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The Importance of Political Empowerment in Urban Planning: A Case Study Analysis on the Passage of the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 in the Philippines

Jalasco, Patrick Emmanuel Ramos

The Philippines in recent years has been praised for its ability to reverse its fortune. Formerly labeled as the “Sick Man of Asia,” its past economic performance severely lagged behind those of its neighboring countries within the Southeast Asian region. Since 2010 however, under the incumbent Aquino administration, the Philippines has been, and is still being touted as one of the “most promising” countries in the region. Amidst the Philippines’ recent achievements, however, poverty still remains to be quite a pervasive issue. As of 2006, poverty incidence in the whole country was recorded at 26.6 percent. As of 2012, it only slightly decreased by 0.6 points, leaving the current figure at 25.2 percent (National Statistics Coordination Board, 2014). Situating poverty in the urban areas, it could be said that poverty within cities is not as severe as compared to the rest of the Philippines. Despite its low standings, however, its figures have also remained virtually unchanged throughout the years. The contexts presented gives one the idea that not much has been done to alleviate the situation of the urban poor. It seems that the urban poor are still continuously excluded and marginalized within the development schemes of the cities. This thesis will provide a means for marginalized groups, such as the urban poor, to combat the various processes of marginalization, and ultimately, affect the development process of urban areas in such a way that incorporates and reflects their specific issues and concerns. The thesis puts forth the hypothesis that through the political empowerment of marginalized groups, along with the aid of domestic NGOS, marginalized groups, such as the urban poor, can ultimately affect the development process of the city. The thesis will use the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 in the Philippines as its main case study. Specifically, the thesis will focus on the passage of the said Act, and analyze how crucial the factors of political empowerment and domestic NGO aid were in the passage of the Act.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Degree
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
October 23, 2015
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