KAS Issue Forum: The Influence of Showbiz Culture on Philippine Politics and Democracy

The KAS Issue Forum is held yearly in with the Ateneo Debate Society as part of its culminating activities for the Ateneo Debate Education Program, which works with the youth on providing debate training as a means to increase public awareness.



Gilbert Remulla, former Congressman and ABS-CBN mediaman was the keynote speaker in this year’s Issue Forum, organized by the Ateneo Society (ADS) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS). The Issue Forum formally opens the annual Philippine Schools Debate Championship, wherein 300 high school students from around the country engage in British Parliamentary Debate discussing the pertinent issues of our times. This year’s forum, entitled, “The Influence of Showbiz Culture on Philippine Politics and Democracy”, focuses on the role of media in Philippine politics.

Media, or television in particular, he stressed, have become the biggest source of information for most Filipinos today. “Democracy presupposes a certain level of education—meaning functional literacy, critical thinking and information processing. And for it to work properly, only when one is equipped with these can he or she be able to decide as to what is the best name to write on the ballot,” he declared. The majority of the public make decisions on whom to vote and formulate opinions about the state of Philippine politics based on what the information they acquire from various forms of media. “The power of media can make or break a politician!” he remarked, and pointed out that showbiz culture obscures fact in favor of profit for media machines.

The evening ended with an open forum with high school student delegates who are participating in the annual Philippine Schools Debate Championship.

Every year, KAS hosts the KAS Issue Forum as part of its on-going support for the Ateneo Debate Education Program, which is carried out KAS project partner, the Ateneo Debate Society. More than 1,500 students participate in the annual Education Program.

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Manny V. Pangilinan Roof Deck, Ateneo de Manila University


  • Gilbert Remulla

    Klaus Preschle