Local Development Planning in the Philippines

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at the Local Level

A report by:

Sheryl I. Fernando

“Local governments do not have the luxury d of time to delay the development of their de own capabilities whic will allow them to ch achieve their cherishe objectives. ed They should help them mselves and not stagnate while the rest of the world go by. st Local governments he elping themselves is the essence of the home ru It is also the ule. cornerstone of democr ratic and just institutions. “ ‐‐ LOGODEF, 1993

“Local governments in the Philippines have th roots in the colonial administration of Spain, heir which lasted in the Philippines for some 32 years. These three centuries under Spanish 27 government were characterized by a highly ce entralized regime. The Spanish Governor General in Manila actually governed the provinces and cities in the whole country. After Spain, the US d came in the early 1900s and Filippinized local government administration. g The last 50 years of the present century saw several developments towards decentralization. The Local Autonomy Act of 1959, the passage of the Barrio Charter and the Decentralization Act o of 1967 were all incremental national legisla ations in response to the clamour for a self‐rule concept. The Philippine Constitutions of 1972 and 1987 also significantly influenced the movement for political devolution. The most significant constitutional provisions (Article 10 on Local Government) are the following: s The Congress shall enact a local government code which shall provide for a more responsive and accountable local government structure instituted through a system of s decentralization with effective mechanisms of recall, initiative n and referendum allocate among the different local government m, units their powers, responsibilities and resources and provide for the qualificati ions, election, appointment, removal, terms, salaries, power functions and duties of local officials and all rs, other matters relating to the organization and operation of the r local units".

The legislative initiative promoting local auto onomy was strongly supported by academics and public servants who spearheaded the nec cessary reforms in changing the structure and organization of local governments and includ new functions to enable local governments to ded address a changing environment. The strugg for decentralization that lasted more than 50 gle years culminated in the passage of the Loca Government Code in October 1991. The Local al Government Code is a most comprehensiv document on local government touching on ve structures, functions and powers, including tax xation and intergovernmental relations.” ‐‐unescap.org

According to Panadero (2008) the dece entralization of governance was influenced  by local  and international events (see Figure e 1). He also added that at the International

Internat tional Events POSITIVE ‐Technological Advances ‐ Globalization crisis ‐ Trade/Investment liberalization ‐ Poverty focus flu) Political • 3 changes in  administration • EDSA II & III • Increase Insurgency • Terrorism • Charter Change • Political Uncertainty NEGATIVE ‐ Episodes of world economic Slowdown & economic ‐ Rising oil prices ‐ Terrorism ‐ Heath problems (e.g. SARS,

Eco onomic • Boom bu ust economic  growth/cr rises • Liberaliza ation/  Deregular rization  Policies • Rising Ur rbanization • OFW Deployment • Fiscal & d debt problems DECENT TRALIZATION

Social • Persistent poverty • Lower budget  allocation For social services • Rising inequality • Disasters

Figure 1. Economic, Social & Political Environme ent in the Last Years of Decentralization

level, globalization has the most pervasive influence on the decentralization, which was hastened by trade and investment liberalization and technological advances. On the Social Sector, there was a focus on the reduction of poverty; on the Economic Sector, the new international issues such as terrorism had positive and negative impacts at the local level, while the...
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