The fact that citizens typically have little faith in national institutions empowers these companies, allowing them to wield substantial power, the AIM's Francisco said.
But there are weighty consequences of such intense private sector participation in public life.
If just one or two private firms control most of the public goods, there is more room for market abuses, such as higher prices, inefficient service, or poor quality products, noted Francisco. "This is where competent competition policy must come in," he added.
Moreover, inequality can spike, Dieleman said, explaining that some public goods, such as infrastructure provided by property developers, were only available to wealthy gated communities within cities, rather than the general public.
But on the bright side, this should allow the government to focus on the poor while corporates take care of the rich, she said.