There is growing optimism for the Philippine economy based on a decade of economic growth and the good governance agenda of President Aquino, but political instability and conflict in Mindanao, in the Southern Philippines, continues to cloud these efforts. Our local staff utilizes a political economy framework to achieve reforms, improve community relations with security forces in conflict-affected areas, drive economic reform with concrete, measurable successes, and uphold human rights. Read country overview.
Subnational conflict is the most deadly, widespread, and enduring form of violent conflict in Asia. It affects more than half the countries in South and Southeast Asia and more than 131 million people. Between 1999 and 2008, more people were killed in subnational conflicts in Asia than in all other forms of conflict combined. How can foreign aid help?
Click here for findings from The Asia Foundation's major new study on subnational conflict: The Contested Corners of Asia.
AUTONOMOUS REGION IN MUSLIM MINDANAO CONFRONTS ELECTION FRAUD
Delisting bloated, false voting lists
Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, suffers from poor infrastructure, poverty, and violence that has claimed more than 120,000 lives in the last 40 years. It is home to the country's largest concentration of Muslims, and conflict derives from internal Christian migrations to the region, sectarian clashes, war against Muslim separatist insurgents, clan feuds, and unfulfilled hopes of peace and economic prosperity. Elections here have been known to be bloody and fraud-riddled; and our previous analytical work revealed a connection between Manila's tolerance of bad governance in the area and manipulated election results that were needed by incumbent national elites. Naturally, when President Aquino announced in mid-2011 an effort to reform governance in the region, our office was ready to move quickly and focus on vote fraud; the first step was to slim down a bloated voter list. We partnered with Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting to advocate for a general re-registration, and with 18 local Muslim civil society organizations to run voter education campaigns encouraging voters to register and recruit volunteers to prepare for and monitor the general re-registration in Mindanao. In last year's general regional re-registration in July, a huge reduction was achieved, resulting in the delisting of hundreds of thousands—from 1.8 million to 1.3 million registered voters.
Built on Dreams, Grounded in Reality: Economic Policy Reform in the Philippines
On November 21, 2011 in Manila, The Asia Foundation released the groundbreaking book, Built on Dreams, Grounded in Reality: Economic Policy Reform in the Philippines. Authored by leading economic and development experts, the book illuminates the country's greatest successes and challenges in reforms, including introducing competition and liberalization in sea transport, civil aviation, and telecommunications; instituting the privatization of water service in Metro Manila; and more.