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Its Nature, Tasks, and Organization

The Pagbabago Movement will be millions of Filipinos coming together, on the basis of the movement's Kartilya, to create, through many diverse initiatives, a new Philippines.

Small numbers of determined individuals with a concrete vision and strategy can achieve major changes in society. History has shown this to be true time and time again. Determined individuals found ways to encourage others to join them and together develop effective ways to realize radical social transformation.

From example, People Power II removed former President Joseph Estrada from office. Starting from a few determined individuals and groups, many Filipinos agreed that the time had come to remove a corrupt and abusive leader from the highest office of government. And together they succeeded.


This is what the Pagbabago Movement hopes to be, ang pagbabago ng buong Pilipinas. It hopes to achieve radical social transformation of Philippine society from small beginnings. Eventually together with others, as members or as allies, who share a similar vision and set of principles for a new Philippines, the Pagbabago Movement will become an irresistible force for social change.

The Pagbabago Movement will be millions of Filipinos coming together, on the basis of the movement's Kartilya, to create, through many diverse initiatives, a new Philippines.

What follows is an overview of how the Pagbabago Movement will start this process of radical transformation of Philippine society.


All social movements need and have an identity. The identity is the set of ideals, values, and principles that define why, how, and for what individuals come together under a common cause.

The identity of the Pagbabago movement is contained in its Kartilya. A crucial part of this identity is the understanding of Pagbabago as a cultural movement, bringing new perspectives, visions, principles, and values among its members and all areas of social life. Pagbabago sees the inner transformation of minds, hearts and behavior as the bedrock foundation for the sustainable and radical transformation of the institutional and cultural, economic, and political structures of Philippine society.

An essential part of its identity is the different kind of revolution that the movement will launch. The Pagbabago Movement will start a new revolution, waged not with arms but with ideas, values and principles, backed by individual and collective action. It will be a revolution unique in Philippine history.

The Pagbabago Movement will start a revolution that, for the first time, will try to combine the following elements together in one integrated approach: a) active non-violence; b) inner transformation as foundation for radical social change; c) continuous mobilization of large numbers of people; d) viewing the state as only one of three important avenues of change.

Past revolutionary efforts have always centered on a violent take-over of the state and then waiting for the state to do all the work to change the country. Meanwhile citizens sit back and wait of the state to perform. They start complaining as the state flounders. Our approach is new and unique in that this will be the first time that an attempt at structural change in society will occur on three fronts simultaneously, in the economic, political, and cultural life of the country.


The Pagbabago movement aims to take the widespread discontent about the country and channel this energy into thousands of constructive and creative initiatives for creating a new and better Philippines. It aims to encourage a large number of Filipinos to create a new Philippines on the basis of the Kartilya of the Pagbabago Movement.


To establish, by 2007, the pagbabago movement as a potent force for individual and social transformation and good, along the lines of its vision and Kartilya, and involving at least 5 million individuals, all over the Philippines


For the Movement

To create an inwardly and socially active pagbabago movement in all provinces of the Philippines by August 2003. To establish an inwardly and socially active pagbabago groups (nodes, see below) in 500 towns and cities in the Philippines by 2004. To activate, by 2007, self-directed and socially effective pagbabago nodes in all towns and cities in the Philippines, a movement involving at least 5 million people. To form tactical and/or strategic alliances with other movements and networks that share, partially or fully, the Kartilya of the movement.


To achieve, by the end of 2003, an effective presence in local and national discourse. To shape the direction of statehood and nationhood by 2005 To become, starting 2007, an indispensable, constructive and effective social force helping direct the future of Philippine society

The key aspect in all these goals is to increasingly mainstream the principles and modes of transformative action contained in the Kartilya of the Pagbabago movement.


Time and time again, it has been constantly demonstrated that not even the most powerful hierarchical power, including political dictatorships, will be a match to the "swarming" behavior of nimble and creative networks. The process of "swarming" refers to the coming and surging together of autonomous groups in a network to achieve significant, large scale tactical or strategic impact. People Power II is an example of a "swarming" behavior, although most of those who joined were individuals and not members of groups.

For a negative example, we can take a look at the Al-Queda network. The most powerful military force in the world has not succeeded in suppressing the Al-Queda network which has autonomous, network cells scattered over 50 countries and involving over 70,000 members.

To realize its vision, mission and goals, the Pagbabago Movement needs a structure that maintains the balance between, on the one hand, being too rigid, fixed, and constraining and, on the other, being too loose, amorphous, and chaotic.

Loose, Horizontal Network

We can best describe the Pagbabago movement as a loose, horizontal network. Pagbabago sees the center of its life in the integrity, commitment and activism of its members. The activities of its diverse members will achieve coherence and unity through widespread communication between themselves, facilitated by access to the Internet. In addition, the movement will set up minimal coordinating structures and processes that will emerge largely from the ideas and intentions of its members.

The intent of Pagbabago behind this loose horizontal network is to optimize the strategic and tactical effectiveness of the movement as a whole while harmonizing it with the flexibility needed to support the ideas and initiatives of members, who are the life of the movement. A loose, network structure has the advantage that it can leverage these numerous and diverse member initiatives through group mobilization and "swarming".

Leadership Concept

The concept of leadership in Pagbabago is decentralized and multiple leadership. No single individual or a group of a few individuals will determine the success or failure of Pagbabago as a movement. Success will come from the efforts of the whole. The Pagbabago Movement therefore encourages self-reliance and initiative in all its members.

Pagbabago radically practices a key principle in comprehensive sustainable development known as the Principle of Subsidiarity. This principle acknowledges the right of members to self-organization and self-determination. The only boundary is that this process of self-determination is is convergent and consistent with the overall vision, mission, and goals of the Pagbabago Movement.

Thus Pagbabago sees its strength as deriving from the autonomous strength of its members. It will be the identity and common purpose of movement members that will expand the movement and keep it effective. It is for this reason that the Pagbabago movement will not legally incorporate itself to maintain its flexibility and creativity but will depend rather for its sustainability and effectiveness, upon the continued enthusiasm, good will, trust and commitment of its members who make the free choice to associate themselves with the Pagbabago Movement.

Geographic, Functional and Sectoral Nodes of Pagbabago as a Network

The Pagbabago Movement as a network has individual and group membership. This section on "Membership" below will clarify this further.

The groups that will constitute the network of the Pagbabago Movement will be called the "nodes" of the movement. The word, "node" comes from the image of the converging points in a network connected by means of wide-ranging avenues of multiple communications. The use of the word, "node" helps to unify the various groups of the movement by helping them imagine that they are part of a vast network geared towards the radical social transformation of the Philippines.

There are three kinds of nodes in Pagbabago: the geographic, the functional, and the sectoral nodes.

Individuals can form geographic nodes or groups on the basis of work directed towards changing the social situation in a particular place like a barangay, town or city. As the number of nodes increase to hundreds and thousands, there can also be a cluster of geographic nodes, or a combination of geographic nodes, that may wish to socially transform a whole province.

Individuals can also come together to form a functional node. A functional node specializes in the pursuit of an activity that can have a systemic or widespread impact. An example of a functional node may be the Node for Best Practices. It will gather together in one place the best practices that advance the principles of the movement as found in the Kartilya. The information on these best practices can then be used by the different nodes of Pagbabago to advance the vision, mission, and goals of the movement as a whole or their own particular tasks.

Individuals may also decide to form a sectoral node within Pagbabago. The sectoral nodes will focus on specific professions or areas of concern, including artists, sustainable agriculture, workers rights, environment, education, spirituality, and others. These areas of concern will cut across the various geographic nodes.

Pagbabago nodes will self-constitute themselves. They will select or accept their own individual members on the basis of the Pagbabago criteria for individual membership discussed below.

Pagbabago Sa . . .

To create the sense of a movement, the movement will request applicants to use the word, "pagbabago" in naming their nodes, whether geographic, functional or sectoral.

For example, a group setting up Pagbabago in Cagayan de Oro City can call itself "Pagbabago sa Cagayan de Oro City". A group approved for setting itself up in Davao City can call itself "Pagbabago sa Davao City" and so on. The names will thus convey the sense that the beginning of a radical change process has started in Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, or where ever the town or city may be.

Member applicants can also adhere to a similar procedure in setting up functional or sectoral groups. For example, a sectoral group on education can call themselves, "Pagbabago sa Education". Or a group of artists can call themselves, "Artista pare sa Pagbabago". Naming in this manner will convey both the sense of renewal taking place within a national network as well as in a region, a sector or a function.

National Assembly of the Pagbabago Movement

To address concerns and tasks emergent at a national level, the various nodes and cluster of nodes of the Pagbabago movement will come together, through their representatives, to collectively address these concerns and tasks at national level. The name for this national body is the National Assembly of the Pagbabago Movement.

For ease of communication and for rapid response to developments, the National Assembly will have a maximum of 150 representatives. Once the movement formally establishes it, the National Assembly will be functional for and reconstituted every three years.

The tasks of the National Assembly of the Pagbabago Movement, are as follows.

Stimulate the development of pagbabago nodes all over the Philippines including their communication and relationships with each other. Process, through the help of its national secretariat, and decide on applications to create member nodes, including their potential membership in the National Assembly. Determine when to create clusters of pagbabago nodes and at what level. Ensure the mutually beneficial support of the pagbabago nodes among themselves and the National Assembly. Decide on and plan the execution of the priorities of the movement at the national level. Convene national and other events for the benefit of Pagbabago as a whole. Address issues emergent at the national level and which cannot be faced adequately at the local or regional levels. Determine network relationship with coalitions, alliances, and other networks and movements who aspire for a similar future for the Philippines. Create ad hoc or mandate groups to help address issues emergent at the national level. Decide on and accounts for the disbursement of funds raised for pagbabago as a whole. Establish mechanisms (including appropriate minimal reports and evaluation procedures) to ensure that member nodes are continuing to uphold the ideals and the integrity of the Pagbabago Movement. Decide on the removal of an errant node. Decide on changes that may need to be made in the structure and processes of the Pagbabago Movement.

The National Assembly will try to arrive at its decisions on the basis of consensus. However, should there be a deadlock, then a majority of 75% of those present and who constitute a quorum, will be sufficient to make a decision. A simple majority will constitute a quorum.

Pagbabago Founding Node

The Pagbabago Movement has a founding node. This node consists of those individuals who launched the Pagbabago movement, including its Kartilya and this document on the nature, tasks and organization of the movement.

The Founding Node is currently expanding its membership to the limit of 150 members for better communication and effectiveness. Simultaneously the Founding Node is encouraging the formation of new nodes. Through time, the members of the Founding Node may also establish their own nodes in order to further strengthen their contribution to the movement as a whole.

Founding Node and Evolving Structure of National Assembly

For a beginning, the Founding Node today constitutes the de facto National Assembly of the movement. The Executive Committee or Execom of this Founding Node is also the Execom of the Pagbabago Movement as a whole. The Execom consists of 15 members.

Through time, more and more individuals will join and form new nodes of the movement. These new nodes will choose their representative to the national assembly of nodes. Thus membership in the National Assembly will also increase.

Once 100 new nodes are formed, the Founding Node will formally constitute the new national assembly of nodes. This new National Assembly will have 100 representatives coming from the new nodes and 50 representatives coming from the Founding Node. For ease in communication and rapid response to new developments, the National Assembly will have only 150 representatives. One third of the Execom of the new National Assembly will come from the representatives of the Founding Node and two thirds from the new nodes.

Both the new National Assembly and its new Execom will remain for a period of three years. Thereafter, the nodes will then select their new representatives to the National Assembly every three years. This selection process will take place a year before national elections to avoid politicizing the process.

In the first years of the movement, there is a relatively high percentage of representation coming from the Founding Node. This is for reasons of continuity and ensuring that the Pagbabago identity, vision, mission and goals are kept intact and functional amidst the fast-paced developments that are sure to accompany the movement as it starts to grow very rapidly.

After the first three years, however, the number of representatives coming from the Founding Node will decrease. In the second formal National Assembly only 40 members of the Founding Node will be present. The representatives of 10 new nodes will replace them, increasing the number of representatives of new nodes to 110. At the formation of the third formal national assembly, only 30 members of the Founding Node will be in the National Assembly and another 10 new nodes will replace the additional 10 that will step down. Until, finally, by the fourth formal National Assembly, only 20 members will come from the Founding Node. And by the fifth National Assembly, only 10 members of the Founding Node will be in the National Assembly.

The representation of members of the Founding Node in the Execom will also diminish by an equal proportion, thereby increasing the representation of other nodes in the National Assembly.

Outreach Team

The members of the Founding Node initially act as the Outreach Team of the Pagbabago movement. They are responsible for speaking about and encouraging participation in the Pagbabago movement in the different parts of the country.

Through time, the membership in the national Outreach Team will increase. Eventually when they achieve sufficient numbers, the members of the Outreach Team will constitute themselves as a functional node within the movement.

At the same time, Pagbabago expects the different nodes to have their own outreach team to continue the process of movement building and expansion. Ultimately, any member who feels deeply moved by the Kartilya and the potentials of the movement can do informal outreach to others who may be interested in the Pagbabago Movement.

Pagbabago Spokespersons

Any member of the Execom of the National Assembly can act as spokesperson of the Pagbabago movement as a whole or at the national level. At the nodal level, each group will establish their own agreement as to who shall be the spokesperson for their node. The movement expects their spokespersons to be well versed pagbabago as a movement as well as in social issues including how Pagbabago intents to address Philippine problems and opportunities.

National secretariat

The National Assembly will have a national secretariat to help it perform its mandated tasks. A coordinator will guide the activities of the national secretariat. Among the tasks of the national secretariat are:

Take down and summarize the minutes of meetings of the National Assembly. Establish the national website, egroup of the pagbabago movement, egroup of the National Assembly and egroup of the Execom. Moderate the movement egroup contributions. Receive and prepare pagbabago membership applications. Respond to inquiries about the Pagbabago movement. Help prepare the educational activities and materials of Pagbabago. Do other tasks as the National Assembly and/or the Execom may request of it.



As a loose, horizontal network, Pagbabago makes most of its decisions at the nodal level. This arrangement encourages realistic individual and group initiative to flourish.

However, there will be decisions that will need to be made at the national level to addresses social realities that operate at levels beyond the individual or the group. The National Assembly of the Pagbabago Movement will make these national-level decisions.

Through time, however, as the movement grows, the pagbabago movement will set up district, provincial and regional structures to facilitate decision making for developments that occur at these levels. Pagbabago will form clusters of groups that will aggregate around these different levels and make decisions in behalf of pagbabago at these levels.

The national assembly of nodal representatives will, however, continue with its mandate to make decisions for the pagbabago movement as a whole where this is necessary.

No matter what level decisions are made, Pagbabago movement expects the deciding body to always have the identity, principles, vision, mission and goals of Pagbabago in mind.

Network Communication

The lifeblood of a networked social movement, especially a broad-ranging social movement like pagbabago, is communication. This will occur primarily through its website and its different internal egroups, the larger ones of which will be moderated. Through time, the movement may decide to issue an electronic newsletter as an additional venue of communication.

Pagbabago will supplement electronic communications for the movement as a whole with events where pagbabago nodes and individual members will have a chance to meet face-to-face and to experience the diverse and widespread character of the movement. They will also get a chance to mutually empower and encourage each other through their activities, stories, and best practices.

For its broad-based education and advocacy work, Pagbabago will utilize all existing media forms and educational processes to communicate with Philippine society at large.

Pagbabago Agreements

The understandings contained in this document constitute the set of agreements within the Pagbabago Movement as a whole. These agreements guide the relations between pagbabago individuals and their nodes at the different levels as well as the relationship of the Pagbabago movement as a whole to Philippine society.

Violation of these agreements will constitute the basis for removing an individual or a group as a member of the Pagbabago Movement. Removal includes the loss of the right to use "pagbabago" as the name of the node.


Membership in the Movement

The membership in the Pagbabago Movement will be on the individual level. In this way, individuals from all walks of life can join the movement. These individuals will organize themselves into an affinity group or node. An affinity group is one where an individual is at home or comfortable with other people in advancing the identity, vision, mission, and goals of the Pagbabago Movement. In this way individuals can be effective in their local settings and also participate in the life of the movement as a whole.

Membership at the National Assembly of the Movement

The Pagbabago Movement, however, requires group or node membership at the level of its National Assembly. The different pagbabago nodes will select, through a process of their own determination, their individual representative to the National Assembly of the Pagbabago Movement.

What is the reason for this approach? Pagbabago foresees that, within the first year, membership in the Pagbabago movement will be in the thousands. Decision-making will be difficult in the National Assembly where thousands of people will be participating. The financial and logistical requirements for conducting such a huge assembly of people may also not be achievable. Therefore, it would be important for these individuals, who have already formed their nodes, to select representatives to bring their perspective to the National Assembly.

However, the Pagbabago Movement will reach a point where the pagbabago affinity nodes will number in the thousands and total membership will be in the tens or even hundreds of thousands. At this point, membership in the national assembly of the Pagbabago Movement will be on the basis of nodal clusters. A cluster of nodes may consist of at least 25 or more affinity nodes. They will then choose, in a process of their own design, their representative to the National Assembly of the Pagbabago Movement.

Criteria for Individual Membership

Aspiring Pagbabago groups can accept individual members on the following basis.

The applicant has read and agrees with the Kartilya of the Pagbabago Movement. The applicant has read and supports the agreements as embodied in this document regarding the building of the movement. The applicant wants to work with others to achieve the vision, mission, and goals of Pagbabago. The applicant begins the process of grounding his or her social activism in inner transformation through a path of her or his own choosing.

Criteria for Establishing a Pagbabago Node

Individuals can come together and establish an affinity group within the Pagbabago Movement. They can do this under the following conditions.

The individual members all satisfy the criteria for individual membership. At least 25 individuals come together to form the node. Only a maximum of 150 individuals can compose a node. Beyond the maximum number, the existing members can encourage others who want to join to form another node. This will achieve better communication and effectiveness. This node or individuals in the node have conducted at least one major activity that advances the vision, mission, and goals of Pagbabago. The group submits, in writing, its intention of joining the Pagbabago Movement. The letter of application should state the reasons why it wants to join Pagbabago and gives a list of its founding members and their contact information. The group pays a fee of P1000 to help cover the cost of processing its membership application and to help cover other costs including educational materials and communications. Thereafter, the newly accepted node then pays an annual membership fee of P1000. These node membership contributions will be crucial in enabling the movement to independent decisions, free from the vested interests of powerful sectors of Philippine society.

Rights of Individual Members and Nodes

Individual members and nodes have the following rights:

Access to and participate in the pagbabago egroup and other events designed for general participation. Pursue any activity it may wish as long as these are not in violation of the identity of the Pagbabago Movement. Participate, as an individual, in the decision-making processes of the node. Participate, as a node, in the decision-making processes of the movement as provided for in this document.

Responsibilities of Individual Members and Nodes

Individuals and nodal members have the following responsibilities.

Uphold the identity of the Pagbabago movement. Pursue actively the principles, values, vision, mission and goals of Pagbabago. Start and continue the process of self-transformation and self-education in connection with the Philippine situation and the Kartilya of the Pagbabago Movement.

Failure to uphold the identity of the movement, prolonged inactivity, or failure to pay its annual dues can result in the removal of an individual member or a group from the movement. In the case of an individual, the affinity group will make this decision. In the case of the group, the National Assembly of the movement will make the decision.

Criteria for Membership of a Node or a Cluster of Nodes in the National Assembly of the Pagbabago Movement

A Pagbabago node or a cluster of nodes has to fulfill only one requirement before it can potentially become a member of the National Assembly. It should be able to:

Demonstrate, within three months of its acceptance as a Pagbabago node, its effectiveness at the local level in maintaining the identity and pursuing the vision, mission, and goals of the Pagbabago movement.

The National Assembly will make the final determination whether to include the representative of a node or a cluster of nodes as part of the Assembly or not. It shall make this decision no later than 6 months after the acceptance of the group as a Pagbabago node or a cluster of nodes.


The pagbabago movement encourages the different nodes to provide for their own needs through voluntary contribution from members or through donations from other individuals and institutions.

The more the movement is able to raise its own funds within itself, the stronger it will be. The movement will be taking up educational and advocacy positions that may run counter to powerful interests in society. It will therefore need to have its own internal sources of funding to avoid caving in to financial and other forms of pressure from powers interested in perpetuating the decline of Philippine society.

Pagbabago Foundation

At the national level, the movement will create its own Pagbabago Foundation. It will legally incorporate this Foundation to enable it to raise large amounts of funds necessary to achieve its mission, goals and programs. Among others, it will be responsible for receiving membership dues and accounting for the disbursement of membership dues and other funds raised in behalf of the movement.

The sole objective of the Pagbabago Foundation will be to fund the needs of the movement as a whole. The Execom of the National Assembly will constitute the Trustees of the Pagbabago Foundation.


Such is the nature, the task, and the organization of the Pagbabago Movement. The movement encourages individuals interested in forming pagbabago nodes and nodes interested in becoming a member of the National Assembly to take a close look at this document and the Kartilya of the Pagbabago Movement.

The Kartilya and this document provide the social coherence necessary for each and every one of us to awaken to the true realities of our inner and social situation and, out of this realization, unite to create a new Philippines.



The Pagbabago Movement
Gabriel III, Room 402
San Miguel Avenue, Pasig
Metro Manila
Telephone: 633-6436 loc. 104

Last updated January 07, 2003 06:22 PM
Copyright 2001 All rights reserved.