Philippine Journal of Public Administration, Vol 49, No 1-2 (2005)

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Poverty Alleviation and Peace Building in Multiethnic Societies: The Need for Multiculturalist Governance in the Philippines

Macapado A. Muslim

Abstract


No different from most of the countries in the world, the Philippines is culturally diverse with its people differing in ethnicity, religion and language. Similarly, it also shares the problems of effectively managing the challenges of cultural diversity. The Philippine government's approach of assimilation of ethnocultural minorities to mainstream society has proven unsuccessful, as evidenced by the long and ongoing Moro secessionist struggle. And without peace, there is no development-the four provinces in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) where armed struggle continues are the country's poorest provinces. This study identifies the efforts of the government in managing cultural diversity; however it also stresses that current efforts are not enough and significant steps should be taken by the Philippines towards a multiculturalist governance, a cultural diversity-friendly political formula whose ends are peace and development.