Social Media and Citizen Engagement: Two Cases from the Philippines

Social Media and Citizen Engagement: Two Cases from the Philippines

Charlie E. Cabotaje (Center for Leadership, Citizenship and Democracy (CLCD), University of the Philippines, Philippines) and Erwin A. Alampay (Center for Leadership, Citizenship and Democracy (CLCD), University of the Philippines, Philippines)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3640-8.ch013
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Abstract

Increased access and the convenience of participation to and through the internet encourage connectivity among citizens. These new and enhanced connections are no longer dependent on real-life, face-to-face interactions, and are less restricted by the boundaries of time and space (Frissen, 2005). In this chapter, two cases from the Philippines are documented and assessed in order to look at online citizen engagement. The first case looks at how people participate in promoting tourism in the Philippines through social media. The second case involves their use of social media for disaster response. Previous studies on ICTs and participation in the Philippines have looked at the role of intermediaries (see Alampay, 2002). Since then, the role of social media, in particular that of Facebook and Twitter, has grown dramatically and at times completely circumvents traditional notions of intermediation. The role of Facebook, in particular, will be highlighted in this chapter, and the authors will analyze its effectiveness, vis-à-vis traditional government channels for communication and delivery of similar services. By looking at these two cases and assessing the abovementioned aspects, it is hoped that the use of social media can be seen as an integral part of e-governance especially in engaging citizens to participate in local and national governance.
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Literature Survey

This section tackles literature survey on the roles of ICTs, the concept of governance, citizen participation, and intermediaries and their roles. The specific role of ICTs in providing information and its importance in promoting citizen participation and improving the process of governance is highlighted. The different roles of the intermediaries in harnessing ICTs in service provision are likewise given significance. Under the broad concept of e-governance, this literature survey also dove-tailed the concepts of citizen participation, intermediaries, and ICTs in looking at a new paradigm of improving government service provision.

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