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Participatory Local

Mar Anthony Balani
BA Political Science IV
Laurence Obaob
BA Political Science IV

What is Governance
According to the UNDP governance can be seen as the
exercise of economic, political and administrative
authority to manage a countrys affairs at all levels. It
comprises the mechanisms, processes and institutions
through which citizens and groups articulate their
interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their
obligations and mediate their differences.

As an act of steering towards people's development,

Governance is a multifaceted compound situation of
institutions, systems, structures, processes, procedures,
practices, relationships, and leadership behaviour in the
exercise of social, political, economic, and managerial /
administrative authority in the running of public or private
affairs. (Kauzya, n.d.)

What is Local Governance

"local governance" refers to the exercise of authority at local
community level
Local governance does not make reference to local government or local
populations alone. It refers to a situation where what ever governance
actor does is planned, implemented, maintained, evaluated, and
controlled with the needs, priorities, interests, participation, and well
being of the local population as the central and guiding consideration.
(Kauzya, n.d.)

In this sense governance ceases to be a matter of

government only. It is a situation of multiple inter-linkages
and relationships in which different and various actors in
the public and private sectors as well as civil society at
local, national and international levels play different roles
sometimes mutually conflicting and sometimes mutually
reinforcing and complementary focusing on satisfying the
interests of the local community.

What is good governance

According to the UNDP, Good governance is, among other
things, participatory, transparent and accountable. It is also
effective and equitable, and it promotes the rule of law. It
ensures that political, social and economic priorities are
based on broad consensus in society and that the voices of
the poorest and the most vulnerable are heard in decisionmaking over the allocation of development resources.

Characteristics of Good
Participation: All men and women have a voice in decisionmaking, either directly or through legitimate intermediate
institutions that represent their interests.
Rule of law: Legal frameworks are fair and enforced
impartially, particularly the laws on human rights; public
security and safety are at a high level.
Transparency: Transparency is built on the free flow of
Responsiveness: Institutions and processes serve all

Consensus orientation: Differing interests are mediated to reach

broad consensus on what is the common good, in the best interests
of the organization, community or country and, where possible, on
policies and procedures.
Equity: All men and women have opportunities to improve or
maintain their well-being and the vulnerable and excluded are
targeted to provide security of well-being to all.
Effectiveness and efficiency: Processes and institutions produce
results that meet needs while making the best use of resources.
Accountability: Decision-makers in government, the private
sector and civil society organizations are accountable to the public
and specific constituencies, as well as to institutional stakeholders.

Strategic vision: Leaders and the public share a broad and longterm perspective on the good of society, good governance and
human development, along with a sense of what is needed for
such development.
Legitimacy: Authority is legitimate in terms of the established
legal and institutional framework and specific decisions in terms
of the accepted institutional criteria, processes and procedures.
Resource prudence: Resources are managed and used with a
view to optimizing the well-being of people over several
generations, ideally in perpetuity, without mortgaging the future.
Ecological soundness: The environment is protected and
regenerated to ensure sustainable self-reliance.

Empowering and enabling approaches: All actors in

society are empowered to pursue legitimate goals, and
enabling environments are created to optimize their
success and the realization of the well-being of all.
Partnership: involves institutionalized mechanisms and
processes for working in partnerships of public, private
and civic actors in conducting the business of governance
at all levels.
Spatial grounding in communities: puts people at the
center and empowers them to be self-reliant, selforganizing and self-managing, building on the autonomy of
local communities.

Characteristics of Good
Rule of law
Transparency Responsiveness
Consensus orientation Equity
Effectiveness and efficiency Accountability
Strategic vision Legitimacy
Resource prudence Ecological soundness
Empowering and enabling approaches
Spatial grounding in communities

Good Local Governance

1. Inclusive citizens participation leading to empowerment and

2. Accountability resulting in strengthening of legitimacy;
3. Transparency and integrity;
4. Fair and consensual conflict management within the ambit of
the law and for the purpose of increasing social cohesion;
5. Operational efficiency; and
6. Value creation or positive socio-economic and environmental
impact, especially for the poor.

Importance of Peoples Participation in

Local Governance
The Canadian-assisted Local Government Support Program
(LGSP) advanced the following reasons for promoting peoples
Participation helps the LGU maximize the use of their
Participation reduces the likelihood of contentious
confrontation before the LGU;
Participation enhances trust in Government;
Participation ensures continuity of plans despite changes in

Participation helps in:

o Accurate identification of problems, issues, needs and
concerns (PINCs);
o Proper identification of programs and projects;
o Proper identification of the needed legislative action;
o Building stakeholders support and ownership of the
Executive-Legislative Agenda.

Local Governance: Decentralization

Political discretion means that the local government has
autonomy over the non-elected local government and is
influenced by the institutional arrangements for the separation
of powers among the executive, legislature and judicial bodies.
Administrative discretion refers to the ability of the
government to regulate, procure goods and services that are
essential for the service provision and to make civil service and
employment decisions.
Fiscal discretion means that local governments have adequate
revenues for service provision and is affected by the systems of
intergovernmental transfers and restrictions on borrowing and
revenue collection by the local government.

IV. Legal Framework for Participatory

Local Governance
A. Democratization and Decentralization
B. The 1987 Philippine Constitution
1. Article 2 Section 23
2. Article 8 Section 15 and 16
3. DILG Memorandum Circular 2001-89

According to Charles Hauss:
democratization is the process where a country adopts a democratic
Why is there a need for democratization?
According to R.J. Rummel:
people are all in nature equal, that it is a natural right that people
govern themselves, that they be free in a democratic sense. Since each
person is an individual with free will and is equal in this sense to any
other individual, the only system of natural governance is one in which
all individuals collectively rule themselves.

According to the UNDP.
the restructuring or reorganization of authority so
that there is a system of co-responsibility between
institutions of governance at the central, regional and local
levels according to the principle of subsidiarity

It includes:

Participatory Local Governance as Mandated in

the 1987 Philippine Constitution

Article II Section 23
The State shall encourage non-governmental,
community-based, or sectoral organizations that promote
the welfare of the nation

1987 Philippine Constitution..

Article VIII Sections 15
The State shall respect the role of independent peoples
organizations to enable the people to pursue and protect,
within the democratic framework, their legitimate and
collective interests and aspirations through peaceful and
lawful means

1987 Philippine Constitution..

Article VIII Sections 16
The right of the people and their organizations to
effective and reasonable participation at all levels of social,
political, and economic decision-making shall not be
The State shall, by law, facilitate the establishment of
adequate consultation mechanisms

V. Civil Society Participation in





(POLITY) Policy-making, democratic

governance upholding justice and equity
among citizens


(ECONOMY) mutually beneficial production

and distribution of goods and services to meet
the physical needs of human beings


(CULTURE) development of social and spiritual

concerns of human beings for the advancement
of knowledge, clarity and coherence of values,
and to advocate the public interest

VI. Venues for Peoples Participation in Local Governance

Local Special Bodies

Partnerships between LGUs and NGOs/POs
Initiative and Referendum
Prior Mandatory Consultation
Local Sectoral Representatives

Local Special Bodies

tasked to formulate policy recommendation, develop plans, and propose measures
to guide legislation and help steer local governments

Examples are:
local health board
local peace and order councils
local school boards,
local pre-qualification
bids and awards committee
local development council

Partnerships between LGUs and

includes joint tasks, ventures, and capability building
programs and partnerships among the local government
units, non-government organizations/ peoples
organizations for the pursuit of local autonomy

Initiative and Referendum

Through this, the local citizens are empowered to
participate in the legislation process through providing a
means for people to pass key legislation directly rather than
through local legislatures or Congress.

Prior Mandatory Consultation

The local government unit must seek public opinion
through facilitating public consultations mandatory in the
planning and implementation of any project or program by
government or private sector and in vital decisions by the

Local Sectoral Representatives

This enables local sectoral representation in the local
legislative assemblies (provincial, municipal and city
councils) in order to give voice and uphold the interests of
the different sectors in the society especially the marginal


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and Experiences in African

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Community Actions Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural
Development (ANGOC)

Stewart, J. 2003. Participatory Governance, Power and Public Management, in NIG [National Institute for
Governance], Facing the Future: Engaging
stakeholders and citizens in developing public
policy, NIG, University of Canberra, Canberra.

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UNDP-Government of Germany (1999). Decentralization: A Sampling of Definitions. Accessed last Jan. 30, 2016 from:

UNDP, Decentralized Governance Programme: Strengthening Capacity for People-Centered Development,

Management Development and Governance
Division, Bureau for Development Policy, September 1997,
p. 4

UNDP, Reconceptualizing Governance, Discussion paper 2 of 1997

What is local governance? (2013) Accessed last January 30, 2016 from: http://go.worldbank.org/NP6Y9WS4C0
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