Participatory Budgeting in the Philippines

Aimee L. Franklin, Carol Ebdon


Participatory budgeting has been adopted and adapted by governments around the world. Existing literature points to a variety of desired outcomes from these efforts, but does not clearly distinguish the impacts on individuals, groups, and society. This study uses the case of the Philippines to explore the differences in impacts of participatory budgeting within and across the three levels. Reforms in the Philippines were similar to efforts in other countries, but there were adaptations, including a national mandate for the decentralization of participatory budgeting to local governments and the required representation of civil society organizations in local resource allocation processes. 

Some gains in individual education and efficacy, representation of marginalized groups and social justice, and government accountability were seen in the Philippines, but they seem to be idiosyncratic to the local context. Civil society and democratic legitimacy advances, though, were weaker, at least partly due to challenges in involving third-party intermediaries in the process, and continued issues with elitism and corruption. Like other participatory budgeting cases, the outcomes have not been uniform, and transitions in national leadership hinder institutionalization.



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Chinese Public Administration Review (ISSN 1539-6754, Online ISSN 2573-1483)  is published by the Institute for Public Service at Suffolk University - Boston.