CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

An Assessment of Philippine Civil Society

Posted by civilsocietyindex on March 23, 2011

CIVICUS is pleased to announce the publication of the Analytical Country Report from the Philippines. The Civil Society Index (CSI) was implemented in the Philippines by the Caucus of Development NGO Networks (CODE-NGO).

The scores for the Philippine diamond show a measure of about 60% for three of the dimensions and just over 40% for the Practice of Values dimension. Civic engagement had a high score, showing that more than 75% of the population participates in CSOs, with high levels of membership from marginalised ethno-linguistic groups and from Mindanao. However, participation in CSOs with political advocacy concerns is lower, but still quite respectable: about 25% of Filipinos participate in these types of organisations.

The Philippines civil society is seen as one of the most vibrant and active in Asia with its deep and expansive root in society as shown by the high level of participation. The 1987 Constitution, which was enforced after the 1986 citizen led non-violent and peaceful revolt, recognises the value of people’s participation. This high level of participation can be seen to ultimately lead to strong perceptions of the impact of CSO work in the areas of poverty reduction and environmental protection.

Despite these positives, CSOs report that their work is hampered by low levels of trust in Filipino society, including lack of trust in CSOs. There is a gap in CSOs having publicly available codes of conduct or ethics to guide their operations. This is also coupled with a perception of pervasive corruption and is related to weak board governance within the NGO sector.

Some of the recommendations cited to improve civil society in the country were: to strengthen governance mechanisms within CSOs, develop consensus on labour and environmental standards for CSOs and to improve the financial and human resource capacity of CSOs.

 To read the full report, click here

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