MANILA, Philippines – Several candidates for 2010 elections will be briefed on current issues affecting the country when they participate in the University of the Philippines (UP) Academic Congress next month.
“Beyond 2010: Leadership for the Next Generation, a UP Academic's Congress to Challenge our Next Leaders” aims to identify the current issues, map the various approaches that have been tried in the past, provide some assessment of their gains and failures, and draw out possible actions that must be done by the next administration.
It is intended to empower the general public by making issues such as debts, unemployment, climate change and the Mindanao conflict transparent.
A public forum will allow participants to ask the candidates about their plans and opinions so that they can make an informed choice in the May 10 polls.
The forum is expected to draw responses from the candidates that will go beyond mere rhetoric.
The UP Academic Congress will be held from February 1 to 5 at the Malcolm Hall, UP College of Law.
Two sessions will take place on the first day, February 1 (Monday).
The first is “Jobs and the Cost of Doing Business in the Philippines” which will be moderated by Raul V. Fabella, former dean of the UP Diliman School of Economics.
The panel presenters are Dr. Cielito F. Habito of the Ateneo Manila University (ADMU) Department of Economics and Dr. Cayetano W. Paderanga, Jr. of UP Diliman School of Economics.
"In order for jobs to be created, investments have to be made. In turn there must be reasonable prospects for profit. In the Philippines job creation has been slow because the investment rate is very low,” Paderanga said in a statement.
“One big reason is that the cost of starting and running a business is also very high with the cost of power, transport cost and cost of security and remediation through the courts. This is especially true of firms competing with foreign goods. We look at these costs and suggest remedies.”
Habito added, “Most of the poverty and unemployment is in the rural and agricultural sector. To create jobs in the rural areas, we have to make our agriculture and agri-based industries very dynamic. One way is to lower transportation cost, reduce input cost and allow larger firms to participate via sanctioning larger land ownership.”
Debts and deficits
The 2nd session, “Debt and Deficits,” will be moderated by UP Diliman School of Economics Dean Emmanuel S. De Dios.
The panel on debt and deficits will critically examine what is right and wrong with the state of public expenditures and revenues. It will assess what room, if any, exists for fiscal expansion beyond 2010.
The panel will also identify urgent, high-impact, and readily implementable reforms to raise revenue effectively and equitably.
The political economy of the budgetary process involving the executive, legislature, and local governments will be explained while directions for reform will be indicated.
Professor Leonor M. Briones of UP Diliman’s National College of Public Administration and Governance as well as Dr. Felipe M. Medalla and Dr. Benjamin E. Diokno of UP Diliman School of Economics will serve as panel presenters.
Prior to the two sessions, UP President Emerlinda R. Roman will deliver a message on “The Imperatives for Philippine Society within the Next Generation” while Professor Randolf S. David of UP Diliman’s Department of Sociology will hold discussions on “What Should Truly Matter to Filipinos?”
Three sessions, meantime, are scheduled on February 2 (Tuesday).
The morning session is entitled “Battlefields, and Backhoes: The Mindanao Conundrum.” Dr. Eduardo C. Tadem of Asian Center, UP Diliman will moderate the 3rd session.
It will look into Mindanao’s paradox of having high growth rates as well as an impoverished population.
Panel presenters are UP Diliman Institute of Islamic Studies Dean Julkipli M. Wadi, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology Department of History Professor Rudy B. Rodil, London School of Economics and Political Science Ph.D. Candidate Francisco J. Lara, Jr., and Dr. Eduardo C. Tadem of UP Diliman’s Asian Center.
This will be followed by the 4th session, “Building Blocks to the Universal Enjoyment of the Right to Health.” UP Diliman College of Social Work and Community Development Professor Mary Lou L. Alcid will serve as moderator.
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Graduate School for Health Sciences Dean Alberto G. Romualdez, Jr. and UP Manila College of Arts and Sciences former dean Fatima A. Castillo will serve as presenters. UP Manila College of Medicine’s Dr. Edelina Padilla-dela Paz and Dr. Elizabeth R. Paterno will join them in the panel.
Romualdez, Castillo, Paterno and Padilla-dela Paz will examine the country’s health care system with focus on the organization and governance of health services, cost of medicine and other health supplies, training and distribution of health professionals, and health financing. They will also interrogate the contentious terrain of reproductive health using the gender justice lens.
Dr. Sylvia Estrada-Claudio, of UP Diliman’s Center for Women's Studies, will moderate the 5th session, “Secularisms and Fundamentalisms.” She will be joined in the panel by UP Diliman College of Law Professor Ibarra M. Gutierrez III.
Four sessions are slated on February 3 (Wednesday).
The morning session, which deals with “The Diaspora of Filipinos: Strategic Issues, Concerns, And Alternatives, will be moderated by UP Diliman College of Social Work and Community Development Professor Mary Lou L. Alcid.
The panel will provide the terrain on current discourse on the diaspora of Filipinos, both land- and sea-based, and give voice to strategic issues and concerns from the perspective of migrants.
It will also highlight engagement by migrant organizations in governance and the building of socio-economic alternatives to overseas employment as at least 10% of 91 million Filipinos are abroad on a permanent or temporary basis.
The panel is composed of Alcid, UP Diliman School of Labor and Industrial Relations’ Dr. Virgel C. Binghay, UP Diliman Department of Political Science’s Dr. Jorge V. Tigno, and Unlad Kabayan Migrant Services Foundation Executive Director Maria Angela C. Villalba.
Property and urban policy
The academic congress’ session 7 is “Property Reform and Related Issues” to be moderated by UP Diliman College of Social Work and Community Development Professor Elmer M. Ferrer.
UP Diliman College of Social Work and Community Development Professor Maria Dolores R. Bernabe, UP Diliman Asian Center Professor Prof. Jay L. Batongbacal, and Agriwatch Chair Inc.Dr. Ernesto M. Ordoñez comprise the panel.
They will examine the state of current property reform programs in the agricultural and coastal and marine sectors, identify current challenges, and propose institutional, policy and resource requirements that must be met in order to undertake an effective property reform program in the Philippines.
Session 8, meanwhile, will be on “Rethinking Urban Policy: Spatial, Economic and Institutional Aspects.” Dr. Toby Melissa C. Monsod of UP Diliman School of Economics will be the moderator.
Panel Presenters are UP Diliman School of Urban and Regional Planning former professor Ernesto M. Serote, UP Diliman School of Architecture Dean Danilo A. Silvestre, and Paderanga of UP Diliman’s School of Economics.
The panel will examines the efficiency of urban policy, its formulation and implementation, and what local officials can but often fail to do as urban planners and managers.
“Science and Technology” to be moderated by UP Diliman Institute of Mathematics’ Dr. Fidel R. Nemenzo is the 9th session.
UP Diliman College of Engineering Dean Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, UP Diliman College of Science Dean Caesar A. Saloma and UP Diliman Technology Management Center’s Dr. Roger D. Posadas will tackle the state of science and technology in the country.
They will identify the main challenges faced by the Philippine science and technology community as well as the solutions to address such problems.
Regulation, relations and climate
The academic congress will have three sessions on its 4th day, February 4 (Thursday).
UP Diliman College of Law Dean Marvic M.V.F. Leonen will moderate the 10th session, “Confronting Trade, Markets, and Regulation.”
The panel presenters are Leonen, Dr. Maria Joy V. Abrenica of UP Diliman’s School of Economics and Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo of UP
Diliman’s School of Labor and Industrial Relations.
The panel will explore issues relating to how the Philippines may, internationally or domestically, relate to the market. It will also talk about various frameworks and questions which the next administration may have to deal with.
The 11th session is “Philippine Foreign Relations” to be moderated by Dr. Eduardo T. Gonzalez of UP Diliman’s Asian Center.
The panel presentation hopes to make an important contribution in identifying challenges as well as opportunities, especially in key issues arising from US primacy, human security, regional integration trends, and the emergence of new Asian powers China and India.
Presenters are UP Diliman Asian Center former Dean Aileen S.P. Baviera and UP Diliman Department of Political Science Professor Herman Joseph S. Kraft.
“Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction: Trends, Challenges, Lessons, And Response Options” is the 12th session to be moderated by UP Diliman College of Social Work and Community Development Professor Lenore P. dela Cruz.
Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay of UP Diliman’s National Institute of Geological Sciences, Dr. Emmanuel M. Luna of UP Diliman’s College of Social Work and Community Development, and Ateneo School of Government Dean Antonio G. M. La Viña will be the presenters.
The panel presentations will argue that making climate change and disaster risk reduction a strategic economic and moral imperative for the country needs multi-dimensional, multi-disciplinary, multi-scale and multi-stakeholder responses at the policy, program and practice levels.
Impunity, election and labor
The last day of the academic congress on February 5 (Friday) features three sessions on extrajudicial killings, elections and labor.
Session 13 deals with “Addressing Impunity.” It will be moderated by Professor Theodore O. Te of the UP Diliman College of Law.
Presenters are former UP President Francisco Nemenzo, former UP Diliman College of Law Dean Raul C. Pangalangan, UP Diliman College of Law’s Gutierrez and Rep. Lorenzo R. Tanada III, Chair of the House Committee on Human Rights.
They will address the culture of impunity that has prevailed in the country with the occurrence of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances of media practitioners and political activists. They will also put forward practical and urgent changes to law, policy and practice that address impunity.
Meanwhile, UP Diliman National College of Public Administration and Governance Dean Alex B. Brillantes, Jr. will moderate the 14th session, “Election and How to Choose Leaders.”
UP Diliman National College of Public Administration and Governance former Dean Jose V. Abueva will be a panel presenter as well as the college’s Professor Leonor M. Briones, Dr. Ebinezer R. Florano, and Dr. Edna E.A. Co.
Their discussions will emphasize reforms in institutions and processes and paradigms and address proposed reforms in the electoral process.
The last session, which will be moderated by UP Diliman College of Law Prof. Patricia R.P.S. Daway is on “Labor–Revisiting Constitutional Guarantees.”
Daway will be joined by UP Diliman Faculty Regent Judy M. Taguiwalo, Ateneo Law School Professor Hans Leo J. Cacdac, and former UP Diliman College of Law Dean Merlin M. Magallona in the panel.
The panel will then look into labor policy reforms for the 21st century and explore some problems arising from the context of the global migration processes.
The academic congress’ closing remarks will be delivered by UP Diliman Chancellor Sergio S. Cao.
A 16th session entitled “Energy Security” will be held on the third week of February. A synthesis will be done by the Chief Rapporteurs, UP Diliman Department of Sociology’s Dr. Maria Cynthia Rose Banzon-Bautista and UP Diliman Department of History’s Dr. Maria Serana I. Diokno.