Area Development, Subsidiarity and Federalism

Manila Times  article by philip camaraby USEC PHILIP CAMARA

(Published in The Manila Times, 05 January 2017)

TIMES  of  crisis  are  windows  for  great  opportunity.  That  is  an  old Chinese  saying.  But  in  these  troubling  times  (for  many),  what opportunities  indeed  lie  ahead?  There  are  quite  a  few  and the promising thing is they seem to be opportunities that would open up given  current  trajectories  or  the  way  things  are  unfolding.  Indeed, 2017 may be the year that developmental change finally proceeds.

The world is shifting away from the international policies of recent decades that, while they have created well-being for unprecedented billions of people, have likewise resulted in great tensions.  Not  just tensions  between  peoples  but  tensions  between  people  and  their environment  and  even  tensions  inside  people due  to  an  identity  overly  linked  to consumerism  rather  than  their  inherent truths;  consumerism  that  threatens  the  very sustainability of Mother Earth.

One  such  opportunity  is  the  re-emergence  within  government  of  the  area  development paradigm or development framework under Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina  Lopez.  While Sixto  K.  Roxas  was  its  initial  advocate  in  the  late  1960s  it  had unfortunately  been  bastardized  in  several big  government  projects  that  went  puff!  (just  as the autonomous regional experience is going  puff!) due to  wrongful implementation, which in turn was due to a misunderstanding of what area, development is basically about.

With  Secretary  Gina  at  the  helm  of  a  major  government  department  that  has  a  direct  and meaningful role in national development, the area development paradigm is set to take off and  this  time under  the  leadership  of  a  capable  and  knowledgeable  environment  and natural  resources  secretary.  For  one, Secretary  Gina  has  been  a  practitioner  of  area development approaching the various undertakings of the ABS-CBN Foundation in Palawan and other provinces wherein the local people were the implementers and the beneficiaries of the eco-tourism projects that simply highlighted the potential of their area (thus the term area development).


Photo Releases

Other Links

  • office-of-the-president

  • official-gazette