The panel presents 3 case studies examining linkages between business groups and city governments, and how they shape urban economic development. Commercial interests of business elites dovetail with the political agenda of political incumbents and challengers alike, the dynamics of which are strongly affected by big private investment flows and national government spending infusions, particularly for infrastructure.
The first paper follows Manila Mayor Isko Moreno whose support from Filipino economic elites and business friendly disposition propelled him to national prominence. But his city-wide success also portends to the limit of business hedging, which came to a sudden halt when Moreno threw his hat in national politics. The second paper looks at the stable political leadership in Iloilo which ensured long-term planning around key infrastructure projects, and continued taps from the national government for funding. Robust institutional and informal ties between political and economic elites enabled consensus-building on the virtues of market-driven growth for which infrastructure is key. The third paper examines the dynamics of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) project to illustrate how Cebu business entities utilized power brokerage in electoral politics, and cultivated rent-seeking strategies at the national level to establish local political influence (and control by proxy) in advancing their economic interests. This was accomplished largely by exploiting strong ties with a widely popular presidency to access clout in the bureaucracy, and emasculate local political leadership.
Rosalie Arcala Hall, University of the Philippines Visayas, Philippines
Cleo Calimbahin, University of the Philippines Visayas, Philippines
Weena Gera, University of the Philippines Visayas, Philippines
See this presentation on the full schedule – Saturday Schedule