The Caucus of Development Non-Government Organization Networks (CODE-NGO) enjoins the Filipino public to keep the spirit of the 1986 EDSA Uprising alive by putting ordinary people at the front and center of local development and local autonomy – ideals, among many others, that figure prominently in the 1987 Constitution, as they facilitate the fulfillment of the rights and freedoms restored by this ongoing democratic project.

In February 1986, millions of Filipinos marched to the streets, in the hope of breathing new life into a democracy that had been suppressed under more than a decade of martial law. While the most famous of these uprisings happened along EDSA, a major thoroughfare in Metro Manila, mass demonstrations also took place in other urban centers, such as Baguio, Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, and Davao. Before the events of 1986, the struggle for democracy was fought in these cities, as well as other urban and rural fronts.

Today, the nation is witnessing a turbulent era of widening political divisions and economic inequality. Amidst these troubles, the fact remains that in a survey conducted by SWS in November 2022, the results show that more than 60 percent of Filipinos still believe that the spirit of EDSA continues to live on. This is a good sign. Beyond mere nostalgia, we are all invited to revisit that one point in our history, when Filipinos shared bread together, prayed together, and fought together to defeat tyranny, domestic or otherwise.

In our remembrance, we are all called to live out the soul of people power in every area and space of political decision-making. We need not look far in this effort. Our local communities are sites of collective articulation and action. Every community that is capable of expressing its grievances and hopes, every community that can successfully mobilize its people and other resources for a noble aspiration – they contribute to the realization of people power and the fulfillment of the basic prerequisites of our human dignity across the board.

As the offspring of the democratic optimism that spread across the nation in the aftermath of the 1986 EDSA Uprising, CODE-NGO remains strongly committed to that cause, believing that real social development can only flourish in a just and humane society where our human rights and fundamental freedoms are respected, upheld, and fulfilled.

Mabuhay ang diwa ng EDSA! Mabuhay ang people power! Mabuhay ang lakas ng lokal! (Long live the spirit of EDSA! Long live people power! Long live local energy!)


The Caucus of Development Non-Government Organization Networks (CODE NGO) is the largest coalition of non-government organizations, people’s organizations, and cooperatives in the Philippines working for social development. It has 12 national and regional networks representing more than 1,600 NGOs, people’s organizations, and cooperatives throughout the country.