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Cities at the Forefront of Resilience and Sustainable Development: The Imperative to Restructure Philippine Decentralisation

Authors / Editors: Gera, Weena Jade S.


ABSTRACT

With the growing global discourse on the urgency of the urban resilience agenda, the capacities of cities for governance have become a salient matter in sustainable development analysis. Specifically in the context of developing regions, cities are faced with ever more complex intersections of different dimensions of vulnerability. This paper revisits the Philippine decentralization policy and its continued relevance to capacitating the country’s cities in managing disaster risks, particularly disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. It examines the interplay of institutional and political factors governing: 1) intergovernmental allocation of mandate and sharing of financial resources; and 2) intergovernmental coordination of accountability structures. It identifies failure factors in the current institutional framework and illustrates how these continue to constrain emerging city governance practices and initiatives. The paper argues that the country’s existing devolution system vis-à-vis deeply embedded intergovernmental political contradictions render city governance crippled in urban crisis management, compelling for a serious policy restructuring anchored to the integration and expansion of authorities for local governance.


Remarks

This paper was presented at the EROPA (Eastern Regional Organization for Public Administration) Conference on “Modernization of Governance: Reforms and Good Practices in Emerging Markets”, 17-21 (18) October 2015, Shanghai, China.