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A Survey of Literature on Philippine Decentralization

This paper surveys literature on Philippine decentralization to gather insights as well as distill facts emerging from the evidence on local government performance and development. Evidence has shown that certain activities used to perpetuate patronage and dynasties (also called family networks) such as coercion through vote-buying (also defined as clientelistic goods) were found to affect the provision and, in one case, negatively affect the quality of public services. Publicly provided private goods, such as social services, are preferred by voters or are distributed by incumbent politicians who are members of political dynasties facing their last term in office. Given the scant evidence on Philippine decentralization, the discussion fortifies the need for further research including examining and quantifying the effects of institutional and political economy variables on local government revenue mobilization and expenditures. For institutional reasons behind varied LGU performance, much has already been written on the limitations of the provisions of the 1991 Local Government Code. The presence of poverty and income inequality should be considered in revising institutional mandates and designing appropriate policy interventions.


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