The southern Philippines is potentially closer to peace than at any time in the four decades since Muslim insurgents started fighting for independence. But the substantial progress over the past six years is also fragile. President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office on 30 June, needs to build quickly on the foundations laid by President Benigno Aquino’s administration or the process risks collapsing.
This year we celebrate 25 years of the Local Governance Support Program (LGSP) – Canada’s largest bilateral development project in the Philippines to date. Strengthening local governance through local government units (LGUs) is at the heart of this program. LGSP initiatives have improved LGUs’ capacity in the areas of leadership, management, resource generation, participatory governance, and local economic development.