Perceived Quality of Public Administration and Trust in Local Government Officials in the Philippines


To improve the delivery of public services under decentralization, social audits, performance ratings, satisfaction surveys and media exposure have been introduced to make local governments more accountable in many countries. In this chapter, we investigate the impact of the public announcement of a performance rating system piloted in 2001–2003 in 12 cities and municipalities in the Philippines, which adopted fiscal decentralization in 1991. Applying mixed methods, we find that the perceived quality of public managements in the local governments where the performance rating were announced to be the same at best with those in local governments selected as controls. However, the levels of satisfaction with local officials consistently improved in the treatment areas in 2001–2002 and 2002–2003, and in the control areas only in 2002–2003. The overall trust rating in both areas improved in 2001–2002, but not in 2002–2003. The weak impact of the performance rating could be due to the rise in expectations or standards of the constituents who were informed of their local government’s performance ratings. There is thus a need to enhance the capacity of local officials to meet the higher expectations, and to educate the constituents to impose reasonable standards on their local governments.


Local Government Control Site Public Administration Treatment Site Trust Rating 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the institutional support of the Philippine Center for Policy Studies and The Ford Foundation, and the comments and suggestions on an earlier version of this chapter from the book editors, and the participants in the NONIE Meeting in Bonn, Germany in 2010, IPSA-ECPR Conference in Sao Paolo, Brazil in 2011, and International Conference on Public Policy and Governance in Bangalore, India in 2012. The authors retain responsibility for all errors.


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EconomicsUniversity of the PhilippinesBaguioPhilippines
  2. 2.German Institute for Development EvaluationBonnGermany

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