Economic Forum with Mr. Wolfgang Heinze and Dr. Johannes Kadura: Philippine Midterm Elections 2019

The May Economic Forum in partnership with the German Club and the Germany Embassy took an inside look of the political and economic implications of the recent Philippine Midterm Elections 2019. The speakers gave their insightful analysis on the significance of the balloting to the future of the country.

German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GPCCI) President Tristan Arwen “Bobbit” Loveres opened the gathering by giving thanks to the speakers as well as acknowledging the presence of Deputy Director General Ernesto Perez of Anti- Red Authority.

He was then followed by Dr. Andree Buhl, the Commercial Counsellor of the German Embassy Manila, who introduced the distinguished speakers: Mr. Wolfgang Heinze, Country Director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Philippine office, and Dr. Johannes Kadura, Resident Representative of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in the Philippines. Atty. Tony Abad of the Abad Alcantara and Associates served as the moderator for the event.

Starting off with overall opinions, both speakers agreed that the election left a good impression. Mr. Heinze noted that although there were some problems with the Precinct Count Optical Scanner (PCOS) machines and the servers, for the most part, the election went well. He also acknowledged that having an automated election may give rise to questions and doubts, but he countered that there is no foolproof method of counting votes.

Dr. Kadura shared his sentiments about the issue of vote buying. He believes that this is a tremendous problem regardless if the counting of votes is automated or done manually. He also pointed out that political parties should be monitored since they are very weak and very personalized.

According to the two speakers, the results of the local elections were interesting. Among the local government units, powerful politic dynasties are being displaced by newcomers. The aftereffect of this occurrence will only be truly felt in 2022.

The panel discussion was followed by a stimulating Q&A, where the views on federalism and political personalities were exchanged.

GPCCI would like to thank Atty. Abad for moderating the event as well as the two brilliant speakers, Mr. Heinze and Dr. Kadura for sharing their perspectives on this topic. We would also like to thank all the participants for their time and presence.