The Association of Political Consultants in Asia (APCA) was officially launched in the Philippines on Friday, 28 November 2014 at Oakwood Premier-Manila, Ortigas Center, Pasig City. APCA is a group of individuals that actively promotes politics, public affairs, government relations, and other similar professions involved in the practice of political consulting aims to professionalize the practice of political consulting in the Philippines and in Asia.
“APCA is patterned after such organizations as the IAPC (International Association of Political Consultants), EAPC (European Association of Political Consultants) and the AAPC (American Association of Political Consultants). This is the first time an organization such as this has been established in the Philippines and we are targeting the launch of APCA ASEAN next year in time for the 2015 ASEAN Integration,” APCA Interim President, Dr. Prospero E. De Vera III said.
The APCA Philippines launch also coincided with the 1st APCA Conference which carried the theme, “Campaigning in a Changing Landscape.” The purpose of the conference was to prepare the political consultants for the upcoming 2016 Elections. The Keynote Speakers of the conference were: Commissioner Luie Tito F. Guia of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) who talked about the COMELEC preparations for 2016 and Dr. Donald Patrick Lim, the Chief Digital Officer of ABS-CBN, who talked about the power of online communications in campaigns. COMELEC Chairman Sixto S. Brillantes also graced the occasion and answered questions from the participants.
Around 100 political consultants nationwide listened to speakers who talked about topics pertaining to the Filipino Voters, Messaging and Monitoring and Organizing. These notable speakers were: Atty. Gregorio Larrazabal talked about the lessons on automation from 2010-2013; Dr. Clarrisa David talked about the Psychographics of the Filipino Voters; Mr. Jude Acidre and Commissioner Mehol K. Sadain discussed the Visayan and Mindanaoan voter, respectively; Mr. Mike Lopez talked about campaigning to the youth; Mr. Junie and Carijane Laylo discussed messaging polls; Ms. Lilibet Amatong talked about messaging and branding; Mr. Klaus Preschle discussed social media monitoring, Mr. Manny Tabunda discussed retail politics and Fr. Frederic Rocha talked about grassroots building.
Another highlight of the conference was the Pundits Session wherein top political consultants and analysts in the country gave a no holds barred assessment of the upcoming 2016 elections. Aside from Dr. De Vera, the other members of the panel for the Pundits Session were: Dr. Antonio P. Contreras of the De La Salle University, Dr. Grace Gorospe-Jamon of the University of the Philippines-Diliman, Dr. Francisco Magno of the Jesse Robredo Institute of Local Governance, Professor Edmund Tayao of the University of the Philippines and Ms. Malou N. Tiquia, Founder/General Manager of PUBLiCUS Asia, Inc. The Pundits Session was hosted by Ms. Lynda Jumilla and was aired in her program Beyond Politics on ANC last 2 December 2014.