Leveling The 2010 Local Election Playing Field

A workshop for neophyte politicians was conducted by the Ateneo School of Government in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the Emmanuel Pelaez Foundation.


This workshop assisted individuals aspiring for locally elected positions - giving them a winning chance in the 2010 elections. Applications from all over the country were screened and chosen to join the 4-day workshop at Duka Bay Resort, Misamis Oriental. The 30 selected participants never held elective office and are believers in democracy and effective and ethical local governance.

Resource speaker Saragani Governor Miguel Dominguez, National President of the LAKAS-Kampi-CMD, shared the party’s direction to cleanse the political party through the expulsion of Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his two sons, Governor Zaldy Uy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan, Jr., from the party. The Ampatuan family were removed after the alleged involvement in the November 23 brutal killing of 57 victims, mostly women and journalists in Maguindanao Province. The executive committee of the LAKAS-Kampi-CMD voted unanimously to expel the family. In Dominguez’ words they were expelled due to “their failure to uphold party ideals and principles in their area of jurisdiction, specifically relating to the peaceful, legal and democratic pursuit and exercise of political power.”

Another speaker of the workshop was Isabela Governor Ma. Gracia Cielo “Grace” Padaca who shared her experience of beating the powerful Dy dynasty. This political clan ruled the second largest province in the Philippines for 30 years as governors, congressmen and mayors. During her first term the physically challenged paid off two-thirds of the provincial debt and subsidized corn and rice farming. In her second term Padaca increased education and reforestation budgets and instituted “People’s Ugnayan” which keeps citizens apprised of developments in 36-town province.

Local government official Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija Province talked about Effective Leadership in Achieving Good Governance, which meant bottom-up governance. She talked about how she created participation in her constituents and stakeholders by 1) listening and responding to the people, 2) building integrity, 3) understanding leaders’ roles, 4) sustaining the gains, and 5) nurturing participation. Lorenzo also implemented Concerned Citizen of San Isidro (CCSI) which is “a coalition of multi-sectoral leaders of farmers, academes, youth, women, business, religious, NGO and LGU (local government units) bridging societal divides thru collaborative action and common response.” With participation she created a shared vision and mission, clear objectives, identified key result areas with defined performance indicators for each year under the different stakeholders’ programs.

Seasoned local campaign mananger Mr. Rafael Baraan, who is currently the Provincial Administrator of Pangasinan Province, elaborated on campaign strategies and operations. He taught the aspiring candidates the most important ingredients of a successful campaign: the candidate, the platform or program of government, the machinery or organization; the logistics and resources, the strategy and deployment, intelligence, official party support, and your bailiwick. Baraan also expounded the finance and logistics of a campaign. His final advice was reserve cash for the essential items that do not have substitutions like salaries, fuel, allowances for poll watchers.

Candidates for congress, governor, mayor, councilor and board members listened to experts in their fields like: Ms. Ma. Lourdes “Malou” Tiquia, founder and general manager of Publicus Asia, Inc., who discussed political mapping, sizing up the opponent and the communication process and the power of media in political campaigns; Atty. Esmeralda Amora-Ladra of the Commission on Elections talked about the updates and challenges of the upcoming 2010 elections; and Remedios Rikken, Executive Director of the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women, lectured on Transformative Leadership.

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Duka Bay Resort, Medina, Misamis Oriental


Dr. Peter Köppinger

Representative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in the Philippines

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