As what has initially been pointed out in Parallel Session 5C, this session stresses the importance of strong institutions in reform implementation. It points out some of the challenges in governance and response capacities of certain national and local institutions in the Philippines. The session is chaired by Mr. Daniel Gerson of OECD.
In her presentation, "Towards Strong Institutions: Challenges and Responses in Local Tourism Development in Maribojoc, Philippines," Dr. Maria Fe Villamejor-Mendoza, Dean of the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance, Philippines, argued that strong institutions are needed for sustainable development and tourism. Her study identifies the challenges in local tourism development in the town of Maribojoc, Bohol. It is seen that tourism can be a viable option for the said town, and it will require more capacity-building, multiple stakeholder engagement, participatory regulations, and networking.
Dr. Maria Victoria Raquiza, also of UP-NCPAG, shared the same sentiments as Dr. Villamejor-Mendoza. In her presentation, "Governance that Matters for Development and Structural Transformation," she argued that the current institutional policy and governance framework of the Philippines is insufficient to reduce poverty, and promote industrialization and structural transformation. Despite impressive growth rates, there is also high poverty incidence and high levels of inequality. She explained that, while structural transformation is imperative at this time, it will entail purposeful leadership with developmental vision.
Moving towards the capacity side of reform, the presentation by Dr. Ederson Tapia of the University of Makati, Philippines, focuses on selected Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Training Institutions (Tis) involved in Governance Education. Governance-capacity connection is recognized to be important in the LGU level. Capacity building is designed to increase knowledge, skills, competitiveness, and improved behavior to bring about desired changes.