Table of ContentsThe Nature of Local GovernmentsDefinition and Purpose of Local GovernmentsCharacteristics of Local GovernmentDecentralization, Devolution and DeconcentrationLocal Governments in the New WorldPatterns of Local GovernmentsEnglish ModelSoviet ModelFrench ModelTraditional Model
Two-Tier and Multiple-Tier SystemLocal AutonomyReasons for the Creation of LocalGovernmentsRelationship with the CenterUnder a Dual SystemUnder a Fused SystemLocal Government in the PhilippinesGeneral Supervision over LocalGovernmentsRevenue and Taxing Power of LGUsRegional and Metropolitan Government
Local government is a government forparticular locality like a town, city,country or a village. It is subordinateto the central or national government.It does not have natural powers but itonly derives authority and functionsfrom a higher- level government. Thus,local government is merely a creationof national government.
There are three evolving theoriesconcerning the nature of localgovernments, namely: historicaltheory; legal theory; andcompetence theory.
1. Historical TheoryThe theory contends that decentralizationis a natural right of the people in localcommunities toward self-determination.Local government is seen as an essentialelement of democracy in harnessing andconsolidating the varied interests of thepeople in a more responsive approach. It isbelieved that local villagers are far moreeffective to address and solve their localproblems themselves than someone fromthe outside.
2. Legal TheoryThe theory contends that strongcentralization of government powers ismuch superior in harnessing andcoordination the needs and services ofthe people in varying communities.They can respond to developmentuniformly, accessibly and predictablyrather than leaving this task to localcommunities that may lack resourcesand technical capabilities for effectivecommunity organizing anddevelopment.
3. Competence TheoryThe existence of local governments ina state should be based onperformance and accomplishment.Local governments should earn theirexistence and the failure to apply andexercise power means incompetenceand a denial for self-government ordetermination.
Local government is a worldwide conceptof governance. It is found not only infederal or unitary states but also in mostforms of government and political systems.It is called through various names likeprefects, communes, municipalities,regions and so forth. It is the lowest levelof elected territorial bodies constituting asub- national organization within a state.Countries anywhere in the world make useof local governments for administrativepurposes and those services areeffectively delivered and made themavailable throughout their territorialjurisdictions.
Law usually constitutes local governmentsas subordinate political bodies ofprovincial authorities in federal states, orthey are subsidiary unites under nationalgovernment in unitary states. In organizinga local community in the direction ofeconomic growth, certain autonomy isgiven to constituted local bodies toaccelerate development. In thisdecentralized system, a dispersal of poweris extended to local government units toenable them to meet the needs of theconstituencies and to crystallize as welltheir interests towards more progressiveand self-reliant communities.
Definition and Purpose of Local GovernmentsLocal governments may be defined aspolitical subdivisions of a nation or astate constituted by law, which havesubstantial control over local affairs,including the power of taxation. Thegoverning body of local governmentmay either be elected or appointed.
Local governments are widelyrecognized in every democraticstate as general purpose unitscreated by the nationalgovernment. They represent vitalconstituent parts of the nation’spolitico-administrative systemand play an important part in theadministration of public services.
Characteristics of Local Government1. Local governments are defined territorial boundaries with political and administrative jurisdictions;2. Local governments are non-sovereign communities with subordinate status, governments which are below the national government;3. Local governments have authority and power to undertake public activities;4. Local governments are continuing organizations with population of more or less numerous; and5. Local governments are municipal corporations.
Local governments in the Philippines areterritorial subdivisions of the state, whichare the provinces, cities, municipalities,and barangays. A distinct provision of thelaw likewise provides for the creation ofregional governments namely: CordilleraAdministrative Region and ARMM –Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.Above all, the MMDA as a metro widesystem of governance has been acceptedto address the problems of rapidurbanization, which cannot be solvedindependently by a local government unit.
In general, the functions of local governments may be gleaned from the following features they usually perform:a. Local governments provide greater political participation from the people at lower level communities;b. Local units impart socio-economic services for the constituency consistent with national government policies;c. Local governments offer a means of dividing power, responsibilities and functions by geographic area or locality of the state; andd. Local governments confer or vest upon political distinction among disparate local communities.
What makes local governmentparticularly important in unitarystates is that in most areas, it is theonly form of government outside thecenter. Unitary system implies thesovereignty lies exclusively with thecentral government. In theory,national government can abolishlower level governments should itwished to.
It has been observed that most smallcountries that are democraticsocieties with a history of rule bysovereign emperors and monarchslike Japan, France, and Great Britain,there are three ways in which unitarysates can disperse power from thecenter: decentralization,deconcentraton, and devolution.
Decentralization, Devolution and DeconcentrationDecentralization may be defined asthe dispersal of authority andresponsibility and the allocation ofpowers and functions from the centeror top level of government to regionalbodies or special- purpose authorities,or from the national to the sub-national levels of government.
Decentralizaiton may also take form ofdevolution or political decentralization,which is the transfer of authority and powerfrom the central government to the localgovernments to perform certaingovernmental functions and services.Political decentralization involves thegranting of authority and power to theprovincial, city and municipal governmentsto manage their own affairs, which processpartakes of the nature of what is commonlyreferred to as local autonomy.
One form of decentralization is whatmay be termed as decentralization iswhat may be termed asdeconcentration or administrativedecentralization, which is thedelegation of authority by a centralgovernment ministry or department tofield offices to undertake certainprograms or perform administrativefunctions.
There are several reasons whydecentralization is adopted and applied as a tool of development administration.1. It enables maximum participation of the people concerned in the decision-making processes on issues that concern them directly. Decisions, aside from ensuring maximum citizen participation, are also more responsive to the needs of the people.2. Lower levels of government are encouraged and trained, to be more self- reliant through decentralization.3. It hastens the decision-making processes, doing away with traditional red tape of having to go all the way up the central authorities for action or authority to perform appropriate actions, and then downwards.4. Decentralization decongests the central government of certain functions that could well be done at the lower levels.
Furthermore, there are several modesby which the process ofdecentralization can beoperationalized. These include: (1)devolution which essentially is thetransfer of power for the performanceof certain functions from the national orcentral authorities to the lower levelsof government; and (2) deconcentrationwhich, essentially, is the processdelegating functions from the centralgovernment to field or regional units.
Devolution exits when centralgovernment grants some decision-making autonomy to new lower levelslike regional governments in France,Italy and Spain. Devolution is thetransfer of political power andauthority from the central nationalgovernment to local government unitsof a state.
It has been noted in Abueva (1998)that the devolution of powers to localunits raises three basic concerns: (a)the capabilities of local units toabsorb the necessary responsibilitiesand raise resources; (b) the fearamong many sectors that devolutionwill create local warlords; and (c) thefragmentation of the delivery of thebasic services.
Deconcentration may also refer to theassignment of functions to adhocbodies and special authorities createdin the region to render technicalassistance on regional development.Administrative decentralization,legislation, just with issuance of anexecutive or administrative order.
Deconcentration then implies to thelocation of central governmentemployees away from the capitalregion. “The case for adeconcentrated structure is that itspreads the work around, enablingfield offices to benefit from localknowledge and freeing centraldepartments to focus on policymaking”.
In the Philippines, RA 7160 became the legalinstrument that strengthened the spirit ofdemocracy, and attain the highest possiblelevel of development at the local levels inthe Philippines. It is so designed in enrichingthe capabilities and maximizing limitedresources of Local government units, hereinreferred to as LGUs for brevity, byempowering the people through directparticipation in the affairs of thegovernment.
The Local Government Code providesfor much greater powers andresponsibilities by which localgovernments may come up withdifferent programs and activitiesfashioned to uphold the generalwelfare of the people.
Local Governments in the New WorldThe status of local government isdistinguished between the new world andthe old world of Europe. The new worldlike the United States, New Zealand,Canada and Australia regard localgovernment with utilitarian purpose orfunction. Local governments are organizedto facilitate infrastructure services andprovide basic amenities for the villages.Even local licensing and regulatoryservices are established independent ofpolitical parties to address specificconcerns.
Patterns of Local GovernmentsThere are traditionally four basicpatterns of local governments:the English Model, the SovietModel, the French Model and theTraditional Model.
1. English ModelLocal governments of England since timeimmemorial assumed wide range ofpowers and responsibilities towardcommunity organizing, and more onstirring economic growth at thegrassroots. This typology of localgovernment came from the Anglo Saxonperiod long before the Norman invasion ofthe eleventh century. The English patternof local government is decentralized incharacter and by nature dominated bylocal legislative councils, committeebodies and voluntary citizen organization.
2. Soviet ModelAs early as the 1917 Revolution, localgovernments in former Soviet Unionwere already in existence. During thisperiod, Russia typified localgovernments into regions, provinces,districts and cantons, which consist ofseveral villages. By nature the formerSoviet local government type ishierarchical in character yetdecentralized. Only one dominant partyhowever controls and manages localgovernment systems.
3. French ModelThis type of local governmentsystem originated during theFrench revolution up to theNapoleonic Age. It is hierarchicaland centralized in nature,characterized by executivedomination and legislativesubordination.
4. Traditional ModelLocal governance is naturally inherentamong the people in a village orcommunity. A system of governmentnormally resulted from the relationshipof the inhabitants, with defined butautocratic system of executive,legislative and judicial powers, usuallycontrolled by a local chieftain. Althoughit has a rather simple structure ofcommand obedience. It is usuallysolidify by community practice andtraditions.
The International Union of LocalAuthorities (IULA), observing “anobvious resemblance between thestructure of local government inneighboring countries, classified localgovernment systems in terms ofgeography and culture (includinglanguage, religion, governmentaltraditions and philosophy and closelyrelated history).
Thus, it came up with the following classification1. Anglo Saxon Group: The United States, Australia, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, Canada2. Eastern Europe Group: Former Soviet Union, Poland, Bulgaria and former Yugoslavia3. Central and Northwest Europe Group: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg4. South Europe Group: France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal5. West Asia and East Africa Group: all Islamic countries, mostly Arab and Arab influenced states6. South Asia and East Africa Group: India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Sudan, Burma, Ethiopia7. East Asia Group: Thailand, the Philippines, Japan
While the Philippines is classifiedunder East Asia Groups, it can easilybe categorized as that of southernEuropean pattern (in the IULA’sclassification) or the French Model.The local government system in thePhilippines is colonial experiencetransplanted by Spain and continuedby America.
Two-Tier and Multiple-Tier SystemFrance has a two-tier system. Localgovernments are created by thenational government. It is highlycentralized characterized byexecutive dominance. In principle,a two-tier local government systemhas some advantages: there issimplicity in terms of allocation offunctions and finances;
smaller numbers of local governmentunits with short line of politicalcommand. On the contrary, the two-tier system carriers also negativeeffects: many local units are too bigto serve as catchment areas andcriticize as inadequate for physicaland economic planning.
Philippines is a multiple tier system.Local governments are subdivided onsmaller categories: provinces, cities,municipalities and barangays. Localgovernment in deep tier system ismore democratic and participatory.They easily satisfy political objectivesof the people and government, andlower levels are mobilized for social,community developments and are farmore effective in engaging citizen’sparticipation.
A deep/ multiple tier system is more efficientfor planning and economic coordination,with greater opportunity and stability inchanging functional assignments. On thecontrary, they also breed disadvantages; asthey tend to complicate and cause problemsin allocation of tasks, complicate financialallocation by central government. Thecreation of multiple tiers also evokes longline of command, and also they breedpolitically expensive organizational setup.
Local AutonomyThe concept of local autonomy hasalways been related to the generalidea of decentralization. It should beemphasized however that localautonomy is more specifically relatedto political decentralization than toadministrative decentralization.
Local autonomy is a level ofindependence granted to localgovernment units to administer freelytheir own local affairs with the view toaddress the needs of the people livingtherein and at the same time promotethe welfare of the constituency. Localautonomy is understood in general asthe ability of local units for self-government in varying tiers of localgovernments in a state.
Hence, local autonomy is thedegree of self-determinationexercised by a local governmentunit vis-à-vis the centralgovernment. Decentralization is anecessary prerequisite to localautonomy.
Brillantes (1993) noted that there are major criteria in determining local autonomy or self-government:1. There must be local officials elected in the area be it at the provincial, city, municipality or barangay level;2. The area of local autonomy must possessed clearly defined areas of responsibility;3. The relationship between national and local government must be specifically identified and those aspects of major responsibilities clearly outlined or delineated; and4. The local government engaging certain degree of self-government must likewise enjoy fiscal capability in generating local revenues for its development ad community programs.
The intermediate units of local governmentcoordinate services in a larger area andsupervise lower levels of local authorities.These are variously called provinces,counties, prefectures, changwat or specialstructures such as regional or metropolitangovernments. Below them are the basicunits of local government, those performingservices for the people who live together ina community. These are the cities, intownships, districts, panchayats, tambons,and the likes.
They perform services that includesanitation, protection to lives andproperty, and provision of publicutilities. In a few countries, a lowerand smaller form of local governmentforms the sub-municipal level, typifiedby the barangays in the Philippines,the parishes in the United Kingdom,and the mahalle in Turkey (Bautista,1993).
The International Union of LocalAuthorities (IULA) noted that thenumber of tiers of local governmentsdepends on geography, population,number of basic units and degree ofcentralization. The Philippines severallayers may be attributed to itsgeographic perculiarities, centralistexperience, and historical basis of itsbarangays.
In the Philippines, there is a specificconstitutional article providing forlocal governments (Art. X of the 1987Constitution). Sec. 2 particularlyencourages the central government toassure self-governance or autonomyof all local governments at all times.
The territorial and politicalsubdivisions of the Republic of thePhilippines are the provinces, cities,municipalities, and barangays. Thereshall be autonomous regions inMuslim Mindanao and the Cordillerasas hereinafter provided. (Sec. 1 Art X)
In the Philippines, localgovernments are politicalsubdivisions created by law.These subdivisions areprovinces, cities, municipalitiesand barangays
Under the Local Government Code of 1991, the following terms are given their definitions and basic nature:a. Provinces. A province is comprisedof a group of municipalities andcomponent cities. The role of theprovince is to coordinate nationaldevelopment process througheffective integration of programs andproject of all its sub-localities, andassume basically area-wide functions,roles and activities.
b. Cities. A city is similar to municipality, butis more urbanized and better developed. It iscreated and governed by a law, RA 7160,others are governed by special law knownas charter. Thus, the term charted city. Acity serves as a general purpose governmentfor the coordination and delivery of all basic,regular and direct services within itsjurisdiction. A city may be either componentor highly urbanized.
• A component city is a part of the province in which it is geographically located and is under its administrative supervision,• A highly urbanized city is independent of the province in which it is geographically located.
c. Municipalities. A municipalityconsists of a number of barangays,and serves primarily as a generalpurpose government for thecoordination and delivery of basic,regular, and direct services within itsjurisdiction.
d. Barangays. A barangay is the basicpolitical unit of the government. Itserves as the primary planning andimplementing unit of governmentprograms, projects and activities, andas a forum in which the collectiveviews of the people in the communitymay be crystallized and considered.
Moreover, the political subdivisions ofthe state shall enjoy local autonomy.By virtue of Local Government Code of1991, local governments are to bevested with local autonomy and aremandated to help promote politicaldemocracy and enhanceadministrative efficiency in thedelivery of public services.
The promotion of local autonomy is a basicstate policy. In fact with RA 7160, the LocalGovernment Code of the Philippines, localgovernment units today enjoy adequatepowers, responsibilities and functions tocope with their interests, needs andproblems, with which they assumesignificant familiarity and understandingthan the central government, this, localunits shall not be prohibited in securing theirfull developmental goals and actions.
Devolution and local autonomy officerLGUs great challenge and opportunityto govern their affairs and developtheir resources for the benefit of thepeople in their communities who mayparticipate more actively in theprocesses of democracy anddevelopment at the grassroots.
Reasons for the Creation of Local GovernmentsIn most countries of the world there areat least two levels of government, theupper level and the local level. Usuallythe upper level government in thesovereign state, or “the government ofhe whole country”. As a sovereignnational or central government inassumes the functions of determiningand managing its own local affairswithout interference from the outsideworld.
The central government pursues anexclusive function, which lower levelscant perform, such as foreign relationsor coinage of money, and also capableof commanding state recognition fromother nation-states in internationalsystem. On the other hand, below theupper level government is the“government of the parts”, which levelof typology may vary from one state toanother based on historical experienceor political systems of one state.
Local governments are legalauthorities “constituted by laws”providing services, with therights and the necessaryorganization to regulate theirown affairs.
They are established or organized consistent with the principles of decentralization, thusthey came to exist for the following reasons:1. Local government come to exist asadministrative convenience to the statecreating them, particularly in delegatingadministrative functions to field agenciesmaking them more accountable to thepeople and at the same time promotingbetter and effective delivery of social andwelfare services;
2. Local government are directly responsiblein crystalling the interests of the peopleliving in common political units, and are inbetter positions to serving them. Certainlylocal officials know the best the needs andinterests of local population. Thus, they caneasily come up with local ordinancesresponding to specific area concerns thanthe national government which concerns aremuch broader and which may notimmediately address to local needs andconditions;
3. Local governments boost thecivil morale of the population asthey can directly participate inthe political affairs andprocesses towards more efficientlocal governance at the grassroot levels;
4. Local government can becomeeffective partners of the central ornational government in harnessing notonly community development andgrowth but also national developmentand growth. The closer the people tothe government the better thegovernance would become; and
5. Local governments also provide abetter understanding of therelationships between the desiredproject objectives and the resourcesavailable to implement them. In theprocess, of mobilizing local resourcesthey also promote participation of thepeople.
Relationship with the CenterNormally, local government units or the sub-national governments’ relationship with thecentral is seen on two models: dual systemand fused system model. The model isevaluated on these two premises that iswhether local governments operate aspolitical entities distinct and separate fromthe central or national authority (dual) orwhether local governments operate as partof a single organization (fused).
1. Under a Dual SystemLocal governments retain freestandingstatus setting their own internalorganization and employ staff on their owncondition of service. Staff tend to movehorizontally from one local authority toanother rather than vertically, betweencentral and local governments. Ultimateresponsibility rests with the center but localgovernment employees do not regardthemselves as working for the sameemployer as civil servants based at thecenter.
Britain is a traditional example of adual system. Hence, a dual system oflocal government. Although the centeris sovereign, local authorities are notseen as part of single state stature.
2. Under a Fused SystemCentral and local governments combine toform a single sphere of public authority.Both levels express the leading authorityof the state. The two levels are normallyjoined in the office of the prefect, a centralappointee who oversees theadministration of particular community,and reports to the Ministry of the Interim inthe Capital. In theory, prefectoral systemsignifies central dominance byestablishing a clear unitary hierarchyrunning from national government throughthe prefect to local authorities.
France is a classic example of a fusedsystem. Hence, a fused system exitswhen centrally appointed prefectsupervises local authorities. Thelocalities, although possessingconsiderable autonomy in practice,form part of a uniform system ofadministration applying across thecountry.
Local Government in the PhilippinesThe Local Government Code of 1991is considered the landmark legislationof the Aquino administration.Otherwise known as RA 7160, whichlook took effect on 1 January 1991.
The Local Government Code of 1991 is so farthe best democratic decentralizationprogram of the Philippines. It ensures thewidest possible autonomy at the local levelsby granting Local Government Unitsexpanded powers, enhanced functions andmost needed financial bases to propeleconomic advancement. An analysis ofthese forces is contained in the provisions ofRA 7160.
The impetus aims to make themeffective partners of centralgovernment in revitalizing nationalprogress and spurring localdevelopment. The constitutional rolesof LGUs are explicitly provided for (ArtX of the 1987 Constitution), thus,enabling them to be of significance atthe grassroots.
Sec. 3 The Congress shall enact a localgovernment code which shall provide formore responsive and accountable localgovernment structure instituted through asystem of decentralization with effectivemechanisms of recall, initiative, andreferendum, allocate among the differentlocal government units their powers,responsibilities, and resources, and providefor the qualifications, election, appointmentand removal, term, salaries, powers andfunctions and duties of local officials, and allother relating to the organization andoperation of the local units.
A host of massive governmental serviceshave been devolved to LGUs upon theadoption of the Local Government Code,social welfare and development, publicworks, and highways, health, agriculture,and environment and natural resources. Infact, under the Code, the President shallonly exercise supervisory powers over LGUsin order to make them truly self-reliantcommunities for national development.
The Local Government Code in thePhilippines has devolved to localgovernment units the following functions ofnational government agriculture, health,social services, environmental protection,and local public works. Several regulatoryfunctions of national agencies have likewisebeen devolved. These includereclassification of agricultural lands,enforcement of environmental laws,inspection of food products and quarantine,enforcement of national building code,enforcement of environmental laws and soforth.
Also, the code provides the legal andinstitutional mechanisms for the participation oforganized groups in civil society in localgovernance and development activities. Inmandates the representation of NGOs andpeople’s organizations in local special bodiesand specifies the number of seats to beallocated for this purpose. These include thelocal development councils, the local healthboard, and the local school board. This hadprovided an effective mechanism for promotingthe local accountability and responsiveness andunderscores the fact that NGOs and Pos play acomplementary and reinforcing role in thegovernment’s development efforts. (Abueva,1998)
General Supervision over Local GovernmentsArt X, Sec. 4 states: The President of thePhilippines shall exercise generalsupervision over local governments.Provinces with respect to component citiesand municipalities with respect tocomponent barangays shall ensure that theacts of their component units are within thescope of their prescribed powers andfunctions.
It should be noted that the Presidentshould only have the power ofsupervision over LGUs not any morethe power to control them, whichmeans a direct authority to managethe LGUs. The power of the Presidentto supervise in only limited to thepurpose of ensuring that the LGUsperform their functions based onmandates of the Constitution, and onthe standards of the Code.
Therefore, in order to assure the goalsof local autonomy, provinces andcities in respect to their componentcities and municipalities, andcomponent municipalities andbarangays, respectively shall exercisepower to supervise only inasmuch asto ensure “that the acts of theircomponent units are within the scopeof their assigned powers andfunctions”.
Revenue and Taxing Power of LGUsSec. 5 Each local government unit shall havethe power to create its own sources ofrevenues and to levy taxes, fees, andcharges subject to such guidelines andlimitations as the Congress may provide,consistent with the basic policy of localautonomy. Such taxes, fees, and chargesshall accrue exclusively to the localgovernments.
The Constitution grants fiscal autonomy toLGUs in creating their own sources ofrevenues and to levy taxes, imposes feesand charges within their immediateterritorial jurisdiction, subject to thelimitation determined by Congress. Theproceeds of those locally generatedresources shall accrue to the public fundingof local government concerned.
In terms of taxation, local governments havethe power to raise different types of fees,along with other charges. The biggest localtax resource comes from real property taxesand business taxes. Fees and charges arelevied from the use of public utilities,facilities, and equipment owned andoperated, and maintained by localgovernments within their boundaries. Themost common are local roads, markets,slaughterhouses, and public parking lots.
One of the newest local sources under theRA 7160 is the community tax, replacing theold national residence tax, which has to bepaid by every inhabitant 18 years of age orover who has been regularly employed on awage or salary basis or who is engaged inbusiness or occupation, or who owns realproperty of an assessed value of Php 1,000or more, or who is required to file an incometax.
Further, local governments units shall havea just share, as determined by law in thenational taxes which shall be automaticallyreleased to them (Art. X, Sec 6), and localgovernment shall be entitled to an equitableshare in the proceeds of the utilization anddevelopment of the national wealth withintheir respective areas, in the mannerprovided by law, including sharing the samewith the inhabitants by way of directbenefits (Sec. 7).
Local governments also have a sharein the proceeds derived from theutilization and development of thenational wealth (at 40%) within theirrespective areas. These includeshares from mining taxes, royalties,forestry and fishery charges, andother surcharges, interests or fines inany co-production, joint venture orproduction sharing agreement.
Any government agency orgovernment-owned or controlledcorporation engaged in the utilizationand development of the nationalwealth is also required to share theirproceeds with the local governmentunit (s) concerned.
Apart from the regular members of localcouncils in different tiers of localgovernment, the Code also provides forsectoral representations in local governmentsuch as the creation of Local School Board,Local Development Council, and LocalHealth Board in every council. This is toensure greater political participation of thedifferent sectors of the society in policy anddecision-making processes (Sec. 9).
Regional and Metropolitan GovernmentA dominant feature of the twentiethcentury is the rapid growth of cities indeveloping as well as in developedstates. The emergence of themetropolis with all its attendantproblems has become the increasingconcern of government.
Metropolis refers to:A huge multi-million population center oftrade, finance, culture, and world power…Itcombines the function of central leadershipand production of the main bulk of materialgoods and services. Its influenceconsolidates huge areas up to 1000 milesoutside the central city into vastmetropolitan regions.
The concept of urbanizationcommonly refers to the growth ofpopulation concentrations, which isthe development of towns and cities.It is also used to connote theproportion of a population living inurban places and changes in socialorganization that result from suchpopulation concentrations.
Urbanization is thus a process-theprocess by which rural areas aretransformed into urban areas. Indemographic terms, urbanization is anincrease in population concentration;organizationally, it is an alternation instructure and functionsDemographically, urbanization involvestwo elements: the multiplication ofpoints of concentration and theincrease in the size of individualconcentrations.
The creation of Metropolitan Government,the MMDA, is brought about by the problemsof urbanization. The metropolitan system ofgovernance has been accepted to addressthe problems of rapid urbanization whichcannot be solved independently by a localunit. The metropolitan system has beenrecognized as relatively successful inaddressing urban problems like pollution,traffic, garbage, the delivery of basicservices, etc.
Rapid urbanization is one importantconcerns that must be addressedcollectively or in coordination with otherLGUs in one-mega cities, which issues andconcerns extend beyond politicalboundaries. The Constitution seeks the needto administer programs and services in anintegrated approach of regional governance.A special government which shallconsolidate and mobilize resources ofconcerned LGUs in an effort to wrestle thefast decaying problems of growing andexpanding population in key cities.
Metropolitan and decentralization aretwo significant forces in thedevelopment and management oflarge cities throughout the world. Theunprecedented large-scale urbanproblems that need to be addressedhave strengthened the call for ametropolitan system of government.
The President shall provide for regionaldevelopment councils or other similar bodiescomposed of local government officials,regional heads of departments and othergovernmental organizations within theregions for purpose of administrativedecentralization to strengthen the autonomyof the units therein and to accelerate theeconomic and social growth anddevelopment of the units in the region (Sec.14).
The regional government and administrationin the Philippines constitutes a new tier inlocal government system. They assumecoordinating roles among lower levels oflocal governments. They facilitate also amore effective decision making enhancecoordination and horizontal integration,establish a strong and unified leadership andimplementing machinery in the region andreduce regional disparities. Regionalgovernment promotes local autonomy whichis of political and administrative type.
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