Think Pieces

Browse Think Pieces and other opinion articles published on G-Watch as well as other websites. 

1 February 2018
Not As Good As it Seems: A Closer Look at the 2017 Open Budget Survey Result on the Philippines

By Joy Aceron, G-Watch/ Accountability Research Center

The result of the latest Open Budget Survey (OBS) is certainly encouraging for the Philippines. Since the Report has come out, the report has been covered by media (‪ and has been hailed by the government as an affirmation of its efforts on budget reform.

29 January 2018
Another Threat to Accountability - This time on Public Procurement

By Joy Aceron

As we continue to confront the threats to press freedom, the danger of an exclusive and fast Constitutional Change process that attempts to remove certain human rights and accountability provisions in the Constitution and the prevailing impunity in the implementation of the government's Drug War, there is another challenge that democracy defenders concerned about the Philippines must also contend with: a possible threat to open, transparent and accountable public finance management, specifically procurement.

27 November 2017
A State of Impunity

By Joy Aceron, Government Watch (G-Watch)

Corruption, sexual harassment, use of violence, unresponsive and flawed policies.

What is one bottomline of these core problems we face today?

IMPUNITY. Politicians steal money, powerful men harass and rape women, the poor get killed, decisions made that affect all our lives are wrong and detrimental because those in power, those who have money, those who are well-connected, occupying positions of unimaginable influence, think they can get away with it.

And they do. The powerful get away with anything.

23 November 2017
A Close Encounter with Global Social Accountability: Reflections on the Global Partners Forum 2017

By Francis Isaac, Government Watch (G-Watch) 

Growing up in a typical urban slum, I never thought that I would ever lay eyes on the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC. But there I was, standing before this massive infrastructure, dwarfed by its rectangular glass windows and passive concrete walls. Passing through a small revolving door, I soon found myself in a spacious square atrium, sheltered beneath a 46-meter high ceiling made up of numerous glass panels and interlocking metal bands.

2 August 2017
Accountability and Human Rights

I saw an appeal to push the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to investigate the violation of human rights by the terrorists in light of the Marawi crisis. There was also a push for Chito Gascon, Chair of the CHR, to resign because "the CHR is focusing more on the rights of the criminals, instead of the victims."

9 June 2017
Rethinking Progressives' Move

Have we come to a point when even those who were once reform elements in the "truncated procedural democracy" have become integrated (accustomed, immersed, assimilated) in the system over time that they behave predictably in harmony with the system even when the system is already showing its decay, malfunctioning and total ineptitude?

31 May 2017
What does party-switching mean?

In the Philippines, party-switching means nothing. It is as normal for politicians as changing clothes. It is more regular than legislators attending congressional hearings.

26 November 2016
Dig Deep to Unearth the Dictator

On November 18 at 12:00 noon, Ferdinand Marcos, the late dictator who ruled the Philippines with impunity for 14 years was buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. It was a discreet burial kept hidden from the public until it was done. Protest actions took place all over Metro Manila culminating in a protest action at the People Power Monument in EDSA until the wee hours of the following day. Until now, social media are filled with memes and posts protesting the burial, 'educating' the public about the horrors of Martial Law and criticizing the Marcoses and Duterte for the burial that came like a "thief in the night."

18 September 2016
Policy issues from Matobato's testimony

The testimony of Edgar Matobato is rich with information that have policy implications and can therefore aid future legislation