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Regulation and Evasion: Street-Vendors in Manila

Hans F. Illy
Policy Sciences
Vol. 19, No. 1 (Mar., 1986), pp. 61-81
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4532068
Page Count: 21
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Regulation and Evasion: Street-Vendors in Manila
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Abstract

There are various reasons why the often stated gap between policy formulation and policy implementation is especially large in developing countries: ambiguous policy goals, decision-making without considering the needs of those affected, low degree of compliance and administrative capacity of implementing agencies etc. What is perhaps most striking is the fact that interest aggregation generally occurs at the enforcement stage only. This means that laws and regulations can be sapped and distorted along the lines of the power constellations of the actors involved. The case study presented here deals with the regulatory aspects of street-vending in the particular cultural environment of a South-East Asian capital, Manila. It is demonstrated that regulations are more inspired by Western images of modernization largely removed from the harsh socio-economic realities of the sector. Moreover, compliance is minimized by cultural values (conflict avoidance, respect of power structures) governing the behavior of lower level administrative agents and hawkers alike. The overall result is that regulations are purely symbolic and ineffective, nevertheless maintaining a climate of harassment and extortion. The paper advocates a more positive approach towards street-vendors combining minimal regulation with measures of encouragement and public assistance.

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