on front runner companies and civil society organizations (CSOs) engaged in agriculture value chains.  The primary interest is to scrutinize and understand the key elements that would enable inclusive and sustainable partnerships in Philippine agricultural value chains in order to effectively involve and benefit smallholders, indigenous peoples, and other rural poor populations.  The program intends to build collaborative learning and cross-sectoral partnerships for inclusive and sustainable agriculture value chains among corporations, CSOs, government agencies, the academe, and farmer groups.

Chancellor Concepcion opens the Workshop (left); a UP Mindanao student participates in the discussion (right)

The Workshop speakers and attendees

3rd Katipunan Conference: The Philippine Strategic Outlook 2018-2019

From February 27-28, 2017, the Strategic Studies Program (SSP) of the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) and the Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea (IMLOS) organized the 3rd Katipunan Conference with theme “The Philippine Strategic Outlook: 2018-2019” at Law Center, Bocobo Hall, Osmena Avenua, UP Diliman, Quezon City 1101. The conference focusing on strategic studies was attended by more than 200 participants representing the diplomatic community, government, academe, students, security sector, and other members of the Philippine strategic community. The Katipunan Conference aims to gather eminent security experts, scholars, and practitioners to discuss and analyze pressing strategic issues facing the Philippines.

The keynote address was delivered by National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes G. Esperon, Jr. He highlighted the importance of strategic analysis and appreciation of the global and regional strategic environments surrounding the Philippines. He also identified the “hedging strategy” of the Duterte administration in its pursuit of a more independent foreign and security policy through the pursuit of new strategic partnerships with China, Russia, and India while maintaining old alliances with the US and others. He also announced a proposed bill to create a research fund called “Science for Change” that aims to provide support for research dealing with national and human security.

The conference featured four panels examining the Philippine strategic, domestic, and regional environment. Speakers include academic experts on strategic studies, government officials, and representatives from the military and the private sector. Specific topics include ICT (Information and Communications Technology), climate change, regional security architecture, political stability, economic sustainability, and maritime issues. The final panel of the conference focused on forecasting the immediate direction and prospect of the Philippines strategic environment, where national capacity building was prominently discussed.

The Katipunan Conference is an annual strategic studies conference launched in 2015 as a platform for discussing current and emerging issues that impact the Philippine foreign policy and undertake a strategic scan of the international environment from multiple perspectives to produce practical and informed policy opinions and decision-making aids for government agencies and officials. It also is a venue where scholars and practitioners can engage in meaningful dialogue about pressing strategic issues facing the country.

3rd Katipunan Conference: The Philippine Strategic Outlook 2018-2019 on 27-28 Feb


​The Strategic Studies Program (SSP) of the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS), in partnership with the Institute of Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea (IMLOS) is hosting the 3rd Katipunan Conference: The Philippine Strategic Outlook 2018 – 2019 on February 27 – 28, 2018 (Tuesday 8:30 – 5:00 & Wednesday 8:30 – 12:00) at the Law Center, University of the Philippines, Osmena Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City 1101.

About the Conference 
Launched in 2015 as a platform for discussing current and emerging issues that impact Philippine foreign policy and undertake a strategic scan of the international environment from multiple perspectives to produce practical and informed policy opinions and decision-making aids for government agencies and officials. It also is a venue where scholars and practitioners can engage in meaningful dialogue about pressing strategic issues facing the country.


This event is open to the public but slots are limited. Please register at https://goo.gl/forms/DuuytDbZxowogRkb2

Registration closes on Friday, February 23, 2018.

For inquiries please email [email protected]

A Time to Rise: Collective Memoirs of the Union of Democratic Filipinos (KDP) – Book Launch on February 2

The UP CIDS Program on Alternative Development and the Program on Social and Political Change , the UP Third World Studies Center, the UP Department of Political Science, and Laban ng Masa invite the public to the Philippine book launch of A Time to Rise: Collective Memoirs of the Union of Democratic Filipinos (KDP) edited by Rene Ciria Cruz, Cindy Domingo, and Bruce Occena, with foreword by Augusto F. Espiritu.

Cindy Domingo, one of the book’s editors, will be present at the event.

The event will be held on Friday February 2, 2018 at 4:00 pm at the UP CIDS Conference Hall, Lower Ground Floor, Bahay ng Alumni, Magsaysay Ave. UP Diliman.

This event is free and open to the public, but seating will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Refreshments will also be served.

If you are interested in attending the event, you may click ‘Going’ on the official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/153638818622117/

Marine Technology Cooperation in East Asia: The Case of Smart Ocean For China & ASEAN – A Public Lecture by Chan Hing Lee Henry on 6 Dec

The UP Center for Integrative Studies (UP CIDS) Program on Strategic Studies, together with the Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea (IMLOS), will be holding a public lecture on Marine Technology Cooperation in East Asia: The Case of Smart Ocean For China & ASEAN on 6 December, 9:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. at the Ambion Room, First Floor, Malcolm Hall, College of Law, UP Diliman. The discussion is free and open to the public, but seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Smart Ocean initiative can help ASEAN to develop scientific solutions to address the marine related problems of climate change, ecosystem degradation and environmental management. Many enabling technologies to help address these marine related problems are already developed in China. The question is how to transfer them to cooperative platforms between ASEAN and China.


About the speaker
Chan Hing Lee Henry is an adjunct research fellow at the East Asia Institute, National University of Singapore. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering (1981) from the University of the Philippines, Master of Science degree in Biopharmaceuticals (2004) from the University of New South Wales and Ph.D. in General Management (2017) from the Singapore Management University.


If you are interested in attending the event, sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/eM08WJSvTonwpRNE3

Post-Democratic Regimes and the Businessification of the State and Civil Society: A Public Lecture by Kevin Hewison on 8 Nov

The UP Center for Integrative Studies (UPCIDS) Programs on Alternative Development, and Social and Political Change, together with the UP Department of Political Science will be holding a public lecture by Kevin Hewison on Post-Democratic Regimes and the Businessification of the State and Civil Society on 8 November 2017, 10:00 a.m. onwards at the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies, Lower Ground Floor, Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman. The discussion is free and open to the public, but seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

About the lecture

The struggle for civil society is one in which business dominates the state in post-democracies. The businessification of the state results in the state and business engaged in a two-prong effort to businessify the organizations of civil society. Businessification means that CSOs will tend to be supportive of – or at least non-challenging to – the state. For Petras (1999, 435) there has been a tendency for “apolitical” postures amongst NGOs, and observes that “their focus on self-help depoliticizes and demobilizes the poor.” Yet the post-democracy argument is not that civil society is lost or that NGOs have sold out. Rather, in politics, democracy is weakened by businessification. For the organizations of civil society, as bussinessification takes hold of them, there is a diminution of activism that contributes to the narrowing of political space, the rise of anti-politics and the domination of business elites.

About the speaker

Kevin Hewison is a Weldon E. Thornton Distinguished Professor of Asian Studies (Emeritus) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Contemporary Asia. He has written extensively on the topics of globalization and democratization. He is currently exploring research in globalization and social change in Southeast Asia, especially Thailand; democratization; and labor issues.

If you are interested in attending the event, sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/JffRhCsN7yiEMPW12

Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East, a Roundtable Discussion (RTD) with Vedi R. Hadiz on 21 Oct

The UP Center for Integrative Studies (UPCIDS) Programs on Alternative Development, and Social and Political Change, together with the UP Department of Political Science will be holding a roundtable discussion on the book “Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East,” on 21 October 2017, 10:00 a.m. onwards at the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies, Lower Ground Floor, Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman. The discussion is free and open to the public, but seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

About the book and the discussion

Vedi R. Hadiz. Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East. Cambridge University Press. 2017.

In a novel approach to the field of Islamic politics, this provocative new study compares the evolution of Islamic populism in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, to the Middle East. Utilising approaches from historical sociology and political economy, Vedi R. Hadiz argues that competing strands of Islamic politics can be understood as the product of contemporary struggles over power, material resources and the result of conflict across a variety of social and historical contexts. Drawing from detailed case studies across the Middle East and Southeast Asia, the book engages with broader theoretical questions about political change in the context of socio-economic transformations and presents an innovative, comparative framework to shed new light on the diverse trajectories of Islamic politics in the modern world.

  • Charts the evolution of Islamic populism in Indonesia, comparing it to the Middle East
  • Offers a novel framework to understand the diverse trajectories of Islamic politics in the modern world
  • Engages with debates on religion, politics and social change

About the speaker

 Vedi R. Hadiz is Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Melbourne. Previously he was Professor of Asian Societies and Politics at Murdoch University’s Asia Research Centre and Director of its Indonesia Research Programme. An Indonesian national, he was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in 2010-2014. Professor Hadiz received his PhD at Murdoch University in 1996 where he was Research Fellow until he went to the National University of Singapore in 2000. At NUS, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology until returning to Murdoch in 2010. His research interests revolve around political sociology and political economy issues, especially those related to the contradictions of development in Indonesia and Southeast Asia more broadly, and more recently, in the Middle East.

Aside from his latest book Islamic Populism in Indonesia and the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2017), his other books include Localising Power in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia: A Southeast Asia Perspective (Stanford University Press 2010), Workers and the State in New Order Indonesia (Routledge 1997) and (with Richard Robison) Reorganising Power in Indonesia: The Politics of Oligarchy in an Age of Markets (RoutledgeCurzon 2004,), as well as the co-edited Between Dissent and Power: The Transformation of Islamic Politics in the Middle East and Asia (Palgrave Macmillan 2014) and the edited Empire and Neoliberalism in Asia (Routledge 2004). His articles have appeared in such journals as Development and Change, New Political Economy, Democratization, Journal of Development Studies, Pacific Review, Pacific Affairs, Third World Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Critical Asian Studies, Indonesia, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies and Historical Materialism.

Professor Hadiz has been a visiting scholar in the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in France, the International Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands, the Centre of Southeast Asian Studies in the University of Kyoto and the Department of Sociology in the University of Indonesia, where he is also an Adjunct Professor.

If you are interested in attending the event, sign up here: https://goo.gl/forms/EC7TnW22HTyyquD92

UPCIDS, UNESCO Hold Workshop for Joint Project on Social Inclusion in the Philippines


On 22 September 2017, representatives from the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UPCIDS) under the Program on Alternative Development, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) , UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines (UNACOM), and other national stakeholders gathered for the start-up workshop of the joint project now titled, ‘Transforming Research into Policy on Inclusive Social Development to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the Philippines’.



With the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in mind, this project intends to promote the principle of social inclusion. In line with this, scholarship is given much attention for its potential to be a capable instrument in reviewing the current landscape and policies in the country involved in promoting social inclusion. As such, a Philippine Working Group (PWG) has been formed composed of UPCIDS as the lead agency, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) coming from the side of government. Civil society organizations, particularly Buhay Na May Dignidad Para Sa Lahat (DIGNIDAD) and the Network for Transformative Social Protection (NTSP), also form part of the project. More agencies are expected to be involved as the project progresses.



In the workshop, the PWG agreed to focus on community health programs and their health workforce as the project’s scope of study. This project is expected to be completed in six months. Currently, members of the PWG are working together to concretize the succeeding stages of the program. It is hoped that this undertaking will be able to identify the gaps in the current policies and assist in translating these policies into practice to achieve a more socially-inclusive development trajectory in the Philippines.


Photos courtesy of UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines (UNACOM).


UP CIDS Program Opens “National Day of Protest” with a Public Forum

Shortly after the UP Carillon’s 65th anniversary ceremony in the morning of September 21 followed “#MAYPASOK: Isang Malayang Talakayan ng mga Nagbabagang Isyu” – a public forum jointly organized by the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies Program on Peace and Conflict Transformation (PCT Program), the UP Department of Political Science, and the Third World Studies Center.

The PCT Program had earlier hosted an informal discussion where faculty, students, and civic groups shared their opinions and raised their concerns regarding the current political and social conditions in the country. In the discussion, the public forum was conceptualized as a course of action in response to the tense political atmosphere brought about by the recent threat from the Philippine president of a nationwide imposition of martial law.

Adopting the title “#MAYPASOK” reiterated the importance of dialogue and participation, notwithstanding the suspension of work and classes in government and public schools on the ‘National Day of Protest’ declared by the President. The forum sought to contextualize a range of national issues to foster a more holistic understanding of the Duterte administration’s actions and policies.

During the event held at the UP Diliman Carillon Plaza, speakers Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Eduardo Tadem and Josephine Dionisio spoke on issues such as the culture of violence and impunity surrounding extrajudicial killings, the weakening of political institutions, regressive tax reform policies as well as a looming debt crisis. Speakers Pedro Abraham Jr. and Amado Mendoza Jr. also discussed their experiences and thoughts from the Martial Law era of President Ferdinand Marcos. In light of current political conditions, the speakers called for a renewed will for public service and vigilance.

“I have learned to forgive all my torturers, all my keepers… Unfortunately also, I cannot forgive some. I cannot forgive Ferdinand Edralin Marcos, Imelda Marcos, Bongbong Marcos… all those technocrats who deodorized, prettified that murderous regime – enabling that regime to borrow billions of dollars which we are all paying for today.”

“I renew my commitment of service. My commitment is to you. To our people. I will do everything I can to serve you as public intellectual, as teacher…” – Prof. Amado “Bong” Mendoza, Jr.

“…[K]ailangan din nating maalala kung papaano sistematikong sinikap ng mga puwersa ng kadiliman na puksain, pigilan at busalan ang mga grupo na nagdadala noong intensyon na palalimin yung mga demokratikong institusyon at proseso sa ating bayan. [A]ng challenge ay para sa henerasyon niyo na alamin yung kasaysayan at maging mapanlikha sa pagtatayo ng iba’t-ibang paraan ng pakikipag-isang hanay.” – Prof. Josephine Dionisio

The PCT program hopes to continue these efforts to conduct relevant discussions and fora engaging the wider public, especially in the context of issues related to the evolving peace and conflict situation in the Philippines.

[Photos taken by Richard S.M. De Leon, College of Mass Communication]


UP, NGCP launch ‘Grassroots Change’ for communities

In pursuit of public service and sustainable change, the University of the Philippines (UP) through the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UPCIDS) has implemented the Nurturing Grassroots Change through Partnerships Project (Grassroots Change) with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). Grassroots Change comprises a series of livelihood development activities through a “Skills Camp” with the goal of honing and enhancing the skills of project beneficiaries in their chosen field. The project is set to capacitate partner-indigent communities located near UP campuses/properties that host NGCP facilities, as they pursue their own start-up enterprises and other fruitful employment ventures.

UP and NGCP recognize that efforts of building communities must not be limited to their economic viability; and responsive and sustainable change must come from an appreciation of the people’s needs and ingenuity at the grassroots level. One must speak the community’s language, connect with their tolls, savor their food, and assist them as they steer their boats toward social change.

The program employs the conduct of a local scoping study, a community-wide needs assessment, and an interactive participatory planning session to ensure that the project stays true to its mandate. Inputs from such will be used to develop livelihood development activities for the communities which include a combination of technical skills and business-capability modules.

Grassroots Change is envisioned to deliver community-wide change through the partnership and synergy among the community, the academe, and the private sector.

In its kick-off year, the project has been focusing on communities within the municipalities of Los Baños in Laguna and Miag-ao in Iloilo, and the cities of Tacloban and Davao – wherein the needs assessment and the participatory planning have just concluded. Among the training areas identified by the community are Food and Meat Processing, Buri and Hablon Craftsmaking, Cacao Nursery, and Sewing, along with Product Marketing, Patent Registering and Organizing Local Cooperatives.

Click here to view more photos

UPCIDS’ new email address for publications submissions and inquiries

We, at the Center for Integrative and Development Studies, are pleased to announce that we shall now be using a new email address for all publications-related communications.

For manuscript submissions and general inquiries, please contact us at [email protected]. The publications carried at the Center include but are not limited to the Public Policy Journal.

UPCIDS in talks with TiKA for aid, library expansion

The UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UPCIDS) represented by Mr. Joseph Cruzado and Centre International de Formation des Autorites et Leaders (CIFAL Philippines) represented by Ms. Jorica Pamintuan, discussed with Mr. Enes Doluküp and Ms. May Ditan of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) the possible points of collaboration for furthering development studies in a meeting held at the UPCIDS library on July 12.

Mr. Doluküp, Deputy Country Director of TİKA’s Manila Office gave an overview of TiKA’s objectives and activities. Per Doluküp, TİKA is focused on giving development aid in the Philippines. It has started initiatives such as livelihood programs in Mindanao.

TİKA eyes assistance in expanding the collections of the UPCIDS libraries. “The library is an instrument in shaping the youth for the future,” Doluküp said. TİKA has also expressed interest in collaborating with CIFAL Philippines in the future.

Time to think, talk about green space

In Photo: The Burnham Lake Park, a famous tourist attraction in Baguio City

Are there enough green space in so-called urban jungles in the Philippines? Apparently none.

As the Philippines embark on building spree, EarthThink, an advocacy and resource center that ventures in scientifically, economically and socially viable changes and solutions for sustainable and resilient communities, is pitching the preservation and improvement of existing, and possibly, development of more green spaces in the Philippines.

Mary Antonette Beroya-Eitner, founding president of EarthThink, said last week in an e-mail interview with the Businessmirror that  urban communities need not only urban parks, but other forms of green spaces, like green roofs and walls, green corridors, street streets, especially in areas where park development is not possible due to limitation in space.

A fellow at the University of the Philippines (UP) Center for Integrative Development Studies and Centre International de Formation des Autorités et Leaders Philippines, Beroya-Eitner noted there is a need to engage various stakeholders in scientific discourse on environment and ecology, climate change, disaster-risk reduction, ecosystem services and sustainability and resilience, to enable and challenge communities to make life-changing decisions and actions that impact the present and future generations.

Beroya-Eitner engages in information, education and communication activities, capacity-building, policy-lobbying to promote green space.

A geologist with a master’s degree in geology, specializing in landslide evaluation at the UP, she has a PhD in engineering geology, specializing in earthquake/liquefaction hazard assessment at the University of Hong Kong.

What is a green space?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines green space, or open space, as any open piece of land that is undeveloped, has no buildings or other built structures, and is accessible to the public.

It can include land that is partly or completely covered with grass, trees, shrubs or other vegetation. These may be parks, community gardens and cemeteries, schoolyards, playgrounds, public seating areas, public plazas or even vacant lots.

According to EPA, “Open space provides recreational areas for residents and helps to enhance the beauty and environmental quality of neighborhoods.”

Beroya-Eitner broadly defines green space as areas covered by trees and plants. These can be parks, green roofs and walls, green corridors, or green streets or trees with plants and trees. Around 300 meters to 400 meters is considered an ideal area for green space.

“This is why this is the target in many places in Europe. Nantes [France], for example, has 100 percent of its citizens living within a 300-meter perimeter around a green space,” she said.

Urban development improvement

EarthThink is calling to preserve and improve urban parks and other green spaces, and develop new ones, to promote urban biodiversity, offer ecosystem services and contribute to the improvement of urban development.

“They [green spaces] may not offer as much ecosystem services as urban parks, but they can also contribute to the improvement of the urban environment,” she added.

“In other countries, like Japan and Germany, this is incorporated in the development plans of housing or subdivision and commercial buildings as required by law. In Darmstadt [Germany], for example, if you build your house now, especially in newly opened residential areas, you are required to have green roof above your car garage or carport,” she said.

In the Philippines, there are already some initiatives toward similar direction.

“There are already buildings that incorporate green spaces in their design. And there is already the Green Building Code, so it’s a good starting point,” she added.

Putting value to green

There is a need to study or assess the ecosystem services of urban parks and urban green spaces, in general, to highlight its importance, and to make such “values” concrete and tangible to policy-makers, communities and business, Beroya-Eitner said.

“It is always easier to drive people into action when you have numbers to show. With better information, better long-term decisions can be made toward improving our urban environment,” she added.

“A strong policy support, especially at the local level, is eventually needed for the successful promotion of urban parks and other green spaces as green infrastructure,” she added.

However, she believes the more immediate need is to increase people’s awareness of the concepts of ecosystem service and green infrastructure, and of the range of benefits urban parks and other green spaces can deliver, as concretized through ecosystem services assessment and valuation which are “relatively less-known in the country”.

Beroya-Eitner said where trees and plants are, valuable ecosystem services exist.

“The only questions are how much and in what form, as these depend on the [number of] trees or plants and structures in the park,” she added.

She said there’s no known existing studies or assessment of ecosystem services of parks in Metro Manila, or in the whole country.

However, urban green spaces, like the Quezon Memorial Circle and Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Rescue Center, are delivering considerable ecosystem services.

Green space and biodiversity

Beroya-Eitner said biodiversity is fundamental to the generation of ecosystem services because “without any biodiversity, there would be no ecosystem services”, citing carbon sequestration and pollination.

However, she noted that even the United Nations Environment Program in 2014 disclosed that the type and strength of the relationships between increasing numbers of species, or other aspects of biodiversity, and the delivery of ecosystem services remain less clear.

“This is particularly true in urban ecosystem, where the exploration of such relationship has only just begun,” she added.

Beroya-Eitner cited a study of Kremer et al. (2016), which presented the results of the three-year Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services project.

One of the seven key insights from the project was that the “relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban areas are unclear, lack evidence and require new data and empirical research”.

She said such lack of clear understanding is not surprising, considering the nature of urban ecosystems, being situated in a highly modified landscape in a mix of man-made and natural environments.

Until now, she said, the dynamics and interaction between these two environments, which presumably have effects on both biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning, remains largely unknown and, therefore, in their relationship to each other.

Nevertheless, she added that understanding the relationship between urban biodiversity and ecosystem service is a necessary task in an increasingly urbanized world, where 75 percent of the world population is projected to live in cities and their peri-urban surroundings in 2050, as reported in United Nations World Population Prospects 2012, and where the loss of habitats, resources and biodiversity is expected as a consequence.

In her recent study, Beroya-Eitner noted there were indications that only a couple of species are important in the delivery of crucial urban-ecosystem services, such as avoided urban-run off, carbon storage and sequestration and air-pollution reduction.

“For instance, only 11 species representing 15 percent of the total species in the park are needed to deliver 55 percent of the total avoided run-off. On the other hand, only 10 species [14 percent] are needed to deliver almost 70 percent, and 51 percent of carbon storage and carbon sequestration services of the park, respectively. Most of these species overlap, such that their union consist of only 15 species [21 percent], implying that only 15 species can be considered important in the delivery of much of the ES [ecosystem services] under consideration,” she said.

Green space, ecosystem service

Beroya-Eitner said there is a need to integrate plans to develop urban green spaces within an ecosystem service framework.

“I have heard of Quezon City’s Park Development Program [plan] to create green spaces but based on the documents I’ve seen, it is not yet framed within an ecosystem-service framework. In EarthThink, this is what we are advocating in its initial campaign to promote urban green space—that urban infrastructure development should be approached from an ecosystem service perspective,” she said.

Citing her recent study, titled “Urban Parks as Green Infrastructure: Assessment of the Flood Regulatory and Other Ecosystem Services in Kinuta Park, Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan” for the United Nations University-Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, Beroya-Eitner said with the multiple benefits they provide, urban parks play an important role in making cities liveable, sustainable and resilient.

“This role will become even more important in the future in the face of climate change,” she added.

Flood, risk mitigation

In that study, focus was given to the assessment of the role of urban parks in flood-risk mitigation, flooding being the main problem in Setagaya where the study area, the Kinuta Park, is located.

Results show that urban parks can be a viable nature-based solution to flooding.

She noted, however,  such flood-regulatory service can be technologically replaced, and in ways that may even be more “efficient” in addressing the problem.

Because of this there’s a need to assess the other “cobenefits” of parks, which should be factored in.

“From a policy perspective, therefore, it is not easy to argue for the integration of urban parks in the general strategy for flood-risk reduction, particularly where competition for limited resources is high and continuous pressure from developers is present. For this reason, the other cobenefits of the park were also assessed, all of which should be factored in when weighing options for flood-risk mitigation.”

According to Beroya-Eitner, most parks—with “ecosystem services” as the technical term for the benefits people obtain from the environment, including avoided run-off, carbon sequestration, carbon storage, oxygen production and air-pollutant removal—should be assessed by conducting a tree survey.

Hence, Metro Manila, which is considered flood-prone, should look into the ecosystem service, particularly of flood-mitigation services not only of its urban parks, but other green spaces, too, before deciding in its building spree.

This article was originally posted on the www.businessmirror.com.ph

UPCIDS hosts forum and book launch on ASEAN in line with PH chairmanship


In the midst of the chairmanship of the Philippines in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UPCIDS), the UP Asian Center (UPAC), and the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) hosted a forum and book launch of The ASEAN Drama: Half a Century and Still Unfolding at the GT-Toyota Asian Center on May 17, 2017.

In attendance were the authors of The ASEAN Drama, namely: Dr. Filemon A. Uriarte, Jr., Dr. Temario C. Rivera, Dr. Jorge V. Tigno, Prof. Herman Joseph S. Kraft, Prof. Jose P. Tabbada, and Dr. Orlando S. Mercado; UP officials; representatives from government agencies and civil society organizations; and faculty and students.

UPAC Dean Dr. Joefe B. Santarita welcomed the guests while VP for Academic Affairs Dr. Ma. Cynthia Rose B. Bautista delivered a message from UP President Danilo L. Concepcion. Former Permanent Representative to the UN Lauro L. Baja, Jr. delivered his keynote speech titled “ASEAN: The Other Side of Midnight,” where he addressed the chairmanship of the Philippines in the 50th year of the ASEAN, and past and possible ways forward of the ASEAN. In the subsequent reaction Dr. Wilfrido Villacorta, former Ambassador to ASEAN and former ASEAN Deputy Secretary-Genera, gave his thoughts on pressing matters in the ASEAN and on the book The ASEAN Drama. An open forum followed after the speeches of the former ambassadors.

DAP President Dr. Elba S. Cruz was also in attendance and delivered a message of support. UPCIDS Executive Director Dr. Edna E.A. Co gave a brief background of the book project and each author gave quick summaries of their respective chapters. Book signing and cocktails capped the event. Dr. Jean Franco of the Department of Political Science served as the forum and book launch’s master of ceremonies.

The book, published by UPCIDS and DAP, is described as a “forthright scrutiny of ASEAN by academics and diplomatic practitioners.”

Copies of the book are available at the UPCIDS at PHP 400.00 each. For purchase inquiries, please contact Joseph Cruzado at [email protected]

Click here to view all photos

Pascual reports accomplishments, thanks UP

UP outgoing President Alfredo Pascual enumerates his administration’s major achievements. Photo by Misael Bacani, UPSIO.

UP outgoing president, Alfredo Pascual, gave markers of his administration’s accomplishment and expressed his thanks to the UP community, his executive staff in particular, at the 5th President’s Toast on February 9, 2017, the eve of handing over the UP presidency to his successor.The event, which opened the Institute of Biology, UP Diliman to the UP community–saw student protesters, as well as chancellors giving thanks on behalf of their constituent universities through their gift of a Toym Imao sculpture. Representatives of UP sectors delivered testimonials to the outgoing UP president.

Pascual cited the administration’s two-pronged strategic plan aimed at academic and operational excellences to achieve a “one UP”. Enabling the administration’s successful implementation of this plan was its campaign for state funding, which saw the UP budget increase almost three-fold, from P5.4 billion in 2011 to P15.1 billion in 2016, mostly in the form of allocations for maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE), and capital outlay, which amounted to P9 billion in a span of five years, according to the outgoing President.

Pascual’s presentation began with achievements in pursuing academic excellence.

These included enhancing access to UP by poorer segments of society through the online UPCAT application and the free online UPCAT review. Those passing the UPCAT were given better motivation to enroll and chances of staying in UP through a liberalized loan system and a streamlined Socialized Tuition System, including increased stipends, scholarships, and compensation for student assistants.

The roster of faculty was strengthened through increased incentives for the Balik-PhD program, sufficient grants to travel and pursue postgraduate courses abroad, multi-campus offering of doctoral programs, establishment of the One UP Professorial Chairs, and merit promotions.

Research activity flourished through huge investments in research and facilities. The banner projects included buildings and equipment for the Philippine Genome Center and the National Institutes of Health. Several research projects that had great impact nationally such as Project NOAH/DREAM-LIDAR resulted from the Enhanced Interdisciplinary Research Program.

Internationalization was jump-started with the shift in the academic calendar, international linkage programs such as MOVE UP and COOPERATE programs, and cross-border partnerships. These resulted in an influx of international professors, experts, and students, and active participation in an international network of universities. Programs were also benchmarked internationally, and open education was strengthened.

In terms of public service, Pascual reported on UP’s first integrated approach to disaster response and to voter information, technical assistance to other higher educational institutions, and the launch of a Resilience Institute and a public service television, TVUP. UP’s expansion in several industrial zones and growth areas also concretized its efforts at reaching target publics actively involved in economic development.

A major leap in operational excellence, meant to facilitate academic excellence, was the rolling out of eUP, an integrated operations and information system for all of UP. This included providing greater internet bandwidth and future-proofing of the fiber optic network.

The Pascual administration was also the first to create system-wide guidelines for environment-friendly operations, building and landscaping design, and land use.

UP outgoing President Alfredo Pascual expresses gratitude to each of his executive staff through citations. Photo by Misael Bacani, UPSIO.

Pascual expressed gratitude to each member of his executive staff through citations.

The program was also a chance for various UP sectors to deliver testimonials to the outgoing president. The event organizer, the UP outgoing vice president for Public Affairs, Dr. Edna Estifania Co, spoke of Pascual’s “deep concern” to improve the lot of employees, faculty, and students. Atty. Reynaldo Laserna, alumni representative, mentioned Pascual’s name along the “great” UP Alumni Association presidents who eventually became presidents of the University. Regent Alexis Mejia, staff representative, enumerated the various staff benefits received during Pascual’s term. Kevin Mark Gomez, student representative, spoke of the international exchange program of the administration which made possible his studies abroad. Dr. Agnes Rola, faculty representative, said the administration “leveled UP to become a socially-relevant university.”

UP Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan, representing the chancellors, gave brief testimonials he solicited from each chancellor. UP outgoing Vice President for Academic Affairs Gisela Concepcion, representing UP System officials, made the Gawad Pangulo choral competition an example of administration programs that cut across the system and sectors and generated goodwill and creativity. Commission on Higher Education Chair and UP Board of Regents Chair Patricia Licuanan thanked UP for helping CHED perform its role to lead the higher education sector.

Tenor Ramon Acoymo of the UP College of Music delivered a spiel and rendered his versions of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Moonriver” in honor of Pascual.

Delivering a final word, Pascual repeated his trademark “Padayon UP” which harks on his vision of a great university: UP able to lead the country to prosperity in the globalized world.

Pascual earlier said his acceptance of the nomination to the UP presidency was motivated by his love for his alma mater, responsible for his career advancement and the development of the youth, which now includes his grandchildren.


This article was originally posted on the UP System website

5th President’s Toast: Pag-uulat at Pasasalamat ni Pangulong Alfredo E. Pascual


University of the Philippines President Alfredo E. Pascual will deliver his end of term report and express his gratitude to the members of the academic community at the 5th President’s Toast: Pag-uulat at Pasasalamat, on 9 February 2016, 9:00 a.m. at the Institute of Biology Auditorum, National Science Complex, UP Diliman, Quezon City.

As the venue has limited seating capacity, accommodation of guests will be on a first come, first served basis. It would be best to confirm your attendance ahead by calling the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs at 981-8500 loc. 2507 or the UP Center for Integrative Studies at 981-8500 loc. 4266 to 68.

This article was originally posted on the UP System website

Migration Research Lectures


The UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies and CIFAL Philippines invite everyone to the Migration Research Lectures, a presentation of research projects undertaken by UP CIDS fellows in 2016.

Prof. Clarinda Berja will share the findings of a survey of migrants conducted in the Central Visayas, and Dr. Jean Franco and Prof. Jeremaiah Opiniano will present their paper on Filipino labor migration to the ASEAN.

Registration for the lecture starts at 1:00 p.m.


Call for Papers: National Conference on Natural Capital Accounting

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in collaboration with The World Bank will hold a National Conference on Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) to present what has been accomplished and arouse greater interest on NCA towards paving its way for its mainstreaming in development agenda. More specifically, the conference aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • improve the scientific and policy aspects of natural capital accounting in the Philippines through exchange of knowledge, insights and experience among policymakers, scientists, practitioners and advocates;
  • provide a platform to disseminate results of researches and current undertakings among key actors in NCA and related subject matter;
  • collate and synthesize available technical analyses relevant for the implementation of natural capital accounting in the Philipines, highlight major issues and concerns, identify data gaps and impact highways, and discuss policy directions at local and national levels; and
  • identify effective modes of collaboration towards further strengthening capabilities in NCA and other releated methodologies and tools.

Papers addressing one of the following themes are requested:

  • Integrated frameworks and tools in natural capital accounting
  • Re-thinking the importance of natural capital
  • Financing, investment and natural capital accounting
  • Data and data management in natural accounting

Deadline of submission for paper and poster presentations will be on 31 January 2017. Notification of selected abstracts (both for paper and poster presentation) will be made on 14 February 2017. Full paper of selected abstracts, together with revised abstracts (for those with edits of comments), and poster presentation will have to be submitted on or before 28 February 2017.

Abstracts and full papers must be submitted to:
[email protected]
 or [email protected], with copy furnished to [email protected]

See the concept note, call for papers, and abstract and full paper format below.

For other details, please refer to www.neda.gov.ph or www.wavespartnership.org.


National Conference on NCA

Abstract & Paper Format NCA

NCA Concept Note

UP CIDS releases “Book of Abstracts” for 2015-2016 Researches


The University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) published in its website a Book of Abstracts to catalogue 25 funded researches for the years 2015-2016.

The Book of Abstracts provides a snapshot of all UP CIDS’ completed and ongoing studies that span a wide range of topics from “bivalve mariculture” and “mother tongue-based education” to “weather warnings in social media” and “crime modeling.”  Further, it is subdivided into four thematic areas: environment, agriculture, and mariculture; disaster management and resilience; health, education, and communication; and management and local governance.

Full abstracts for 20 researches are available, while five other and ongoing studies were included for reference.

From here on, under the instruction of its Exec. Director Edna Co, UP CIDS is set to massively disseminate the Book of Abstracts to policy makers, research councils and networks, state universities and colleges, and other academic and research-oriented institutions, in order to diffuse the knowledge, findings, and policy recommendations brought together by UP’s faculty members with the aid of the University’s financial and other forms of support.

The Center also intends to release a compendium of the research papers by next year.

The publication of the Book of Abstracts, among many other initiatives, is a testament to UP CIDS’ commitment to purposively bridge and engage experts from the academe and policy-making quarters to arrive at sound and evidence-based policies drawn from a multidisciplinary lens.

To view the Book of Abstracts, click here.

UP lays down “green” options in pursuit of operational excellence


UP President Alfredo E. Pascual

Duty-bound to contribute to sustainable development, the University of the Philippines (UP) convened its system officials and stakeholders at the Green UP Summit on December 6-7, 2016 at the University Hotel in UP Diliman.

The UP Office of the Vice President for Administration, Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs, and Center for Integrative and Development Studies worked together to make this intimate yet historic gathering of about 120 representatives from all over the UP system possible.

Owing to President Alfredo E. Pascual’s vision of operational excellence, UP initiated for the first time the integration of UP’s various green programs aimed at developing strategic options for the national university. This is also part of the UP community’s pursuit of environmental sustainability and resilience to climate change impacts and disaster risks.

Envisioned as a program that brings together researches, technologies, and best practices of all UP constituent units (CUs), the summit featured a series of presentations that revolved around the theme, “Catalyzing Climate Change Resilience and Environmental Sustainability, 2017 and Beyond.” This included notable projects such as Project SARAI (Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as Industry in the Philippines), MODECERA (Monitoring and Detection of Ecosystems Changes for Enhancing Resilience and Adaptation in the Philippines, Resilient Seas Program, Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment Hazards), Resilience Institute, UP-Resilience Web Portal, Sustainable Energy Project, UPPEG (UP Program for Environmental Governance), Green UP Baguio, and UP Cebu’s UI Green Metric among others.

Experts from different UP CUs served as resource persons during the event. They include Project SARAI Program Leader Dr. Maria Victoria O. Espaldon and MODECERA Program Leader Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz of UP Los Baños. The presenters from UP Diliman were Resilient Seas Program Leader Dr. Porfirio Alexander M. Aliño, Project NOAH Executive Director Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Resilience Institute Executive Director Dr. Benito M. Pacheco, UP-Resilience Web Portal Project Leader Dr. Kristoffer B. Berse, Sustainable Energy Project Program Leader Dr. Mili-Ann M. Tamayao, UP College of Engineering’s Prof. Ferdinand G. Manegdeg, Institute of Civil Engineering’s Dr. Maria Antonia A. Tanchuling, College of Science Dean Dr. Jose Maria P. Balmaceda, and UPPEG Director Atty. Mark Anthony M. Gamboa. Completing the summit’s roster of speakers were UP Baguio Department of Communication Chairperson Prof. Cecilia S. Abalos, UP Cebu Vice Chancellor for Administration Dr. Leahlizbeth A. Sia, and  Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies Executive Director Engr. Roberto Verzola.

Also gracing the event were Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Atty. Maria Paz G. Luna, Department of Energy Policy and Planning Bureau Director Carmencita A. Bariso, and Climate Change Commission Deputy Executive Director Romell Antonio Cuenca.

On its second day, the summit hosted parallel workshops on Academic Programs, Research Programs, Policy and Public Affairs, Renewable Energy, Water Management, and Environment to help articulate desired green goals for the university.

Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo R. Serrano and Department of Budget and Management National Capital Region Director Ruby R. Esteban witnessed and served as reactors to the presentation of workshop outputs.

Assistant Vice President for Administration Prof. Nestor Rañeses deems the summit has succeeded in bringing about the interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary character of Green UP. He said the wisdom and practices elicited during the event may serve as platforms for Green UP in 2017.

Meanwhile, Vice President for Public Affairs Dr. Edna Estifania Co believes that the workshop outputs should be reviewed to determine crucial points that could be picked up for further action under the Green UP program.

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Sustainable Energy Talks: Philippine Nuclear Energy


“The UP Sustainable Energy Program is inviting you to the “Sustainable Energy Talks”, which aims to enable discussion among academics, government, industry, and the public about sustainability issues, innovations, and key topics in the energy sector such as Technology, Market, Policy, and Behavior.

On November 28, 2016, we will be talking about Philippine Nuclear Energy with a focus discussion on Overview of How Nuclear Energy Works, The BNPP History and Current State, and Philippine Nuclear Energy: Economic and System Evaluation of BNPP .

Fill in this online registration and confirm your attendance:



UP CIDS China and Strategic Studies Program holds 2nd Katipunan Conference

Last October 20 to 21, 2016, representatives from the government, civil society and the academe attended the 2nd Katipunan Conference entitled, “Philippine Strategic Environment: New Direction, New Challenges” held at the UP-Law Center. The Katipunan Conference is one of the main components of the China and Strategic Studies Program of the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) and is co-sponsored by the UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea (UP IMLOS). It aims to discuss the key geopolitical, economic and socio-cultural issues confronting Philippine-China relations and its impact on a national, regional and international level.

Opening the said conference was Professor Jose Wendell Capili, Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs of the UP System. Professor Capili highlighted the importance of the China and Strategic Studies Program which is to examine the current trends in the security landscape of Southeast Asia to predict its future trajectories.


China and Strategic Studies Program Head Prof Tina S. Clemente

Professor Tina S. Clemente, the project head of the China and Strategic Studies program, provided the rationale, a short history and an overview of its components. She emphasized the efforts of the China and Strategic Studies team to institutionalize and develop the said program these past two years. The program has 3 objectives namely: (1) To maintain a multidisciplinary and multisectoral approach to practical studies of international relations, (2) To develop dialogue and sustain linkages with Chinese academics to come up with principled solutions to conflict resolution and (3) To create a network of government, private and civil society individuals interested and committed to the field of strategic studies and development.


(From L-R) Professor Jay Batongbacal, Mr. Aaron Jed Rabena, Prof. Chester Cabalza and Elliot Grieco, the moderator for the panel on geopolitical trends

Professor Jay L. Batongbacal, director of UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea, along with Dr. Aaron Jed Rabena, a fellow at the Philippine Council for Foreign Relations and Associate Professor Chester Chester B. Cabalza from the National Defense College of the Philippines opened the panel discussions of the first day with a geopolitical scan at a global, regional and local level. Following up on his discussion at the previous Katipunan Conference, professor Jay elaborated on the several recent geopolitical trends and their implications for the country. Such trends include the emergence of three competing economic blocs (USA, China and Russia-led blocs), a rise in anti-globalization sentiments (Trump phenomena, Brexit) and most notably, the “seemingly 180 degree turn of Philippine foreign policy” or the “Philippine pivot to China”. In his discussion, Dr. Rabena argued that the regional competition between the United States and China can be analyzed through their influence on international institutions, wherein we can see most clearly the interplay between politics and economics. In concluding the first panel discussion, professor Cabalza commented that the Philippines is at the crossroads of this geopolitical rivalry between the two superpowers and proposed the probable implications of a Philippine pivot to China.

The second panel zeroed in on the economic issues confronting Philippines-China relations. Philippine Science High School teacher Charles De Guzman’s presentation on the controversial Joint Maritime Seismic Undertaking project between the two aforementioned countries during Arroyo’s term should serve as a warning for the current Duterte administration to uphold transparency and accountability with Chinese Official Development Assistance (ODA)s. Dr. Michael Fabinyi of the University of Technology Sydney discussed the environmental and economic implications of the maritime disputes on Philippines-China trade. Dr. Tina Clemente from the UP Asian Center concluded the panel presentation with an extensive discussion on current challenges in our trade and investment portfolio with China, noting the large gap between the Arroyo and Aquino administrations. The open forum that followed raised a lot of questions regarding the readiness of our institutions for the recent outflow of Chinese ODAs as a result of Duterte’s state visit to China and the rationality behind China’s foreign policy to developing states.

The last panel for the first day explored the critical security and development issues posed by the disputes. Lucio Pitlo, a lecturer at the Ateneo De Manila University, highlighted the growing political competition between the United States and China does not bode well for ASEAN and the Philippines. Dr. Roli Talampas of UP Asian Center discussed a relatively unexamined component of our regional strategic environment, the quality of our coastal and port development. His research concludes that China’s aggressive behavior and Southeast Asian countries’ poor coastal and port governance are complementary to the overall deterioration of the marine environment.


Dr. Banlaoi from the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research

The second day highlighted particular policy considerations that are reflective of the changing security environment in the region. Dr. Banlaoi of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research opened the discussion with the possible policy options of the Duterte administration with China and the United States. Gabriel Hondrada of the Office of Naval Strategic Studies and Charithie Joaquin of the National Defense College of the Philippines explored two divergent implications of an emerging Chinese military: (1) an accelerated arms race among Southeast Asian countries, the former and (2) potentially stronger institutional ties within the military through international military educational exchange opportunities, the latter.


(From L-R) Prof. Baviera, Ms. Kaye Clemente and Prof. Batongbacal during the last panel discussion on role of think tanks in the Philippine strategic environment

The last panel provided a necessary discussion on the role of think tanks in the strategic environment led by Professor Jay Batongbacal (UP IMLOS), Professor Aileen Baviera (Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation Inc.) and Kaye Clemente (Asian Development Research Institute).

The culmination of the 2nd Katipunan Conference resulted in a renewed call for stronger linkages and partnerships among local and global think tanks in the field of strategic studies to mitigate the fast changing security needs and demands of the country and the region as a whole.

The 4th President’s Toast


The University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (CIDS) will host the Fourth President’s Toast on 28 October 2016, Friday, 2:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon at the Bahay ng Alumni, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City.

The Fourth President’s Toast is a salutation to significant projects and achievements initiated by the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs (OVPAA), namely the Emerging Interdisciplinary Research (EIDR) and the Balik-PhD programs.

For queries, please contact CIDS through the following e-mail addresses: [email protected], Ms. Lea Diño at [email protected], and Ms. Jori Pamintuan at [email protected].

Learn more about EIDR and the Balik-PhD Recruitment Programs

This article was originally posted on the UP System website.

UPCIDS held “Pinoy Round” to hear various federal proposals


The last leg of the series of round table discussions on “Federalism:  Facts, Myths, Opportunities and Challenges” heard federal proposals from the Movement for Federal Philippines, the Local Government Development Foundation, and the Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago in an RTD held on 12 October 2016 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Board of Regents Room, Quezon Hall, UP Diliman.   Each of the invited resource persons to present their federal proposals was allotted 20 minute to speak.

To set the context of this discussion, Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer of the UP Political Science Department presented a talk on the current bills and resolutions filed in this 17th Congress with regard to the move to amend or revise the Constitution also known as Cha-Cha via such modes as ConCon, ConAss, ConCom, and ConAm.  She unbundled all these legislative measures in a neatly done content analysis thereby showing the various streams of thought that politicians have in mind if there will be an amendment or revision of the Constitution.

Dean Joe-Santos Bisquerra of the Movement for Federal Philippines started off with basic concepts, then political concepts of federalism, and a comparison of various federal specimens.  He anchored his thesis on the poverty problem and advanced the view of a corporatist framework for local governments as the best mode.  In effect, he vied for competitive type of federalism for the Philippines.  Also, invoking such fave legal principle, ‘salus populi est suprema lex’, Bisquerra opted for grassroots leadership in a proposed shift to federalism.

On the other hand, Atty. Aris Albay, Chairman of the Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago batted for a cooperative type of federalism wherein national government and regional states intermingle in policies and sharing of powers to include concurrent powers.  Also he batted for dual federalism where such powers between levels of government (i.e. central-local) are specifically delineated.  However, under his proposal, there shall only be a central Federal Government with five regional state governments based on economic viability.

For his part, Prof. Edmund Tayao of Local Government Development Foundation gave a general update on studies they are into on federalism but largely adoptive of the Nene Pimentel earlier proposal on federalism.  He mentioned that his group already plans to start similar round table discussions to hear from various sectors, stakeholders, experts, and advocates.

UPCIDS researchers Mr. Michael Eric Castillo and Mr. Primer Pagunuran served as moderators to this round table discussion.


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CIFAL Philippines Officially Launched in Quezon City to Offer Training on Migration, Gender Equality in the Asia-Pacific region

Participants of the opening ceremony

Participants of the opening ceremony

29 September 2016, Quezon City, Philippines – With the objective of expanding its training activities on migration and development at local level, UNITAR in partnership with the University of the Philippines launched the International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders (CIFAL) Philippines, which will be based in Quezon City, Metro Manila.

CIFAL Philippines will be hosted by the University of the Philippines (UP) under the auspices of its Center for Integrative and Development Studies (CIDS).  President of the UP, Dr. Alfredo E. Pascual expressed his high satisfaction with the marriage of his institution, the only national university in the Philippines, with a very practically-oriented training centre of the UN on issues of such high importance to his county and his region.  “I fully endorse a mission centered on “developing the capacities of individuals, organizations and institutions to enhance global decision-making and to support country-level action for shaping a better future”, he gleefully stated.

Dr. Edna E.A. Co, Director of CIFAL Philippines remarked: “UP is now UN”, with a CIFAL Philippines that will center its work around mentoring local authorities and other stakeholders in the Philippines and the greater Asia-Pacific region on pressing global issues namely: international migration, gender equality and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Senator Risa Hontiveros of the Philippines highlighted during the ceremony “particular attention should be brought to bear with regard to the protection of women migrants, where “local agencies are in a unique position to understand trends, and to design appropriate responses to them”.

Partners of the CIFAL Philippines include the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), the Commission on Human Rights, the Scalabrini Migration Center, ILO, IOM, and UNDP’s Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI).

Dr. Alfredo E. Pascual, President of UP, and Dr. Colleen Thouez, Senior Advisor with UNITAR, sign the official partnership agreement formally establishing CIFAL Philippines.

Dr. Alfredo E. Pascual, President of UP, and Dr. Colleen Thouez, Senior Advisor with UNITAR, sign the official partnership agreement formally establishing CIFAL Philippines.


This article was originally posted on the UNITAR Website.

UP, UNITAR launch CIFAL Philippines


The Centre International de Formation des Autorités et Leaders (CIFAL) Philippines, the Asia-Pacific hub of the CIFAL Global Network was launched on September 29, 2016 at Novotel Manila during the 3rd President’s Toast,an event that celebrates landmark UP initiatives.

The establishment of CIFAL Philippines in UP is the result of the University’s partnership with the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). It is the sixteenth and latest addition to the UNITAR program.

The 3rd President’s Toast was hosted by the Quezon City government as part of the 3rd Global Mayoral Forum, a two-day UNITAR-supported event which it also hosted.

The Center for Integrative and Development Studies (CIDS) is UP’s lead unit in CIFAL Philippines. As the University’s multidisciplinary policy research center, CIDS is expected to harness the expertise of UP in the areas of migration and development, gender equality, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals for CIFAL.

According to UNITAR’s website, the CIFAL Global Network’s goal “is to strengthen the capacities of government officials and civil society leaders, thus empowering them to advance sustainable development.” The centers, therefore, are charged with training local and regional leaders and organizations and “serve as hubs for the exchange of knowledge amongst government officials, the private sector and civil society.”


In his message, UP President Pascual said that the partnership with UNITAR strengthens UP’s regional and global character. In addition, the University’s public service mission is in consonance with UNITAR’s objective “to develop capacities of individuals, organizations and institutions to enhance global decision-making and to support country-level action for shaping a better future.”

Toward the end of his speech, Pascual declared, “UP stands united with UNITAR and the CIFAL Global Network in recognizing the urgency to effectively address the challenges that hinder governments and societies from achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development.”

In her keynote address, Senator Risa Hontiveros  said that CIFAL Philippines’ areas of focus are issues that are important to her and are part of her legislative agenda. She talked about the challenges that stem from migration and mobility, such as racism, xenophobia, public health, integration, and peaceful cohabitation, among others. Hontiveros emphasized the mandate of “policy formulators” such as herself—”to safeguard human rights.”

Other speakers at the event included: former Commission on Filipinos Overseas Chair Imelda Nicolas, who said that the new center will rely heavily on the Filipino experience of migration; UNITAR Senior Training and Research Advisor Colleen Thouez, who expressed appreciation of UP’s partnership; UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, representing UN Resident Coordinator in the Philippines Ola Almgren, who called the establishment of CIFAL Philippines “timely” because of the increasing phenomenon of migration and the Filipino diaspora; and UP VP for Public Affairs, CIFAL Philippines Director, and CIDS Executive Director Edna Co, who remarked, “UP is now UN.” Co was also a speaker at the 3rd Global Mayoral Forum, where she talked about the critical role of universities in knowledge networks, specifically in the attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals through local leadership.

This article was originally posted on the UP System website.


UP CIDS presents the “National Marine Policy Review and Strategic Direction” in a Public Hearing


On September 15, 2016, the Center presented the “National Marine Policy Review and Strategic Direction”, a study

focused on the review and update of the 1994 National Marine Policy and the formulation of the National Marine

Strategy. The study was discussed during a Public Hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and

Food, jointly with the Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation, and

Finance. The hearing was organized to provide a venue for a deliberation on the possible creation of a separate

department focused on the management of marine resources of the Philippines. The Center’s position was presented

by Dr. Edna Co, Executive Director of UP CIDS, and Usec. Jose Luis Alano of the National Coast Watch Council.

They emphasized on the potential of creating a Department of Marine Affairs and the necessary institutional

arrangements required for its establishment.


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The 2nd Katipunan Conference “Philippine Strategic Environment: New Directions, New Challenges”


DATE: Thursday, October 20 to Friday, October 21, 2016.
TIME: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Oct. 20, 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Oct. 21
VENUE: 1st Floor Bocobo Hall, UP Law Complex, University of the Philippines Diliman.

Organized by the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies
China/Strategic Studies Program (CIDS-C/SSP)
and Institute of Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea (IMLOS)

The 2nd Katipunan Conference, entitled “Philippine Strategic Environment: New Directions, New Challenges” convenes experts and specialists from government, the academe and the industry sector to discuss the latest issues that impact the bilateral and regional dynamics of Philippine-China relations.

Taking into consideration the latest developments regarding our country’s security, trade and geo-politcal dynamics, the conference scans the issues from multiple perspectives. The 2nd Katipunan Conference aims to deepen and nuance the insights from last year’s conference, to produce practical and informed policy options and decision-making aids for government agencies and officials.

This one and half day event is open to the public and free of charge. We highly encourage you to share this event to your students and colleagues.

Register now! Slots for participants are limited. To register, please sign up by clicking on this link. Deadline for registration is on Thursday, October 17, 2016.  You may also check out our FB Event Page here.


Statement from the Office of the Secretary of the University and of the Board of Regents on UP Presidency Candidates


On 23 September 2016, the UP Board of Regents received the nominations for the following for the position of UP President:

  1. Consolacion R. Alaras
  2. Danilo L. Concepcion
  3. Gisela P. Concepcion
  4. Prospero E. De Vera III
  5. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara
  6. Orlando S. Mercado
  7. Benito M. Pacheco
  8. Roger D. Posadas
  9. Caesar A. Saloma
  10. Michael L. Tan

At a special meeting of the Board of Regents held on 1 October 2016, the Board conducted a preliminary screening and evaluation of the nominees based solely on the following minimum requirements: 1) holder of a Master’s degree; doctorate preferred; 2) substantial academic experience at the tertiary level; 3) should be able to serve the full term of six (6) years before reaching the age of 70; and 4) no conviction for administrative and criminal offenses. Based on this, the Board then unanimously accepted the nominations of the following as candidates for the UP Presidency:

  1. Danilo L. Concepcion
  2. Gisela P. Concepcion
  3. Prospero E. De Vera III
  4. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara
  5. Benito M. Pacheco
  6. Caesar A. Saloma

Four (4) of the ten (10) nominees were not included in the list of candidates for the UP Presidency due to the fact that they did not meet the minimum requirement that a candidate “should be able to serve the full term of six (6) years before reaching the age of 70.

The Board of Regents’ unanimous decision to uphold this requirement, after due deliberations, was based on the following legal grounds:

  • Under Republic Act No. 9500 (the UP Charter of 2008), Section (j), the Board of Regents is given the power to elect the University President based on standards and guidelines set by the Board of Regents itself. Clearly, the Board of Regents is expressly granted the power to set the standards or requirements in electing the UP President.
  • The UP Charter of 2008 is silent on the age requirement or limit for the UP President.

The old UP Charter (Act 1870), likewise, was also silent on the age limit for the UP President. Yet the Board of Regents was empowered then as now to set the age limit for the position, which it did set at 70 years old in 1961 by way of a Board Resolution at its 686th meeting held on 14 June 1961. The age limit of 70 years old now forms part of UP’s University Code.

  • The age limit of 70 years old has been in existence since 14 June 1961. Such age limit was last observed during the time of UP President Francisco Nemenzo who was elected for a term of 6 years (from 6 August 1999 to 5 August 2005) but had to resign upon reaching the age of 70 on 9 February 2005, a few months before the expiration of his term.
  • There are general legislations that provide for the age limit of 70 years old. For instance, RA 8282 (the Higher Education Modernization Act of 1997) states that the term of the President of a state college or university may be extended beyond the age of retirement (65 years old)but not later than the age of 70 years old.
  • Regarding the requirement for serving the full term of six (6) years, the UP Charter of 2008 (RA 9500) provides the basis. Section 13 (j) of the UP Charter clearly states, among others, the Powers and Duties of the Board of Regents, as follows:

Section 13 (j): “To elect the President of the University for a single term of six (6) years following a process of democratic consultation with the university community based on standards and guidelines set by the Board. In the event of a vacancy, the Board shall elect a President who shall serve a full term.” 

  • In addition, Section 14 (paragraph 2) of the UP Charter provides:

Section 14 (paragraph 2): “The President of the University shall be appointed by the Board and shall serve for a single term of six (6) years.”

For inquiries, please contact:

Edna Estifania A. Co, DPA
Vice President for Public Affairs

This article was originally posted on the UP System website.

Book on legislative accountability launched


“Isyu ngayon ang graft and corruption sa gobyerno. Pero sino ang ating sisingilin? Paano natin sila sisingilin (Graft and corruption in the government is a hot-button issue today. But whom do we hold accountable? How do we hold them accountable)?” said Atty. Marilyn Barua Yap, former secretary general in the House of Representatives, in her message at the launch of her book Accountability in Congress at UP Balay Kalinaw on September 22, 2016. The UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UPCIDS) and the UP Law Center sponsored the event.

In attendance were family, friends, and colleagues of Atty. Yap, including Speaker Prospero C. Nograles, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos.

Deputy Secretary General Atty. Arlene C. Dada-Arnaldo delivered the program’s invocation while UP College of Law Dean Atty. Danilo L. Concepcion and UP Vice President for Public Affairs and UPCIDS Executive Director Edna E.A. Co delivered introductory messages. Dr. J. Prosero E. De Vera of the Commission on Higher Education gave the closing remarks. Atty. Dot Gancayco served as the program’s master of ceremonies.

Accountability in Congress, based on Atty. Yap’s dissertation at the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance, introduces a framework for accountability in the legislature as well as systems and mechanisms for the framework’s implementation and enforcement. It also presents a Legislative Performance Report Card which features the following as performance indicators: local bills authored, national bills authored, resolutions authored, attendance, plenary participation, nominal/roll care vote on bills, and nominal/roll call vote on joint resolutions.

The book is considered a pioneering work in the literature of legislative accountability.

Copies of the book will be made available at the UPCIDS. For purchase inquiries, please contact Joseph Cruzado at [email protected]

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Argentina, Australia and France featured in RTD on federalism



The UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (CIDS) hosted the fourth installment of the “Federalism: Facts, Myths, Opportunities, and Challenges,” a series of round table discussions, and featured the political systems of Argentina, Australia, and France at the Executive House in UP Diliman last September 8, 2016.

Ambassador Roberto Bosch presented the motivations behind federalization of Argentina and the various aspects and features of federalism in the Latin American country, such as coparticipación federal (joint participation), a system that puts forward a balanced distribution of taxes. Another highlight from the Argentinian presentation is the enumeration of powers of the independent federal powers, namely preserved by the provinces, delegated to the Federal Government, concurrent, shared, exceptional, and forbidden.

Ms. Georgia Lovell, representing the Australian Embassy, shared the features of the Australian federal government like its powers and fiscal arrangements, among others. In concluding her presentation, Lovell stated that remembering the end goals is important and that a constitution, especially in its formation, must represent the country’s proud history but also encapsulate the hopes for the future.

Though France is not a federal nation, Mr. Laurent Legodec of the French Embassy participated in the discussion by shedding light on France’s constitution, which he described as a hybrid and flexible one that sufficiently maintains checks and balances. Also notable in the French presentation is the observance of the subsidiarity principle in the decentralization of France, where “social and political issues are dealt with at the most immediate level that is consistent with their resolution.”

Guests from UP, government institutions, and civil society groups engaged the speakers through questions on symmetry and asymmetry, local government codes, conflict resolution, creation of territories, and power limitation.

The round table discussions aims to take a closer look on different models of federalist systems to assist in making sound and prudent decisions with regard to Philippine governance. To read about the past discussions, click on the corresponding links below:

RTD 1: Germany and India
RTD 2: Switzerland
RTD 3: Spain


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Accountability tool can help Duterte in completing housing projects for Yolanda victims

Dr. Marieta Sumagaysay of UP Visayas delivers her reaction to the reports in the forum

The government is eyeing to complete its housing efforts for communities affected by typhoon Haiyan—one of the strongest storms to make landfall in recent history—in December 2013. An accountability tool could help President Rodrigo Duterte improve the quality and ensure the adequacy of the rest of the housing units that will be distributed to families this year.

The UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UPCIDS) highlighted this in the forum “Housing and Challenges to Housing Service Delivery under the Duterte Administration,” held on September 1 at Microtel-UP Technohub, Quezon City.

“Assessing the accountability of government officials and other actors in the provision of shelter post-disaster will enable President Rodrigo Duterte and our new housing czar, vice president Leni Robredo, to not only prevent the misuse of our resources but will also make housing development a barometer for true public service,” said Dr. Edna E.A. Co, UPCIDS executive director.

UPCIDS, in their book “Building Back Better: A Democratic Accountability Assessment of Service Delivery After Typhoon Haiyan,” presented lessons and key recommendations on assessing the democratic accountability of duty bearers—the national and local government units, and claim holders—the communities, in addressing the housing needs   in Guiuan, Eastern Samar and Palo, Leyte; these are areas most devastated by Haiyan in 2013.

In the book, UPCIDS pointed out the important role of local government units (LGUs) in setting up a mechanism to respond to disaster needs and incorporate the accountability mechanisms of answerability, responsiveness and enforceability in service delivery in disaster management.
The above principles complement the framework developed by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), an intergovernmental organization that supports democratic reforms.

The UPCIDS hopes that their assessment could encourage a “rethinking of how traditional tools for accountability such as user outreach, ad hoc user meetings, publication of performance data and others could be introduced and better communicated and disseminated.”

To read the blow-by-blow updates from the forum and book launch, please visit the Twitter page of CIDS (@upcids) or check the hashtag #DuterteHousing.


Ms. Leena Rikkila Tamang (International IDEA) and Dr. Edna Co (Executive Director, CIDS)


Ms Amy Melendres (HUDCC) with Dr. Edna Co

Ms Amy Melendres (HUDCC) with Dr. Edna Co


Prof. Ladylyn Mangada (UP Visayas) and Dr. Edna Co


Mr. Philip Aranas (Guiuan LGU) and Dr. Edna Co


Prof. Richard Cagara, Dr. Marieta Sumagaysay, and Mr. Christer Gerona (UP Visayas) with Dr. Edna Co


Researchers from UP Visayas, representatives from International IDEA, Politracs Inc., UP CIDS, and Guiuan LGU


Spanish model of decentralization focus of third RTD on federalism



The UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (CIDS) conducted the third leg of the round table discussion series “Federalism: Facts, Myths, Opportunities, and Challenges” with Fernando Zapico of the Embassy of Spain in Manila. Held at the Board of Regents Room in Quezon Hall, UP Diliman last August 18, 2016, Zapico shared insights on the development, challenges, and experiences of Spain in decentralization.

Zapico’s presentation tackled the different aspects of the highly decentralized political system of Spain. Though Spain is not a federation, the Philippines can still learn lessons from the Spanish model, especially in the dynamics of autonomous states. Among the topics discussed were the historical, political, and cultural motivations behind the decentralization, laws and articles relevant to autonomy, competencies of states, economic matters, and the special cases of Basque Country and Navarra.

Through a table presenting a comparison between the autonomous communities model and the federal model, Zapico said that the former does not allow constituent power but recognizes the statute of autonomy for its laws and the superiority of the constitution. The federal model, on the other hand, recognizes constituent power, relies on the Constitution, and practices distribution of powers.

Zapico emphasized the flexibility and openness of the framework for decentralization and pointed to institutional loyalty, political dialogue, and solidarity as key elements in the creation of the decentralized system.

Participants from Congress, UP, and other organizations inquired Zapico on many topics such as government funding, criteria for creating states, and security measures.

The round table discussions aims to take a closer look on different models of federalist systems to assist in making sound and prudent decisions with regard to Philippine governance. To read about the first discussion, click here; to read about the second, click here.







Swiss expert: political system must fit country’s needs


The UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (CIDS) hosted the second installment of “Federalism: Facts, Myths, Opportunities, and Challenges,” a series of round table discussions on federalism with Dr. Nicole Töpperwien at the Board of Regents Room in Quezon Hall, UP Diliman last August 10, 2016.

Dr. Töpperwien, co-founder of Swiss thinktank Ximpulse, shed light on the experience of federal Switzerland. She provided a historical background of Switzerland’s federalist system, which was seen as a way to end over-centralization. She also talked about the challenges they faced, such as demarcation due to pre-existing political structures and issues of marginalization.

What draws people to consider federalism, according to Töpperwien, is how it can cater to different visions and motivations. But she emphasized the importance of devising a system that is appropriate to the nation’s needs, and she is convinced that every country can do so. With recent experiences in mind, “It’s much better if you work together,” said Töpperwien.

Her presentation also included insights from her discussions on federalism in Myanmar and Nepal; both countries are considering federalization.

In the open forum that followed, participants from government, academe, and civil society organizations shared ideas on and inquired about power distribution at different levels, decentralization, fiscal arrangements, financial equalization, symmetries and asymmetries, and judicial institutions, among others.

The round table discussions aims to take a closer look on different models of federalist systems to assist in making sound and prudent decisions with regard to Philippine governance. To read about the first discussion, click here.







German, Indian models discussed in CIDS RTD on federalism



The UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (CIDS) conducted the first of a series of round table discussions on federalism titled “Federalism: Facts, Myths, Opportunities, and Challenges” held at the Board of Regents Room in Quezon Hall, UP Diliman last August 4, 2016.

The series of round table discussions aims to take a closer look on different models of federalist systems to assist in making sound and prudent decisions with regard to Philippine governance.

Wolfgang Heinze of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and Dr. Suresh Kumar of the Embassy of India, Manila joined the discussion and provided key concepts and mechanisms, historical backgrounds, and indigenous experiences of federalism and federalization of Germany and India, respectively.

Also in attendance were representatives from the academe, government, and civil society organizations.

Heinze presented the history and current form of Germany’s federal system plus the reforms made to address administrative problems. He said that the aim of such system was to prevent the emergence of another autocrat; moreover, he emphasized that people and institutions matter in the formation of a federalist system.

Kumar began by stating the commonalities between India and the Philippines, especially the colonial experience of both nations. He then continued to discuss how the Indian Constitution came to be and its unitary features in detail, like the judiciary, public services, and appointments of top officials.

An open forum followed after Heinze’s and Kumar’s presentations where participants asked questions and shared insights on different topics such as the dynamics of political parties and parliamentary systems, land borders and land use planning, and trade and industry facilitation.




How can PH improve science enterprise?


Productivity metrics, human resource development eyed for improvement of R&D in the country

For the final leg of the President Edgardo J. Angara (PEJA) Fellowship lecture series, the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (CIDS) and the UP National Institute of Physics (NIP) hosted “Human Resource Generation and Funding Absorption Capabilities of the Philippine Scientific Enterprise System” with Dr. Caesar Saloma.

Held at the NIP Auditorium last July 19, 2016, the lecture showed the current state of the country’s scientific enterprise system, which is comprised of “the institutions and organizations… that are directly involved in the training of future scientists and researchers.”

Dr. Caesar Saloma, who specializes on instrumentation, is one of the five fellows awarded the previous year and is a professor at the NIP.

CIDS Executive Director Edna E.A. Co delivered the opening remarks, followed by UP President Alfredo E. Pascual’s message, read by AVP for Public Affairs Dr. Jose Wendell Capili. Senator Edgardo J. Angara was also present in the lecture and delivered a message. Dr. Helen Yap of UP MSI introduced Dr. Saloma.

Dr. Saloma presented the results of his analysis of the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) and the Accelerated Science and Technology Human Resource Development (ASTHRD) programs in terms of research productivity and human resources generation to provide recommendations in furthering the productivity of the Philippine scientific enterprise system.

Following Dr. Saloma’s lecture proper were reactions from Dr. Ernesto Pernia, newly appointed director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Dr. William Padolina, president of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).

An open forum followed and NIP Director Dr. Roland Sarmago close the program.


CIDS Executive Director Edna E.A. Co

Dr. Edna E.A. Co, Executive Director of Center for Integrative and Development Studies


AVP for Public Affairs Dr. Jose Wendell Capili

Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs Dr. Jose Wendell Capili


Former UP President Edgardo J. Angara

Former UP President Edgardo J. Angara


Dr. Ernesto Pernia Secretary, Socio Economic Planning / Director-General, National Economic Development Authority

Dr. Ernesto Pernia, Secretary of Socio Economic Planning and Director-General of National Economic Development Authority


Dr. William Padolina, President, National Academy of Science and Technology

Dr. William Padolina, President of National Academy of Science and Technology



Dr. William Padolina and Dr. Caesar A. Saloma


Dr. Roland Sarmago

Dr. Roland Sarmago, Director of the National Institute of Physics


The presentation of Dr. Saloma can be viewed below:

Message of Former UP President Edgardo J. Angara on the First PEJA Lecture 2016


“Domestic Stakeholders in Philippine Maritime Disputes:

Impact and Influence on Foreign Policy”

by Dr. Aileen S.P. Baviera, PhD

 UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP-CIDS)

 03 June 2016 | GT Toyota Asian Center Auditorium, UP Diliman Q.C.

 Edgardo J. Angara


 Former President, University of the Philippines

Former President of the Senate of the Republic of the Philippines



Justin Trudeau, Canada’s charismatic Prime Minister., won last year on a platform of openness and transparency, effectively differentiating himself and his party (the Liberals) from his predecessor, Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.

One of the main pillars of the Liberal’s platform was pursuing “evidence-based policy.” They advocated that “[g]overnment should base its policies on facts, not make up facts based on policy.” Without evidence, they said government makes arbitrary decisions that have the potential to negatively affect the daily lives of citizens

I said as much when we heard in 2012 the public lecture of Dr. Gerardo Sicat – the last of the inaugural batch of UP PEJA Fellows. Government, in my view, can only meaningfully govern if it is guided by correct data and information.

Unfortunately, this knowledge is not always available to policymakers. Or worse, many politicians refuse to acknowledge the reality the information reflects.

Bridging that knowledge gap should be an abiding concern of the academe. Professors, researchers and other public intellectuals fulfill their nation-building role when they actively produce policy studies that government can refer to when making very difficult socio-political choices.

This is what I should to institutionalize by establishing the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies, when I was UP President. And I’m happy to note that this is the same objective we are pursuing through the UP PEJA Fellowships.



Today, few international issues command more domestic attention than the South China Sea disputes. The area has already been tagged as a geopolitical hotspot and a possible staging ground for a proxy war among the world’s strongest nations.

The maritime disputes pose as well a national security challenge that the incoming administration must confront.

At stake are the busiest sea lanes in the world, rich marine and fishing resources and potentially abundant gas and oil deposits.

What is also being challenged and tested in the international rule of law, under which all states-large or small, mighty or weak – are enjoined to treat each other with respect and civility, not through blatant of brute military might.

In the coming weeks, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague is expected to rule on our complaint against China. And it’s an open secret that whatever the decision, Beijing will refuse to acknowledge and follow it.

Studies such as what Dr. Baviera will present today greatly help – particularly by crystallizing what the country’s “national interest” really is, which allows us then to further identify possible openings in the icy relations between Manila and Beijing. Taking an objective and calm academic approach to the dispute may hopefully lead to alternative solutions.


Thank you!