Decentralization: Governance from Below

Alex B. Brillantes


This paper discusses decentralization as a process designed to bring about more effective and responsive governance from below. It raises issues that are currently being confronted by theorists and practitioners of local government administration and relates this to the broader concerns of the Philippine state. With the general objective of contributing to the discourse and debate on governance and decentralization, the paper also identifies concerns that have to be addressed in the continuing search for more effective and responsive politico-administrative institutions at the local level. The paper finds that the Local Government Code of 1991 has provided the policy infrastructure that could operationalize the concept of active citizenship. However, proper implementation of the Code is necessary in order to effectively strengthen and capacitate local governments, as well as to allow non-government and people’s organizations to work in tandem with the government in providing services to the people, especially in areas where the government is weak and incapable.

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