NGOs are legitimate private associations who have identifiable leadership, membership and structure with the aim of promoting their
interest which are not inconsistent with the common good. Collectively, they are called civil society. These groups are bound by common grievances or conviction especially
in the area of setting public policy.
In recognition to their contribution to national welfare, the framers of the 1987 Constitution thought it wise to provide
sections for them namely:
The State shall encourage non-governmental, community-based, or sectoral organizations that promote the welfare of the nation. (Article II Section 23)
The State shall respect the role of independent people's organizations to enable the people to pursue
and protect, within the democratic framework, their legitimate and ccollective interests and aspirations through peaceful and lawful means. (Article XIII Section 15)
The right of the people and their organizations to effective and reasonable participation at all levels of
social, political, and economic decision-making shall not be abridged. The State shall, by law, facilitate the establishment of adequate consultation mechanism. (Article XIII Section 16)
They are active not only in the country but also abroad. In fact, they are most visible in the campaign for environmental protection, in the
negotiation for free trade, and in the promotion of good government.
In the Philippines, they have become a powerful force during the first People Power that toppled the Marcos Regime. They were also at the forefront in the
success of People Power II that led to the downfall of President Joseph Estrada. Nowadays, they are again flexing their muscle against attempt to tinker with
the constitution. There are some people who perceive a kind of social fatigue among the people and so it remains to be seen whether civil society groups still have the
power to engage the state effectively.
One aspect worth mentioning regarding the civil society phenomenon is the call of some people for these groups to focus their effort
towards poverty alleviation. But can this be done considering the belief of some thinkers that the main problem is not poverty but corruption? Or put it
another way, will efforts to alleviate poverty be successful if the main cause of poverty itself is failure of gevernment policies?
Still there are some NGOs who are trying. Below are some profit and non-profit organizations. No judgement here as to their political
affiliations or whether these groups are committed to the task of poverty eradication or not.
Note: Some of the groups are members of a bigger group or network such as the Caucus of Development NGO Network (CODE-NGO) which was
established in 1990 by some of the largest NGOs of the Philippines.
A. Business Organizations
- Pbilippine Business for Social Progress
- Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Makati Business Club
- National Federation of Egg Producers of the Philippines
- National Federation of Hog Farmers, Inc.
- Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization, Inc.
- Federation of Philippine Bakers
- Philippine Orchid Society
- Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Foundation
- Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines
C. Party-List Groups
- National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO)
D. Labor Groups
- Trade Union Congress of the Philippines
E. Church Groups
- Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines
- Catholic Women's League
- Knights of Columbus
- Couples for Christ
F. Government Mandated Groups
- Integrated bar of the Philippines
G. Other Groups
- Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
- Gawad Kalinga
- Philippine National Tri-media Reporters Group
- National Council for Consumer Protection
- Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption
- Kaya Natin Movement