Wigberto Ebarle Tañada Lead Convenor

Former Senator Wigberto Ebarle Tañada plays a vital role in Philippine politics and in civil society movements.

As Senator (1987-1995) and as the Congressional Representative of the Fourth District of Quezon Province (1995-2001), he authored and co-authored significant bills strengthening the Commission on Human Rights; democratizing control and access to fishery and aquatic resources; and supporting the cause of marginalized sectors.

As a real Nationalist, Ka Bobby led the “Magnificent 12” senators in voting against the continued stay of the US military bases in 1991, voted against the Senate ratification of the GATT-WTO Treaty in 1994, and called for the rejection of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) in 1999.

Ka Bobby is the Lead Convenor of the Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade) and the Chairperson of Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM). He is also the Chairperson of the Agrarian Justice Foundation, Inc., and of the Philippine Working Group on the ASEAN Mechanism for Human Rights; trustee of International Alert, and member of the Movement of Attorneys for Brotherhood, Integrity and nationalism Inc. (MABINI). He is a former president of the Liberal Party (LP).

Among the awards and citations he has received are: Gawad Makatao from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines; Makatao Award from the Urban Poor Solidarity; Gawad Gomburza from the Kapatirang Gomburza; Outstanding in the Field of Nationalism, for being the people’s conscience, from Senate reporters; Outstanding and Fearless Legislative Leadership Award from the Progressive Alliance of Citizens for Democracy; Outstanding in the Anti-Bases and Anti-Nuclear Struggle; Hall of Fame for Outstanding Economic Nationalist from the Nationalist Economic Protectionism Association; and Outstanding Filipino for Government and Public Service from the Philippine Jaycees Senate and the Insular Life Assurance Inc.’s Ten Outstanding Filipinos Award.

Ka Bobby was born on August 13, 1934 in Quezon. He is the son of the Great Nationalist Lorenzo Tañada and Expidita Ebarle. He took his Bachelor of Laws from the Manuel L. Quezon University and obtained his Masters of Laws at Harvard University.

Ka Bobby is married to Azucena Reyes of Malolos, Bulacan and is a proud father of their four children, Lorenzo Tañada, III, Wigberto Tañada, Jr., Teresa Palanca and Cristina Avila.

Ka Bobby Tañada in 2001 Elections
Ka Bobby at the Liberal Party Website
Biodata of Ka Bobby


Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo
Executive Director

Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo is a Filipino, with three children and with a feminist wife.

Dr. Ofreneo worked his way from elementary to college. Elementary: fish hawker, peanut vendor, theater cleaner, lavandero, fuel gatherer, babysitter, farm assistant; high school: bookkeeper; college: espasol maker, student assistant, movie reviewer, editorial assistant.

Having known poverty throughout his student life, Dr. Ofreneo has been a consistent advocate of a pro-poor government. This is reflected in the numerous visioning conferences he conducted in the l980s and l990s for various labor and peasant organizations in the country and in publications such as the Labor’s Legislative Agenda (l987) and Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (l989). He was active in the student movement (early l970s) and has not lost interest in the struggle for a democratic society.

At the same time, Dr. Ofreneo is a firm believer in deepening the country’s agro- industrial structure and in furthering human resources development as the ultimate sources of redemption for the Filipino working masses. This philosophical economic outlook has been his guidepost in his work as the economic consultant since l988 of former Senator Wigberto E. Tanada. This was also his guide in his consultancy work from the l990s up to the present for the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), particularly in ECOP’s advocacy program for a more forward-looking strategy in relation to the economic crisis as well as in instilling corporate social responsibility and adopting best IR/HR practices among Philippine-based companies in order to survive and expand in a globalizing economic environment.

Dr. Ofreneo is one of the country’s leading scholars on labor and industrial relations issues. He contributed the Philippine chapter in the two-volume APEC HRM Handbook (2003). A prolific researcher and writer, he is also a much-sought after lecturer on globalization, agro-industrial development, labor-management cooperation, handling of labor disputes and employee discipline, voluntary arbitration and industrial relations transformation. He was Dean for three terms of the UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations and served as Undersecretary of Labor and Employment in l997-98.Since 2000, Dr. Ofreneo has been advising the Asia-Pacific Regional Organization (APRO) of the Union Network International (UNI), the world’s largest service sector labor confederation. He is also a Trustee of the Asia-Monitor Resource Center (AMRC), a Hongkong-based labor NGO monitoring labor developments in Asia, including mainland China and the transition states in Indochina.

These days, most of his energies are consumed by his work as Executive Director of the Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade), a multi-sectoral alliance waging a campaign for just and fair trade for the Philippines in the context of the need to develop a balance, progressive and sustainable national economy.

(updated July 09, 2007)


  1. I am a retired nurse from New York. A few months after retiring I visited my birthplace and decided to volunteer in the community. I organized a non government organization “Maripipi Progressive Movement, Inc” to help the idle women in the community. We make handmade cloth dolls. I want to sell more but where can I get certified for my product?

    • ruth


      I am Ruth, a member of PATAMABA, an organization in the Philippines working with women organizations. Marketing is a big factor in livelihood projects. That has been also our primary problem. We have to see the products and the capital that we have. Then identify who can be our target buyers. Often with limited capital, our market should be at the community. But community selling becomes competition by the members when each one starts to sell. Stealing of customers, lowering prices, selling on credit happens. We start with educating our members. One of our trainings include business permits, DTI, TRADE Name, and sources of income. BFAD is needed for food. It depends on production, because it is also an expensive tedious process…so it should be worth it..

      Is your organization still active?

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  1. 1 Downloadables: reflection papers from Dr. Rene Ofreneo « FairTradeWeb

    […] 3, 2007 in Downloadables, ASEAN, Resources Two reflection papers from Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo on ASEAN and investments available for […]

  2. 2 Trade rep bill timely, says FairTrade « FairTradeWeb

    […] Jul 11, 2007 in Legislative, News THE Fair Trade Alliance hails the decision of the House of Representatives’ Secretariat recommending the passage of the bill creating the Philippine Trade Representative Office (PTRO). “The PTRO seeks to provide policy coherence and consistency in varied trade talks,” says Wigberto Tañada, Lead Convenor of the Alliance. […]

  3. 3 Strategic aviation, tourism dev’t urged « FairTradeWeb

    […] forum on Open Skies sponsored by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, FTA lead convenor Wigberto Tañada stressed that their alliance is not against economic liberalization per se but stressed, “We […]

  4. 4 Strategic aviation, tourism dev’t urged | Fair Open Skies

    […] forum on Open Skies sponsored by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, FTA lead convenor Wigberto Tañada stressed that their alliance is not against economic liberalization per se but stressed, “We are […]

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