September 2, 2020 (8:20 PM)

3 min read

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Sociologist Nicole Curato Ph.D. talks about constructing a better new normal during the 2nd online conversation initiated by the Social Sciences Department entitled, “Imagining Post-COVID-19 Philippines: Critical Reflections on Deliberative Democracy” , August 29. Photo taken from @ADDU_SS Twitter page

To address the pandemic response issues of the Filipinos, renowned Sociologist Nicole Curato Ph.D. in the 2nd Social Sciences Online Conversation last August 29 stated that ‘deliberative democracy’ was a necessary component.

Curato defined deliberative democracy as “a political apparatus where decisions made together as a society are based on good reason.” In this type of democracy, “no single person has monopoly of good reason.”

To construct a better new normal, she emphasized that leaders should start by engaging in discussions not only with the experts but also with the poor and the marginalized.

“We can do better if we start thinking about the pandemic from the perspective of the most vulnerable in our society,” she said 

“The new normal is still under construction. We still don’t know what the new normal is now, but we can still make a case for what the new normal should be,” she added. 

Dr. Curato further argued the need to recalibrate the strategies of lawmakers and experts toward disaster response.

“Andami na nating learnings from other disasters, from the perspective of the poor, pero parang hindi tayo natututo because the problem is we just deliberate among experts, and policymakers,” Curato stated.

“We try to speak for the poor but we don’t really speak with the poor.” 

She closed her talk with a reiteration of inclusive policymaking. 

“We can construct the new normal as a time of creativity, solidarity, innovation, and inclusive deliberation where we finally listen to the voices of people that we don’t really hear from all the time.”

“The new normal is not a given, the new normal is up to us to construct,” Dr. Curato concluded.

Karlo Torreon, SS Representative, expressed how the online conversation was directed to help students ask relevant questions regarding the current situation of national democracy, whether the voices of the people are being heard, and how much of what is said is being accounted for.

“We wanted to formulate the importance of deliberative democracy that it is not only bounded upon the critical discourse of opinions and ideas but rather have a realization if the decision-making of our government promotes inclusive deliberative processes in pursuit of the common good for Filipinos,” Torreon said.

Torreon also asserted the importance of the event in today’s context because of the unpopular decisions being carried out by the government.

“Through Deliberative democracy, we wanted to remind Ateneans that [the] government should embody the genuine needs of its citizens as their decisions are literally a matter of life and death,” he stated.



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