Obstacles to Empowerment: Local Politics and Community Organizing in Metro Manila
In Metro Manila, pervasive social distrust has fostered a vicious circle in which lack of positive change deepens mutual suspicion between state, community and private sector actors, thus perpetuating acrimonious relations. Of course, local politicians have political incentives to undertake community improvement programs as well such efforts are a necessary part of building and maintaining an electoral constituency. The Americans arrived in the Philippines after winning control of the colony in the Spanish-American War with the stated intention of pursuing a more benevolent form of colonialism. In Bangkok, a more centralized government framework has created both obstacles to and opportunities for participation by urban CBOs. As implemented in the case of Porto Alegre, the process begins with open assemblies in different regions of the city, at which priorities for city budget allocations are discussed.