NGOs Participation in Local Governance in the Philippines
Thesis DisciplinePolitical Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis is concerned with Local Government Unit - Nongovernmental Organizations (LGU-NGOs) partnership in local governance in the Philippines as embodied in the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the Local Government Code of 1991. The main objective is to examine the most effective relationship between the LGU and the NGOs as well as where collaboration is most necessary. This is undertaken by experimentally evaluating the validity of four hypotheses on LGU-NGOs relations. The first hypothesis is that effective LGU-NGOs relationships are hardly felt or visibly seen despite the existing mechanisms. The second hypothesis is that opportunities for NGOs to participate are great; however, participation has not been realized. The third hypothesis examines whether larger LGUs are more effective in addressing the needs of their constituents, taking into consideration the presence of NGOs as conduits between the LGUs and the ordinary citizens. The fourth hypothesis examines whether larger LGUs are more effective in cooperating with NGOs because of the substantial resources and staff that they can utilize to reach out to them. In case studies of two LGUs in the Philippines, one larger and one smaller, the evidence largely verified the first two hypotheses while the last two hypotheses established a conclusion. First, it is found that NGOs have not participated at all in the planning process, although a number of NGOs have been involved in the implementation of programs, projects and activities (PPAs), ordinary citizens do not feel there is an LGU-NGO partnership. Second, the Local Special Bodies (LSBs) do not regularly conduct the mandated meetings, so that the NGOs have not participated in basic policy-making processes in the LGUs. Resources of NGOs do not indicate effective participation although the LGUs utilize the NGOs in the implementation of PPAs. Third, although the smaller LGU provided money to a number of NGOs, this did not ensure their participation, which shows that the NGOs were not accountable for the money they were given. As expressed by ordinary citizens, both the LGUs and the NGOs engage in patronage and influence peddling in providing services. Fourth, the size of the LGU does not indicate effective cooperation with NGOs. Although NGOs in the larger municipality have stronger views than in the smaller municipality, size of the NGOs does not determine effective ii participation. The size of the LGU does not matter in multi-sectoral policy making such as those in the Municipal Development Council (MDC) and Municipal Peace and Order Council (MPOC) since policy formulation is less focused and more complex and that seems to be introducing barriers to participation. Although sector-specific NGOs are more involved in the Municipal Health Board and Municipal School Board in the larger municipality, NGOs in the smaller municipality have a hard time participating.