New ASoG Dean highlights commitment to democratic, participative, and sustainable social development for the Philippines
26 Aug 2022
The new Dean of the Ateneo School of Government, Philip Arnold P. Tuaño PhD, recently renewed the School’s commitment to contribute to democratic, participative, and sustainable social development across the country. In his speech during the ASoG Thanksgiving and Deanship Turnover Ceremony on 12 August 2022, Dean Randy, as he is fondly known, brought focus on the country’s prevailing development challenges, such as poverty and inequality, the education deficit, and uneven health outcomes, as well as political challenges such as the rise of authoritarianism, populism, and disinformation. Dean Tuaño, who is set to lead the School in the next three years, said, "Such challenges in the country have been associated with weak governance institutions and the decline of democratic practices and norms." Dean Randy emphasized that the School will continue to work to contribute to the discourse on and capacity-building needs in the political, governance, and development policy areas in the coming years.
The new Dean gave tribute to the previous administrators of the School, especially previous Dean Dr. Ronald U Mendoza PhD for deepening and broadening the School’s significant progress in its development agenda. The Dean in his speech then pledged that first, the ASoG shall continue emphasizing the relationship across democratic politics, practices of good governance, and good development outcomes within the formation of its students. Dean Tuaño also reiterated the School’s continued strengthening of partnerships with and expanded opportunities for the national and local government stakeholders, while at the same time scaling up efforts of the School towards political and citizenship education to combat misinformation and disinformation.
The Dean’s Background
Dean Tuaño is a seasoned development practitioner and academician who has received formation and training from the Ateneo de Manila University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Major in Economics. He then went to the University of Sussex, United Kingdom, to pursue his Master of Arts in Development Economics. Finally, he proceeded to the University of the Philippines (Diliman) School of Economics which granted him the degrees of Master of Arts in Economics, and Doctor of Philosophy in Economics.
The Dean’s passion for and commitment to democratic and participative social development has been evident throughout his career in the development sector and academia. When he entered the Ateneo de Manila University more than 30 years ago, he held positions at the Office for Social Concern and Involvement; and then at the Center for Social Policy and Public Affairs. He was also part of the Ateneo Institute of Sustainability for a time.
He likewise taught as a Part-time Lecturer at the Department of Economics under the School of Arts and Sciences of Ateneo de Manila in 1993. He taught courses such as Basic Economics, Development Economics, Intermediate Macroeconomics, and the Theory and Practice of Social Development (Economics of Poverty). He was Chairperson of and Associate Professor in the Ateneo de Manila Department of Economics and a Lecturer at the ASoG where he has been teaching Applied Economics in the Public Sector since 2005.
Dean Tuaño also has extensive experience in development work beyond the academe, having served with various development agencies such as the President of the Foundation for Media Alternatives; Director of the Macro-policy Unit of the National Anti-Poverty Commission; and the Development Associate of the Peace and Equity Foundation. He was also Technical Consultant at the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute/ Basic Sectors’ Counterpart Council Secretariat and the National Peace Conference; and he was part of the People’s Alternative Study Center for Research and Education in Social Development.
In his work within and outside the Academe, Dean Tuaño led programs on poverty reduction, conducted extensive research on mechanisms of development organizations in the country, produced various other research outputs on economic and social reform topics, and led liaisons and partnerships with national and international institutions for development.
His roster of research and publication work include formulating a statistical framework and database for poverty statistics in the Philippines; analyzing determinants of digital divide and communication rights in the country; determining impacts of poverty reduction initiatives and organizations; methodical examinations of financial crises, trade-related and safety net programs; and reviewing international development goals and progress of countries vis-a-vis challenges in poverty, education, and health.
The ASoG Under Dean Tuaño’s Leadership
Now that he is set to lead the Ateneo School of Government, Dean Tuaño aims to continue advocating for holistic development for all through good governance. He picks up from the established progress of the School by the previous Deans, and he aims for the ASoG to continue its contribution as the Philippines cultivates structures for participation of the marginalized sectors.
In his first speech as the ASoG Dean, Dean Tuaño also shared a few guiding principles underpinning how the School will progress in the next years. He highlights Pope Francis’s take on the genuine meaning of politics which is “Encounter, Reflection, and Action.” Dean Tuaño elaborates on this by stating the importance of conducting dialogues with groups in differing cultures and beliefs; of the proper discernment of steps towards the common good and the benefit of the vulnerable; and of mindful actions towards building social and economic welfare of the people. He identifies this as the foundation upon which ASoG will continue on its mission of “building reform communities that will strive for the common good.”
Finally, Dean Tuaño acknowledges that ASoG will carry on with the “hallmarks of the Jesuit education: academic excellence, spiritual rootedness, and immersive engagement with the society.” He expressed commitment to the School’s vision of “a Philippines of prosperous, sustainable, just and happy communities, enabled and empowered by democratic, inclusive, participatory, transparent and accountable governance institutions and processes.”
To know more about the Ateneo School of Government, visit ateneo.edu/asog/about.