Development Administration and Issues in Region VI Reflection paper
by: ATTY SHARON B. MILLAN Trends in Development Approaches
In the 1950s to 1960s, Development was about the modernization of traditional societies according to European models. However, there were arguments about the dependence of Southern countries and the corresponding exploitation by Northern Countries. Economic development revolves around industrialization and transfer of an under-developed rural labor force to more productive occupations in the urban-industrial sector. This entailed massive investment in education systems and the introduction of modern forms of time management. The size of a typical Third World family would have to be reduced, or made modern/western families.
The 1970s focused on provision for basic needs of the world’s poor. The World Bank began to talk about redistribution with growth and moved anti-poverty programs to the center of its discourses on development. There were also advocacies for controlled economic growth, resource use and population growth to avoid economic and ecological disaster. This was in the wake of continuing famines in Africa, a lost decade of development in Latin America and the tragedy in Rwanda. The differential effects of development on women and men were also recognized.
The 1980s touched on the market economy, local contexting and indigenous knowledge as well as sustainable development and gender sensitivity. Demands for a more measured accounts of economic growth and development was heard.
New development studies emerging in the 1990s challenged the concept of development from the grassroots as it was seen as a form of colonialism and Eurocentrism. The old style colonialism has simply given way to a neo-colonialism dominated by the IMF and the multinationals, and enforced by transfer pricing and unequal exchange in world trade. There were increased awareness of how different social and cultural groups are affected by development programs. There were great concerns with infrastructure for development, and the institutions through which this infrastructure in best provided.
According to the World Bank Report for 1994, people are generally empowered by develo4pment. Providing this development addresses the basic needs and employment prospects of ordinary men and women. The Bank accepts that infrastructure can deliver major benefits in economic growth, poverty alleviation, and environmental sustainability, but is critical of delivery systems that have been inefficient and failed to reward the providers of infrastructure. Such incentives will come from new forms of commercial management, increased competition, and stakeholder involvement. There was a growing awareness that new technologies are opening up new opportunities for competitive provision of infrastructures even in rural areas or the developing world. The World Bank was signing up for the view that common pool resources are best managed by means of cooperative institutional arrangements involving state actors and local resource users.
In the 2000s, the effect of globalization was now undeniable and the concept of sustainable development became more pronounced. Some issues that are commanding attention include: the greening of development, gender hierarchies in development thought and practice, privatization and deregulation, democratization of development, citizenship, empowerment and development.
Millennium Development Goals
Adopted by the UN in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals were the outcome of international conferences throughout the 1990s. There are 8 goals but each goal has its own targets and indicators:
1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; 2. Achieve universal primary education;
3. Promote gender equality and empower women; 4. Reduce child mortality;
5. Improve maternal health;
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases 7. Ensure environmental sustainability; and 8. Develop a global partnership for development. The targets are much more specific and include:
1. Between 1990 and 2015, halve the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day
2. Reduce by 2/3, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality rate
3. Have, by 2015, begun to reduce the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
4. Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
These millennium development goals have been incorporated and translated into specifics in the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 and the Regional Development Plan 2011-2016.
The Philippine Development Plan recognized the constraints that hinder economic progress revolved around fiscal and monetary policies. Fiscal reforms on Tax administration, Tax policy, non-tax revenue generation, expenditure policy, and debt management were enumerated. Monetary and external sector policies on price stability with the end of increasing ratio of exports to GDP, diversify export base, manageable external debt, and market determined exchange rate. The Western Visayas Regional Development Plan for 2011-2016 on the other hand provides a litany of policies on Increased job creation through economic growth, Enhanced social development through direct poverty reduction program, Improved Physical Planning and sustainable management of the environment, Improved infrastructure and logistics support and Good Governance.
Development Issues in Region VI
In May 2010, Western Visayas had a population of about 7 million. In 2009, Poverty Incidence Among Families was 23.80%, Annual Per Capita Poverty Threshold was PhP 16,036 and the Magnitude of Poor Families was 345,703. The long journey against poverty and inequality is now speeding-up. One cannot help but oversell the role of technology. Information and sharing of it has changed the attitude from despair to hope for in 2012, Employment Rate is at 93.50%. The tourism industry is at it’s all time high with no signs of slowing down at Tourist Arrivals in 2012 at 2.3 Million and Tourist Receipts PhP 42.3 Billion. From 2012, there are favorable developments in the real estate sector with development projects from Injap/Double Dragon Corporation, Megaworld, and Savannah in Iloilo City alone.
Solid gains were recorded in the production of the region’s major crops (palay and corn) and livestock (cattle and hogs). Although, the aquaculture, commercial and municipal fisheries have yet to pick-up. This is an area that needs to be accelerated by developing strong linkages and programs with the University of the Philippine Visayas, College of Fisheries and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center whose pool of faculty, staff and researchers can help in improving fish technology in the Region.
Impact of Development
There is increased modernity in Region VI, from the International Airports to the booming Business Process Outsourcing Industry. There has been industrialization, urbanization and increased use of technology within all sectors of the economy. It is assumed that with greater wealth, comes other benefits such as improved health, education and quality of life.
However, there are limits to our way of life, most important to which are ecological limits are natural limits. We should not reach the critical threshold. A consumer-based development is unacceptable for social and environmental reasons. Western Visayas is a naturally and culturally rich region. Together with the whole world, it must overcome obstacles like inequality between the rich and the poor, uneven development and economism.
Policy makers must have the political will to ask wealthy people to act to give up many of the things they value- for the benefit of other people, like having two to three cars in one household, use of air-conditioning that merely transfers heat from their households to the outside environment, use of chemicals to kill-off all insects in their surroundings etc.
Governments including Local Government Units should modify, or reverse, their growth and political rivalries. A coal-fired power plant in one municipality that spells economic growth for their locality can result in drastic ecological damage to neighboring municipalities. The exclusion of barangays who supported rival politicians from government programs, projects and services results to uneven development even in the smallest of municipalities.
The discourse of development was founded in economic language such as GDP, GNP and other statistical indicators. There are a range of other valued cultural practices that reproduce social and ecological relations, for which money is meaningless. Stronger family ties, values formation of the youth, and appreciation of what is local and not western are also keys to sustainable social, cultural and economic development. Resources:
Development Studies, A Reader, Stuart Corbridge, Editor, 1995 Theories and Practices of Development, Katie Willis, 2005 Development and Social Change, Philip McMichael, 2008 Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016
Regional Development Plan 2011-2016 http://www.neda-rdc6.ph/website/