Naga is a mid-size city of 150,000 residents internationally and nationally renowned as among the “best practices” in good local governance in the Philippines and in the developing world. Naga City has maximized the opportunities for governance reform, local capacity building, and improved delivery of basic services created by political decentralization under the Local Government Code.
Since 1988, Naga City has been creating and implementing various mechanisms to involve local organized groups, particularly from the marginalized sectors of society, in governing the city. Its City Government has been working closely with highly functional People’s Council and various other Councils, Committees, Special Bodies, and Task Forces to deal with local governance issues – from social housing for the poor to creating sustainable social enterprises, from addressing school board governance to using new information communication technologies in creating closer relations between the people and the city government.
This long history of public engagement and capable leadership continuity make Naga City an ideal and productive laboratory for examining the promises and challenges of democratizing planning in a rapidly growing and complex city environment.