Monday, April 20, 2015

Miguel Paolo P. Reyes, 2015 Gawad Chanselor sa Natatanging Research, Extension, and Professional Staff

The Third World Studies Center (TWSC)  is extremely proud of Miguel Paolo P. Reyes for being a recipient of the 2015 Gawad Chanselor sa Natatanging Research, Extension, and Professional Staff (Research Category). In his nomination for Miguel to the said award, TWSC Director, Dr. Ricardo T. Jose cited Miguel as

an exemplary researcher whose intellect and untiring diligence has broadened and strengthened the international and Asian collaborative research portfolio of the TWSC—an agenda in line with the University of the Philippines’s (UP) internationalization efforts. He is a scholar whose distinct and original research pursuits enrich the multidisciplinary character of the Center. Miguel is also an active participant in governance and administrative concerns of the REPS in the college. His unstinting and even-handed engagement with his colleagues earned him their trust and respect as proven by his leadership of two important non-teaching committees of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP).

Miguel started as University Research Associate I at the TWSC on 17 February 2010 and was promoted to University Research Associate II on 10 January 2012. His promotion was an early recognition of the already sterling performance that he demonstrated in his first two years as researcher in TWSC.  

Reyes received his award at the UP Institute of Biology last 8 May 2015:

Friday, April 17, 2015

The 2015 TWSC Writeshop Fellows

The Third World Studies Center (TWSC) announces the following successful applicants to the 2015 TWSC Writeshop on 8-10 June 2015. In no particular order, the TWSC welcomes the following writeshop fellows with their respective manuscript submissions:

1. Matthew David D. Ordonez, MA Political Science, Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, Ateneo De Manila University

Booty Urbanism: Public-Private Power Relations in the Urbanization of Fort Bonifacio

The proliferation of privatized, self-contained urban enclaves across Metro Manila indicates the incremental capturing of the urbanization process by private developers from the state. Rather than remain passive at the growing dominance of the elite, the Philippine state has re-scaled and reorganized its institutional apparatus of urban planning that incorporates a contradictory mix of neoliberal policies like privatization and deregulation for attracting private partners and developmental mechanisms that ensure state control and public welfare. However, the weak and uneven implementation of the control mechanisms allowed the private sector to dominate the partnership. This study examines the case of Fort Bonifacio as a primary example of the state’s attempt at asserting its authority in urban planning through re-scaling but merely multiplied the arenas of elite’s capture of the state’s space. Although the case shows the state having greater agency against the elite, Fort Bonifacio stands as a haven for exclusive growth.

2. Lady Flor N. Partosa, Faculty Member, Department of English and Literature, College of Arts and Sciences, Siliman University

Connecting Home and the Diaspora through Hip Hop: Responding to Deep Foundation’s “Children of the Sun” in Conceptualizing the Filipino Identity

The study brings Deep Foundation’s song “Children of the Sun” to Filipino students enrolled in Philippine Literature (2nd semester, SY 2014-2015) in Silliman University to examine how the Filipino Americans’ constructions of home and identity are received from those within the nation’s borders. Students responded to the song by watching the video and reading the song lyrics. In analyzing the listeners’ perception of the song and their reflection about the Filipino identity, the paper drew from theories about nationalism, postcolonial identity, the “in-between space,” and diaspora. To set the background, the paper also discussed the role of Hip Hop among Filipino Americans in asserting their Filipino identity. Upon analyzing the responses, the study reveals the following perceptions of the respondents about the song: the overall message is to proclaim that the artists are Filipinos, that the artists view the country as having a long history of struggle for independence, that they connect themselves to the country by identifying with heroes, popular culture icons, Filipino qualities and physical attributes as well as pointing out the problem of colonial mentality. Most respondents also agreed with the song in taking pride of one’s country and identity as well as recognizing the problem of colonial mentality. The study shows that both Filipinos and Filipino Americans celebrate and critically assess their identity. With these results, the study seeks to encourage more exploration on how to connect the diaspora and home—Filipino Americans and Filipinos—both in the fields of research and the Philippine literature classroom.

3. Hazel M. Dizon, Faculty Member, Department of Geography, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of the Philippines Diliman   

Contested Development Arising from the Philippine Tourism Landscape

Being a developing country, the Philippines is bent on elevating its economic status to attain economic development and security. One of its key strategies is tourism development, which requires infrastructures and scenic locations that attract tourists. However, these scenic locations contain as well the agricultural landscape. Consequently, peasants living in these lands are being displaced from their homes and livelihood to give way to tourism projects. Taking the province of Nasugbu, Batangas as a study site, the paper employs landscape studies by examining the socio-political and economic relations between government officials, private tourism developers, and farmer-residents that take place in its agricultural and tourism landscapes. Through interviews with various stakeholders, examination of state policies infrastructure resources, the study reveals that the combination of decentralized power of local government units, political patronage, private-public partnership, and oligarchic and bureaucratic capitalism boost the government’s agenda on making tourism work for the economy. The paper posits that the kind of development that arises from the shared landscape of tourism and agriculture is contested development.

4. Mark Anthony M. Velasco, Research Fellow, Social Development Research Center & Jesse M. Robredo Institute of Governance and Faculty Member, Political Science Department, De La Salle University 

Role of Collaborative Governance in Relocation Arrangements in the Philippines

When to collaborate? This has been the dilemma confronting cooperative action efforts in the conduct of relocation projects in the Philippines. Getting the relevant stakeholders to collaborate has been difficult or close to impossible despite opportunities to do so. Hence, it is the primordial goal to create an explanation on the following question: How does collaborative governance foster the provision of effective post-relocation housing programs for the informal settlers in the urban centers? The study utilized a case study research method through the administration of survey and conduct of focus group discussion with the relevant stakeholders in the relocation process initiated by the local government of Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte. Results yield that different state and non-state stakeholders were mobilized to institute the relocation process. This effort produced a holistic relocation program that lead to improvement in the life conditions of the beneficiaries.

5. Hansley A. Juliano, Faculty Member, Department of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, Ateneo De Manila University and Research and Advocacy Officer, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa

The Tension Points of Democratic Left Politics in Akbayan’s Alliance with the Aquino Administration

This study is a critique of past narratives and analyses of possibilities for the parliamentary Left in the Philippines, intending to provide a sufficient picture of a political party-cum-social movement that might be overextending itself. Akbayan Citizens' Action party's alliance with the Liberal Party, leading to its role as coalition partner of the administration of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, exhibits the limitations of formalizing coalition networks into a uniform and standing political party. The leadership of the party, which prioritizes winning electoral positions and getting their stalwarts appointed in bureaucratic offices, appears to deviate from the aforementioned intent of their allied social movements to address the socio-political issues they carry. The cases of the anti-administration stance of Akbayan‘s labor ally, the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), the less-optimistic appraisal of the rural poor organization Kilusang Para sa Repormang Pansakahan at Katarungang Panlipunan at Repormang Pansakahan (KATARUNGAN), and the bolting-out of their rural sector ally, the Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA) from Akbayan's network are highly illustrative examples. The party leadership, their allied movements and their members vary in the priority they give to the importance of government-based tactics to address such issues. This, in turn, explain the dissonances and tensions between the network of Akbayan, and why other leftist parties in the country such as the National Democratic Front‘s sectoral parties continue to pose real challenges to their efforts. These tensions could explain why, despite their seemingly-stabilized presence in national politics, Akbayan‘s capacity to effect change remains challenged in the context of a dynamically-evolving status quo of patronage politics in the country to date.

6. Katrina S. Navallo,  MA Asian Studies Candidate, Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman

Transnational Eldercare and the Filipino Caregiver: Making Meaning in High-Demand, Low-Pay Caregiving Work

Caregiving work in the Philippines has taken a new meaning with the emergence of transnational eldercare, where international migrant retirees are being cared for by Filipino nurses and caregivers in local nursing homes as a result of the national government’s initiative to attract foreign retirees through real estate investment schemes under the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) since 1985. Migrant retirees in the Philippines may still be few in number, but significantly opens up eldercare markets in the country. Private nursing homes have opened up and now cater to this particular cohort, and have provided work opportunities for Filipino nurses and caregivers who could not find local employment due to the unavailability of work opportunities in hospitals and community clinics. Despite the lucrative profits derived by private nursing homes in the care of migrant retirees in the country, caregiving work remains undervalued as evidenced by the low pay and precarious condition (e.g. contractual, outsourced work) of many Filipino caregivers. Moreover, there is an ongoing deskilling as most who enter as caregivers in these nursing homes are actually nurses and nursing graduates, who, because of lack of available work, are driven to apply for jobs below their skill level. This paper delves into the caregiving work experience of Filipino nurses/caregivers in a selected nursing home in Metro Manila. Through their narratives, this paper uncovers the lived experience, issues, and challenges of transnational eldercare work in the Philippines. The narratives provide insight into how these individuals find meaning in their work given the increased physical, emotional, and psychological demands of eldercare and the low pay and low status attributed to care work in the country’s local economic value chain.

7. Maria Cynthia B. Barriga, MA History candidate, History Department, School of Social Sciences, Ateneo De Manila University

War in the Philippines: View from the Davao Settler Zone, 1941-1942

While Philippine historians depict 1941-1945 as a traumatizing period in which Filipinos responded with valor, Japanese historians believe that Japan’s courage against the Western powers triggered nationalism in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.  In divergent national narratives, Davao, a Filipino-Japanese settler zone at the outbreak of the Asia-Pacific War, offers an intersection. Moreover, as a frontier, Davao steers the viewing lens away from national centers and explore dimensions other than nationalist sentiments.  This paper presents a local history of Davao Province during the Asia-Pacific War.  It asks: How did Filipino and Japanese residents in Davao respond to exigencies at the outbreak of the war?  Through the use of memoirs, family histories, collective biographies, personal interviews and sworn testimonies, I found that Filipino and Japanese residents responded to the December 8 bombing, the Japanese incarceration, the breakdown of social order and the Japanese military invasion through an interplay of four factors: nationalism, racial prejudices, familial/ethnic ties, and prewar occupational/neighborhood networks.

8. Lloyd B. Ranises, PhD Philippine Studies Candidate, Mindanao State University and Faculty Member, Social Science Department, College of Arts and Sciences, Misamis University

Agrarian History and the New People's Army of Plaridel, Misamis Occidental

The agrarian structure in the Philippines under the tenancy system was plagued with high incidence of poverty and manifested long history of unrest. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) held its leadership on agrarian problem which covered the town of Plaridel in 1970’s operations. This account leads this historical study to explore the agrarian condition in Plaridel throughout the period. Documentary and oral sources had proven that the large number of population in the town who were peasants had suffered from poverty. This condition was brought largely by the “tenancy system” that operated in most farms of the town. The struggle for economic alleviation expressly manifested its height when the peasants turned as “mass base” of the NPA operations in the province of Misamis Occidental starting from 1979 for believing on rebel’s policy which was “to end poverty”. Reconciliatory approach that lessened their struggle was important in  effectively bringing the peasants back to the government, particularly in times of rigid militarization.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Roundtable Discussion on "Decentralization and the Politics of Local Taxation" with Ryan Tans

A Roundtable Discussion with Mr. Ryan Tans, PhD candidate
11 May 2015 (Monday), 2:00 - 5:00PM
Conference Room, Third World Studies Center, Lower Ground Floor
Palma Hall, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy,
University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City

The Third World Studies Center of UP Diliman and the Philippine-American Educational Foundation (Fulbright Commission in the Philippines) cordially invite you to a presentation to a roundtable discussion (RTD) on "Decentralization and the Politics of Local  Taxation" by Third World Studies Center (TWSC) Visiting Research Fellow Ryan Tans from Emory University.

Mr. Tans is a PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science in Emory University. He has an MA on Southeast Asian Studies from National University of Singapore. His research interests are on comparative politics, clientelism, local politics, decentralization, taxation, Southeast Asia.

The RTD is FREE and OPEN to faculty members and graduate students. 


Classic theories in public finance advocate the decentralized provision of public goods, but financing local service provision poses a dilemma. When local governments collect taxes, they often impose regressive and overlapping taxes that are economically inefficient; yet, when central governments collect taxes, local governments tend to misuse centrally provided funds. Some argue that local elections can solve this dilemma by pressuring local officials to adopt efficient taxes, such as the property tax, in order to improve service provision. Yet, it is not certain that elections will have this effect. Wealthy taxpayers can resist taxation by organizing lobbies, relocating their assets, and contributing campaign finance. In contrast, I argue that efficient taxation is possible when wealthy taxpayers are organized enough to impose on local governments their demands for infrastructure and law and order. Specifically, wealthy taxpayers will concede to higher taxes on their property if their economic interests require increased public investment, and their political influence enables them to force local governments to spend the additional revenue on their particular concerns. I test my thesis by combining cases studies of Iloilo City, Batangas City, and Cebu City and statistical analysis of Philippine city governments.