(From Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Byline: Sixto Donato C. Macasaet
A ROTARY CLUB TOGETHER WITH A MILITANT ORGANIzation? The Knights of Columbus and the Couples for Christ together with a lesbian/gay organization? A gun club joining a group of peace advocates? Organizations of dentists, business chambers and alumni associations grouped together with labor unions, farmers organizations and market vendors associations?
All these groups are hard to imagine, but they do come together under the broad definition of non-government organizations (NGOs) and civil society.
Different people often use the terms NGOs and civil society in different ways. The same person may even use them differently at different times and contexts! Add to this the numerous forms and sizes of NGOs, and it is no wonder that many people get confused.