Although the Philippines is among those first to decentralize in the region, the decentralization has not fully realized its potential of achieving better and much improved infrastructure provision in the local arena. Balisacan (2006) pointed out that “there appears evolving disparities in infrastructure development and institutional arrangements as well as “deregulatory reforms in transport and related services.” This paper presents the current challenges of the different levels of the Philippine government in the provision of infrastructure facilities and services. It discusses the reforms adopted by LGUs in other Asian countries to address the problems inherent with a unitary form of government like the Philippines, as well as present a comparative view on the challenges faced by the more developed federal form of governments such as Australia, the United States, and Canada in infrastructure provision.
The country cases revealed that the type, form or structure of government does not guarantee that infrastructure provision will be effective, efficient, and sustainable. What matters is how governments work better to mitigate and address equality and equity issues, for instance, by introducing explicit fiscal equalization mechanisms. How decentralization could meet its equity objectives largely depends on how local governments get better access to financing, develop capability to establish a formal system of asset management, improve planning and budgeting, and create stronger links with the national government in planning and coordinating infrastructure development. >>read complete document