The Center for Local and Regional Governance (CLRG) published the Local Government in the Philippines: A Book of Readings. Out in March 2013, the book is the fourth and latest volume in this series.
Edited by Dr. Remigio D. Ocenar, Director of CLRG, and Dr. Proserpina Domingo-Tapales, retired faculty of the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) of the University of the Philippines (UP) and three-time director of the CLRG or the then Local Government Center, the book comes with 20 articles written by the brilliant minds of NCPAG faculty and graduate students and CLRG technical staff.
Starting in 1998, the Center has already come up with three volumes of Local Government in the Philippines: A Book of Readings. The first volume looked on the general topic of “Local Administration” (1998), the second took stock of “Current Issues in Governance” (1998), while the third sharply focused on “Concepts and Practices in Decentralization” (2002).
This fourth volume in the series concerns “New Directions in Local Governance.” The editors of the book chose the subject because current developments—global and local—call for different solutions to problems of governance. Like the earlier volumes, the fourth volume contains old classical materials and recent papers concerning local government and administration.
The new book starts with an explanation of the nature of local government and how it affects the emerging structures of Philippine local governance in response to rapidly changing times. Chapter 1 tells the story about the conversion of three municipalities into a city through amalgamation and presents the case of restructuring through metropolitan governance as answer to the need for area-wide cooperation.
Chapter 2 puts emphasis on the smallest unit of local government, the barangay. It discusses the history and evolution of the barangay, then goes into the current structure by looking at barangay planning and budgeting, and explores the issue of participatory budgeting at the grassroots level.
Local Finance and Accountability are discussed in Chapter 3. It looks at accountability initiatives in Philippine local governance, presents the case of regulation in a city in Metro Manila, and argues for institutionalization of Geographic Information System (GIS) in real property administration in six cities.
Chapter 4 delves on the delivery of selected local services. The first paper is on agricultural extension while the other papers deal with automation in a highly urbanized city, inter-local cooperation, and issues on water service delivery, making comparisons with Italy.
Chapter 5 tackles innovations in local government. The lead paper examines the needs of officials in several units. The next paper analyzes the concepts of reinventing government as an approach to public sector reform, while the succeeding paper presents a framework for implementing a volunteer program in local governments. Local government enterprise is discussed in a successful case study. The issue of federalism is reexamined in the next paper. The book ends with a thorough discussion on official development assistance (ODA).