The Philippines has been blessed with a variety of assets that can be drawn upon for development, including a dynamic and well educated people, a biologically rich and diverse environment, a location in the fast-growing East Asia region, and a very active civil society . It has great potential for rapid development, but it has remained one that has yet to be fully realized. The country has been overtaken by many East Asian countries in terms of growth and development. Undoubtedly, improvements in the quality of life of the people have lagged significantly behind other East Asian countries and inequality remains high. The World Bank explained the contrast between the country’s potential and its actual development outcomes as a result of the limited ability of public institutions to resist influence by special interests and to work effectively for the common good. This has created a vicious cycle of weak public services, lack of trust in the government, and an unwillingness to provide adequate resources to it.
The Philippines faces a crisis of poor governance. In the political arena, the country is in what has been described as a “democratic recession” characterized by widespread corruption, abuse of power, lack of transparency and accountability, inefficiency, constricting space for people participation, and weakening of democratic institutions (such as the COMELEC, Ombudsman, Judiciary, check and balance between the Executive and the Legislative, etc) .
This paper aims to provide an overview on the problem of governance in the Philippines and present an agenda to strengthen public institutions and the practice of governance.
Continue reading the MGG Policy Paper on Governance and Corruption (First Draft).