The 1990s decentralization and democratization movements saw the rise of civil society engagements with the state in crafting/implementing its social reform agenda. Partnership with civil society was the key in making urban governance an effective foil for the rising informality in Metro Manila and other rapidly urbanizing areas (Karaos 2018; Porio 1997, 2004). But the increasing climate disasters (e.g., Ketsana 2009, Haiyan 2013) that inundated millions of urban-rural poor had led to shifting spaces of power (Porio 2012) in state-civil society engagements, revealing the complexities of urban governance in the era of climate disasters and heightened state-capital partnerships. Mayors, for example, have taken hold of their constituencies by employing democratic-laden strategies like “networked governance practices” (Porio 2017). While multi-stakeholder engagements have defined housing-land acquisition initiatives, lately public-private partnership agreements seem to articulate the ascending power of governments, private sector and external NGOs (see Porio, 2017). Examining the housing-land initiatives of six NGO federations, this paper argues that state-civil society engagements have been reconfigured by 1) increasing climate disasters, 2) entanglements with external NGOs and local governance systems and 3) rising tensions within/without. While CSO partnerships with external NGOs/local governments have advanced the “land, housing and livelihood” agenda of the poor, it had also “blunted” civil society’s “relatively autonomous spaces” to erode the oppressive tendencies of both capital and the state. In conclusion, the concept, “negotiated resilience” (Chu, 2017; Porio 2017) allow understanding of how local-national leaders’ craft risk governance strategies while building housing-livelihood resilience among the urban poor, highly exposed and vulnerable to climate disasters.
Porio, E. (2018).Risk Governance in Metro Manila: De-Politicising State-Civil Society Relations in Crafting Housing Resilience for/with the Poor, presented at (Re)conceptualising Asian Civil Society in the Age of Post-Politics, Singapore, 2018. Singapore: Asia Research Institute.