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POLITICS, GOVERNANCE AND THE NEW PHILIPPINE CONSTITUTION Governance and Government By definition, governance: is the exercise of political,

economic and administrative authority to manage a nation's affairs. It is the complex mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights and obligations, and mediate their differences. (UNDP as cited by McCawley, 2005) is the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a countrys social and economic resources for development. Governance means the way those with power use that power. (ADB as cited by McCawley, 2005) isthe traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised for the common good. This includes (i) the process by which those in authority are selected, monitored and replaced, (ii) the capacity of the government to effectively manage its resources and implement sound policies, and (iii) the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them. (World Bank as cited by McCawley, 2005) On governance, Heywood (2007) writes: Governance is a broader term than government. Although it still has no settled or agreed definition, it refers, in its widest sense, to the various ways through which social life is coordinated. Government can therefore be seen as one of the institutions involved in governance; it is possible to have governance without government (Rhodes, 1996 as cited by Heywood). The principal modes of governance are markets, hierarchies and networks While some associate governance with a shift away from command and control mechanisms to a reliance on consultation and bargaining, others argue that it implies a preference for less government and the free market. (p. 7) United Nations (2012) consider governance: Good and democratic to the degree in which a countrys institutions and processes are transparent. Its institutions refer to such bodies as parliament and its
various ministries. Its processes include such key activities as elections and legal procedures, which must be seen to be free of corruption and accountable to the people. A countrys success in achieving this standard has become a key measure of its credibility and respect in the world.

Good governance promotes equity, participation, pluralism, transparency, accountability and the rule of law, in a manner that is effective, efficient and enduring. In translating these principles into practice, we see the holding of free,

fair and frequent elections, representative legislatures that make laws and provide oversight, and an independent judiciary to interpret those laws. The greatest threats to good governance come from corruption, violence and poverty, all of which undermine transparency, security, participation and fundamental freedoms. Based on the foregoing paragraphs, it is construed that the governance in our course title [i.e. Politics, Governance and the New Philippine Constitution] speaks of democratic governance; a democratic coordination of social life. But we will not discuss the term in its broadest application. We shall limit our discussion on governmentas an institution of governance. Being a democratic state, our country adheres [ideally] to good democratic governance (naimbag, nalinteg, ada-an wayawaya a panangituray. Such claim is enshrined in our Constitution. The government, being the instrument of the State in the formulation, expression, and carrying out of its (States) will, has these purposes: Advancement of the public welfare. Governments exist and continue to exist for the benefit of the people governed. It is necessary for the protection of the society, the administration of justice, and preservation of the state from external danger; advancement of the physical, economic, social, and cultural well-being of the people. (De Leon and De Leon, 2011, p. 11) While the emphasis of our course is democracy as a government and way of life, it would be good to have a background knowledge and understanding of the various forms/types of government. This is so because the kind of government (which is democracy) that we adhere to today has elements that are not purely democratic. Also, even other governments other than democracy cannot claim purity in terms of how such governments govern their people. What follows are forms of government (De Leon and De Leon, 2011) based on some qualifications. As to number of persons exercising sovereign powers: 1. Monarchy. The supreme and final authority is in the hands of a single person without regard to the source of his election or the nature or duration of his tenure. This could be classified into: (a) absolute monarchyruler rules by divine right; and, (b) limited monarchyruler rules in accordance with a constitution. 2. Aristocracy. Political power is exercised by a few privileged class which is known as aristocracy or oligarchy 3. Democracy. Political power is exercised by a majority of the people. This may be classified into: (a) direct or pure democracythe will of the state is formulated or expressed directly and immediately through the people in a mass meeting or primary assembly rather than through representatives chosen to act for them; and (b) indirect, representative, or republican democracythe will of the state is formulated and expressed through the agency of a relatively small and select body

of persons chosen by the people to act as their representatives. (Garner, n.d.) (pp. 11-12) As to extent of powers exercised by the central or national government: 1. Unitary government. The control of national and local affairs is exercised by the central government. 2. Federal government. The powers of government are divided between two sets of organs, one for national affairs and the other for local affairs, each organ being supreme within its sphere. (e.g. United States of America)(p. 12) As to relationship between the executive and the legislative branches of the government: 1. Parliamentary government. The State confers upon the legislature the power to terminate the tenure of the office of the real executive. The Cabinet or ministry is immediately and legally responsible to the legislature and immediately and politically responsible to the electorate, while the titular or nominal executive the Chief of Stateoccupies a position of irresponsibility 2. Presidential government. The State makes the executive constitutionally independent of the legislature as regards tenure and to a large extent as regards policies and acts, and furnishes him with sufficient powers to prevent the legislature from trenching upon the sphere marked out by the constitution as executive independence and prerogative. (Garner, n.d.)(pp. 12-13)

References: De Leon, H. and De Leon, H. Jr. (2011). Textbook on the Philippine constitution. Quezon City: Rex Pinting Company, Inc. Heywood, A. (2007). Politics. 3rd ed. [pdf version of chapter 1] New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (Downloaded from: McCawley, P. (2005). Governance in Indonesia: Some comments. Tokyo, Asian Development Bank Institute. United Nations. (2012). Governance. In Global Issues. Retrieved June 25, 2012, from the UN website: