ASAP's BSKE assessment reveals pathways to strengthen sectoral participation in local politics

Posted on January 31, 2024

By LA Tolentino


TAGAYTAY CITY-The Alyansa ng Samahang Pantao (ASAP) held a two-day assessment and planning session on Jan. 25-26, 2024, at the Caritas Philippines Development Center in Tagaytay to reflect on their membersí participation and learnings from the 2023 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE). The session was facilitated by Rowena Amon, Program Manager of CO Multiversity, in partnership with INCITEGov.

 

The sessions' main objective was to evaluate the organization's involvement in the electoral process and plan for future elections.

 

 

The assessment and planning activity served as a platform for ASAP members to analyze their experiences in the previous BSKE and gain insights on the potentials for governance reform in future elections, particularly the 2025 local and national polls.

 

In her opening remarks, INCITEGov Executive Director Marj Ibanez expressed gratitude for the collaboration between ASAP and organizations like CO Multiversity, emphasizing their shared goal of promoting progressive and alternative perspectives in local governance.

 

Workshop facilitator Jessica Amon emphasized the importance of community organizing and the non-partisan nature of ASAP's initiatives. She also noted the need for continuous learning and improvement, underscoring the significance of the BSKE as a starting point for many aspiring leaders.

 

Various activities were conducted to help facilitate engagement and reflection among participants, including a Bingo game to foster camaraderie and a series of workshops focusing on mapping out candidates' experiences, analyzing the BSKE, and planning for future elections.

 

During the plenary sessions, participants shared their experiences, challenges, and insights from the previous election. They discussed issues such as vote-buying, irregularities in the electoral process, and the importance of grassroots campaigning.

 

Despite various obstacles, participants remained committed to advocating for good governance and community empowerment.

 

 

On the second day, participants engaged in detailed discussions to anticipate scenarios and formulate strategic plans for a more engaged participation in the 2025 elections to strengthen democratic institutions and processes..

 

They discussed critical issues such as challenges posed by an overflow of candidates, the uncertainty surrounding election procedures, the persistent influence of political dynasties, and various obstacles to fair electoral processes, including vote-buying and harassment of progressive groups.

 

To address these challenges, they emphasized the importance of expanding support networks, strategically identifying local and national CSOs and other sectors aligned with progressive agendas, and mobilizing grassroots actions through voter mapping and social media outreach.

 

Additionally, they acknowledged the need to prepare for potential crises by adopting crisis management protocols, challenging dynastic rule through community organizing and strategic political mapping, collaborating with progressive forces to amplify reform efforts, and investing in youth engagement to foster effective leadership and civic participation.

 

In conclusion, the assessment and planning session allowed participants to reflect on their recent experiences and plan for the upcoming elections. Despite the prevalence of traditional patronage politics against the backdrop of democratic backsliding, the discussions showed how political organizations and CSOs can keep supporting young leaders and strengthen political movements so they can lead the path toward more inclusive and responsible governance in the communities.