Philippine Update Conference 2016

Sustaining the Momentum for Change beyond 2016

Has the Philippines indeed shed its label as the 'sick man of Asia'?

The Philippine Update Conference 2016 takes stock of political, economic and social developments of the previous administration and the prospects under the new government of Rodrigo Duterte. In recent years, the Philippines has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the region. After two successive fragile presidencies, the past administration of President Benigno Aquino III (2010-2016) enjoyed relative political stability and rapid economic growth.

Can the Philippines sustain this growth momentum and propel the country towards robust and inclusive economic growth? Will the change in leadership result in new policy directions that can affect governance reforms on accountability and transparency? How will the new leadership manage climate-induced disasters? How will the new administration address decades-long conflict in Mindanao and the communist insurgency? What will be the strategy in dealing with the claims on the South China Sea?

The Philippine Update 2016 Conference is also being presented on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Australia-Philippine relations to raise awareness of and discuss bilateral ties between the two countries and their peoples.

This conference is being organised by

Philippines Project, a joint initiative between the College of Asia and the Pacific and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet, ANU), Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, Crawford School, Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, University of Canberra and Department of Political and Social Change, ANU


Date & time

Fri 2 Sep 2016, 8am–5:30pm
Sat 3 Sep 2016, 9am–6pm


Crawford School Molonglo Theatre

Conference Program

Download Phillipine conference program 2016 [PDF, 275KB]

Distinguished speakers

Professor Arsenio Balisacan
Philippine Competition Commission

Professor Mark Thompson
City University of Hong Kong

Ambassador Minda Calaguian-Cruz
Philippine Embassy in Australia

Mr. Allaster Cox
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Political Update: ‘Taking Stock of the Aquino Administration and Looking Ahead’ – The panel talks about the conduct and results of the May 2015 national elections and policy implications of the change in administration.  It will assess the performance of the past administration, specifically on whether it has fulfilled its promise of ‘Straight Path to Governance’ (Daang Matuwid), that is, in fostering an accountable and effective government. What is the trend in multi-party politics and liberal democracy in the Philippines, and whether there have been changes in party and elite politics as reflected in the last elections?

Economic Update: ‘Is the Philippine Growth Path Sustainable and Inclusive?’ -   This is an assessment of both the economic achievements of the last administration and economic policy change or policy continuity that might be expected with the change in national leadership.  What are the drivers – and constraints, to sustained growth and whether this kind of growth can bring about development in the regions and in conflict areas in Mindanao?  What is the state of poverty and inequality in the Philippines and whether economic development is also addressing the gender gap?

Conflict and Security Update: ‘Prospects of Peacebuilding in Mindanao and Resolving other Insurgencies’ – Will the Muslim Mindanao question remain the football field of politicians or will the peacebuilding initiatives began in the Aquino administration, particularly the grant of greater autonomy, lead toward lasting peace in Southern Philippines?  This panel talks about developments in peacebuilding processes and initiatives to address justice issues in the Bangsamoro as well as the role of women in peacebuilding.  What are other conflict and security issues that the new administration need to address – persistence of other old conflicts such as the communist insurgency, contemporary problems of terrorism or terror groups operating in Mindanao, as well as conflicts affecting the Indigenous peoples.

The Philippine Environment, Climate Change and Policy Responses – The occurrence of national disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes is identified as one of key challenges for the Philippines in the coming years, affecting all regions and broad spectrum of society.  How has the government tackled the problem, as a critical domestic policy concern and its role and advocacy on climate change at the international level?  There have been innovative responses by local governments towards environment protection, climate change adaptation and management as well as the role of civil society and corporate sector in addressing the country’s vulnerability to disasters.

The Philippines in the Region: The South China Sea/ West Philippine Sea Dispute – The Philippines is one of the key claimants in the area with China and is the country that brought the issue for international arbitration under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.  What are the prospects of the arbitration case and its impact towards resolution of the competing claims and of broader implications on regional peace and cooperation?  What is the role of other countries, such as the United States and Australia, and other regional or international organizations in mediating or facilitating mediation among the countries involved in the dispute?

Australia-Philippines Bilateral Relations – Both countries have long historical and bilateral ties and 2016 marks the 70th year of Philippine-Australia relations.  The panel will discuss how to forge enhanced cooperation in the areas of trade, business, development assistance, tourism and culture.  The discussion will also explore people-to-people linkages in fostering greater awareness between Australia and the Philippines and their peoples. 

Gender in Development - The gender panel discusses gender equity issues in development in the Philippines.  It assesses persisting challenges to, and the state and non-state contributions towards the goals of gender equality, improved maternal health and sexual reproductive health rights, and the measures taken against gender-based violence. The gender dimensions of migration, conflict and peace, and disasters and resilience are also interrogated in theory with the lived experiences of Filipino women and men.

Abstract submissions are invited for the following topics on the Philippines that fit broadly with the conference theme such as: political economy, trade and investment, poverty and social protection, electoral politics, judicial politics, gender, health and policy, conflict and peacebuilding, governance and accountability, bilateral and regional relations, democratization and human rights, media and politics, climate change and policy responses, security and terrorism. Abstract proposals should be between 250-300 words only. Proposals for specific panels may also be submitted for consideration.

Submission for abstracts is now open and closes on 31 March 2016.

Poster presentation can also be submitted. Prizes will be awarded for Best Student Paper and Poster Presentation.

Call for Papers/ Panels

Abstract submissions are invited on topics about the Philippines that fit broadly with the conference theme and with any of the update and issue panels. Proposals can be submitted on: political economy, trade and investment, poverty and social protection, electoral politics, judicial politics, gender, health and policy, conflict and peacebuilding, governance and accountability, bilateral and regional relations, democratization and human rights, media and politics, climate change and policy responses, security and terrorism. Proposals for specific panels may also be submitted for consideration.

An academic panel has been formed in selecting the abstracts and panel proposals. An edited book and/ or special edition journal will be produced from high quality papers.

Please take note of the following key dates

31 March 2016 - Submission deadline
30 April 2016 - Notification of accepted proposals
31 July 2016 - Submission of full paper

Dr Imelda Deinla
School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), ANU

Dr Bjoern Dressel
Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU

Ms Teresa Jopson
ANU Filipino Students Association

Dr Nicole Curato
Centre for Deliberative Democracy
University of Canberra

Dr Imelda Deinla
Regulatory Institutions Network
T: +612 6125 1503

Ms Teresa Jopson
ANU Filipino Students Association

Events Team


Conference registration will take place on 2 September between 8 to 9 am at the foyer of Molonglo theatre, Crawford School of Public Policy.

Conference meals and catering

Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea will be served at the foyer of Molonglo Theatre for Days One & Two of the conference.

There will be a Welcome Dinner on 2 September at The Great Hall. Attendance is strictly by invitation only. Fellowes Bar at University House serves dinner. There are restaurants and eateries around campus (Marcus Clarke) or in Civic. Please note that all Cafes on campus are closed on Saturday.


We will not be providing parking permits. Pay parking is available.

Please see Facilities & Services Division for the parking map and details about University's parking rules as they apply to University visitors.


Conference participants are asked to arrange their own accommodation. On-Campus accommodation may be reserved at University House 61 2 6125 5275/5276. Suggested accommodation options near ANU include:

  • James Court Apartments +61 2 6240 1234
  • Waldorf Apartments 1800 188 388 (free call)
  • Canberra City Accommodation 1800 300 488 (free call)
  • Canberra YHA Hostel+61 2 6248 9155
  • Peppers Gallery Hotel 1300 987 600
  • QT Canberra +61 2 6247 6244
  • Park Hyatt Canberra +61 2 6270 1234
  • Novotel Canberra +61 2 6245 5000
  • Quest Canberra +61 2 6243 2222
  • Hotel Hotel +61 2 6287 6287

Day 1

Day 2

View photos of the Philippine Update Conference 2016

Updated:  24 April, 2017/Responsible Officer:  Dean, ANU College of Asia & the Pacific/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team