This study aims to examine the experience of the local government of Sibonga, a municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines in establishing the Sibonga Community College, a local public higher educational institution. Situating within the context of a Philippine local government and taking into account the political dynamics and existing structures of local power and authority, this study uses the systems approach of David Easton as framework of analysis as adapted by education scholars. Primarily, this study focuses on the processes and practices undertaken in the venture into higher education system by the local government. Methodologically, the study looks into the perceptions of local government officials, local line agency heads, teachers and administrators, students and graduates; and uses key informant interviews and focus group discussion. The findings suggest that the creation of the educational venture was susceptible to local political dynamics, a strong mayoral engagement and nuances of informal arrangements with a national agency on higher education. The local government, as the political system at the local level, remains a powerful site of delivering public goods and service. In addition, the venture was argued to be a form of policy innovation and good governance centered on the response to the higher education gap at the local level. As such, there needs to be improvements in local government units’ venture as provider of higher education at the local level, to match access goals with quality assurance, for an enhanced, rationalized and sustainable pursuit of higher education system in the country.
What accounts for the uptick of political trust in the Philippines? This study theorizes that individual subjective health combined with the extent of democratic (and nondemocratic political attitude) explains political trust in the Philippines. It hypothesizes that healthier authoritarian citizens are more likely to express favorable views towards political institutions because these individuals possess conservative values who put, among others, a premium on maintenance of order and stability. Such political values are activated upon the arrival of strongmen. Using data from the 2019 World Values Survey, estimates strongly support such an argument. The novel operationalization of this study nuances the view of citizen attitudes on political trust in developing democracies. Overall, the main results not only add credence to the cultural origins of political trust, but it also illuminates on why Philippine political institutions remain trusted despite the botched pandemic response and Filipinos’ enduring support for leaders like Duterte.
This article is an attempt to carve out a research agenda for an enriched populism research in the Philippines. Specifically, it analyzes journal articles drawn from academic database collections, examines its domains of publication, and core analytical approaches. Then, it situated these studies within the broader landscape of the Philippine political scholarship. The results suggest a thriving and flourishing populism research in the Philippines. Yet, it also suffers from the same theoretical and empirical obscurities that typifies global research on populism. The article contends that future Philippine populism studies must (a) adhere to a minimalist theoretical anchor, (b) be methodologically pluralistic and innovative, and (c) be thematically grounded on a host of other significant domains of Philippine politics that go beyond Duterte. Ultimately, the article urges prospective scholars to strongly engage with these arguments and suggested line of political inquiries in order to refine the scholarly enterprise of populism in the country.