shaping worldviews and igniting change



Marita Concepcion Castro Guevara  

of the

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Understanding poverty—its reduction and eventual elimination—calls for going beyond narrow income or consumption measures or strictly economic analyses, to incorporating the wealth of socio-cultural knowledge at hand. The rich sociological, anthropological, and psycho-social literature has for decades been filled with other data that shed light on poverty—its differential causes, expressions, and consequences in societies the world over.

Aside from drawing on wide-ranging analyses from the non-economic social sciences, multidimensional insights on poverty and its alleviation can be derived from the experiences of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and other civil society groups active in working with disadvantaged communities—and from poor people themselves.

Consider this statement from “Norma” who lives in the informal settlement of Payatas B in Quezon City, as obtained by researchers of the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC) of the Ateneo de Manila University (Guevara 2008):

Ang pinakainaasam-asam ko ay magkaroon ng permanenteng tirahan. Sana magkaroon kami ng katiyakan sa paninirahan, at mapasaamin ang lupang ito. Handa akong magbayad hanggang Php 500 kada buwan kung magkakaroon ng CMP [Community Mortgage Program] dito….Bukod sa permanenteng tirahan, sana magkaroon ng permanenteng trabaho ang mga anak ko. Gusto ko ring magkaroon ng malaki-laking puhunan para sa hanapbuhay. Kung mabigyan lang ako ng singkuwenta mil, magtatayo ako ng mas malaki at kumpletong sari-sari store. Iyon lang ang gusto ko—patinda-tinda. Kasi, parang pinakalibangan ko ang makita ang tatlong apo ko, at maalagaan sila.

(My greatest aspiration is to have permanent housing. I hope that we will have security of tenure, and that this land will become ours. I am prepared to pay up to Php 500 a month under the CMP [Community Mortgage Program] if such would be established here…. Aside from permanent housing, I wish for permanent jobs for my children. I would also like to obtain sizeable capital to start my own business. If only I would be given Php 50,000, I would build a larger sari-sari [variety] store than this one I am running, and sell more goods. That’s all I want—to be able to sell from my house. If this were so, I would be able to look after my three grandchildren, who are my greatest source of joy.)

To some from the middle and upper classes, these aspirations for permanent housing, security of land tenure, and sufficient and stable incomes are taken for granted. Not so for Norma, who represents the multitudes of poor people deprived of their basic right to a life of quality and dignity, and who are striving to eke out a living.

1Photo credit: Ed Gerlock (with his permission)

Macro poverty figures

 Official statistics show that poverty afflicts nearly one in four Filipinos (25.8%), and one in five Filipino households (20%). According to the most recent statistics released by the Philippine Statistical Authority (based on the 2014 Annual Poverty Indicators Survey [APIS]), the poverty incidence among Filipinos in the first semester of 2014 was estimated at 25.8 percent—marginally higher than the 24.6 percent poverty incidence among Filipinos recorded for the same period in 2013 (PSA 2015) (see Table 1). On the other hand, the poverty incidence among Filipino families according to the 2014 APIS was estimated at 20 percent—a slight increase from the 18.8 percent poverty incidence among Filipino families in the first semester of 2013 (Ibid.) (see Table 1). These families could not meet their basic food and non-food needs because their incomes fell below the official poverty threshold, estimated by the government in the first semester of 2014 to be PhP 8,778 a month for a family of five (Ibid).

Table 1. First Semester Per Capita Thresholds and Incidences: 2013 and 2014

Statistics Estimate Coefficient of Variation
1st sem 2013 a/ 1st sem 2014 b/ Increase/
Decrease (%)
1st sem 2013 a/ 1st sem 2014 b/
Per Capita Food Threshold (PhP) 6,712 7,350 9.5
Subsistence Incidence (%)
Families 7.5 7.6 6.5 6.8
Population 10.5 10.5 6.2 6.3
Per Capita Poverty Threshold (PhP) 9,630 10,534 9.4
Poverty Incidence (%)
Families 18.8 20.0 4.3 4.2
Population 24.6 25.8 4.0 3.9
Food Threshold for a Family of Five (PhP) 5,593 6,125 9.5
Poverty Threshold for a Family of Five (PhP) 8,025 8,778 9.4

Source: Philippine Statistics Authority; accessed in November 2015 from

In comparison, self-rated poverty ratings based on national surveys of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) reveal a much higher poverty incidence among Filipino families. In the Philippines, the SWS, a private survey research institute, has pioneered in the self-rated, bottom-up approach for poverty tracking in which survey respondents give their own interpretation of the word “poverty.” Based on a show card with the word “mahirap” (poor) at one end, “hindi mahirap” (not poor) at the other end, and a line in between—respondents simply point to where they think their own family falls (Mangahas 1999).

According to the September 2015 Social Weather Survey conducted using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults nationwide, 50 percent (estimated at 11 million) of families consider themselves mahirap or poor (SWS 2015) (see Chart 1).

Chart 1. Self-rated Poverty: Families who are “Mahirap,” Philippines, Apr 1983 to Sept 2015

2Source: Third Quarter 2015 Social Weather Report (September 2-5, 2015 National Survey); accessed in November 2015 from <>

The self-rated poverty incidence of 50 percent is almost twice higher than the official poverty incidence of 25.8 percent, last estimated by the government in the first semester of 2014. Comparing the time-series of self-rated poverty incidence (SWS surveys) with the time series of official poverty incidence (government) reveals that the former always registers roughly twice as many poor. This suggests that official, government-defined poverty really refers to those in much deeper distress, utilizing a criterion like not having enough income to cover food consumption and other, non-food essentials. Twice as many Filipino households saying they consider themselves poor and explaining why, implies that their definition of poverty contains nuances beyond food security and addressing basic non-food needs. The official definition of poverty does not adequately capture these nuances.

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Photo credit: The Star Online (Source:

The multidimensionality of poverty and wellbeing

There is a growing consensus among governments and international organizations that poverty dimensions go beyond this traditional view to embody a multitude of nuanced definitions as well as outright causes and effects. Key to understanding it, especially in socio-cultural terms, is the notion of deprivation. Poverty represents a deprivation of essential assets (physical, social, and psychological) to which every human being is entitled (ADB 1999a, 1999b, 2005). It means lacking adequate food, shelter, education, and health. It implies vulnerability to ill health, economic dislocation, and natural disasters. It highlights ill treatment on the part of institutions of the state and society. Poverty is equated with powerlessness to influence key decisions affecting one’s life (World Bank 2000). Nobel laureate Amartya Sen (2000) expresses poverty as living “without fundamental freedoms of actions and choice that the better-off take for granted.”

The companion concept of poverty is wellbeing, which, like poverty, has multiple dimensions. In general, wellbeing is closely identified with good health and disposition, the ability to exercise one’s rights and live a life of personal dignity, the freedom to make economic and political choices, and the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect people’s own lives (CIDA 2000). The absence of these opportunities or the inability of some people to enjoy these conditions is generally equated with poverty, or ill being.

Notions of poverty and wellbeing are culture-specific, calling for assessments within the cultural context of a specific country and taking into consideration the views of the poor themselves. Vulnerable groups remain best placed to define poverty and wellbeing, and to formulate appropriate poverty reduction. Since it is the poor who live and breathe poverty daily, and constitute the most reliable source of information about their experiences and needs, they are in effect “poverty experts” (Narayan, Chambers, Shah, and Petesch 2000). As Narayan (2005: vii) points out, “Poor people are the most important resource in the fight against poverty. They have imagination, guts, knowledge, experience, and deep motivation move out of poverty.”

Social scientists, therefore, need to incorporate into their traditional analytical frameworks the perspectives and experiences of poor people themselves—their conceptions of poverty and wellbeing as well as aspects of their agency which include their efforts—by themselves and linking up with other sectors—to improve their lives and futures.

The heterogeneity of poor people

In a 2007 research of Payatas B in Quezon City, an informal settlement noted for its garbage dumpsite, a household survey of 89 households revealed that the residents regard poverty as a multidimensional phenomenon encompassing economic, social, and psychological elements. Moreover, they can identify particular characteristics for each level of poverty, as follows (Guevara 2007, 2008):

The “very poor” (“mahirap na mahirap”). Who are the “very poor”? According to Payatas research participants, they are the ones who “have nothing to eat” and those “who beg in the streets just to have something to eat.” They have “nowhere to live” and sleep on “the streets, the sidewalk, near canals.” They have “no jobs” because “they were not able to go to school.” Most likely, they “came from the province,” and “knew no one” and had no one to turn to when they migrated to Metro Manila. Moreover, “very poor” households are characterized by their large household size, with seven or eight children, if not more.

The “poor” (“mahirap”). On the other hand, “the poor” do not beg to be able to eat, but “strive and work to feed themselves.” Payatas men and women who were interviewed said that in their community, the “poor” are the scavengers—those who “rummage through garbage in the dumpsite.” Scavengers scrounge for recyclable items like plastic and paper, which they sell to junkshop owners for income. They eat “pagpag”—“left-over food scavenged at the dumpsite, which they wash in hot water then cook again.” If they have some money, they eat rice seasoned with salt, soy sauce, or shrimp paste (bagoong); or rice and cheap fish like sardines; or noodles, which is inexpensive yet filling. Unlike the “very poor,” the “poor” have somewhere in which to live, albeit “small, makeshift houses” built on lots which are not theirs. Hence, they constantly face the threat of demolition. In terms of education, the “poor” finished “only grade one or grade two.” Thus, they cannot find employment and resort to scavenging, from where they “earn little.” Like the “very poor,” the “poor” tend to have large households: “Many of them have eight, seven children,” reported research participants.

The “somewhat poor” (“medyo mahirap”). What characterize the “somewhat poor”? Payatas men and women who participated in the study said that the “somewhat poor” “have jobs,” although “not permanent.” “Counted among them are construction workers” and “contractual employees who are terminated after only five months,” lest they become regular employees entitled to employment benefits. Thus, the lives of the “somewhat poor” are vulnerable: “If they lose their jobs, they have nothing to eat once again,” according to a female interviewee. They eat three times a day but “only ordinary food—vegetables, fish,” although on “rare occasions,” when there’s a “windfall of money,” they manage to buy “some pork and chicken,” As for their housing, the “somewhat poor” are typically “renters in a squatter area.” Compared to the “very poor” and the “poor,” “somewhat poor” households have fewer children: “That’s controlled, around four,” remarked a research participant. The “somewhat poor” also have a higher educational attainment. Usually, they are able “to graduate from elementary school” and might have even been “able to reach high school, except that they had to drop out for lack of financial support.”

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Photo credit: Veronica Faul Foundation (Source:

In summary, Payatas men and women recognize that the “poor” or those who are “mahirap” are not all the same. They pointed out that there are indeed some poor men who spend most of their time “drinking and playing cards” (“pag-iinom at pagsusugal ng baraha”), as there are poor women who are into “gossip, gambling too like bingo and cards” (“tsismis, sugal din tulad ng mga bingo at baraha”).

However, the interviewees also stressed that there are many poor people who can be described as “masipag” (“hardworking”), “nagsisikap” (“striving”), and “naghahanapbuhay” (“working for a living”). There are also a number of poor people who are “maka-Diyos” (“God-fearing”), “nagsisimba linggu-linggo” (“attend Mass every week”), and “laging nakaaalala sa Diyos” (“never forget the Lord”).

Thus, even though the “mahirap” or those who are “poor” are not a homogenous group, they share these same characteristics: they lack income, and have limited means to address their needs and to advance in life.

The role of agency: Livelihood and coping strategies of poor households[1]

Poor people’s sense of agency is key to their survival and their escape from poverty. As Carolyn Moser’s (1998) Asset Vulnerability Framework points out, the poor have certain assets (i.e., their labor, human capital, productive assets, household relations, and social capital) which they combine and deploy to eke out a living, if not to improve their lives and escape poverty. Many of the initiatives of the poor have positive consequences for the family in terms of maintaining if not augmenting income. Moreover, these mechanisms demonstrate the remarkable qualities of the poor: their industry, resourcefulness, and resilience. Some mechanisms, however, have deleterious effects on one’s self, family members, other members of the community and society, and the environment. Poor people’s livelihood and coping strategies include the following:


Increasing and diversifying labor. For the poor whose greatest asset is their labor, a major livelihood or income-augmenting strategy is increasing their labor supply, through looking for secondary sources of income or working longer hours. If these efforts are not enough to satisfy basic consumption needs, other members of the household are mobilized to expand the labor supply, including children (who sometimes have to stop their schooling to work) and older members of the family.

Another livelihood strategy is diversification of income sources. For example, upland farmers, including indigenous peoples, whose marginal lands cannot provide enough production for subsistence needs, seek additional income sources by gathering rattan and firewood. Women agricultural workers augment their regular labor on the farm by producing blankets, pottery, brooms, beadwork, baskets, and mats for sale. Fisherfolk derive part of their income from farming, domestication of animals, vegetable-planting, and tending a small store (Callanta 1998).


Urban migration or overseas employment. In areas where local labor markets cannot generate sufficient demand for unskilled labor, households move into the uplands or begin their migration to the city or overseas. Reverse migration also occurs as unemployed urban dwellers return to their homes in rural communities where they can at least plant crops to eat.


Reducing expenditures. The primary coping strategy adopted by poor households is cutting back on expenditures. Here, the major adjustments made are in food consumption. Cheaper food takes the place of more expensive, higher-quality sources of calories. For the bottom-poor, the change in food consumption means a reduction in food intake—from three meals a day to two or even one (Knowles, Pernia, and Racelis 1999). Education, health and recreation also offer cost-cutting opportunities, as do water and electric consumption, along with deferred purchases of clothing and repairing of houses and equipment.


Selling or renting out assets. Vulnerable groups also cope with crisis by selling or renting out assets. The rural poor sell their livestock and, if necessary, their land. The urban poor, on the other hand, sell their watches, few items of jewelry and appliances, or offer a room in their house for rent. Those among them who have electricity and water sell these to their poorer neighbors at inflated rates. In some cases, limited by their meager economic assets, poor people commodize their own bodies. Urban poor residents in Manila have been reported to sell their blood to small blood banks, or even their kidneys in the international trade of body organs.


Borrowing of money and food. Another coping strategy of poor households is borrowing money and food. First they seek assistance from their family, then their friends, then neighbors and other community members, or occasionally a former employer. They are unlikely to take out formal bank loans or go to government credit institutions, as these entities do not make loans widely and easily available to the poor. If potential lenders in the family or neighborhood do not come through, the poor turn to loan sharks (known in the Philippines as “5-6”), who charge usurious interest rates of 20 percent.

How the poor further tap their support networks is discussed in the next section on social capital. 


Photo credit: 1 Billion Rising Revolution (Source:

 The role of social capital

The ability of the poor to survive depends greatly on their own ingenuity and perseverance. Laudable though sheer grit and determination may be, they also need help in coping with shocks, and thus tap into the social capital built up in the community.

Social capital refers to the norms and social relations embedded in social structures that enable people to coordinate action and achieve desired goals (Narayan 1999). Unlike economic capital, which focuses on access to means of production and consumption, or human capital, which draws on access to education, social capital is relational. It is based on people’s relationships with others that can be harnessed to their advantage (Portes cited in Narayan 1999). Social capital is created when people form social connections and networks based on principles of mutual trust, reciprocity, and norms for action (Racelis 1999). These relationships and connections can be either horizontal or vertical, and embody implicit contracts sustained by cultural norms and values.

Bonding social capital refers to “relations between family members, close friends, and neighbors” (Woolcock [2001]: 10)—people who know each other very well and have strong ties with each another. Bridging social capital, on the other hand, implies looser ties between “more distant friends, associates, and colleagues” (Ibid.) Bonding and bridging social capital involve essentially horizontal relationships “between people who share broadly similar demographic characteristics” (Ibid.)

Social capital, however, also has a vertical relations, as represented by linking social capital. According to Woolcock ([2001]: 11), the “capacity to leverage resources, ideas, and information from formal institutions beyond the community is a key function of linking social capital.” Linking social capital includes ties with civil society organizations (NGOs), government agencies, elected political leaders (mayors, senators), or the private sector (banks).

The ability of the poor to survive adverse conditions if not rise out of poverty depends, for the most part, on their access to bonding, bridging, and social capital.

In the 2007 study of Payatas B conducted by researchers of the Institute of Philippine Culture, research participants narrated how they actively initiated or participated in community efforts to improve their wellbeing. In an interview, “Adelina” expressed great pride in her being a concerned citizen of Payatas B. She has long been active in the neighborhood association Bisig ng Magkakapitbahay (Neighbors Linking Arms), which was was instrumental in bringing electricity, water, and telephones to their place (Guevara 2008):

Noong una kaming lumipat dito noong 1979, bunduk na bundok ito kasi talahiban pa ito noon. Ang mga nakatanim dito ay saging, kamoteng kahoy—iyan ang itinatanim namin dito para mamatay ’yung mga talahib. Wala pang kuryente, at ang tubig, binibili namin. Pagkatapos, nagtatag kami ng asosasyon dito—Bisig ng Magkakapitbahay. ’Yung president namin sa Bisig noon, inaplayan niya ng kuryente itong lugar namin. Nagkakuryente kami…. Noong umalis sa Payatas ang presidente namin… in-endorse niya sa akin ang mga papeles ng Bisig. Kaming taga-Bisig na naiwan ay nagpatuloy pa rin. Inaplayan namin ang lugar namin ng tubig na NAWASA, pagkatapos ay nagkaroon kami ng telepono.

(When we first moved here in 1979, this area seemed so remote from civilization because it was full of weeds. We planted bananas and sweet potatoes to kill the weeds. We had no electricity then, and we had to buy water. And then we formed an association here—the Bisig ng Magkakapitbahay [Neighbors Linking Arms]. Our Bisig president then applied for electricity for our area. We then had electricity…. When our president left Payatas… he endorsed the documents of Bisig to me. We Bisig members who stayed behind continued to improve our place. We applied to NAWASA for water for our area, and after that we got telephones.)

In a 2013 study of the Institute of Philippine Culture conducted in another informal settlement, namely, Baseco in the Port Area, Manila, many of the research participants interviewed showed a strong sense of involvement in and concern for the community: they were members of community organizations, were active in their church, and attended Barangay Assemblies. Particularly impressive was how the people’s organization Kabalikat sa Pagpapaunlad ng Baseco Compound (Linking Arms in Developing Baseco Compound) has led Baseco in many activities: conducting a survey of 72 households in 2001 to ascertain the economic and living conditions of the people; creating a People’s Plan which proposed recommendations for spatial and social organization, towards facilitating onsite housing development in Baseco; and pushing for the proclamation of Baseco by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2002 (Guevara 2014).

Beyond organizing themselves to address problems in their community, the poor build coalitions which have been influential in the passage of progressive social legislation. In the Philippines, these include: the Congress for a People’s Agrarian Reform (CPAR), a coalition of NGOs and peasant alliances that lobbied in the late 1980s for the passage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) in 1991; the advocacy and pressure of civil society groups—including NGOs and urban poor organizations—that resulted in the passage of the Urban Developing and Housing Act (UDHA) in 1992; and more recently, the strong campaign waged by the Reproductive Health Alliance Network (RHAN)—comprised of health NGOs, women’s organizations, and organized women from poor communities—that  contributed to the passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 (or the RH Law). People’s organizations have also been involved in campaigns against corruption and the advocacy for good governance—and even in the social movement that toppled the Marcos regime in 1986—realizing as they do that transitions out of poverty are enabled by positive democratic functioning.


Any poverty-reduction program or initiative, including studies on poverty, must include the poor—a most critical partner in efforts to alleviate poverty. Their full engagement in the development process—in collaboration with other sectors such as the government, NGOs, faith-based groups, and the private sector—is imperative. Such a view shifts away from the usual assumptions that the development community has come to take for granted: that development can be created or engineered or brought to the poor among whom it is lacking; that it is something brought to them by others who are presumably more developed; and that it is done on behalf of third parties not by communities/the subjects of intervention (Kaplan 1999).

At the end of the day, external agents are mere facilitators of development, opening up possibilities rather than closing them down. Driven from within, its final gauge would be the poor, the human agents themselves. In conclusion, the whole point of development is to enable people to participate in the governance of their own lives. For this reason, this article underscored the importance of listening to what poor people have to say. People like Norma and Adelina from Payatas B understand their situation more than anyone else does or ever will, and have done a lot to survive, if not to have better lives.


[1] This section draws heavily from Racelis and Guevara 2001 and 2003.

For more resources, please click this link.


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by Ma. Simeona Martinez [1] and Pryor Aldous Placino [2]
of the Philippine Geographical Society

Central to enhancing the adaptive capacities of local communities in relation to the occurrence of disasters is the promotion of awareness on the characteristics of hazards as well as their constitutive geographies and impacts. The collection of up-to-date and accurate spatial information and their availability in the different phases of a disaster should be integrated into every level of decision-making to ensure that affected communities increase their resilience.

In a span of a decade (1997 to 2007), there have been 13,155 deaths and economic losses of P158 billion due to the impacts of tropical storms in the Philippines. Within the period 1990-2006, an estimated 0.5% of the annual GDP equals to the cost of direct damages caused by disasters (NDRRMC, n.d., p. 1). Floods, lahar, landslides rockslides and debris avalanche were the hazards that had huge and lasting impacts in communities in the Philippines from 2005 until 2009 (Lagmay ,n.d., p. 2)Only recently Typhoons Sendong (2011), Pablo (2012), and Yolanda (2013) claimed a total of more or less 9,600 lives altogether (dela Cruz,  2014). Such losses and casualties would have been prevented if the risks associated with disasters were properly addressed and managed in a more proactive manner – integrating preventive measures such as appropriate land use planning, promotion of sustainable management practices, participatory planning, among other strategies into disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) plans.

With the aim of increasing the resilience of communities to disasters and reducing their vulnerabilities, the National Disaster Reduction and Management Framework was approved in 2011. It envisions a country of “safer, adaptive and disaster-resilient Filipino communities toward sustainable development” (NDRRMC, n.d.). The national plan that ensued from this framework, entitled National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (NDRRMP), covers four thematic areas, namely: (1) Disaster Prevention and Mitigation; (2) Disaster Preparedness; (3) Disaster Response and (4) Disaster Rehabilitation and Recovery. The said plan also explicitly identifies the need for hazard and risk mapping as a priority project in high risk areas.


Critical decisions and actions during the response phase of a disaster are drawn based on available spatial information.  Beyond disaster response, spatial information is necessary in promoting geographic awareness in relation to the risks and impacts of disasters. It is important for people at risk of the effects of disasters to understand what spatial, physical, and social conditions constitute their vulnerability and come up with strategies toward risk reduction. In addition, they should be able to tap and cultivate available and potential human and material resources to increase their preparedness and resiliency.

Similar to crisis management needs, DRRM requires specific geographic data in each phase of the management cycle. In the response phase,“ immediate access to information and resources to determine and organize a rapid response” (Roche, Propeck-Zimmermann, and Mericskay, 2013, p. 31, citing Williams et al., 2000) is called for to ensure timely assistance to affected families such as livelihood support and provision of basic services. In the prevention and mitigation phase, reconstruction feedback and post-disaster inventory are deemed necessary. The list below includes some of the important elements of disaster risk reduction measures that may also be mapped and documented:

  • Land use or zoning
  • Monitoring, warning, and evacuation systems
  • Improved vegetation cover
  • Community resources and Disaster Management
    • Medical facilities
    • Food supplies
    • Water sources
    • Dwellings
    • Temporary shelters
    • Security facilities
    • Livelihood sources

It is therefore important to identify baseline spatial data (whether in analog or digital form) that can be used to derive information about the geography of the place in relation to any type of hazard. For mapping and spatial analysis of any hazard for the purpose of, but not limited to, vulnerability or damage assessment, the following spatial data* would be necessary:

  • Profile of the area: topography, bathymetry, coastline shape and properties
  • Natural hazards: characteristics, frequency of occurrence, extent of hazard
  • Exposure: location and characteristics of exposed communities – e.g., location of residential structures, critical facilities like schools, roads, and medical facilities, and their characteristics (e.g., type of materials used for construction, year of construction, critical contents such as volatile substances, etc.)
  • Vulnerability: spatially located demographic information (e.g., persons with disability in a household, type of materials used to build the house, etc)

*lifted and modified from Scott and Simpson, 2009


Different mapping techniques can be done to get preliminary data from the field. One can use a combination of different mapping methods to triangulate information. Considerations for which mapping method to use depend on the availability of resources, the capability of personnel to do such mapping activity, and the accuracy of required data and information.

Sketch Maps
If no published map is available, sketch maps derived from fieldwork can be a preliminary source of information. These maps can show the different features of the place including paths, edges, nodes, districts and landmarks. They can also present the locations of various resources, activities, settlements, opportunities, and threats. One’s personal and psychological representation of places and locations can be drawn using different media. Sketch maps can be hand-drawn or can make use of what is available in the area. If mapping is done in coastal areas, beaches can be used as canvass while shells, stones, twigs, or fallen tree leaves can be used as markers. More nuanced information about a place can be generated if the sketch mapping is to be participated in by different members of the community. Participants can do instant triangulation and validation of the placement of geographic features while drawing the sketch map.


Figure 1. Sketching the boundary and formulating the legend and symbols are necessary preparations for participatory mapping. Photo source: Department of Geography and Flora and Fauna International Philippines (2012). Coastal Resources and Fisheries Profile: Agta Dumagat Community in Barangay San Marcelino, General Nakar, Quezon.


Participatory three-dimensional mapping is a method of incorporating geographic information on a scaled relief map or model built with locally available materials such as cartons or rubber sheets.  This participatory process involves local communities, scientists, local government units, and other stakeholders to “facilitate the integration of scientific and local knowledge and the participation of a large array of stakeholders in the CBDRR (Community-based Disaster Risk Reduction)” (Gaillard and Maceda, 2009, p. 110).   A relief map is appropriately scaled to allow for features such as buildings, houses, land use and infrastructures to be identified and marked by using pushpins and yarns. These materials serve as the medium for depicting geographic information that are helpful in DRRM planning. Livelihood sources, materials used for building houses and infrastructures and their condition, critical facilities, and the vulnerabilities of the community are identified and delineated in the map. Hazard-prone areas are also indicated in the model.


Figure 2. Participatory 3D mapping in Masantol, Pampanga, in August 2009. Photo credit: Jean-Christophe Gaillard

In the P3DM activities led by Dr. Jean-Christophe Gaillard, renown geographer and disaster management expert, between 2007 and 2009 (Gaillard and Maceda, 2009) in the towns of Divinubo (Eastern Samar), Masantol (Pampanga) and Dagupan (Pangasinan) and in 2011 in Yubo (Negros Occidental), the participants were composed of scientist facilitators, local government representatives, local peoples organizations (POs), Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) as well as youth representatives. These stakeholders were involved in the generation of geographic information as well as in the discussion of disaster mitigation measures during the DRR planning stage of the process. They also talked about specific actions that would address disaster-related concerns such as structural reinforcements and crisis management.


Figure 3.  Participatory 3D map of the village of Yubo, La Carlotta, in January 2011. Image source :

P3DM also facilities a more detailed description of hazards. In Masantol for instance, local participants were able to distinguish three types of floods which impact different areas: river floods, rain-fed floods, and tidal floods (Gaillard and Maceda, 2009). Through the Geographic Information Systems or GIS, the contents of the participatory 3Dmaps were used to update spatial information in previous maps of the area.

VGI (Volunteered Geographic Information)

Volunteered Geographic Information was coined by Michael Goodchild, Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to describe user-generated geographic information contributed on a voluntary basis (Castelein et al. 2010; Neis and Zielstra, 2014). The contributed spatial data is managed in a database and are mostly freely available to other users through Internet access. Inputting them in a database often requires computers and other georeferenced data such as aerial or satellite imagery, or handheld devices equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System) capabilities or digital maps for recording the location of geographic features (Neis and Zielstra, 2014).  OpenStreetMap or OSM can be considered as the largest and most popular VGI for different mapping purposes. In the Philippines, OSM was an integral platform for global humanitarian efforts to assist communities impacted by the Bohol earthquake in October 2013 and those affected by Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. In anticipation of Yolanda’s impact in November 2013, OSM’s HOT (Humanitarian OSM Team) and other volunteer groups organized several mapathon (mapping marathon) and crowdmapping activities to document pre- and post-disaster features such as buildings and infrastructures in Tacloban City. With over 1,000 volunteers from more than 80 countries, updated maps were able to provide useful information such as damaged or collapsed buildings as well as inaccessible roads. Both freelance relief and rescue operators and those working with organizations such as the American Red Cross  and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs used these spatial information in their respective disaster-related intervention activities. The Department of Geography in UP Diliman in partnership with OSM also hosted a Tacloban mapathon on November 15, almost a week after the first landfall of Typhoon Yolanda in Guiuan.


Figure 4. OSM-facilitated Yolanda Mapathon held at the Geography GIS Laboratory on November 15, 2013.

A detailed map of the damages brought about by Typhoon Yolanda that was based on OSM data was published in the New York Times on November 11, 2013. Please click the link:


In February 2012, the government announced the availability of geohazard maps that were published by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) following a nationwide survey and assessment of the susceptibility of particular areas in the Philippines to floods, landslides and soil erosion, and flash floods (ESSC, 2012). These maps are listed at the MGB webpage ( and are viewable through Map Central, the first Philippine online map launched in 2001. A more comprehensive collection of spatial information relevant to DRRM can be accessed from the Department of Science and Technology – Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazard), such as 6-hour lead time warning to areas vulnerable to flooding as well as predicted storm surge heights, rain forecast and flood inundation maps (see Other than utilizing maps for visualizing hazards through its website, Project NOAH also disseminates information through social media such as Twitter and Facebook. A mobile application called ARKO was also developed by the project to assist users in visualizing flood scenarios within a 2.5km radius from their location.

Another government initiative on utilizing spatial geographic information for DRRM was the implementation of a series of training activities for local government units in October of 2014 on the use of OSM and InaSAFE, a tool which allows users to derive estimates of population and properties that are exposed to hazards. Through the initiative of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), three LGUs participated in these trainings with support from actors such as the World Bank – East Asia Pacific, Environmental Science for Social Change, Project NOAH, OSM Philippines Community, GeoRepublic Japan, and HOT (IBRD-WB, 2014, p. 38). These were the towns of Candaba, Lubao, and Guagua of Pampanga. In addition, Project NOAH has adopted the InaSAFE functionalities into their WebSAFE tools which is part of version 2 of the Project NOAH website (Lagmay et al., 2013).

The National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), the central mapping agency of the Philippines, conducts nationwide surveys and topographic base mapping in the country. Through the Philippine Geoportal-DRRM Map web application, the agency integrates data from various government agencies and projects into public online interactive maps pertaining to the various hazards that threaten different parts of the country (see

Lastly, local government units are the best sources of local geographic information. Many LGUs, however, still face the challenge of maximizing the use of spatial data for disaster risk reduction. Inan assessment conducted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction in the Philippines, one of the identified key issues was the inadequate capacity of line agencies and LGUs to assume their functions This include “duplication of efforts in providing hazard and risk information to LGUs, lack of disaggregated data on historical disaster damage and losses, and lack of capacity to conduct vulnerability and risk assessments” (ADB, 2011, p. 3). In one of the trainings conducted in 2013 by the faculty of the UP Diliman Department of Geography in five provinces in the Philippines [3], workshop participants from seven municipalities in Quezon confirmed the availability at the local level of data such as barangay hazard maps, location of evacuation sites, flood susceptibility maps and land use maps, but that municipal level spatial data such as maps from the Comprehensive Land Use Plans (CLUPs) and those facilitated by other agencies such as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) or national offices such as PHIVOLCS are not in their possession or are in closed format (e.g., image or jpeg). This makes it difficult for users of data processing software such as the Geographic Information System (GIS) to integrate such data into the geographic information they have at hand. A recent article published at the SciTech section of GMA News Online that was written by David Jonathan Garcia, an Environmental Planner and former faculty of UP Diliman Department of Geography, aptly describes the challenges encountered by disaster and development workers in the field because of the difficulty in acquiring open-format data from various government agencies (Garcia, 2015).

As the use of geographic information for DRRM continues to become integral in various phases of DRRM and as technology in analyzing spatial data and disseminating geographic information continues to improve, the “inclusiveness” and “participatory” nature of generating geographic information becomes more critical in levelling the power differentials among stakeholders in the DRRM process. Geography continues to be a relevant discipline amidst these challenges with its place-based, integrative approaches toward addressing the persistent issues of sustainability and resilience in our ever-changing world.

This article is an adaptation from a training module that was contributed by the authors to the “Strengthening the Capacity of Local Governments in Five Philippine Provinces to Undertake Integrated Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Programs and Climate Change Adaptation Strategies” project.

1. OIC Chair for the Undergraduate Program, Department of Environment, College of Arts and Sciences, Miriam College and Senior Lecturer, UP Diliman Department of Geography
2. Formerly Assistant Professor, UP Diliman Department of Geography
3. The “Strengthening the Capacity of Local Governments in Five Philippine Provinces to Undertake Integrated Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Programs and Climate Change Adaptation Strategies” project was led by Dr. DoracieZoleta-Nantes, geographer and former Fellow at the Resources, Environment & Development unit of the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australia National University. She was also an Adjunct Professor of the Geography Department in UP Diliman and President of the Philippine Geographical Society in 2007-2008.A video summarizing this project can be viewed from this link

For supplementary resources, please click here.


Asian Development Bank. (2011). Climate change and disaster risk reduction assessment (summary). Retrieved August 2, 2013, from

Castelein, W., Grus, L., Crompvoets, J., & Bregt, A. (2010). A characterization of Volunteered Geographic Information. 13th AGILE International Conference on Geographic Information Science. Retrieved June 4, 2015, from

Commission on Audit. (2013). Disaster Management Practices in the Philippines: An Assessment. Retrieved June 4, 2015, from

Congress of the Philippines. (2009). Republic Act 10121.National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Retrieved June 10, 2015 from

Dela Cruz, G. (2014). Worst natural disasters in the Philippines. Retrieved June 4, 2015, from

Fonbuena, C. (2013). Yolanda goes ‘island hopping,’ makes 6 landfalls. Retrieved June 8, 2015, from

Gaillard, J., & Maceda, E. (2009). Participatory three-dimensional mapping for disaster risk reduction. Retrieved June 8, 2015, from

Gaillard, J., & Cadag, J. (2013). Participatory 3-Dimensional Mapping to foster multi-stakeholder collaboration in Disaster Risk Reduction. UNISDR Scientific, Technical and Advisory Group Case Studies retrieved July 2, 2015 from

Garcia, D. (2015). Why we need to liberate Philippine public map data. Retrieved June 30, 2015, from

Haklay, M., Antoniou, V., Basiouka, S., Soden, R., and Mooney, P. (2014). Crowdsourced geographic information use in government, Report to GFDRR (World Bank). London

Lagmay, A. (n.d.). Lesson from recent Philippine disasters. Retrieved June 4, 2015, from

Malicdem, E. (2013). How to use OSM Data and Latest Satellite Imagery for Humanitarian Missions. Retrieved July 3, 2015.

National Disaster Risk, Reduction, and Management Council of the Philippines. (2010). National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan (NDRRMP) 2011‐2028. Retrieved June 30, 2015 from

n.d. (n.d.). Masantol, Pampanga. Retrieved July 2, 2015, from

Project NOAH Team and Collaborators (n.d.).PROJECT NOAH. Retrieved July 2, 2015, from

Ranada, P. (2014). How to know if storm surge threatens your area. Retrieved June 30, 2015, from

Roche, S., Propeck-Zimmermann, E., & Mericskay, B. (2011). GeoWeb and crisis management: Issues and perspectives of volunteered geographic information. GeoJournal, (78), 21-40. doi:10.1007/s10708-011-9423-9

Scott, G. & Simpson, A. (2009).  Geo-information for mitigating large scale disasters in the Asia-Pacific region. Retrieved August 28, 2013, from…/9th_UNRCCA_econf.99_IP10.pdf

The World Bank. (2014). Community Mapping for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management: Harnessing Local Knowledge to Build Resilience. Washington DC. Retrieved June 30, 2015 from

cover photo PPSA

By Antonio P. Contreras of the

ppsa_logo Philippine Political Science Association

Taong 1986 nang mapatalsik sa pamamagitan ng isang mapayapang pag-aklas ang diktadurang Marcos.  Ang kaganapang ito, na tinagurian natin sa ating kasaysayan bilang “EDSA Revolution,” o “People Power Revolution” ay pinuri sa pagiging mapayapa, na kung saan halos walang dumanak na dugo (Thompson, 1995).  Ang larawang lumitaw ay ang mga nakangiting mukha ng mga tao, mga madre at paring nakikapit-bisig sa militar, at mga batang may hawak na bulaklak na inialay sa paanan ng mga tangkeng pandigma na sa una ay handang bumuga ng tinggang apoy na papatay na sana sa mga inosenteng mamamayan subalit napipi at nagpalukob sa isang pag-aklas na kakaiba at naging isa pa ngang pang-madlang piging.


Bagama’t meron ding mga imahen ng karahasan, malinaw na umiral ang isang maayos na kaganapan.  Malayong-malayo ito sa mga nangyari sa ibang bansa katulad ng Ehipto at Libya na kung saan dumanak ang dugo at kung saan ang mga naghihingalong rehimen, sa huli nitong mga hininga, ay nagpakawala ng dahas sa mga naglakas-loob na hamunin ang kanilang mga abusadong kapangyarihan.  Hindi sa pinupuri ko si Marcos, subali’t sa kabila ng karahasang umiral sa mahabang panahon ng kanyang panunungkulan, sa huling sandali ng kanyang rehimen ay mapayapa niyang tinanggap ang hatol ng bayan.  Kung meron pa ngang karahasang nangyari, ito ay nakita sa umaalimpuyo at nangangalit na damdamin ng mga taong sumugod sa Malakanyang at pinagtatapakan ang mga larawan at iba pang nagpa-alala sa kanila ng diktadurang pinalayas,  Subalit malinaw na ang mga ito ay itinutok lamang sa mga anino at bakas na iniwan ng gumuhong rehimen, at hindi sa kapwa Pilipino.  Walang nakitang malawakang pagnanakaw, o kaguluhan, kahit na sa mga panahong ang balangkas at pamunuan ng pamahalaan ay di pa tiyak.  Umiral ang kaayusan, kahit na ang mga kaganapan sa mga sandaling iyon ay nagbadya ng kaguluhan.


Ang likas na pag-iral ng kaayusan sa lipunang Pilipino sa gitna ng naka-ambang kaguluhan ay muling nakita noong 2009, kung kailan nanalasa ang bagyong Ondoy na nagdulot ng matindi at malawakang pagbaha sa Metro-Manila at mga karatig pook, at nitong 2013 nang humagupit ang malakas na bagyong Yolanda.  Sa gitna ng trahedya, na kumitil sa daan-daang buhay at sumira sa milyun-milyong ari-arian, ang muling lumitaw ay ang mga mukha ng Pilipino na bagama’t nakaharap sa krisis ay handa pa ring ngumiti kahit na nahihirapan.


Kabilang sa mga larawan na nagpakita ng ganitong kakanyahan ng Pilipino ay ang mga taong bagama’t lubog na sa baha, o kaya ay nasa gitna ng mga nasirang ari-arian, at ng labis na pait dulot ng mga nasawing mahal sa buhay, ay nakahanap pa rin ng pagkakataong tumawa.  Naroong nakuha pang ipagdiwang ang kaarawan ng isang kapamilya, o ang kumaway at ngumiti sa kamera ng telebisyon habang pilit na sumusuong sa maruming tubig, o sa mga nasirang mga bahayan, patungo sa kaligtasan.  Nakita natin ang napakaraming mga taong handang dumamay kahit sa di-kakilala sa panahon ng pangangailangan.  Ang kawalan ng presensya ng pamahalaan ay hindi naging balakid upang ang pamayanan ay kumilos at alagaan ang kanilang kapwa.  Bagkus, ang ordinaryong mamamayan, sa tulong ng internet at ibang makabagong teknolohiya, ay tumugon upang punan ang puwang na iniwanan ng isang pamahalaang tila nagulat at hindi kaagad nakapamahala, o kaya naman ay pinigilan ng kawalang kahandaan na pinalala ng katiwalian at bangayan ng mga magkatunggaling panig sa pulitika.  Muli, sa gitna ng nakaambang panganib, at sa di-tiyak na kamay ng isang pamahalaang mahina, ang kaayusan ay napanatili.Yolanda

Ang mga ito ay mga matitingkad na patunay na nakatahi na sa ating kamalayan ang likas na kakayahang mapanatili ang isang uri ng kaayusang panlipunan na labas at hindi sakop ng dalumat ng isang matatag na estado.  Ito ay isang katotohanang pilit binubura o kaya ay pinapawalan ng saysay ng mga kanluraning konsepto at teyoriya sa Agham Pampulitika na patuloy iniaasa ang kaligtasan at kaunlaran ng ating bansa sa isang matatag na estado ayon sa mga kanluraning pamantayan.


Marami nang pagtatangka na dalumatin ang pulitika at mga kaakibat nitong proseso na gamit ang mga katutubong lente.  Nangunguna na rito si Remigio Agpalo, sa kanyang pagsasalarawan ng pulitika sa Mindoro Occidental bilang kawangis ng sayaw na pandanggo sa ilaw (1969), at ang kanyang paghain ng pamumunong ayon sa dalumat ng “pangulo”  (1981).  Ang litaw sa mga pagdadalumat na sumunod sa yapak ni Agpalo ay ang patuloy na pagtutok sa pamumuno at sa kultura ng pamunuan, kagaya ng mga sinulat ni Lupdag (1984), Jocano (1990), ng Education for Life Foundation (1997) at ni Cabochan (2012). Ang iba naman ay mga pag-aaral sa mga pulitikal na ugnayan, institusyon at prosesong nangyayari sa mga lokal na pamayanan sa bansa, katulad ng sinulat ni Kerkvliet  (1991 at 1995), Alejo atbp. (1996), Alejo (2000) at Soon (2008)

May pag-aaral din na kung saan mas tahasang ginamit ang mga lente ng kapwa at loob sa pagsuri ng uri ng pamumuno ayon sa mga talumpati ng mga naging Pangulo, na sinulat ni Taguibao (2013).  May pag-aaral na rin tungkol sa pulitika na iniugnay sa katutubong pagdalumat na isinagawa ni Ramon Guillermo sa kanyang pagsusuri sa pantayong pananaw ni Zeus Salazar sa konteksto ng dalawang konseptong pulitikal, ang “himagsikan” at “rebolusyon.” (Guillermo, 2009a).

Ang hamon ngayon sa Agham Pampulitika ay harapin ang isang teyoritikal na adhikain, na maghanap ng mga katutubong dalumat kung paano ba natin pinapanatili ang ating kaayusang pulitikal na gagamiting saligan ang mga naratibo ng pagsakatutubong napanday na sa ibang larangan—ang Sikolohiyang Pilipino, Pilipinolohiya at pantayong pananaw—upang harapin ang kolonyal at kanluraning konsepto ng pulitika, at ng Agham Pampulitika.

Supplementary resources can be found in the resources page. 

Visit the Frank X. Lynch S.J. Library Web OPAC. 

Mga Nabanggit na Sanggunian

Agpalo, R. (1981). The Philippines: From communal to societal pangulo regime. Philippine Law Journal, 56(1), 56-98.

Alejo, A. (2000). Generating energies in Mount Apo: Cultural politics in a contested environment. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.

Alejo, M., Rivera, M. & N. Valencia. (1996). [De]scribing elections: A study of elections in the life-world of San Isidro. Quezon City: Institue of Popular Democracy.

Cabochan, G. (Ed.). (2012). Forging Management Excellence on the Anvil of Culture (Pananagutan, Malasakit, Bayanihan, Pakikipagkapwa). Quezon City: Philippine Management Association of the Philippines at Pambansang Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino.

Education for Life Foundation. (1997). LIDER: Pamunuang bayan: Karanasan, katanungan at kinabukasan. Quezon City: Education for Life Foundation.

Guillermo, R. (2009a). Pantayong pananaw and the history of Philippine political concepts. Kritika Kultura, 13, 107-118.

Jocano, F. (1990). Management by Culture. Quezon City: Punlad Research House.

Kerkvliet, B. (1995). Toward a more comprehensive analysis of Philippine politics: beyond the patron-client, factional framework. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, 26, 401-419.

Lupdag, A. (1984). In Search of Filipino leadership. Quezon City: New Day Publishers.

Soon, C. (2008). Politics from below: Culture, religion and popular politics in Tanauan City, Batangas. Philippine Studies, 56(4), 379-384.

Taguibao, J. (2013). Ang kapwa, loob at ugnayang pulitikal ng pangulo at mamamayan batay sa pagsusuri ng mga talumpati ng pangulo mula 1986 hanggang 2013. DIWA E-Journal, 1(1), 110-143.

Thompson, M. (1995). The anti-Marcos struggle: personalistic rule and democratic transition in the Philippines. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Image sources : 

For cover photo :

For photos in article : 

EDsA 2
Filipino Spirit.


Gordon, W. (1976). The Politics of Class and Class Origin: The Case of the Cultural Revolution. Retrieved from

Majul, C.A. (1996). The Political and Constitutional Ideas of the Philippine Revolution. Retrieved from

Cortes, R.M. (ed). (1999). Philippine Presidents : 100 Years. Retrieved from

Intal, P.S. Jr. & Habaradas, R.B. (eds.) (2005). Reflections on Philippine Development Challenges and Governance. Retrieved from

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World Council for Curriculum and Instruction Philippines. (1987). Active Non-Violence in Action: The Philippine Experience. Retrieved from

Abueva, J.V. & Roman, E.R. (eds.) The Post-EDSA Constitutional Commissions (1986-1992) : Self Assessments and External Views. Retrieved from

Mercado, M.A. (ed.) (1986). People Power: The Philippine Revolution of 1986: An Eyewitness History. Retrieved from

Ferrer, M.C. (ed.) (1997). Civil Society Making Civil Society. Retrieved from

Romulo, B.D. (1987). Inside the Palace: The Rise and Fall of Ferdinand & Imelda Marcos. Retrieved from

De Dios, A.J., Daroy, P.B., & Tirol, L.K. (1988). Dictatorship and Revolution: Roots of People’s Power. Retrieved from

Timberman, D.G. (1991). A Changeless Land: Continuity and Change in Philippine Politics. Retrieved from

Reforma, M. A. & De Guzman, R.P. (1988). Government and Politics of the Philippines. Retrieved from

Marcos, F.E. (1977). The Democratic Revolution in the Philippines. Retrieved from

Aquino, B.A. (1998). The Transnational Dynamics of the Marcos Plunder. Retrieved from

De Quiros, C. (1997). Dead Aim: How Marcos Ambushed Philippine Democracy. Retrieved from

Atienza, M.E.L. (2013). Introduction to Philippine Politics: Local Politics, the State, Nation-building, and Democratization. Retrieved from

cover 2

By  Lizan E. Perante-Calina[ii]

Secretary-General of the Philippine Society for Public Administration

February, 2015


Policies on public sector reform are every administration’s standard initiative aimed to streamline the bureaucracy. The reform measures may vary depending on the priority of the current leadership, which maybe in the form of reengineering, reorganization, and rationalization anchored on the principles of economy, efficiency and effectiveness, transparency, social growth, innovation, and good governance.

Public sector reform is a mechanism that introduces innovations in terms of modernization, transformation, and professionalism for the improvement of institutions and processes. These innovations as areas of reform are the common theme of every government’s agenda. As pointed out by the Hong Kong government, “public sector reform is a program of financial and management reforms aimed at bringing about long-term productivity improvements in the public sector and better service to the community” (Scott 1994:5).

In the Philippine context, several public sector reform initiatives have been implemented over the last two decades covering both national and local levels. This means that the entire bureaucracy is at the point of introducing and reintroducing reform initiatives toward a better government.


Seen through the lens of the reorganization framework, there is an interesting pattern in the country’s reform measures introduced by different administration since 1946. Under the leadership of Presidents Quirino (1950s), Marcos (1970s), and Aquino (1980s), dramatic and visible reorganizations were implemented. In the 1990s, the Ramos administration introduced reengineering while Estrada (1998), Arroyo (2010) and Aquino (present) implemented the rationalization of the bureaucracy. Table 1 shows the pattern of restructuring the bureaucracy into “four “periods – (1) Pre-Government Survey Reorganizational Commission (Pre-GSRC), (2) Government Survey Reorganizational Commission (GSRC), (3) Presidential Commission on Reorganization (PCR), and (4) Presidential Commission on Government Reorganization (PCGR)” (Gonzales and Deapara 1987:258). From 1992 to 2010, the reform policies that were introduced were along the lines of New Public Management (NPM) and good governance as a reaction to the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.[iii]


Table 1. Comparison of the Different Public Sector Reform Initiatives



Types of Government Reorganization Period




Reorganizational Law Philosophy


Pre-Government Survey Reorganizational Commission (Pre-GSRC)* 1898-1953




President Manuel Quezon

President Manuel Roxas

President Elpidio Quirino

Government Survey Board

Reorganization Committee

Reorganization Commission

Less Spoils, Filipinization

Economy & Efficiency

Government Survey Reorganizational Commission (GSRC) 1954-1956 President Ramon Magsaysay Republic Act No. 997 Economy &Efficiency
Presidential Commission on Reorganization (PCR)** 1969-1986



President Ferdinand Marcos Executive Order No. 281

Presidential Decree No. 71

Integrated Reorganization Plan (IRP)

Economy & Efficiency, Economic Social Development
Presidential Commission on Government Reorganization (PCGR) 1986-1992 President Corazon Aquino Executive Order No. 5 DeMarcosification


Economic Rationality & Social Justice

Streamlining of the Office of the President 1992-1998 President Fidel V. Ramos Executive Order 149 Economic Growth, Social Equity and National Solidarity and Unity
Re-Engineering the

Bureaucracy for Better Governance Program

1998-2001 President Joseph Estrada Executive Order No. 165 Efficiency, Innovation, Effective Governance & Sustainable Socio-Economic Growth
Rationalization Plan 2001-2010 President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Executive Order No. 6 Efficiency &Effectiveness
Rationalizing the Office of the President 2010-present President Benigno Aquino III Executive Order No. 18 Economy, Efficiency Effectiveness and Transparency



Public sector reform traces its roots in the Second World War but the drive for public sector reform was “initiated during the 1980s in the advanced capitalist democracies as a response to the public sector expansion process as a dominant feature of OECD countries” (Lane 1986:2). Various studies claim that the focus of public sector is on the economic side such as deregulation, privatization and marketization.

According to Lane, the Reinventing Government of Osborne and Gaebler (1993) talks about a government that is catalytic, entrepreneurial and results-oriented toward maximized productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. This means that using performance measurement and indicators to assess individual and institutional performance based on the budget allocation is imperative. Osborne and Gaebler’s framework offers deregulation, privatization and marketization, highlighting efficiency as the nucleus of reform. “The efficiency search meant that public sector growth had to be halted, that programs often needed to find new service delivery mechanisms” (Lane 1997:6).

In the 1990s, it was pointed out that aside from economic reform, there was also a call for “more state action or other new forms of public sector intervention namely the search for better public accountability and the promotion of individual or group justice in the form of fairness” (Lane 1997:6). The most conspicuous expression of accountability as articulated by Lane (1997) is the increased attention on human rights, due process and transparency of rules. It is said that any dysfunctionalities in the public sector would be tantamount to corruption, inefficiency and unprofessionalism. Thus, introducing public sector reform initiatives means promoting accountability in all strata of development.

Accountability as one of the hallmarks of good governance means making public officials and institutions accountable to the people they serve. By being accountable means public officials and government institutions are effectively performing their duties and responsive to the needs of the community. Many studies relate the concept of accountability to the concept of corruption asserting that when there is accountability, the incidence of corruption is lessened.

Under Philippine laws, accountability is demanded from government institutions to make public servants accountable to the position entrusted to them by the sovereignty. The definition of accountability is anchored in the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the Administrative Code of 1987 and in all other laws that have been enacted. The provision on accountability is almost present in all laws especially in Republic Act No. 6713 on the Conduct of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. Traditional concepts on accountability refer to the “institution of a system of checks and balances in an organization through which an administrator accounts for his stewardship of resources” (Alfiler 1995:401 citing Chandler and Plano 1982:107).

There are varied definitions of accountability but the simplest form of accountability means a requirement for an administrative organization to render an account of what it has done (Peters 2007:16). It may also connote responsibility on the part of public officials to respond properly to the provisions of the law. As pointed out by Peters, accountability is a platform of “understanding how programs may fail and finding mechanisms that make programs perform better”. Accountability is a “fundamental value for any political system” (Peters 2007:15).

Transparency is imperative in producing accountability in the public sector. Peters (2007) emphasized that accountability and transparency are essential to a democratic form of government. He further pointed out that “opening up government to scrutiny from outside independent actors provides a means for identifying and then questioning the government’s actions” (Peters 2007:16).

Public sector governance underpins accountability and transparency as major drivers for development. Public sector reform, like globalization is seamless and inevitable.


Succinctly, public sector reform is crucial to the over-all development of the country as the impetus for change nowadays emanates from citizens who as taxpayers demand for better service delivery. This is not only true in the Philippines but also in other governments around the world. Public scrutiny is in greater heights particularly on the kind of services the government provides as citizens expect efficiency, accountability, transparency, productivity, responsiveness, professionalism and value-for-money services from the government. Thus, the growing demand for a government that is accountable to the people is overwhelming.

The recently concluded 2014 PSPA International Conference with the theme “Public Administration Governance Reforms and Innovations” warrants that the conference served as a medium for informed discussion on various public administration development issues and offered proposals and innovative solutions on public sector reform. More than a hundred of scholarly articles were presented in an open forum that ushered a rich discourse and deepened analysis of public sector reform policies not only at the national and local levels but at the regional level as well.


Alfiler, Ma. Corazon, P., The Political-Administrative Accountability Continuum in

Philippine Public Service, Conquering Politico-Administrative Frontiers, Essays in Honor of Raul P. de Guzman, ed., Ledivina V. Carino, U.P. College of Public Administration and the University of the Philippine Press. p 401, 1995

Brillantes, Alex B. Jr., and Perante-Calina-Lizan, Making Reform Happen: The Philippine Experience: Reorganization and Decentralization, Worskhop Proceedings on Making Reform Happen in Southeast Asia and Korea, International Collaborative Workshop conducted by the Center for International Development, Korea Development Institute, Korea & Korea Research Institute, University of New South Wales, Australia held at Siem Reap, Cambodia, September 4-7, 2013

Gonzales and Deapara, 1987

Lane, Jane Erik, Public Sector Reform, Rationale, Trends and Problems, ed Jane Erik Lane, Sage Publication, London, pp 2-6, 1997

Peters, Guy, B., Performance-Based Accountability, Performance Accountability and Combating Corruption, Public Sector Governance and Accountability Series, ed Anwar Shah, World Bank, Washington, D.C. p 15-16, 2007

Scott, Ian, Public Sector Reform: A Critical Overview, Trends and Development, Asian Journal for Public Administration, Hong Kong. p 5, 1994


1987 Philippine Constitution

1987 Administrative Code of the Philippines

[i] This article is an excerpt of her PA 299 paper at UP NCPAG.

[ii] Lizan E. Perante-Calina is a Doctoral Candidate for Public Administration at the University of the Philippines, National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP-NCPAG). She is also the Executive Director of the Secretariat Committee of the Philippine Society for Public Administration.

[iii] This portion is drawn from the paper “Making Reform Happen: The Philippine Experience: Structure of the State and Public Administration since 1997 Asian Financial crisis Focus on Local Autonomy, Decentralization and Civil Service and Bureaucratic Reforms” co-authored by Alex B. Brillantes, Jr., PhD. and Lizan Perante-Calina, 2013.

Image sources

Anive, Anton. (Accessed on March 4, 2015) (Accessed on March 4, 2015) (Accessed on March 4, 2015) (Accessed on March 4, 2015)

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A feature from the Philippine Sociological Society

By Jayeel Serrano Cornelio and Manuel Victor J. Sapitula

Religion in the Philippines, many people say, is in trouble these days. Although the Philippines is still palpably religious on various fronts, it is not uncommon to hear of some people’s lamentations that young people, for example, are not attending church anymore (Cornelio, 2013). Or that people who profess to be religious do not really understand what they believe in at all. Still, others think that religion has become instrumentalist, with God becoming important only in times of need.  In other words, many people question if in fact Filipinos are losing their faith.

In academic circles, some observers have begun pointing to recent trends indicating the possible decline of religiosity. The Social Weather Stations has documented a declining trend in church attendance among Filipino adults from 66% in 1991 to 43% in 2013 (Mangahas, 2011). Among Catholics, the decline is arguably more drastic from 64% in 1991 to 37% in 2013 (Cornelio, 2013).

The discursive recurrence of religious decline is also manifest among commentators and religious individuals. The sociologist Randolf David (2013) notes that although personal faith will not necessarily disappear, “the place of religion in the scheme of society will become sharply defined and limited” as societies modernize. For the Jesuit Joel Tabora (2013), precipitating the fallout among Catholics is their “exasperation” with “the holier-than-thou discourse, the theological bullying, [and] the magisterial declarations” which surfaced as the then Reproductive Health Bill was still being deliberated.  His pastoral experience seeing the desire of many Catholics to leave the Church has led him to believe that it is in trouble.

Rethinking religiosity

In spite of these compelling observations, we still think that the view that religion is in trouble in the Philippines needs to be problematized.  For example, the issue has to do more with institutional Catholicism than with the overall state of religious life in the Philippines. David (2013) notes that the greatest challenge to the dominance of the Catholic Church in the Philippines is the missionizing zeal of Evangelical churches. Marty Macasaet (2009), the president of Don Bosco Technical College, observes that many Catholic youth are drawn to the communal and highly experiential modes of spirituality available in other Christian churches. But because the population is predominantly Catholic, any decline in institutional Catholic religiosity may be misconstrued as decline in religiosity itself. For instance, Eladio Dioko’s (2009) question on whether Filipinos are losing their religion is based on his observations that church attendance has dwindled.

To us, the decline of sacramental religiosity— whether for the Catholic Church or the population at large— is an inadequate indicator of the state of religion in the Philippines today.  There are other indicators, such as personal belief in God, in which Filipinos rate very highly. On various indicators of private belief in God, the Philippines trumps many other countries: 91.9% of Filipinos believe in a personal God, 93.5% profess always having believed in God, and 83.6% say that “I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it” (Smith, 2012, p. 7). This is corroborated by documented transformations of popular religious practices, which now includes considerable attention to individual needs and aspirations of devotees (Sapitula 2013).

We also note the emergence of religious innovations or movements that reinvigorate religious life not just in Catholicism but also other traditions (Cornelio, 2008). Charismatic renewal movements in the Catholic and Evangelical churches have become noteworthy as religious spaces for finding personal meaning, with consequences on behavioral discipline and upward mobility (Aguilar Jr., 2006; Miller & Yamamori, 2007; Wiegele, 2005). Pentecostal and Evangelical megachurches, many of which emerged in the 1980s, are also increasingly influential in the Philippines because of their spectacular worship services, public engagement, and an increasingly visible role in politics (Bautista, 2011; Lim, 2009).

Finally, we suggest that religious organizations have begun showcasing their success no longer simply in terms of their number of conversions. In Philippine Catholicism this is apparent with the increasing attention paid to shrines, which have now become spaces for transmitting translocal and mediated forms of devotional piety (Sapitula 2014). Also, constructions of religious sites with grand global appeal such as Iglesia ni Cristo’s Philippine Arena in Bulacan, the El Shaddai’s International House of Prayer in Parañaque City, and Apollo Quiboloy’s Tamayong Prayer Mountain in Davao City demonstrate acts of religious worlding that recast the Philippines as a center in the advancement of global South Christianity (Cornelio, 2014).

New questions

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These instances suggest that there are other indicators demonstrating vibrant religiosity in the midst of seemingly declining church attendance. These forms and manifestations in themselves invite many of us to pursue the sociology of religion, through which we can interrogate the different facts of religious belief and practice in our contemporary life.

We agree that it can be difficult to map out the diversity of religious expressions in the Philippines today. Such task is a methodological challenge especially if one would proceed beyond quantitative indicators. We are also aware that defining religiosity in terms of belief, as is implicit to the statistics just cited, assumes that religions are necessarily theological or coherent sets of ideas (Asad, 1993).

It is then pertinent to take a look at everyday expressions of religion in which doctrinal coherence may not be as important as their subjective and practical explanations (McGuire, 2008; Orsi, 1997). Some questions we have in mind are as follows: Given the statistics above, what does belief in God mean to Filipinos at this time? In view of statistical decline in religious attendance, does such belief translate to other concrete religious expressions? What forms of religious expressions are these? With the religious innovations taking shape in Philippine society, we believe these questions contribute toward the advancement of the sociology of religion, which we believe is an increasingly pressing, timely, and relevant undertaking.

New findings

In the face of new questions that merit our attention, we are happy to note scholarly endeavors that push the frontiers of current scholarship by engaging in new trajectories of inquiry. In our own work we have placed premium on concrete expressions of religiosity: there is a perceivable “turn to everyday authenticity” that prioritizes the ways by which believers make sense of faith and action in everyday life (Cornelio 2014). This is quite apparent in modern popular religion, wherein devotees engage their individual biographies and aspirations for “mabuting buhay” (the good life) in the context of deeply-felt translocal transitions (Sapitula 2013, 2014). Aristotle Dy, a contributor in the special issue, invites us to rethink identities and practices in the light of Buddhist-Christian syncretism in Filipino Chinese religiosity [Dy, 2014]. Informed by ethnographic evidence, he highlights devotees’ inclusive mindset that does not perceive contradictions among their plural religious engagements.

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In like manner, Filmore Calibo and Enrique Oracion, contributing a piece on Catholic priestly formation, calls for a nuanced treatment of “secular reasons” as important markers of a grounded praxis of seminary formation [Calibo & Oracion, 2014].  Their contribution sidesteps an oppositional view of secular and religious aspirations in favor of a holistic accounting of a young man’s “calling” as a priest. The subtext of their argument is that is high time for us to treat our priests and pastors as members of our communities and thus subjected to the same material and social conditions that we all face.

An innovative approach is also perceivable in the area of religion and politics: in the Philippine context this proves to be especially relevant in light of the Catholic Church’s visibility in public life and policy formation. Fr. Jose Mario Francisco, a Jesuit theologian and contributor in this year’s special issue on Catholicism of the Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints (PSHEV), reflects on the motif of the “Catholic nation” that undergirds the defense of the Catholic Church’s privileged position in public life. In PSR’s special issue, we refer to Eleanor Dionisio’s article [Dionisio, 2014] on the perceived existence of the “Catholic vote” during the 2013 elections. In contrast to the perceived uncompromising stance of the Catholic Church on political matters, she documents actually-existing plurality of conflating and competing discourses within Philippine Catholicism. This demonstrates the internal complexity of contemporary Catholicism in the country and the need to account for the many ways by which Catholics participate in pressing political issues.

A refreshing perspective is also offered by José Edgardo Gomez and Marie Stephanie Gilles[Gomez & Gilles, 2014], who were able to craft a workable modus vivendi between sociology, on one hand, and urban planning and architecture, on the other hand. Bringing their expertise on the planning and use of space, they provide a conceptual map of religious structures in selected sites in Metro Manila. One can be amazed at how diverse Metro Manila has become, as the neighborhoods and skylines boast of an interesting mix of churches, mosques, temples and other emerging forms of religious spaces. Their article further demonstrate how religious structures are enmeshed into cultural and political realities of urban life, which in turn condition they ways by which people make sense of their transcendent experiences.

As editors of the special issue on religion, we are thrilled by the interest shown by sociologists and other social scientists to the need for more intriguing questions and more nuanced trajectories of inquiry. We expect this interest to stay with us in the coming years, as more scholars will embark on serious attempts to map out the complexities of religious belonging and disaffiliation in our time. This also resonates with the opportunities afforded by the newly-implemented K-12 basic education in the domain of religious and cultural literacy, where our students break free from monocultural modes of learning and encounter the exigencies of diversity and pluralism in its many forms.


Dr Jayeel Serrano Cornelio is the new director of the Development Studies Program, Ateneo de Manila University.     Dr Manuel Victor J. Sapitula is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Both served as editors of the Philippine Sociological Review’s (PSR) Special Issue on the Sociology of Religion [published this year. This piece is an adaptation of the editors’ introduction for the special issue.

Current and past copies of the PSR are available from the PSSC Central Subscription Service and from the Frank X. Lynch, S.J. Library.

For more information, you can go to our resources page.


Aguilar  Jr., F. V. (2006). Experiencing Transcendence: Filipino Conversion Narratives and the Localization of Pentecostal-Charismatic Christianity. Philippine Studies 54(4):585-627.

Asad, T. (1993). Genealogies of religion: discipline and reasons of power in Christianity and Islam. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Bautista, E. (2011). Mega-churches and senior pastors in the Philippines.  Retrieved from

Calibo, F.D. and E.G. Oracion. (2014). The secular reasons for entering the diocesan priestly formation of young Filipinos. Philippine sociological review 62 (Special Issue on the Sociology of Religion): 65-84. Link:

Cornelio, J. S. (2008). Institutional religion and modernity-in-transition: Christianity’s innovations in the Philippines and Latin America. Philippine studies 56(3), 345-358.

Cornelio, J.S. (2014). Popular religion and the turn to everyday authenticity: reflections on the contemporary study of Philippine Catholicism. Philippine studies: historical and ethnograpgic viewpoints 62(3-4). September-December: 471-500.

Cornelio, J. S. (2015). The governance of religions and urban aspirations in Metro Manila. In P. van der Veer (Ed.), Handbook of religion and the Asian city: Aspiration and urbanization in the twenty-first century. Berkeley: University of California Press.

David, R. (2013). Is the Catholic Church in crisis? Philippine Daily Inquirer, (April 13). Retrieved from Philippine Daily Inquirer website:

Dioko, E. (2009). Filipinos too are losing religion? The Philippine Star, (March 14). Retrieved from The Philippine Star website:

Dionisio, E.A. (2014). Catholic partisanship in the 2013 elections: ‘churchifying’ democracy or democratizing the Church? Philippine sociological review 62 (Special issue on the sociology of religion): 11-40. Link:

Dy, A.C. (2014). The Virgin Mary as Mazu or Guanyin: the syncretic nature of Chinese religion in the Philippines. Philippine sociological review 62 (Special issue on the sociology of religion): 41-64. Link:

Francisco, J.M.C. (2014).  People of God, people of the nation: official Catholic discourse on nation and nationalism. Philippine studies: historical and ethnograpgic viewpoints 62(3-4). September-December: 341-375.

Gomez, J.E.A. and S.N. Gilles. (2014).  Worship and urban structure in unconventional locations: the spatial features of religious group diversity in Metro Manila. Philippine sociological review 62 (Special issue on the sociology of religion): 85-113. Link:

Lim, D. (2009). Consolidating democracy: Filipino Evangelicals between People Power events, 1986-2001. In D. Lumsdaine (Ed.), Evangelical Christianity and democracy in Asia (pp. 235-284). Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

Macasaet, M. (2009). The spiritual journey of young Filipinos. In G. Leung (Ed.), The Y factor: 2009 yearbook on the Filipino youth (pp. 10-15). Makati: Salesian Missions.

Mangahas, M. (2011, August 12). RH and freedom to choose, Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved from

McGuire, M. B. (2008). Lived religion: faith and practice in everyday life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Miller, D. E., & Yamamori, T. (2007). Global Pentecostalism: The new face of Christian social engagement. Berkeley and London: University of California Press.

Orsi, R. (1997). Everyday miracles: the study of lived religion. In D. D. Hall (Ed.), Lived religion in America: toward a history of practice (pp. 3-21). Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.

Sapitula, M.V.J. (2013). Ang pagiging deboto bilang pakikipagkapwa: isang panimulang pagsusuri sa mga liham pasasalamat sa mga deboto ng Ina ng Laging Saklolo sa Baclaran. Daluyan: journal ng wikang Filipino 19(2). Agosto: 111-132.

Sapitula, M.V.J. (2014). Marian piety and modernity: the Perpetual Help Devotion as popular religion in the Philippines. Philippine Studies: historical and ethnographic viewpoints 62(3-4). September-December: 399-424.

Smith, T. W. (2012). Belies about God across time and space. Retrieved from

Tabora, J. (2013). The Catholic Church: Between the sublime and the ridiculous. (February 07). Retrieved from

Wiegele, K. (2005). Investing in miracles: El Shaddai and the transformation of popular Catholicism in the Philippines. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

school-set-up-banner (1)

Ang unang limbag ng Social Studies Corner ay naka-alay sa pagdiriwang ng Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa, na idinaraos mula sa ika-1 hanggang sa ika-31 ng Agosto kada taon. Ang pagdiriwang na ito ay alinsunod sa initanakdang Pampanguluhang Proklamasyon Blg. 1041, s.1997. Sa taong 2014, ang paksang-diwa ay “Wika ng Pagkakaisa.”

Nuong mga nakaraang buwan, maigting ang usap-usapan tungkol sa CHED Memorandum Order No. 20, s. 2013, na may pamagat na “General Education Curriculum: Holistic Understandings, Intellectual and Civic Competencies.” Ayon sa nakasaad sa CMO Blg. 20, “the GEC will be reduced to a minimum of 36 units, distributed as follows: 24 units core courses, 9 units of elective units; and 3 units on the life an works of Rizal. The general courses may be taught in English or Filipino.”[1] Ang mga asignatura sa Filipino ay maisasama na sa mga kursong kukunin sa mga gradong 11 at 12, ang dalawang taong dinagdag sa pag-aaral sa mataas na paaralan.

Para sa mga kritiko ng CMO Blg. 20, ang probisyung ito ay magiging balakid sa intelektwalisasyon ng wikang Filipino.  Ayon sa mga propesor ng Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas, Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, ang wikang Filipino’y hindi lamang para sa kumunikasyon. Ito’y “isang mabisang instrumento para sa paghubog ng kritikal na pag-iisip ng mga mag-aaral sa kolehiyo.”[2] (Rodriguez, 2013)Sa kanilang pagpuna, para bang binaliwala na ng CHED ang panlipunang pagpapahalaga sa wikang Filipino.

Bukod sa nakikitang implikasyon ng CMO Blg. 20 sa paghubog ng kaisipan, and pagtanggal ng pagtuturo ng Filipino sa General Education Program ay may epekto rin sa paghahanapbuhay ng mga guro ng Filipino, lalo na sa mga kolehiyo o unibersidad na walang programang batsilyer sa Filipino. Ang trabaho nila’y nasa panganib, sapagka’t wala na silang tuturuan. Maaari silang magturo sa grades 11 o 12, sa high school, subalit hindi pa malinaw ang mga mekanismo para rito.

Tugon ni Dra. Patricia Licuanan, Chairperson, Commission on Higher Education, hindi naman daw ini-aalis ang Filipino sa pagtuturo sa unibersidad. Batay sa mga konsultasyung pampublikong idinaos ng CHED, naaprubahan na ang rekomendasyon ng Technical Panel na kinakailangang ituro sa wikang Filipino ang hindi bababa sa 9 units ng mga kurso sa General Education. Kung minamarapat daw ng paaralan, maari ring ituro ang kabuuan ng GE Curriculum sa Filipino. Idinagdag niya, “Research and publication on and in Filipino will continue to be supported in key institutions to further enhance the capacity of the language for intellectual discourse.”[3] Tungkol naman sa pagkawala ng trabaho ng kaguruan ng Filipino, pinag-aaralan na ng CHED ang mga alternatibong solusyon, kasama na ang DEPED, DOLE, at iba pang mga ahensiya.

Ang debate tungkol sa pagpapahalaga sa wikang pambansa ay may mahabang kasaysayan.

Amaryllis Tiglao-Torres


[1] (CHED, 2013)

[2] (Rodriguez, 2013)

[3] (Licuanan, 2014)



Commission on Higher Education(2013). CHED Memorandum Order No.20, Series of 2013. Retrieved from Commission on Higher Education Web site:

Licuanan, P. (2014, June 23). On the removal of Filipino and Filipino teachers from the New General Education Curriculum (Press Statement). Retrieved from Commission on Higher Education Web site:

Rodriguez, R. B. (2013). Introduksyon para sa Daluyan. Daluyan , 20, 1-11. (Unpublished)



The articles reproduced in the maiden issue of SOCIAL STUDIES CORNER include materials on the current debate surrounding CHED Memo No. 20, citing different aspects of the arguments about the teaching of Filipino in the GE Curriculum.  We have also provided the links to papers already published elsewhere, to show how diverse the discussions have been. In addition, we are showcasing scholarly articles drawn from the vast collection of PSSC’s Frank X. Lynch, S.J. Library, particularly several papers on the intellectualization of Filipino, to provide a historical thread to the current discourse.

We hope you enjoy reading these articles. SOCIAL STUDIES CORNER wishes to reveal that Philippine social science is dynamic, prolific and relevant. The indigenous and national literature is available.  We are here to bring it to you.

Comments and suggestions on this issue, and for future topics, are most welcome.

Amaryllis Tiglao-Torres,

Executive Director

August 1, 2014