26 July 2006

As if the national government does not exist

OF COURSE it does, but the way national politics is being played out in Imperial Manila has made it more of a deadweight. We will be better off, I used to tell myself and some correspondents in Manolo Quezon's widely popular blog, if we assume that this administration that has been the source of our embarassment does not exist.

Yesterday, I said the same thing before an audience who braved the rains and attended the Policy Dialogue on Human Security and Governance at the UP Bahay Kalinaw. It was second in a series being organized by the UP Third World Studies Center, focusing on the topic "Access to Participation of Marginalized Sectors Under the Local Government Code of 1991."

I was there to discuss Naga's efforts to engage its constituents in governance, which is the core concept in the expanded view of human security. But when asked what I thought of President Arroyo's thrust to fasttrack the development of four "super regions" in the country as highlighted in her SONA, I said I am keeping my fingers crossed. While it might be probable that Ms. Arroyo will pull it off in a positive way, it is also highly probable that she will not.

But rather than pin our hopes on these, which may or may not come, Naga will be better off pursuing its own path to development, using its own local resources and IRA entitlements, leveraging its built reputation as an innovator, tapping alternative funding sources here and abroad, and most importantly, optimizing the capabilities of its people. Collectively, these strategies have brought what used to be a faceless, nondescript, landlocked city in South Luzon into what it is today.

And that
, to my mind, is what local autonomy is all about.

2 comments:

UP Third World Studies Center said...

Dear Mr. Prilles,

I'm Joel F. Ariate Jr. of the Third World Studies Center. I'm the one in charge of the Center's blog. I was scanning the blogosphere and I came about your entry on our policy dialogue series. Maybe you would like to put this link http://uptwsc.blogspot.com/2006/07/access-to-participation-of.html
in your entry on the policy dialogue series. The Center will very much appreciate it.


Best regards,

Joel F. Ariate Jr.

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Done, Joel. And thanks for dropping by.:)