The Philippines has implemented several democracy assessments, making this country the perfect example of how the State of Democracy Assessment Framework can be customized to assess specific topics. For the Philippines, the framework was broken down into different areas—Rule of Law and Access to Justice; Minimizing Corruption; Economic and Social Rights; Free and Fair Elections; and the Democratic Role of Political Parties—to suit the country’s context and to target specific issues that lacked systematic study in the past. The democracy assessments were carried out in cooperation with the University of Philippines – National College for Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG). UP-NCPAG is also home to the Regional Centre for Citizen-led Democracy Assessment for the Asia and the Pacific. Dr Edna Co, Dean of UP-NCPAG, has led all the State of Democracy assessments to date.
The assessments have fostered national debate on issues such as elections, electoral reforms, corruption and the administration of social development programmes, and contributed to the creation of apposite university courses on these issues. The debate involved legislators, political parties, advocates and activists, and the Electoral Commission. The assessments have also generated research on topics related to elections, such as on campaign and political funding, and instigated monitoring of campaign finances in the 2007 elections. Similarly, the 2007 assessment of social and economic rights was the first comprehensive review of these matters in the Philippines. It represented a first step toward building indicators of social and economic rights that would be acceptable to all sectors, including the government.
The UP-NCPAG and the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy conducted a citizen-led assessment at the local level in 2010, specifically in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. This report assessed the extent to which democracy functions by examining local institutions and processes and the role of citizens and citizen groups in a democracy. It aimed to contribute to an enlightened discussion and societal reform in the midst of an ongoing pursuit for peace talks and development in the region.