Sustainable Housing for the World’s Urban Masses: Incrementalism and the Policy Innovation Imperative
Haydee Jacklyn M. Quintana Malubay (University of the Philippines)
Proof of the global housing urban challenge is glaringly manifest in the data that oneseventh of the world population visibly lives in slums unfit for human habitation,
wallowing in abject poverty and blight. From the Philippine experience, the housing sector narrative is about the institution that traces its history back to the post-World War II period. It is currently under a coordinating council. Many contend that this is why most of its programs fail to deliver the committed results. Is a whole new law necessary to reinvent the housing council? This begs to be answered. Incrementalism is a Public Administration school of thought. This paper reviews incrementalism with new eyes, specifically on how it can ensure modest gains for sustainable housing when there is almost very little in proportion to the magnitude of the challenge.
This paper essentially digs deep into the author’s involvement, a member of the General Assembly of Partners, in the (1) United Nations Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016, (2) at the Preparatory Committee for UN Habitat III in Surabaya, Indonesia in July of 2016, and (3) the Urban Thinkers Campus in Geneva, Switzerland in October 2015. UN Habitat world conferences happen every twenty years. It sets world policies on housing and urban development. Incrementalism might not exactly result to the ideal but this paper contends that as a general direction towards policy innovation, it can make real the vision to start making a dent into this debilitating and ever-growing urban challenge in this dynamically-urbanizing world now more than half of humankind call home., and one-seventh sadly call homelessness.
The Capacity of Selected Higher Education Institutions and Training Institutions in DeliveringGovernance Education Programs
Ederson Delos Trino Tapia (University of Makati)
Currently, there has been no study yet on the existing capacities of GovEd institutions in the Philippines. It would be interesting to ask the questions, what are the existing capacities of these GovEd institutions? Do they have a high level of capacity, average level of capacity, or lower than average capacity to deliver GovEd programs/courses?
Moreover, what factors make for a higher level of capacity compared to those factors which effect a lower level of capacity among the GovEd institutions to be covered by the study? Also, in which capacity component or aspect are some GovEd institutions strong, and in which capacity component/aspect are some lacking or inadequate?
Do some of these GovEd institutions know their existing capacities? Are they aware of their strengths and of their weaknesses? Do they make some efforts to measure their strengths/weaknesses as well as venture into some ways and means of measuring other GovEd institutions’ strengths/weaknesses for benchmarking purposes?
If these GovEd institutions are aware of their strengths/weaknesses, what have they been doing to sustain their strengths and to remedy their weaknesses? What problems do they encounter in building up their capacities? This paper addresses these questions and provides some initial recommendations on how some measures may be introduced to provide solutions to the problems identified.
From Reconstruction to Innovation: 65 years of NCPAG’s Role in Shaping the Discourse of PhilippinePublic Administration and Governance
Vincent Q. Silarde (University of the Philippines)
The paper is a historical accounting and valuation of the role of the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG), the first and premiere school of public administration in the Philippines, in shaping the academic and popular discourse on governance in the country and the internal and external factors that molded its intellectual foundations, focus and traditions since its birth in 1952. The focus of inquiry is on the development of the College’s academic, research, and extension programs in relation to the changing politico-economic landscape in the Philippines as bookmarked by the post-war reconstruction and postcolonial transition of the Philippine republic, the Marcos dictatorship, neoliberalism, and post-EDSA regimes, to name a few. It examines the dialogue and engagement that transpired between NCPAG and the broader systems of both academia and the Philippine nation-state around which the College defines its significance and existence. The concepts of discourse and episteme popularized by philosopher Michel Foucault are employed to perform an analysis on how and to what extent the College played an enabling role in introducing and propagating paradigms and practices in governance such as decentralization, corporate governance, new public management, and citizenship, among others. The same framework of analysis also allows for a profiling of the College’s identity and influence on Philippine social and political affairs across different historical junctures.
The Ifugao Rice Terraces World Heritage Site: The Need for Culture-Sensitive Conservation Strategies
Loreta Vivian R. Galima (Nueva Vizcaya State University)
The Ifugao Rice Terraces as a designated World Heritage Area which had for a time been listed on the danger list, had been the subject of serious restoration and conservation efforts by the national, provincial and local levels of the Philippine government in partnership with the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and some local interest groups. This study probes into the strategies pursued by the government in restoring and conserving the world heritage areas in Ifugao, clustered as: (1) the Nangadacan terraces cluster of Kiangan, (2) Batad rice terraces cluster of Banaue, (3) Bangaan rice terraces cluster, (4)Hungduan rice terraces cluster and the (5) Central Mayoyao rice terraces cluster. Through qualitative research, data on how the local and provincial government intend to pursue strategies in stemming the tide of environmental degradation and the proliferation of structures and other problems and issues concerning the heritage sites were collected. The issues and problems were identified through environmental scanning, face-to-face interviews with the people in the heritage areas and the officials of the province, down to the barangay (village) level. The whole research proceeded on grounded theory, employed theoretical sampling techniques in the selection of informants and key informants, and both non-participant and participant observation. The so-called attempt toward “disneyfication” as a means of preserving the heritage sites was met with enthusiasm for the “development” it promises, and dismay on the other hand, because of the perceived impending loss of identity and uniqueness of the heritage sites. Eventually, the people will have to look towards indigenizing conservation strategies to preserve the uniqueness of the heritage sites.
Ma. Victoria R. Raquiza, Ph.D. (University of the Philippines)
The Philippines is a development paradox: on the one hand, the country has experienced high growth rates in recent years, earning the reputation of being one of the fastest, emerging economies in the region. On the other hand, poverty and inequality levels remain high. In the last decade alone, the wealth of the richest clans have either doubled or tripled their wealth underscoring the fact that the gains of high economic growth have benefited only a few.
An important pathway out of poverty is structural transformation which necessitates boosting the productivity across all sectors and moving employment to the most dynamic sectors of the economy. In real terms, this means significant investment in agriculture and the manufacturing sector, including the micro-, small, medium enterprises. Unfortunately this has not happened because the government’s neoliberal policy framework of deferring to the private sector has prevented it from playing a more interventionist role in the economy in support of domestic manufacturers and micro and small entrepreneurs.
Because the laissez faire strategy, in place for the last thirty decades, has produced the development paradox of high growth rates simultaneous to high poverty levels, government has resorted to social protection schemes in order to somehow mitigate the worst consequences of macro-economic policies. That these schemes have broad clientelistic appeal to politicians have only added to its allure.
However, for as long as the country’s institutional and policy framework remains neoliberal, significant levels of poverty, hunger and inequality may remain staple features of the country’s development landscape as the country’s potential to significantly boost labor productivity growth remains unrealized.