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Understanding the Phil Public Policy Process_edited2

Understanding the Phil Public Policy Process_edited2

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Published by Armand G Pontejos

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Published by: Armand G Pontejos on May 01, 2012
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  ___________________________________________ UNDERSTANDING THE PHILIPPINE PUBLICPOLICY PROCESS:
 
An Executive Branch Perspective ______________________________________________________ 
By:LT ANTONIO F TRILLANES IV PNOctober 2002INTRODUCTION
 
 
On January 20, 2001, the Philippines was again a witness to anotherPeople Power phenomenon, the “EDSA Dos”, which removed what was
perceived
as a corrupt and incompetent government under President Joseph E.Estrada and installed then-Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) topower. While some sectors glorified this ‘miraculous’ occurrence, certaindynamics of the people power phenomenon now have become embedded in thepolicy process that it threatens the very nature of the process itself. In this light,the Philippines public policy process is, indeed, a very complex, yet interestingobject of study.As it would have been ideal to cover both the legislative and executivepolicy processes, this paper focuses only on the latter with the GMAAdministration as the context of the study.To better analyze the policy process, the Stages Heuristic framework orthe Stages Approach (Jones, 1970; Anderson, 1975; Brewer and De Leon, 1983)will be used. The stages involved are: (1) agenda setting; (2) policy formulation;(3) legitimation; (4) implementation; and (5) evaluation.
THE POLICY PROCESS
Institutional FrameworkAccording to Paul A Sabatier (1999, p. 3), the public policymaking process”… includes the manner in which problems get conceptualized and brought tothe government for solution; governmental institutions formulate alternativesand select policy solutions; and those solutions get implemented, evaluated andrevised.”From this perspective, several institutional built-in systems forpolicymaking have been identified. These are functioning within the governmentstructure to cover specific policy agendas, examples of which are: the NationalEconomic Development Authority (NEDA) for socio-economic policies; theNational Security Council (NSC) for national security and defense concerns; theLegislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) for generallegislative agendas; and even local level agencies like Metro ManilaDevelopment Authority (MMDA) for concerns affecting basic services withinMetro Manila. While the last three agencies mentioned do perform certain stagesof the policy process, none of them have a more defined and extensive mandateand a more permanent structure than the NEDA. Hence, the NEDA will be usedas the unit of analysis to illustrate the executive branch policy process in thecountry.The NEDA
 
The NEDA is the highest policymaking body responsible for all aspects ofthe development program. The NEDA Board is headed by the President withselected Cabinet secretaries and other executive staff officers as members. On theother hand, the NEDA Secretariat is the research arm of the NEDA Board. Itprovides technical support in matters involving policy development, policyformulation, implementation and evaluation. The NEDA Director-General headsthe Secretariat, and is also the Socio-Economic Planning Secretary (per EO Nr230).The Policy StreamThe
agenda
is normally set after evaluating certain indicators andstatistics fed by other government agencies such as the National Statistics Office(NSO), National Statistics and Coordination Board (NSCB), PopulationCommission (POPCOM), Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)and all the other departments. This agenda would take into consideration (a) theactual performance during the preceding year, (b) new developments andemerging issues in the local and international economies and (c) shifts in thepolicy emphasis of the administration (NEDA 1995, p. 13-15).To ensure agreement in
policy formulation
, the Board is assisted by sixinter-agency committees, each responsible for specific areas within thedevelopment program. One of these is the Development Budget CoordinationCommittee (DBCC). The DBCC serves as the link between planning andbudgeting to guarantee conformity of the national budget with the developmentplan. In formulating the policy, NEDA utilizes several methodologies classifiedin the following categories: (a) Econometric Models; (b) Input-Output analysis;(c) Accounting Frameworks; and Project Evaluation and prioritizationtechniques. These tools have significantly increased the policy analysis andforecasting capabilities of the NEDA (NEDA 1995, p. 18). In short, as designed,policy research and analysis are the foundations in the policy formulationprocesses. The policy issues covered by the NEDA are: social development(includes education and manpower development, social welfare and communitydevelopment, health and nutrition, and housing); investment (includingevaluation and approval of public sector projects); infrastructure development;trade and tariff matters; and the generation and use of official external assistance.After the tedious process of policy formulation comes the
legitimation
 stage. This comes in the form of the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan(MTPDP), which is usually promulgated with the first State of the NationAddress (SONA) of the president. The MTPDP encapsulates the bulk of the newpolicy directions of the Administration. It practically covers the whole range ofnational policy issues, namely: macroeconomic policies, poverty alleviation,Information and Communications Technology (ICT), tourism, infrastructuredevelopment, agriculture, agrarian reform, environment, education, health care,housing, peace and order, and foreign policies. Benchmarks and standards are

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coeline added this note
thank you for sharing! this is really helpful as we understand more clearly the Philippines' public policy process.
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