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Alex Brillantes, Jr. and Maricel Fernandez 2


Yes, there is a Philippine Public Administration

Is there a Philippine public administration? A number of our colleagues asked us why we are
asking that question again as we were planning this colloquium. Indeed that question had been
asked 20 years ago, and answers have been provided us by eminent scholars of Public
Administration such as Raul de Guzman and Onofre Corpuz. After two decades, we think it is
worthwhile to revisit the issue and ask our colleagues once again to answer the question, “Is there a
Philippine Public Administration?” This time around, we take the question a little further and ask an
equally important second question, “If there is a Philippine Public Administration, then for whom does
Philippine Public Administration exist?”

Among the basic references we have been using in the general introductory course in Public
Administration at both the graduate (PA 201) and undergraduate (PA 11) levels are essays by the
aforementioned eminent scholars of Philippine Public Administration (Dr de Guzman and Dr Corpuz).
These essays were published in a special issue of the Philippine Journal of Public Administration in
1986 (PJPA). While de Guzman and Corpuz both assert that there is a Philippine Public
Administration, both also suggest that the question be properly contextualized.

There is a Philippine Public Administration as far as there is an American, French and Thai
public administration. There is a Philippine public administration as far as there are institutions of
public administration addressing specific sectoral concerns. There is a Philippine public administration
as far as it being a field of study is concerned. There is a Philippine public administration considering
the massive role of the bureaucracy in Philippine public administration. There is a Philippine public
administration when we consider its major institutions in education, politics and government.

Yes we have basic public administration structures and processes. We have an executive
branch with the bureaucracy at its core. We have a Philippine legislature. We have a Philippine
judiciary. We have Philippine electoral processes and procedures. We have Philippine sub-national
institutions and local governments, together with decentralization processes and procedures. It is
within this context that we argue that indeed, we have a Philippine public administration characterized
by the presence of administrative structures and processes operating within a unique Philippine

The paper contextualizes the field of public administration by discussing the following: (a) the
evolution of the field of public administration suggesting that there are only two major phases
(traditional and modern phase); (b) the different fields of public administration; (c) selected major
ongoing concerns of public administration in the Philippines (reorganization, decentralization and
corruption). The paper also includes a brief discussion of an example of what is now considered as an
emerging illustration of a home grown governance paradigm (Gawad Kalinga) as one that illustrates
successful cooperation between government, business and civil society in the delivery of basic
services, which after all is a core concern of modern public administration and good governance. The
paper then ends by raising third order concerns as we address the question, “for whom is public

One has to make an evaluation – and a judgment call – as to whether the discipline of
Philippine public administration has indeed responded - or failed to respond - to the unique calls and
demands of the times. This will enable us to answer the question posed at the outset, “for whom is
A paper presented in the public colloquium on: “Is there a Philippine Public Administration: A Timeless Issue,” held on June
26-27, 2008 at the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP NCPAG).
Professor and Dean, University of the Philippines, National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP NCPAG),
and University Researcher (UP NCPAG) and former instructor of Saint Paul University Philippines, respectively. The
assistance of Kate Asilo in the preparation of this paper is gratefully acknowledged.
Philippine Journal of Public Administration, 30:4, October 1986, pp 368-382.
This paper may also serve as a basic introduction to the theory and practice of public administration, zeroing in on selected
and basic Philippine public administration issues and concerns.
public administration?” This is a question that ultimately must be addressed not only by those
teaching public administration but also by those studying public administration as well. While this
paper will not even pretend to answer that question, it will raise issues and concerns about the matter
that may trigger further questions and debate.


In order to properly appreciate the context of Philippine public administration, it may be helpful
to retrace the history and evolution of the broad discipline and examine the various strands and
influences that have influenced the theory and practice – the praxis - of public administration in the
Philippines. We shall also examine the specific areas and fields of specialization of the field, taking
cognizance of the many other emerging fields going beyond the traditional fields of public

The discipline of the field of public administration can be divided into two major phases: the
traditional / classical phase from the late 1800s to the 1950s to the modern phase, from the 1950s to
the present. The Modern phase can be further divided into the following sub-phases: development
administration (1950s to the 60s), new public administration (1960s to the 70s), new public
management and reinventing governance (1980s into the 90s) and finally public administration as
governance (1990s into the present). The following is an indicative matrix that reflects the phases in
the evolution of public administration.

Table 1. Phases in the Evolution of Public Administration

Phase Indicative Period

Traditional / Classical Public Administration 1800s to 1950s

Modern Public Administration 1950 to the present

Development Administration (1950s to 1960s)

New Public Administration (1970s)

New Public Management (1980s to 1990s)
Reinventing Government (1990s)

PA as Governance (1990s to the present)

Traditional / Classical Public Administration

Public Administration can be traced back to human history. It has been suggested that it is as
old as the ancient empires of China, India, Egypt, Greece, Rome and Mesopotomia. The
institutionalization of administrative capacity for collective purposes is the foundation of public
administration. Such arrangement, according to Caiden (1982), has existed in all societies. All
societies are devoted to advancing the general welfare or the public interest. The idea that “public
administration should not be considered administration of the public but administration for the public”
has been practiced and expressed in the Code of Hammurabi, in Confucianism and in the funeral
oration of Pericles. (Caiden 1982: 7) In other words, the idea of client-oriented public administration
has its roots in ancient public administration.

Caiden (1982) also noted that the genesis of Public Administration must have had originated
from monarchial Europe where household officials were divided into two groups: one in charge of
public affairs, i.e. the administration of justice, finance, training of armies, and the other is responsible
for personal services. Rutgers (1998) supports this claim that (i.e. royal) administration had already
th th
been manifested way back in the mid 17 century and early 18 century in Prussia. F.K. Medikus (as
cited in Rutgers 1998) likewise argued on the study of public administration and its positions amidst
the sciences in the 18th century. He advocated “cameralism” and claimed that it should be treated as
an autonomous field of study of great importance to the state. Cameral science is designed to
prepare potential public officials for government service. This practice flourished in Europe until the
21st century but it was, in the long run, replaced by administrative law and legal studies.

Since this paper tries to trace the roots of Philippine Public Administration, it shall dwell on
American theories and principles which admittedly influenced the direction and development of the
formal study of the field of public administration in the Philippines, both at the levels of theory and
practice. It will be recalled that public administration as academic field of study formally begun with the
establishment by the Americans of the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) in the University of the
Philippines (UP) in 1952. Hence, the close affinity of Philippine PA theory to American PA theory and
practice can not be divorced.

1800s to 1950s

If the roots of Public Administration as a distinct field of study have to be traced, the tendency
is to draw on Woodrow Wilson’s 1887 classic essay, “The Study of Public Administration,” which was
written at the height of Progressive Movement in the US. It was in that essay that there was a
serious claim that public administration should be a self-conscious, professional field. Wilson
suggested the distinction between politics and administration i.e. administration should be politics-free
and that “the field of administration is the field of business;” (Wilson 1953: 71) thus, establishing what
became known as the “politics-administration” dichotomy. 6 Although Wilson set a demarcation line
between politics and administration, Frank Goodnow (1900), the “Father of American Public
Administration,” presented a more meticulous examination of politics-administration dichotomy in his
book, “Politics and Administration” that “supplanted the traditional concern with the separation of
powers among the various branches of the government.” (Shafritz and Hyde 1997: 2) Politics-
administration dichotomy has provoked long-running debates which persist until today. It may be
argued though that, as far as the Philippine experience is concerned, the dichotomy is artificial and
that in practice, power and partisan politics have had a disproportionate influence upon the workings
of public administration in the Philippines.

Max Weber (1946), a German sociologist who is known as the “Father of Modern Sociology,”
made a lucid descriptive analysis of bureaucratic organizations. He presented some major variables
or features of bureaucracy such as: hierarchy, division of labor, formally written rules and procedures,
impersonality and neutrality; hence, providing a reference point in evaluating both the good and bad
effects of bureaucratic structures. (Weber 1946 as cited in Shafritz and Hyde 1997)

It was in 1926 that the first text in the field of public administration was written by Leonard D.
White. His book, Introduction to the Study of Public Administration, is one of the most influential
texts in public administration to date. One of his assumptions was that administration is still an art. He,
however, recognized the ideal of transforming it into a science. Interestingly, his work avoided the
potential pitfalls of the politics-administration dichotomy but rather concentrated on emphasizing the
managerial phase of administration.

From Classical, Neo-Classical to Integrative/Modern Organization Theories

Frederick Taylor, dubbed as the “Father of Scientific Management,” is best known for his “one
best way approach” in accomplishing task. Classical organization theory evolved from this notion.
Another popular manifestation of this approach was that of Luther Gulick’s POSDCORB
methodologies. Gulick and Urwick (1937 as cited in Shafrtiz and Hyde 1997) integrated the ideas of
earlier theorists like Henri Fayol 9 into a comprehensive theory of administration. They believed that a
single science of administration, which exceeds the boundaries of the private and the public sector,
exists. The reasoning of the science of administration was largely borrowed from Fayol’s fourteen
principles of organization. POSDCORB, however, was seen as less influential in post-war American
government. Thereafter, Simon, Waldo and Appleby attacked the idea of POSDCORB. Simon
(1946) in his book, “Administrative Behavior,” created a distinction between theoretical and practical
science. He introduced more common principles in the literature of administration which highlighted

See Woodrow, Wilson. 1953. “The Study of Public Administration” in Ideas and Issues in Public Administration, ed. Dwight
Waldo. New York: Mc Graw Hill Book, Co., Inc., 64-75.
Reyes (2003) emphasized however that aside from the Americans with the likes of Wilson, de Tocqueville, a Frenchman, who
traveled the length and breadth of the US in the 1830s to observe America’s penal system, was one of the earliest voices to call
for a more serious consideration of Public Administration as a “science of administration.”
7 th
See Leonard D. White. 1997 “Introduction to the Study of Public Administration,” in Classics of Public Administration. 4 ed.
Jay M. Shafritz and Albert C. Hyde. US: Hardcourt Brace College Publishers. 44-50. (first printed in 1926)
POSDCORB was coined by Gulick with Urwick. It stands for the functions of management - planning, organizing, staffing,
directing, coordinating, reporting & budgeting.
Fayol was one of the most influential contributors of modern management. He proposed that there are five primary functions
of management: (1) planning, (2) organizing, (3) commanding, (4) coordinating, and (5) controlling (Fayol, 1949, 1987).
administrative efficiency and specialization when he wrote the article,“The Proverbs of
Administration.” (Simon 1946 as cited in Shafffritz and Hyde 1997; Stillman 1991) On the other hand,
in 1945, Appleby, led a postwar attack on the concept of politics-administration dichotomy by drafting
a convincing case that “public administration was not something apart from politics” but rather at the
“center of political life.” (Stillman 1991: 123)

In 1948, Dwight Waldo tried to establish the direction and thrust of Public Administration as a
field of study in his book, “The Administrative State,” which hit the “gospel of efficiency” that
dominated the administrative thinking prior to Word War II. 10 That same year, Sayre attacked public
personnel administration as “the triumph over purpose.” (Shafritz and Hyde 1997: 74) In 1949,
Selznick introduced the so-called “cooptative mechanism” where he defined “cooptation” as “the
process of absorbing new elements into the leadership or policy determining structure of an
organization as a means of averting threats to its stability or existence.” (Shafritz and Hyde 1997: 147)

A contemporary of Goodnow was William Willoughby (1918). Willoughby stressed the role of
the trilogy covering all three branches of government but he was more known for his budgetary
reforms. He discussed the movements for budgetary reforms in the US in view of the budget as an
instrument for democracy, as an instrument for correlating legislative and executive action, and as an
instrument for securing administrative efficiency and economy. Mary Parker Follet (1926) also made
some significant contribution to the discourse of Public Administration as one of the proponents of
participatory management and the “law of situation” which can be attributed to the concept of
contingency management. She illustrated the advantages of participatory management in her article,
“The Giving of Orders. “ In the 1920s and early 1930s, Elton Mayo conducted the Hawthorne
experiments on the theory of individuals within an organization which propelled the human relations
school of management thought. Chester Barnard (1938) presented a more comprehensive theory of
organizational behavior when he wrote the functions of the executive. He argued that for the executive
to become more effective, he should maintain an equilibrium between the needs of the employees
and the organization. Maslow (1943), on the other hand, focused on the hierarchical needs of the
individual. His “theory of human motivation,” states that the human being has five sets of needs:
physiological, safety, love or affiliation, esteem and ultimately, and self-actualization. His concepts
were later explored and developed into more comprehensive theories and principles as advocated by
other researches in organizational behavior and management, such as, Herzberg’s “motivation-
hygiene theory,” Mc Gregor’s “Theory X and Y,” Argyris’ “personality versus organization and
Likert’s Systems 1 to 4, among others. (Shafritz and Hyde 1997)

Modern Public Administration

This paper suggests the indicative period of modern public administration in the 50s. The sub-
phases include: (a) development administration; (b) new public administration; (c) new public
management and reinventing government; and PA as governance.

The discipline of public administration has been characterized as one with a continuing
“identify crisis.” To a certain extent, it was that “identity crisis” that served as theme that led to the
emergence of the New Public Administration movement in the 70s. Rutgers (1998) argued in
“Paradigm lost: Crisis as Identify of the Study of Public Administration,” that public administration
lacked an “epistemological identity.” In the Philippines, Reyes (2003) revisited the so-called “identity
crisis” of public administration initially raised by various scholars of the discipline in his various
writings. He contended that the crisis revolved around the imperative to define a public administration
rooted to the development aspirations of the Philippines. The identity crisis, however, continues up to
today in the Philippines.

Development Administration (1950s to 1960s)

Development Administration (DA) as a field of study emerged in 1950s and 1960s with the
third world countries as the focal point. The term “third world” may be attributed to the French
demographer and economic historian Alfred Sauvy, who at the height of the Cold War in 1952, used
the term to distinguish developing countries outside the two power blocs; namely, the First World and

10 th
See Waldo’s conclusion in the Classics of Public Administration. 4 ed. Jay M. Shafritz and Albert C. Hyde. (US: Hardcourt
Brace College Publishers, 1997), 142-153.
At one point in the history of the evolution of management theories, there emerged what was referred to as “Theory Z” that
was largely derived and based on the highly effective and efficient Japanese approach to management.
the Second World respectively. (Chilcote 1984) Nef and Dwivedi (1981) on the other hand, attributed
the concept of DA to Goswami in 1955 and later popularized by Riggs and Weidner. They coined the
term “development administration” to refer to developing countries which are largely found in Asia,
Latin America, and Africa. These developing countries endeavored to make concerted efforts in order
to be recognized as “emerging nations” and to resurrect themselves after World War II. In the context
of “emerging nation,” Landau (1970) described DA as the engineering of social change. Likewise,
according to Ilchman (1970), these countries were “concerned with increasing the capacity of the
state to produce goods and services to meet and induce changing demands.” (Ilchman 1970: 136)
Gant (1979) on the other hand, defined DA as not merely addressing state functions such as public
service delivery and enforcement of laws but the inducement and management of change to pursue
development aspirations. These developing countries were in urgent need to implement fundamental
reforms in their politico-administrative machinery.

Khator, however, argued that DA was built upon several critical assumptions that: (1)
development needs are the most important needs of developing countries, (2) the development needs
of developing and developed countries are inherently different, (3) development can be administered,
(4) developmental know-hows are transferable; and (5) the political, social, and cultural context of
development can be easily altered. (Khator 1998: 1778) Likewise, Fred Riggs, in his “Frontiers of
Development,” identified two foci in development administration: development of administration and
the administration of development. Most development administration scholars focused more on the
latter and it subsequently became synonymous to the administration of development in third world
countries. (Khator 1998)

Given the situations above, DA maybe considered as “management of innovation” because it

was aimed at helping countries that are undergoing reconstruction and social transformation.

In the Philippines, The term “development administration” was used to suggest that it may be
an appropriate framework to examine the State’s experience as it tries to rebuild its institutions within
a democratic framework, as it struggles to new economic, political and social challenges, and as it
adapts to the trends and demands of globalization. Additionally, DA principles have been among the
major themes that ran through the various lectures and writings of Raul De Guzman, who together
with OD Corpuz (1986) initially addressed the question: “Is there a Philippine Pa?” Since the idea
was to steer developing countries for economic development and social progress, the term DA
became closely associated to foreign aid and western models of development. 13 These Western
countries provide grants and aids to developing countries for nation-building, economic development,
institutional strengthening, and people participation in development. As to administrative reform, which
is one of the core values of DA, De Guzman (1986) described and analyzed the structural and
behavioral characteristics of the Philippine public bureaucracy and argued that the “implementation of
administrative reform should have two major dimensions: reforming the structures of the bureaucracy
and reforming the behavior of those in the bureaucracy.” (De Guzman 1986 as cited in Brillantes
1994: 8) Development administration has always been one of the central features of the various long
and medium term Philippine Development Plans since the seventies. The paradigm for bureaucratic
reform continues to evolve in various intellectual and practical debates but government continues its
work amidst all these. Until recently, all Philippine development plans since the seventies had a
specific chapter devoted solely to development administration.

New Public Administration (late 1960s to 1970s)

The term “New Public Administration” or New PA may have emerged from the Minnowbrook
Conference in 1968 in Syracuse University. The conference was the brainchild and inspiration of

See Alex Brillantes 1995. “Development Administration in the Philippines” for an in-depth discussion of development
administration in the Philippines, in Conquering Politico-Administrative Frontiers, Essays in Honor of Raul P. de Guzman, edited
by Ledevina Carino.
Note that Development Administration is popularized in developing countries like the Philippines although the conceptual
foundations of the term were Western in nature influenced largely by scientific management and administrative reform.
In the Philippines, the formal introduction of Public Administration as a field of study essentially began when the Institute of
Public Administration (IPA) was established in the University of the Philippines in 1952 through an agreement between UP and
University of Michigan as an offshoot of Bell Mission’s recommendation to improve the Philippine Government. The Institute
served as a training ground for civil servants and as a research arm. Later, it offered degree programs for Public Administration.
From College of Public Administration, it was renamed in 1998 as National College of Public Administration and Governance
(NCPAG). Schools of Public Administration (SPA) were then propagated throughout the country. Propelled by NCPAG, these
academic institutions have grouped themselves into an Association of Schools of Public Administration in the Philippines,
ASPAP, Inc. The Philippine Journal of Public Administration (PJPA), a quarterly publication of international stature, which was
established in 1957 documents rich literatures of Public Administration in the Philippines.
Dwight Waldo who brought together young public administrators and scholars to discuss important
issues and varying perspectives on public administration. The conference created a hullabaloo. One
of its controversies is that it had rejected the classical theories of public administration and instead
offered new principles. For instance, Frederickson in his essay, “Towards a New Public
Administration,” adds social equity to the classic definition of public administration. Conventional or
classic public administration sought to only answer inquiries on efficiency and effectiveness like: how
can the government offer better services with available resources (efficiency) or how can we maintain
our level of services while spending less money (economy)? In introducing the principles of New PA,
he adds the question: “Does this service enhance social equity?” (Frederickson 1971) Moreover, the
Minnowbrook conferees also questioned the relevance of traditional public administration to existing
deprivation with an era of fast-paced technological advancement in the backdrop. Frederickson
argued that, disparities existed because public administration focused less on social purposes or
values of government policies and programs and more on the economy and efficiency of execution.
The value-free and neutral stance of traditional PA has alienated the less privileged and deprived
groups in the society. New PA’s proponents, likewise, advocated that public administrators should not
be neutral; they should be committed to both good management and social equity as values to be
achieved. New PA then called for client-oriented administration, non-bureaucratic structures,
participatory decision-making, decentralized administration and advocate-administrators.
(Frederickson 1971; Nigro and Nigro 1989) With the above contentions, it can be said that the theme
of New PA is “change” and the challenge is for the public administrators is their capacity to accept

Now the question is: Is New PA relevant?

The same question was asked by Pilar (1993) in his article “Relevance of New PA in
Philippine Public Administration. 15 He argued that New PA is relevant while there is no indigenous
model of public administration. “The relevance of New PA maybe regarded from in terms of their
compatibility with the context or the environment, as well as the convergence between the content
and intent of new PA with the goals, purposes, and aspirations of the country.” (Pilar 1993: 145) The
principle of New PA is compatible with the environment of the Philippine PA, although it was
conceived during the time that the US was in chaotic and unpredictable environment amidst prosperity.
Such situation is different in the Philippines considering that not only it grappled with advancement but
it struggled to pull itself out of poverty which is a major concern of the government up to this date.
New PA created the need to stimulate change: meeting the needs of the society through the
government’s development programs and projects, and addressing social equity and justice. It must
be emphasized though, that the core questions raised by New PA are also embedded in our second
order question, “for whom is PA?” It is indeed critical to define the ultimate targets and partners of
public administration structures, institutions and processes. In other words, who is the “public” in
public administration?

New Public Management and Reinventing Government (1980s to 1990s)

In the 1980s and early 90s, as if there was a collective assault on the organization
questioning conventional and traditional ways of doing things – both in the private and public sectors -
various strategies and modalities underscoring the imperative for fundamental internal and external
reform in the organization emerged. They ranged from being more “client” or “customer” oriented, to
the decentralization of authority to being more “business oriented” especially for those in government.

The new public management (NPM) movement was apparently practiced by the European
countries in the late 1907s and 1980s but was essentially launched several luminaries such as
Christopher Hood (1991), Christopher Pollitt (1990), and Michael Barzeley (1992), among others in
early 90s. Similar movements such as reinventing government and reengineering also emerged
around the same time. This section introduces NPM, reinventing government and reengineering
government. When did these ideas emerge? What were their key features? And were these really
more of the same?

The New Public Management (NPM) movement has started in the late 1970s in UK under the
Thatcher government; however aside from England, NPM has also long been practiced by the other
members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) mostly Anglo-
Saxon countries like New Zealand, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, and Canada in the 1980s.

See Nestor, Pilar. 1993. “Relevance of New PA in Philippine Public Administration.” In Philippine Journal of Public
Administration for an in-depth discussion of New PA in the Philippines.
The idea of NPM became more popular and has stimulated academic and political interests worldwide
when Christopher Hood coined the term in his 1991 article entitled, “A Public Management for all
Seasons.” (Hood 1991)

The best example of the NPM practice can be seen in New Zealand’s administrative reforms.
Their government privatized substantial public functions, redeveloped their personnel system in order
to be more performance-oriented, instituted new processes of productivity measures, and
reengineered departmental systems to reflect government’s commitment. (Boston 1996; as cited in
Denhardt 2004: 136-137) In the US, during the administration of US President Bill Clinton and Vice
President Al Gore, this concept was reflected in their “National Performance Review” which has urged
the federal government to improve its performance. This has also led the foundation of the praxis of
reengineering government led by the Clinton-Gore administration. Parenthetically, NPM was justified
by Lynn (1996) in his article, “Public Management as Art, Science, and Profession.”

Moreover, NPM according to Pollitt is a shift into a “managerialist” movement. He then

identified five core beliefs of managerialism: (1) the main route to social progress lies in the
achievement of continuing increases in economically defined productivity; (2) such productivity
increase will mainly come from the application of ever more sophisticated technologies; (3) the
application of these technologies can only be achieved with a labor force disciplined in accordance
with the productivity ideal; (4) management is a separate and distinct organizational function and one
that plays the crucial role in planning, implementing and measuring the necessary improvements in
productivity; and (5) to perform this crucial role, managers must be granted reasonable “room to
maneuver” (i.e. right to manage”). (Pollitt, 1990: 2-3 as cited in Denhardt 2000: 148)

The ideas of “new public management” and “reinventing government” were essentially born
out of the continuing search for solutions to economic problems in 1970s and to produce a
government that “works better but costs less.” (Denhart 2004: 136) The idea of “reinventing
government” was advanced by Osborne and Gaebler in 1992. Their concept of NPM was sparked by
the use of business model prescriptions for government i.e. using private sector innovation, resources,
and organizational ideas to improve the public sector. Reinventing Government provided ten
principles through which public entrepreneurs might bring about massive governmental reform
principles that has remained at the core of the new public management. These are the following:

1. Catalytic government: steering rather than rowing

2. Community-owned government: empowering rather than serving
3. Competitive government: injecting competition into service delivery
4. Mission-driven government: transforming rule-driven organizations
5. Results-oriented government: funding outcomes, not inputs
6. Customer-driven government: meeting the needs of the customer not their bureaucracy
7. Enterprising government rather than spending
8. Anticipatory government: prevention rather than cure
9. Decentralized government: from hierarchy to participation and teamwork
10. Market-oriented government: leveraging change through the market (Osborne and
Gaebler 1992: 35-282) 16

Among the criticisms of this model, however, was its emphasis on people as "customers" or
“clients” rather than "citizens" and that customers were placed as “end-product” users of government
rather than as “means” of the policy making process. Denhardt and Denhardt (2003) likewise offer a
synthesis of the ideas that are opposed to NPM presented by Osborne and Gaebler. Their model for
governance expands the traditional role of the public administrator as a lone arbiter of public interest
rather, “the public administrator is seen as a key actor within the larger system of governance.”
(Denhardt and Denhardt 2003: 81) Following the Reinventing Government, they divided their
argument into seven principles, namely, (1) serve citizens, not customers (2) seek the public interest,
(3) value citizenship over entrepreneurship, (4) think strategically, act democratically , (5) recognize
that accountability is not simple, (6) serve rather than steer, and (6) value people, not just productivity.

Another similar movement was “reengineering organizations.” This term was coined by
Michael Hammer (1990) in an article published by the Harvard Business Review. Reengineering
offers an approach for improving performance, effectiveness, and efficiency of organizations
regardless of the sector in which they operate. According to Hammer and Champy (1993),

Cf Denhardt 2004: 137-138 for an in-depth discussion of each principle.
“reengineering is the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve
dramatic improvements in critical contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality,
service, and speed.” (Hammer and Champy 1993 as cited in Halachmi 1995: 330). The tenets of
reengineering include the following:

• Searching for radical improvement in business processes enabled by exploiting the powers of
information technology.
• Breaking away from the antiquated ways and processes of business operations and starting with a
clean slate.
• Viewing (and reviewing) the fundamental business processes from cross-functional perspective to
ensure that each step in the process adds value.
• Questioning whether the process is necessary and what it is intended to achieve, given the over-all
mission of the organization.
• Systematic searching for radical changes for the purpose of effecting major improvements or
breakthroughs in business processes when an incremental approach will not work anymore.
• Reducing, if not eliminating, paper documentation that enters the process at different stages, with an
attempt to capture the data once, at the source.
• Focusing on and developing around processes and outcomes, not tasks or organizational functions.
• Focusing on the customer or client, in a results-oriented & team-based approach.(Halachmi 1995: 331)

Re-engineering or the so called business process reengineering (BPR) was essentially an

innovation that sought to refurbish the operation of an organization’s operation, management system
and structure, to improve its efficiency, effectiveness, and competitive ability and ultimately improve
service delivery. Re-engineering seems to be an effective way to upgrade the services of our
governmental agencies, however, it continues to hurdle obstacles and challenges in applying the
formula such as fiscal constraints and the traditional thinking of political leaders.

PA as Governance (1990s into the 2000)

The many failed development interventions in the 50s into the 90s spurred the introduction of
other development reforms. The “governance” paradigm was introduced and advocated by the United
Nations (UN), World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other international institutions.
The word “governance” suddenly “has become something of a mantra in recent years, uttered by
donors, reformers and pundits alike.” (Frechette 2000: 25) Governance entails a larger scope and has
a wider meaning. Though the term “governance” has been used to refer mostly to “government,”
when correctly used, “governance” really goes beyond government. It involves the institutionalization
of a system through which citizens, institutions, organizations, and groups in a society articulate their
interests, exercise their rights, and mediate their differences in pursuit of the collective good. (ADB
1995 as cited in ADB 2005: 1) UNDP describes it as “the exercise of political, economic and
administrative authority to manage a nation’s affairs. It embraces all of the methods- good and bad –
that societies use to distribute power and manage public resources and problems.” (UNDP 1997: 9)

Cariño (2000), in her reflections on the term “governance,” identified actors and factors that
pushed for governance. She acknowledges that governance is not the sole responsibility of the
government per se but the role of the market and civil society are of equal importance too and should
also be recognized. She then identified the factors or processes that pushed for governance and
some of these are: the quest for growth and development, the environmental movement, globalization
and consolidating peace. These are practically the same values or virtues found in the UN Charter.
Likewise, governance promotes the virtues of decentralization, participation, responsiveness and
accountability among others.

From “governance”, the concept of “good governance” has emerged and became prominent
in international aid circles around 1989 or 1990. It served as a general guiding principle for donor
agencies to demand that recipient governments adhere to proper administrative processes in the
handling of development assistance and put in place effective policy instruments towards that end.
(Doornbos 2003) When there is good governance, there is sustainable development. Kofi Annan, in
his inaugural speech in the 1 International Conference on Governance for Sustainable Growth and
Equity in United Nations, New York, in July 28-30, 1997 affirms this when he said that:

“Good governance and sustainable development are indivisible. That is the lesson of all our efforts and
experiences, from Africa to Asia to Latin America. Without good governance – without the rule of law,
predictable administration, legitimate power, and responsive regulation -- no amount of funding, no amount
of charity will set us on the path to prosperity…We are fully engaged in efforts to improve governance
around the world…good governance is indispensable for building peaceful, prosperous and democratic
societies.” (Annan 1997)

Annan concluded that “good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in
eradicating poverty and promoting development.” (Annan 1997)

An ADB document (2005) affirmed that good governance is synonymous with sound
development management. They then identified some key principles of development which may be
considered as elements of good governance. These are: accountability, participation, predictability,
and transparency. The table below shows the basic elements of good governance and its key

Table 2. Key Dimensions and Specific Areas of Actions

Basic Elements of Good Governance Key Dimensions Specific Areas of Action
1. Accountability means making public Establishing criteria to measure • Public Sector Management
officials answerable for government performance of public officials • Public Enterprise Management
behavior and responsive to the entity Institutionalizing mechanisms to ensure • Public Financial Management
from which they derive authority that standards are met. • Civil Service Reform
2. Participation refers to enhancing Undertaking development for and by the • Participation of beneficiaries and
people’s access to and influence on people affected groups
public policy processes • Interface between government and
the private sector
• Decentralization of public and
service delivery functions
(empowerment of Local
• Cooperation with Non-Government
3. Predictability refers to the existence of Establishing and sustaining appropriate • Law and Development
laws, regulations and policies to regulate legal and institutional arrangements • Legal Frameworks for Private
society and the fair and consistent Observing and upholding the rule of law Sector Development
application of these Maintaining consistency of public
4. Transparency refers to the availability Ensuring access to accurate and timely • Disclosure of Information
of Information to the general public and information about the economy and
clear government rules, regulations, and government policies
Source: ADB, 2005


This section discusses the various traditional subfields of public administration including the
emerging fields in response to a rapidly changing environment. However, even before going into the
sub-fields of public administration, it is imperative to recognize the public administration, itself, has
been considered as a sub-field of political science.

Traditional Sub-fields of Political Science

The following have been considered as the traditional sub-fields of political science: political theory,
international relations and politics; comparative politics; public administration. These are briefly
discussed below.

Political Theory

Political theory is a study and analysis of political ideas of significant political thinkers. It is
also a search of knowledge of political thoughts of various historical periods, namely, Ancient,
Medieval/Christian, and Modern period. Among the major philosophers and theorists explored in this
field of political science are Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke,
Rousseau, and many other political thinkers. It is recognized that their political ideas shaped the
political institutions, law, order, liberty, justice, and the quality of life into concrete historical

International Relations and Politics

As a subfield of political science, international relations have zeroed in on the relations

between and among nation states and how such relations are defined. Power has always been
traditionally considered a factor in the determination of international relations and politics. The role of
international organizations such as the United Nations, including other multilateral bodies such as the
World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and closer to home, the Asian Development Bank, in
shaping the power relations is an aspect that is also addressed in the study of international relations
and politics. A
Political science is the study of foreign policymaking and
Comparative Politics

Comparative politics is a study of contemporary politics and political trends in selected

countries and regions around the world and then comparing and critically analyzing the variety of
ways that these countries have chosen to shape their political institutions and processes, assess the
costs and benefits of their choices and address common problems, including the challenges of
globalization, with an eye toward identifying processes, practices, and policies which might be
“exportable” ideas for countries to borrow from one another.

Public Administration

Public Administration as a discipline emerged out of a broader discipline which is Political

Science. Reyes (1993: 22) considers it as a “child of political science” that is mature enough to be
treated separately or independently of its mother.”

There is one school of thought that public administration has no generally accepted definition.
The scope of the discipline is so great and so debatable that it is easier to explain than define. Public
administration is both a field of study, or a discipline, and a field of practice, or an occupation. There is
much disagreement about whether the study of public administration can properly be called a
discipline, largely because it is often viewed as a subfield of the two disciplines of Political Science
and administrative science (or administration).

In Canada the study of public administration has evolved primarily as a subfield of political
science. Knowledge of the machinery of government and of the political and legal environment in
which public administrators work is essential in understanding the political system. Also, public
administrators play an important role by providing policy advice to elected politicians and by active
involvement in the making, enforcement and adjudication of laws and regulations. As a subfield of
administrative science, public administration is part of the generic process of administration. The
broad field of administration is divided into public, business, hospital, educational and other forms of
administration. The similarities between these forms of administration are considered to be greater
than their differences. (http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com)

In the Philippines, though, Public Administration did not evolve out of the discipline of political
science. More specifically, public administration as an academic field of study was essentially the
result of the establishment of the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), and in one sense did not
follow the conventional path in the emergence of public administration traditionally considered as a
sub-field of political science. 18

Traditionally, the discipline of public administration itself has had the following sub-fields:
organization and management; public personnel administration; local government administration;
policy analysis and program administration; public enterprise management; voluntary sector
management and spatial information management. The following discusses each of these subfields:

Drawn from the Canadian Encyclopedia, available at http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com
Cariño (2007) in her paper, “From Traditional Public Administration to the Governance Tradition: Research in NCPAG, 1995-
2002,” In Public Administration Plus Governance Assessing the Past, Addressing the Future,” talked about the research
interests of Filipino scholars in different fields of public administration: traditional public administration; personnel
administration, organization and management, fiscal administration, agency studies and the Philippine Administrative system;
new public administration, which includes ethics and accountability, public service values, alternative delivery systems, public
policy and program administration were also offered and research in the governance tradition like democracy and bureaucracy,
citizen participation, decentralization etc.
Organization and Management

Organization and Management is one of the oldest subfields of public administration. It

basically focuses on sub-areas like organization theory and practice, dynamics of organization,
decision-making in administration, leadership and other sub-areas. It particularly discusses the
theories, processes and techniques involved in the organization and management of the national
government and its agencies. It also explores modern management techniques such as reinventing,
reengineering and other improvement methods in organization and management like total quality
management (TQM), 19which has largely contributed to public administration reforms.

Public Personnel Administration

Public administration consists of administrative processes. It involves people, its most

important element, therefore public personnel administration is an equally important field. In here, the
definition of personnel management as “the recruitment, selection, development, utilization of, and
accommodation to human resources by organizations” (French 1990) is explored. Specifically, it
discusses on the evolution of public personnel administration, arrangements of the personnel system,
and general attributes of personnel functions in the public sector. It is also concerned with the
developments and current trends in personnel administration.

In the traditional public administration, organization and management and personnel

administration were emphasized as salient features of study in public administration. Personnel
administration has widened its scope and evolved into human resource management or human
resource development. The inspiration that not only these two fields complement but supplement
each other put them together into what is now called “Organization Studies.”

Public Fiscal Administration

Public finance belongs to the branch of economics but that was during the earlier times. With
the emergence of the field of public administration, much interest has been directed towards fiscal
administration. Again, this subfield of public administration covers a wide range of issues and topics
affecting government operations like taxation, public expenditures and borrowing, resource allocation,
revenue administration, auditing and intergovernmental relations. As Briones (1996) puts it, “public
fiscal administration embraces the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of policies and
decisions on taxation and revenue administration; resource allocation, budgeting, and public
expenditure; public borrowing and debt management; and accounting and auditing.” Through the
years, many researches were devoted on these topics and issues; the government has also
introduced reforms like reforms in tax administration, value added tax (VAT), expanded value added
tax (E-VAT), procurement reforms, the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF), accounting
reforms, re-engineering the bureaucracy program (REBP), transforming local finance, and many

Local Government Administration

This is another distinct subfield of public administration. In studying local government

administration, the concepts of decentralization are taken into account. Decentralization, as a
process, is one of the widely researched topics in promoting development and democratic governance.
Administrative organizations and operations of local governments; the structure and processes of
regional administration are likewise discussed. In particular, local government administration may
also include topics on theoretical and empirical perspectives of local government and regional
administration, community and institutional development, local government systems/procedure,
intergovernmental dynamics, local public finance or local fiscal administration, local economic
promotion, local and regional development planning, local government innovations and many others.

TQM was adopted by Japan and US to improve their production in a competitive market vis a vis cost effective strategies with
the ultimate goal of improving customer satisfaction. See Mangahas and Leyesa 2003. “Improving Government Administration
through TQM” and Mariano “TQM and Philippine Local Government Units.” in Introduction to Public Administration: A Reader.

New Sub-fields of Public Administration

As the field evolved, and in response to the changing demands of the time, new sub-fields
emerged. These included the following:

Policy Analysis and Program Administration

The post-war years saw the emergence of public policy as a subfield of public administration.
In the US, interest in policy studies started in 1950s. In the Philippines, however, it started not to long
ago, in 1970s in the then Institute of Public Administration in the University of the Philippines.
Generally, policy studies can focus on the content of public policy, its processes, models, theories and
approaches of public policy its impact as well as evaluation of public programs and projects. Other
significant concepts, principles and techniques for systematic analysis and decision - making in public
policy and management are also considered in policy analysis. Dye (1995) said that certain
theoretical approaches and models have been introduced in studying public policy which include
institutional, process, group, elite, rational, incremental, game theory, public choice and systems

Public Enterprise Management

Privatization is one of the foci of this area of public administration. Other topics include the
nature and processes of public enterprises; the relationship between the government and the public
enterprise sector; issues on managerial autonomy, public accountability, corporate social
responsibility and the role of the state in the economy. In the graduate level, courses include financial
management of public enterprise and management of public enterprises.

Voluntary Sector Management

Voluntary Sector Management is another emerging field of Public Administration. In

recognition of the growing voluntary sector in the Philippines, UP NCPAG has pioneered in offering
Voluntary Sector Management (VSM) as a field of specialization. This field has developed expertise
through the years through its institutional linkage with UP Pahinungod with Dr. Ledivina Cariño as its
founding director. Voluntary sector management can be referred to similar terms such as “voluntary
sector, “third sector”, “non-profit organizations,” “non-governmental organizations,” and “civil society

Spatial Information Management

In delivering public goods and services efficiently and effectively, it is very important that we
will be aided with support tools enabling the use of all kinds of spatial data/information. With the study
and utilization of geographic information system (GIS), data/information can be processed
immediately and can be transported easily. This technology is currently used by many government
agencies and corporations; thus the introduction and popularization of some technology terms in
government such as e-government, e-commerce, geo-visualization, e-finance, among others. Other
systems are also introduced in SIM like global positioning systems and remote sensing.

Public administration indeed has evolved both as a scholarly discipline and as a profession. It
has reached wider dimensions of governance, from political, economic, social, cultural aspects of
public management. In the executive branch, for instance, it has retained traditional functions such as
O and M (management functions like planning, organizing) and personnel management but explored
possibilities in organizational development, fiscal administration (budgeting, accounting, auditing) and
public policy and program administration which is concerned with the processes and analysis of public



The praxis of Philippine public administration has always included three major areas of
concerns. These are: reorganization, decentralization and the ever present challenge of addressing

corruption and promoting accountability in government. 20 This section discusses each of these areas
and thrusts.

Reorganizing the Bureaucracy

The praxis of public administration in the Philippines has always been rooted in the imperative
for reform. This following discusses two major targets of reform over the years. These are the civil
service and the local governments. More specifically, Philippine public administration has always seen
reorganization as central to the entire initiative in the continuing search and design for more
responsive structures and process. Indeed, among the initial initiatives of any president – from Roxas
in the 40’s to Arroyo in 2002, upon assumption to office, is the declaration to reorganize the

The first decree (Presidential Decree No 1) enacted by Marcos upon the declaration of martial
law was the Integrated Reorganization Plan (IRP). It “promised the most extensive and wrenching
effort at administrative reform in the country’s history through decentralizing and reducing the
bureaucracy, and standardizing departmental organization. The IRP also sought to introduce
structural changes and reforms to strengthen the merit system as well as professionalize the civil
service system. “(ADB 2005: 11) Endriga (2001) described the bureaucracy under the Marcos
administration as being more subservient than at any other time in Philippine history. The government
then was restructured according to the will of Marcos and it has been shielded from public scrutiny
and criticism; thus the perpetuation of irresponsible acts.

To restore government integrity and public confidence, reorganization reforms were

introduced by President Aquino, essentially with the creation of Presidential Commission on Public
Ethics and Accountability and the Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG). Civil
society organizations (CSOs) became more active in participating in decision-making and program
implementation of the government. To downsize the bloated government, one of the steps undertaken
by her administration was the removal of thousands of civil servants from their positions. Although the
said step was justified, ironically, the number of civil servants and political appointees in the
government increased; thus, blurring the principles of merit and fitness of the civil service. Moreover,
pubic agencies and offices grew which caused the extended and fragmented government structure.
(ADB 2005)

Reorganization efforts were minimal during the tenures of Ramos and Estrada. Ramos simply
focused on the praxis of NPM with the end goal of reengineering the bureaucracy. His flagship
program, the Philippines 2000, was envisioned to make the country globally competitive by pursuing
the thrusts of deregulation, market liberalization, and privatization. He focused on setting the guiding
principles in reorganizing and improving government operations, divesting government-owned and
controlled corporations (GOCCs), promoting decentralization and local governance, and pushing on
the attrition law. The reengineering plan, however, remained a plan with the Congress not laying
down the legal framework for his aspiration of streamlining the bureaucracy.

Under Estrada administration, the Rationalization Program of 2001 through Presidential

Committee on Effective Governance (PCEG) was introduced. Executive Order No. 165 or “Directing
the Formulation of an Institutional Strengthening and Streamlining Program for the Executive Branch,”
laid down the “Re-Engineering the Bureaucracy for Better Governance Program.” The program aims
to strengthen and streamline the bureaucracy particularly the executive branch, the GOCCs, and the
state universities and colleges (SUCs).

What prompted the government in pushing for the rationalization program despite some
criticisms and even cynicisms particularly from the skeptics? David offered four reasons: first, to
make the government do the right things (efficiency); second, to do the things in the right or best way
(effectiveness); third, to be able to do the right things in the right way within affordable levels
(affordability); and fourth, to be able to achieve these in the most accountable, transparent manner as
possible (accountability). These served as the four guiding principles of the Rationalization Program.
David further expounds on these principles and said that effectiveness means that there is a need to
focus on government efforts on its vital and core functions. This is indeed a good strategy to achieve
medium-term strategies and to avoid expenditures and time to those functions that the government

There are of course other targets of reform as far as the overall goal to promote better and more responsive structures of
government are concerned. These include the judiciary and the congress.
should not enter into. Efficiency is achieved through answering the question: “What do we want to
do?” Through the methods of rationalization of service delivery support systems, organizational
structure, and right staffing; the government then could provide an individual agency performance.
The principle of affordability states that expenditures must be based on allowable existing resources.
Therefore, the necessary rationalization will have to go together with the kind of economic situation
the government agencies are in, with consideration on how much they can afford. To assure
accountability, the method of reporting that should be practiced by the government must be clear,
observable and verifiable. (DGF 2005)

On the part of the CSC, its mandate can only be fully realized once the elected officials learn
to respect the bureaucracy and recognize that a professional core of public servants is a major
partner in good governance. It must be noted that ordinary civil servants are still nation-builders.
David adds that notwithstanding the fiscal crisis the country is now facing, the program still has to be
pursued because there is really a need to “rationalize how the government funds itself, and how
government gets its job done.” (DGF 2005: 11) After all, the budget we use to support government’s
operation comes from the taxpayers and this has to be complemented by an efficient, effective,
affordable and accountable service from the civil servants.

The Macapagal-Arroyo administration continued the program to streamline the bureaucracy,

but as yet has no overall agenda for reform. In the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan
(MTPDP) 2001-2004, the present administration had adopted the “Reengineering the Bureaucracy for
Better Governance Program” of the Estrada administration. PCEG was likewise reactivated upon the
Arroyo’s assumption to office. It serves as the ad-hoc body that shall be the focal point of
administrative reforms in the civil service. In October 4, 2004, the Department of Budget and
Management (DBM) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) pursued the Rationalization Program as
mandated in EO 366. According to DBM, EO 366 directs all departments/agencies of the executive
branch to conduct a strategic review of their operations and organizations for purposes of focusing
government purposes on its vital functions and channeling government resources to these core public
functions, and improving the efficiency of government services, within affordable levels, and in the
most accountable manner. (See table 3 for the status of the rationalization program as of April 2008).
DBM’s task, according to David (as cited in DGF 2005), is to look at a two-track approach in ensuring
the effective delivery of government service. The first track of reengineering the bureaucracy is
through legislative measures and the second track is the administrative rationalization of the

The Rationalization Program

The table below shows that four years after the implementation of EO 366, only 17 out of 26
department agencies of the government, 27 OEOS/other government agencies, and only 36 out of
more than 100 GOCCs in the country have submitted their rationalization plans. Out of the 80
submitted rational plans, only two department-level offices and nine GOCCs were approved; three
departments have been evaluated but were not yet approved. Out of the 44 plans, (complete and
partial submission) that are under evaluation, eight departments and 19 GOCCs have completed their
submission while three departments and four from the GOCCs have made partial submission.
Moreover, there were plans returned for revision; one from the department and four from the GOCCs.
DBM is expecting submissions from three departments and 24 GOCCs.

Table 3. Overall Status of the Implementation of the Rationalization Program ((Net of Entities Exempted),
As of 30 April 2008)

Status Depts OEOs/Other Agencies GOCCs Total No. %

A. Plans Submitted to DBM 17 27 36 80 75%
1. Approved
1.1 attached agencies 2 16 9 27 25%
2. Evaluation Completed but not yet approved 5∗ 5∗
3. Under evaluation 3 - - 3 3%
3.1 complete submission 8 10 19 37 34%
3.2 partial submission 3 - 4 7 7%
4. Plans returned for revision 1 1 4 6 5%
B. Plans for Submission to DBM 3 1 24 28 26%
Total 20 28 60 108 100%
Source: DBM, 2008

rationalization plan not counted individually; part of mother department’s overall Plan.

rationalization plan not counted individually; part of mother department’s overall Plan.
Options for Affected Personnel 21

In the process of reviewing agency operations and organizations, some functions/units may
be found redundant, overlapping or duplicating with others. Employees are then given two options:
(1) to remain in government service and be placed in other government agencies needing personnel
or (2) avail of retirement/separation benefits, if qualified, plus the applicable incentive. As of April
2008, 2,170 regular positions (87% or 1,888 funded and 13% or 282 unfunded items) and 1,137
contractual/casual positions (86% of these or 978 contractual items and 14% or 159 casual items)
have been abolished, which in effect, generated P422M (P379M explicit and P43M implicit). These
savings were plowed back to the concerned department agencies to beef up their funds for their
purposes like maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay.

On the other hand, 1,778 employees were affected by the Rationalization Program. Ninety-
four percent (94%) or 1,667 have opted to retire while 6% or 111 employees have opted to be placed
to other agencies such as DOH-managed hospitals, DepEd-supervised schools, Bureau of Jail
Management and Penology (BJMP), Land Transportation Office (LTO), National Statistics Office
(NSO) and Philippine National Police (PNP). Benefits paid for those who retired amounted to P160M.
(see matrix below for the summary)

No of regular positions abolished 2170 positions

No. of Contractual/Casual Positions abolished Funded: 1, 888 ( 87%) Unfunded: 282 (13%)
1,137 positions
Total PS Savings Generated Contractual: 978 items (86%) Casual: 159 items (14%)
Explicit (funded items): P379 M Implicit (unfunded items): P43M
No. of Personnel who opted to retire 1,667 (94%)
Benefits Paid P160 M
No. of Personnel who opted to be placed to other agencies ∗ 111 (6%)
Total of retired and transferred personnel 1,778

The Growth of the Philippine Bureaucracy

The table below shows that as of 2004, a total of 1,475,699 personnel were employed in
national government agencies (NGAs), government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), and
local government units (LGUs). About 67.86% of 1,475,699 total number of government employees
are assigned to NGAs and only 25.09% to the LGUs. The GOCCs registered the lowest complement
at 7.04 % of the total number of government workforce. As to the distribution of personnel by regions,
National Capital Region (NCR) comprises the biggest pie with 29.63% of the total number of
workforce from all subdivisions followed by regions 4 and 6 with 10.64% and 7.48% respectively.
Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) has the lowest complement with only 2.18 percent of the total
number of employees.

As to the distribution of employees from NGAs, 32% of 1,001,495 employees are

concentrated in NCR. Very few personnel are recorded in CAR with only 2.03% and CARAGA
(2.47%). As to the distribution of GOCCs, the biggest slice is in NCR with 67.61% and the lowest
number of personnel comes from the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) with only
0.18% of the total of 103,977 employees from GOCCs.

As to the distribution of employees in LGUs, Region 4 registered the highest complement at

about 14.95 % of 370,227 total number of employees in LGUs. NCR only has 12.56%; thus showing
that Region 4 exceeded NCR with 2.39 % employees. Again, ARMM listed the lowest number of local
government personnel with only 2.24% of the total number of LGU personnel in the country.

. Perhaps, it must be pointed out that figures will show that the bureaucracy is now really
bloated as it is maldistributed. Most numbers of employees come from the national government
agencies and are concentrated in NCR. Areas which need the services more have only a few number
of public servants.

Data taken from DBM, 2008

DOH-managed hospitals, DepEd-supervised schools, BJMP. LTO, NSO and PNP.
Table 4. Number of Government Personnel by Major Subdivision and Region: 2004 22

Region Total % NGA % GOCC % LGU %

Philippines 1,475,699 100% 1,001,495 67.86% 103,977 7.04 % 370,227 25.09%
1 78,104 5.29 53,332 5.33 1,876 1.80 22,896 6.18
2 50,302 3.41 31,443 3.14 2,639 2.54 16,220 4.38
3 97,937 6.64 56,599 5.65 7516 7.23 33822 9.14
4 156993 10.64 96725 9.66 4931 4.74 55337 14.95
5 75298 5.10 54650 5.46 1397 1.34 19251 5.20
6 110369 7.48 74197 7.41 2604 2.50 33568 9.07
7 81314 5.51 51283 5.12 2954 2.84 27077 7.31
8 68766 4.66 45763 4.57 1856 1.79 21147 5.71
9 48293 3.27 33858 3.38 1093 1.05 13342 3.60
10 59904 4.06 38348 3.83 1953 1.88 19603 5.29
11 49503 3.35 34132 3.41 1238 1.19 14133 3.82
12 47135 3.19 31893 3.18 1910 1.84 13332 3.60
CARAGA 40075 2.72 24721 2.47 1089 1.05 14265 3.85
NCR 437243 29.63 320429 32.00 70302 67.61 46512 12.56
CAR 32237 2.18 20363 2.03 431 0.41 11443 3.09
ARMM 42226 2.86 33759 3.37 188 0.18 8279 2.24

Table 5 shows the distribution of government personnel according to branch of service in an

interval of ten years starting from the year 1964 up to 2004. Additionally, if we look at the distribution,
we will see that most of them are in national government agencies, followed by the LGUs and the
GOCCs respectively. There were no available data from GOCCs in 1964 and 1974 since it was only
in 1973 that the personnel in government corporations were absorbed into the regular civil service.
(De Guzman, Brillantes, and Pacho 1988) We also noticed that every ten years, the number of
employees from the NGAs and LGUs scales up one notch while the number of workforce in GOCCs
alarmingly decreases every ten years. (See figure 1). There was a noticeable increase in the number
of employees from NGAs and LGUs while there was a substantial decrease in GOCCs. In 1994, from
134, 453 employees in GOCCs, it dropped to 112,858 thereby eliminating 21,595 employees from the
GOCCs. In 2004, GOCC employees were further reduced into 104, 977; thus, losing another 8,881

Table 5. Distribution of Personnel According to Branch of Service 23


1964 272,845 201,401 --- 71,444
1974 280,167 194,735 --- 85,432
1984 991,445 667,114 134,453 189,878
1994 1,225,676 796,795 112,858 316,023
2004 1,475,699 1,001,495 103,977 370,227

As illustrated in Figure 1, over the years, it has become a fashionable observation that the
Philippine bureaucracy has been a bloated one. In 1964, there were only 272,845 civil servants. Its
growth is relatively attributed to the increase of demands of public service delivery due to the increase
in population; hence, the expansion of government functions and responsibilities.

Data derived from the 2004 Inventory of Government Personnel by the Civil Service Commission. The computation of
percentages is provided by the authors.
Data for the year 1964, 1974 and 1984 are derived from The Bureaucracy, in Government and Politics of the Philippines,
edited by Raul P. de Guzman and Mila A. Reforma, 1988, Oxford University Press. The data excludes employees from schools,
state colleges and universities.
Figure 1. Distribution of Personnel According to Branch of Service

1,000,000 Total
800,000 NGA

600,000 GOCC
1964 1974 1984 1994 2004

Table 6. Number of Civil Servants as a Percentage of the Population in Selected Countries 24

Number of Number of Civil

Population Ratio of Civil Servants
Country Civil Servants as a Percentage
and Population
Servants of Population
Philippines 1,475,699 88,574,614 1.63% 1:60
Singapore 60,000 4,681,000 1.28% 1:78
Thailand 1,296,688 63,038,247 2.05% 1:48
France 4,925,100 64,473,140 7.63% 1:13
United States 2,700,000 304,095,000 0.88% 1:112
India 8,000,000 1,132,910,000 0.70% 1:141

Compared to other countries, the ratio of civil servants to the population of the Philippines is
relatively low. However, compared to India with one employee to 141 persons, in the Philippines, one
civil servant is complemented with 60 persons. France, on the other hand, has the lowest number
with only 13 persons to one government employee. As seen on figure 2, with a considerably low
population of 64,473,140, they have 7.63% or 4,925,100 civil servants. Thailand fairly does well with
1 is to 48.

Figure 2. Number of Civil Servants as a Percentage of Population

Civil Servants as % of Population

8.00% 7.63%

2.00% 1.63%
0.88% 0.70%
Philippines Singapore Thailand France US India

Population of the countries are derived from the data presented in http://en.wikipedia.org; number of civil servants as a
percentage of the population as computed by the authors; number of Civil Servants in the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand
are from www. unpan1.un.org “Figures on the Number of Civil Servants: Compendium of Information on Selected ASEAN
Civil Service Systems. (2004)”; data of civil servants in France from http://web.worldbank.org; United States number of civil
servants from http://www.federaljobs.net.
The attempt to reorganize, reorganize, reengineer, and restructure the bureaucracy is evident
in the programs and projects of the different administrations. However, each administration is faced
with tremendous challenges of overlapping functions, lack of acceptance and commitment by affected
entities, red-tape and corruption inherited from past administrations. It becomes a cycle and the great
challenge for the present administration is how to surpass these problems and how to face tougher
challenges, “given the pressures of the growing trend toward greater civil society and private
participation in the management of state affairs, the demands of globalization and the paradigm shift
of the government’s role from command and control into facilitation and flexibility. “ (ADB 2005: 12)
The rationalization program has also stirred controversies. Some say it failed but at the end of the
day, there has to be someone who is going to provide solutions. The government is expected to do
that; however, it cannot do the job in isolation. It has to consider the comments and suggestions of
others. (DGF 2005)

Indeed, the government, the civil society, and the business sector should work together to
achieve the overall goal of the government. There is a need to strengthen institutions to capacitate
the stakeholders in mainstreaming good governance and in effecting public administration reforms or
civil service reforms. Mainstreaming good governance requires building capacity of individuals and
institutions and creating the appropriate policy environment to institutionalize the principles of
participation, transparency, accountability and predictability in the delivery of public goods and
services that will promote better quality service, improved capacity and better quality of life in the long
term. (See figure 3 below)

Figure 3. Capacity-Development Framework

Policy and Institutional

• Legal framework Improved
• Policies Capacities

Organization • Objectives & strategies

• Structures
• Processes & procedures
Individuals • Resources Better
• Communications Quality of
• Information systems
• Performance measures
• Accountabilities

• Knowledge Living
• Skills Conditions
• Attitudes
Source: Mangahas and Astillero 2002

Decentralizing the Bureaucracy

A second major initiative that can be observed in the continuing attempt to design and
develop a more responsive Philippine public administration is the effort to continuously decentralize
the bureaucracy, culminating of with the enactment of the Local Government Code of 1991.

Operationalizing the Notion of Decentralization

In any discussion of decentralization, it is critical that we have relatively common terms of
references in the usage of the term “decentralization” so as to be able to have a more meaningful and
useful analysis of the process. Decentralization in the Philippines could be operationalized through
three modalities: deconcentration, devolution and debureaucratization.

Deconcentration is a limited form of decentralization since decision-making remains at the

center with lower levels of government –in this case the filed offices of the national government
agencies -largely limited to transmitting orders and implementing decisions of centrally based
authorities. Deconcentration is also referred to as administrative decentralization.

Devolution is political decentralization which essentially involves the transfer of powers and
responsibilities from national government agencies to local governments as provided for in the Local
Government Code. As provided for in Section 16 of the Code or the General Welfare Clause, these
include the responsibility for the delivery of basic services; including health, agriculture, social
services and environment. Together with the transfer of responsibilities was the transfer of personnel
to the local governments. It will be recalled that close to 70,000 national personnel were transferred
(“devolved”) to the local governments during the initial years of devolution.

The third type of decentralization has been referred to as “debureaucratization” that involves
the harnessing of the private sector and non-governmental organizations in the delivery of services
through various modalities including contracting out, private-public partnership, and joint ventures,
among other things. This modality of partnership is also provided for in Section 17 of the Local
Government Code where partnerships with the private sector, NGOs and POs are recognized and
even encouraged for the improved delivery of services.

Historical Background of Decentralization

The Local Government in the Philippine Islands, written in 1926 by then President Jose P.
Laurel, reveals the idea that local autonomy was existent even before the arrival of the Spaniards.
The local villages or the barangays were then considered as autonomous territorial and political units
headed by a datu, panginoo, or pangulo.

The Spanish colonizers enacted the “Maura Law” in 1893. The law included the establishment
of tribunals municipals and juntas provincials. However, the system of Government remained
centralized characterized by the “retention of rights and prerogatives by the principal class, the
straight laced centralization of powers, the continued intervention of the church in State affairs, the
limited franchise granted, the inadequate election devised and enforced, and the defected financial
system instituted.” (Brillantes 2003)

Decentralization in the Malolos Constitution has been described as “the most ample
decentralization” for local governments and for more popular and direct election of local officials.
However, local governments were still subject to regulation based on several principles, including the
“determination in their powers matter of taxes, in order that the provincial and municipal taxation may
never be antagonistic to the system of taxation of the State.” (Brillantes 1987)

The trend during the time of the American occupation was towards centralization wherein all
local governments were placed under military control primarily for control and security purposes,
inspite of the rhetoric in favor of local autonomy.

During the Commonwealth, local governments were placed under the general supervision of
the President. Specifically, Art.VII, Section 11 of the 1945 Constitution provided that “The President
shall … exercise general supervision over all local governments.” This is in mark contrast to the
preceding sentence which provided that the President shall exercise “control” over all executive
departments, bureaus and offices. According to Ocampo and Panganiban (1985, 1998), the use of the
term “supervision” instead of “control” was a “compromise concept substituted for a stronger
guarantee of autonomy sought by some constitutional convention delegates. (Brillantes 1987)

The first local autonomy act was Republic Act No. 2264, entitled “An Act Amending the Laws
Governing Local Governments by Increasing their Autonomy and Reorganizing Provincial
Governments.” The Act vested in the city and municipal governments greater fiscal, planning and
regulatory powers. It likewise gave the cities and municipalities powers to adopt zoning and planning
ordinances. Moreover, it granted the authority to provincial, city and municipal governments the
authority to undertake and carry out any public works projects which the local government itself

Another landmark legislation with regard to local autonomy in the Philippines is Republic Act
No. 2370, entitled “An Act Granting Autonomy to the Barrios of the Philippines” or otherwise known as
the Barrio Charter Act. This law was passed in 1959 which was principally sponsored by Senator Raul
Manglapus. The barrios then became quasi-municipal corporations exercising autonomy, among
other things, through their taxing powers. Barrios were to be governed by an elective barrio council
that included powers to enact barrio ordinances.

During the time of Martial Law which started in 1972, the law-making powers and the
administration and implementation of laws were concentrated in the hands of Ferdinand Marcos.
Moreover, the national and local elections were suspended and Marcos placed unto himself the power
to appoint local officials who shall exercise functions under the President’s authoritative control. Two
years after the 1978 election of the national legislature, local elections were held though never
considered truly reflective of the people’s will because of the dictatorship. The Government then is
characterized being highly centralized under Marcos’ administration. The system runs counter to the
specific provision of the 1973 Constitution advocating the promotion of local autonomy.

The Local Government Code of 1983 was promulgated in early February of the same year
which reiterates the policy of the State in the 1973 Constitution and that is to “guarantee and promote
the local government units to ensure their fullest development as self-reliant communities and make
them effective partners in the pursuit of national development and progress.” Notwithstanding the
enactment of the Code, the measures to decentralize government remained merely as administrative
formalisms. Powers continued to be concentrated in Manila with local units heavily dependent upon
central government. Although the Marcos regime was unsuccessful in effecting political
decentralization which focuses on the devolution of powers to specific political units covering a
specific area, the administration can be credited for its efforts at administrative decentralization when
it emphasized the role of the regional units of the national line ministries to decongest the central
government of many administrative functions.

In accordance with Article II, Section 25 of the 1987 Constitution which provides that “The
State shall ensure the autonomy of local governments”, RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of
1991 was promulgated. The Code transferred the responsibility for the delivery of basic services to
the local government units, including appropriate personnel, assets, equipment, programs and
projects. The local autonomy would now mean less reliance in national government, including
“allotments” made by the national government, and increased reliance on internally generated
resources, or resources jointly generated with other institutions, be they other local government units
or private institutions.

Major Features of the Local Government Code

The Local Government Code of 1991 radically transformed the nature of power relationships
between the central government and the thousands of local governments in the countryside, through
the devolution process. Devolution to local government units involves the responsibility for the delivery
of various aspects of basic services that earlier were the responsibility of the national government,
such as: health, social services, environment, public works, education, tourism, telecommunications
services, housing projects, and investment support. It also covers the responsibility for the
enforcement of certain regulatory powers, such as the reclassification of agricultural lands;
enforcement of environmental laws; inspection of food products and quarantine; enforcement of
national building code; operation of tricycles; processing and approval of subdivision plans; and
establishment of cockpits and holding of cockfights.

With the implementation of the Code, financial resources are also decentralized. There had
been an increased financial resources available to local governments by (1) broadening their taxing
powers; (2) providing them with a specific share from the national wealth exploited in their area, and
(3) increasing their share from the national taxes. Moreover, the Code provides for the foundation for
the development and evolution of more entrepreneurial-oriented local governments (e.g. build-
operate-transfer (BOT) arrangements with the private sector, bond floatation, obtain loans from local
private institutions).

The Master Plan for the sustainable implementation of the Local Government Code of 1991
involves three phases. Phase One or the Change-Over Phase (1992-1993) concerns the transfer to
LGUs of devolved functions, with the corresponding assets and personnel. In Phase Two or the
Transitional Phase (1994-1996), the national government agencies (NGAs) and the LGUs shall
institutionalize their adjustments to the decentralized schemes introduced by the Code. And the last
phase is the Stabilization Phase (1997 onwards) wherein it is assumed that the LGUs would have
built adequate capacities in managing local affairs, and the NGAs would provide constant support and
technical assistance to LGUs.

Innovations in Decentralization and Local Governance

The National Statistical Coordination Board recorded that, as of March 2008, there are
already 41,995 barangays, 136 cities, 1495 municipalities, and 81 provinces in the Philippines. Many
of these local government units are paving the way in the practice of good local governance and
decentralization. The seventeen years of the devolution have had high and low points. Although the
impact of decentralization did not take off immediately, we may already list a lot of major
breakthroughs in local governments. The following are some of the cases of best practices brought
about by decentralization in the Philippines and which are culled from various local government
achievements. 25

Table 7. Cases of Best Practices in the Philippines

Sample Best Practice Cases Local Government Unit

Taking Care of People and Environment Negros Oriental
Saving the Marikina River Marikina City
Build-Operate Transfer Mandaluyong City
Dingras, Ilocos Norte
Acquiring a Complete Equipment Pool Muñoz, Nueva Ecija
Floating Bonds for Low Cost Housing Victorias, Negros
Improving the Productivity Naga City
Lote Para sa Mahirap: Land Banking San Carlos City
Eco-Walk for the Environment Baguio City
Health Insurance Project Guimaras Province
Carabao and Tractor Pool Puerto Princesa
Talahib Handicraft Jones, Isabela
Inter-local cooperation: MIGEDZI – Metro-Iloilo Guimaras Economic Iloilo and Guimaras
Development Council (formerly MIDC)
GPook (poverty reduction program, population health and environment Concepcion, Iloilo
program) and LGLA
Bond Flotation for Tourism Development: the Boracay-Aklan Provincial Bond Caticlan, Aklan
(Jetty Port and Passenger Terminal in Caticlan)
Charging user fees for health services Malalag, Davao del Sur
Implementing a fiscal management system Gingoog City
Tax mapping, Computerization and GIS in Real Property Taxation Santa Rosa, Laguna
Innovating Tax Administration Measures Quezon City

Decentralization as a framework of governance serves as a tool in building the capacities of

both government and non-government actors in engaging each in managing societal affairs. The
cases on best practices have proven this claim. The Local Government Code has given impetus to,
not only the local government itself, but the rest of the stakeholders in governance: the business
sector and the civil society, to play vital roles in processes of local governance such as; local
development planning and implementation, local resource generation, local economic promotion,
environmental management; thus, establishing a multi-stakeholders collaboration of local
development efforts. With the Code providing them the legal and institutional infrastructure, these
exemplars of local governance have also demonstrated that an aggregation of different local
government units is practicable. Inter-local cooperation and convergence make LGUs stronger and
more productive and efficient. This synergy of the different actors of local governance, whether from
vertical and horizontal relationship, manifests the real essence of the process of democratization.

See annex 1 for the list of best practices according to sectoral areas.
Many of the local communities in the roster of “best practices” in local governance have demonstrated
promising partnerships with the NGOs and the private sectors. Decentralization has indeed increased
the democratic space of the civil society and embraced them in participating in local governance.

Decentralization has provided a democratized milieu where LGUs are able to transform
themselves into self-reliant communities and be more autonomous in managing their own affairs. The
Local Government Code has endowed an enabling environment that has allowed these LGUs to
flourish, utilize, and maximize their powers such as the authority to exercise taxing powers as well as
corporate or entrepreneurial powers.

Decentralization has been fuelled by efforts to apply the principles of self-government:

efficiency, autonomy, subsidiarity and proximity. Sometimes, given their supremacy, national
government agencies instead of becoming a partner, tend to serve as an impediment to any local
development efforts. There are also cases where national government policies instead of promoting
development, impinge on the territorial jurisdiction of local governments and adversely impact local
communities. In the name of democratic governance, national government may guide local
governments and provide policies and technical expertise but they must recognize that in the principle
of subsidiarity, the decentralized entity - the LGU, is the nearest to the people; therefore, they should
be left on their own. LGU’s, in order to work smoothly with the national government, should align
their development plans along with the national government’s policies but focus more on what
development needs are to be met in their community. Thus, the central/national government and the
LGUs should not look at each other as competitors in service delivery but as active partners in

Best practices on different areas of local governance should be replicated but it will be more
apt that these best practices are not only replicated but be further "mainstreamed.” Mainstreaming is
not an easy task. Its attainability requires not only innovativeness, ingenuity, resources but also the
leadership and the candidness of the local chief executive to accept change.

Addressing Corruption

Finally, continuing and ongoing initiatives to come up with more responsive public
administration structures and processes are ongoing efforts to address the ever pervasive problem of
corruption. Corruption or the “misuse of public power for private profit” inhibits growth and
development, distorts access to services for poor communities, undermines public confidence in the
government’s will and capacity to serve the public, deters trade and investments, reduces revenues,
increases costs, and propagates wasteful allocation and use of scarce resources. Various sectors of
the society are doing their best to combat corruption, enhance government efficiency, effectiveness
and accountability. It is noteworthy to state that institutions have been set up and several laws were
enacted to fight against graft and corruption.

Negative consequences of corruption to institutions are prevalent through favoring vested or

selfish interests of a person or entity. Officials and employees of the government tend to neglect the
very purpose of civil servants and that is to serve the public interest with utmost fidelity. Tolerating
corruption encourages negative and poor bureaucratic behavior of anyone in the service. In effect, it
ruins public trust and confidence in the government. With regard to public personnel, corruption
undermines merit and fitness system and inhibits civil servant motivation to uphold integrity. Moreover,
corruption leads to poor quality of programs, projects and services, and ineffective, inefficient and
unaccountable administration.

Corruption benefits only few and deprives the rest of the people. Among the social costs of
corruption include undermining the rule of law and violating political legitimacy. Disadvantaged people
are deprived of fair treatment which increases poverty and that corrupt practices jeopardize the
welfare of the people.

Opportunities that exist to tackle corruption include (i) ensuring the presence of a legislative
framework to check corruption, (ii) supporting active and vigilant civil society groups, (iii) protecting a
free media, (iv) forming nationally accredited citizens’ watch group, (v) increasing public demands for
more accountability in government, (vi) promoting ongoing initiatives to involve people in the fight

against corruption, and (vii) accepting support from international development agencies. 26 Martinez 27
disclosed that present threats to such measures include (i) dispersed population and unfavorable
geographical composition, (ii) government credibility that is lacking, (iii) uninformed and apathetic
population, (iv) corrupt element resistance, and (v) institutional weaknesses.

The Republic of the Philippines-United Nations Development Programme of 2002 presented

initiatives and desired strategic directions that underscore an anticorruption framework. The agenda
involves strengthening and sustaining institutional capacities of government agencies for sound
development management and oversight of the public sector by responsible citizens and civil society
groups. Also, the framework stresses enhancing civil society’s capacity to effectively engage the
public sector in strengthening institutional integrity, transparency, and accountability. The methods
may include prevention of corruption practices, prosecution of corruption cases and imposition of
stricter penalties, and promotion of a culture with corruption-intolerant sensitivity.

The Philippines has numerous laws addressing graft and corruption, defining the prohibited
and punishable acts, laying down specific penalties imposed for every breach thereof, and identifying
the agencies responsible in the implementation of the said laws. The promulgated laws date back to
1955. Article XI of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, Republic Act 3019,
otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and the Section on Bribery which
includes Corruption of Public Officials (Art. 212) of the Revised Penal Code are the three main laws
defining and penalizing corruption in the country. Table 8 presents a summary list of related laws,
presidential decrees and proclamations, and other regulations on corruption prevention.
Table 8. List of Laws Related to Graft and Corruption

As reported in the Philippines: Country Governance Assessment by the Asian Development Bank, 2005.
In Strategies of Corruption Prevention in the Philippines: Mobilizing Civil Society, 1999.
This table is drawn from Asian Development Bank 2005: 18-19.
Government efforts to promote corporate governance and prevent private sector corruption are further
strengthened by the joint initiatives of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
(Central Bank), and Anti-Money Laundering Council. Table 10 presents the different government agencies
involved in the fight against corruption. (Refer to Annex 2 for the list of Philippine Anti-Corruption Agencies.)

Philippine government agencies, particularly those that are tasked to combat corruption, need
to cooperate with each other and effectively work as a team; otherwise the fight against corruption
would not be a success.

Gawad Kalinga: Model of Philippine Public Administration and Governance 29

The Gawad Kalinga (GK) movement can be considered as “an alternative solution to the
blatant problem of poverty not just in the Philippines but in the world. Guided by its motto, “less for
self, more for others, enough for all,” GK envisioned a Philippines that is a slum-free, squatter-free
nation through a simple strategy of providing land for the landless, homes for the homeless, food for
the hungry and as a result providing dignity and peace for every Filipino. Gawad Kalinga, which
means “to give care,” was established in 1995 to rehabilitate juvenile gang members and help out-of-
school youth in Bagong Silang, Caloocan City, then the biggest squatters’ relocation area in the
Philippines. This endeavor has now evolved into a movement for nation-building. Together with its
partners, Gawad Kalinga is now leading in the transformation of poverty stricken areas into
progressive communities with the goal of building 700,000 homes in 7,000 in 7 years (2003-2010). To
date GK is in over 900 communities all over the Philippines and in other developing countries”.

Seen through the lens of Public Administration, Gawad Kalinga may be described as a
distinctly Filipino invention that effectively delivers basic services to Filipinos living in poverty by
engaging cooperation between government, business and civil society.

This description highlights three important characteristics of Gawad Kalinga that embody key
concepts in new public administration, reinvented government and governance: enhancement of
social equity as a key question (Frederickson 1971) effective delivery of services as a core concept
(Osborne and Gaebler 1992); and cooperation between government, business and civil society as a
key principle (Carino 2000)

We are grateful to Ms Paulyn Bautista for her insights and contribution in developing this section on Gawad Kalinga and
public administration.
These three characteristics may further be explored towards establishing GK as a model of
Philippine Public Administration and governance in view of three key dimensions presented below:

Characteristics of GK vis-à-vis New Public

Key Dimensions of GK as Model of Philippine
Administration, Reinvented Public
Administration and Governance
Effective delivery of services as a core concept GK as an Emerging Model for Development
Cooperation between government, business and GK as a Converging Point for Partnership
civil society
Enhancement of social equity as a key question GK as a Template for Good Governance

Figure 4 illustrates the GK Governance Paradigm in view of these key dimensions.

Figure 4: GK Governance Paradigm

Public administration and governance

Government The Millennium

Development Goals

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and

2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and
empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
Civil Society Business 6. Eradication of HIV, malaria and
other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for
GK Programs development
GK as an Emerging Model of Development
GK as a Converging Point for Partnership
GK as a Template for Good Governance

GK as an Emerging Model of Development: GK’s Program and the MDGs

Gawad Kalinga brings together complimentary resources of government, business and civil society
towards its ultimate objective to address poverty. GK engages in seven component programs: shelter and
site development (GK Tatag), community health (Gawad Kalusugan), education / child and youth
development (sibol, sagip and siga), productivity / livelihood (Gawad kabuhayan), community organizing
and empowerment (kapitbahayan), culture and tourism (Mabuhay) and environment (Green Kalinga).
Through these programs, GK is actually undertaking magnanimous efforts and accomplishing great
milestones in the global partnership for development that aims to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger,
reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat AIDS, HIV, malaria, ensure environment,
sustainability, achieve universal primary education, and promote gender equality. Collectively referred to
as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), these eight goals have become a central concern of public
administration and governance worldwide.

A clear correspondence between the MDGs and the Programs of Gawad Kalinga succinctly presents
GK as a model of sustainable human development. Table 11 presents the GK Programs vis-à-vis the

The Child & Youth Development program can be aligned to the MDG goal to achieve universal
primary education as well as to promote gender equality, a goal likewise addressed by the values-formation
foundation of all GK communities. The “sibol” program, which means “to grow,” provides value based
education for pre-school children, aged three to six years old. A support program for children of elementary
age, from seven to 13 years old through academic tutorials, sports and creative workshops and values
formation is called sagip, which means “to save a life.” The formative needs of teenagers from 13-18 are
covered by the siga program which means “to light,” also granting scholarships to deserving students.
Furthermore a strong youth rehabilitation program for juvenile delinquents provides various activities and

counseling sessions to help them transform their lives without institutional rehabilitation. They are then
integrated into the social mainstream and are gainfully employed.

Table 9. Programs of Gawad Kalinga and the MDGs


• eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Bayan-anihan/ Gawad Kabuhayan (Productivity / Livelihood)
• reduce child mortality Gawad Kalusugan (Community Health)
• improve maternal health
• combat AIDS, HIV, malaria
• ensure environment Green Kalinga (Environment)
• sustainability
• achieve universal primary Sibol, Sagip and Siga (Education / Child and Youth Development
• education
• promote gender equality
• develop a global • Mabuhay (Culture and Tourism)
• partnership for • GK Tatag (Community Infrastructure / Shelter and Site
• development Development)
• Kapitbahayan (Community Organizing and Empowerment)

The Health Program (Gawad Kalusugan) responds to goals three and four of the MDG, the
promotion of gender equality and reducing child mortality. In GK, the health profile of every family in a GK
community is carefully monitored by a volunteer team of doctors and paramedical practitioners. Most GK
areas now have a clinic. Malnutrition especially among children is addressed and arrested not just through
feeding programs but also through parent education, especially for the women, on proper nutrition and

GK is pro-poor. Its productivity program (Bayanihan and Gawad Kabuhayan) “to give livelihood”)
is a response to goal 1 of MDG (to eradicate extreme poverty). Through this program, beneficiaries are
provided start-up capital and materials for microfinance and micro-enterprise, and then given assistance in
the marketing of products. Food self sufficiency is highly encouraged by teaching technology for backyard
farming, urban agriculture and poultry-raising.

GK is pro-environment, addressing MDG goal seven, to ensure environmental sustainability. It

empowers the poor to become caretakers of the environment instead of being exploiters. GK teams, in
partnership with environment groups and government agencies, who provide expertise and resources in
these projects, have been conducting activities like tree-planting and seedlings production and educating
the poor in solid waste management.

GK’s partnership with various stakeholders is aligned with goal eight of the MDG, developing
global partnerships. GK mobilizes partners from government, socio-civic groups, churches and parishes,
media, the academe and others to provide volunteer services for the various programs, giving individuals
and groups an opportunity to live out the spirit of bayanihan. In a GK community/village, values formation
and community empowerment are conducted. Every GK community is organized into a kapitbahayan or
neighborhood association, to inculcate stewardship and ensure accountability, cooperation and unity.
Guidelines for community living are decided upon by the members, and new leaders who espouse the
values of the association emerge. Peace is achieved not by force, but by mutual adherence to an agreed
set of values. This new culture is the key to the community’s sustainability, and sets the community on the
road to self reliance.

GK Programs as a Convergence Point for Partnership

GK has become a vehicle for convergence for all sectors and its model of governance is now
being replicated in all levels of Philippine society. GK exemplifies a governance paradigm based on
cooperation and partnership among business (corporate foundations), government (LGUs, national
government agencies, legislators) and civil society (non-government organizations and academic
institutions). The initiative is not merely an act of philanthropy, but an investment (business), not merely
humanitarian, but developmental-oriented (civil society), and not simply an act of dole-out but of
empowerment (civil society).

Exemplified by multi-stakeholdership, GK is consistent with Article 62 of the Local Government

Code of 1991, laying down the direct involvement of POs, NGOs and the private sector in the plans,
programs, projects or activities of LGUs. This approach promotes the pooling of resources and talents, an
opportunity that LGUs, hard pressed to meet the many competing priorities of their constituents should
explore. On the other hand, mobilizing LGU commitment and resources in order to house the poor will
generate considerable impact and empower marginalized communities to meaningfully transform

themselves. (LGSP 2005) GK partners with the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF), popularly known
as PAG-IBIG, a major funding source that the LGU, as well as other GK partners can tap. HDMF “extends
housing finance to formally employed community members who have no capacity to build their own homes
without external assistance.” (LGSP 2005: 26)

GK’s partnership with various academic institutions is congruent with the “town and gown”
approach to development, where academia is enriched by praxis and benefits the community. The National
College of Public Administration (NCPAG) as one of the hubs of GK activities may take the lead role in
networking and in strengthening social capital which can be of great help to GK’s mission. Members of the
Association of Schools of Public Administration in the Philippines (ASPAP,Inc.) may also be tapped for
capacity development and local empowerment through various modes of interventions such as
development of a curriculum and preparation of modules on good governance which incorporates the GK
development model, conduct of joint training programs and workshops with various stakeholders,
collaborative research among different institutions, and documentation of good and best practices of

Furthermore, GK has established an organized network of support from international organizations.

One such network is ANCOP, composed of a growing roster of international organizations covering
countries like the US, Canada, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Australia. ANCOP offices have been set up in
20 donor areas abroad as the official international representatives of Gawad Kalinga.

“The “Kalinga Luzon” and “Kalinga Pilipinas” concepts have stirred the imagination of other sectors
as well, and Kawal Kalinga is being proposed by the Department of National Defense. Kawal Kalinga seeks
the Gawad Kalinga program to be implemented in several military areas and camps so that decent homes
for enlisted men can be built in peaceful and beautiful communities. Provincial governments and multi-
sectoral partners in Cebu and Malabon will launch Kalinga Cebu and Kalinga Malabon. A trend is born and
the poor and marginalized in Philippine society have found a powerful opportunity for growth and real
change in the Gawad Kalinga movement.” (www. balita.com)

GK’s partnership with its stakeholders is grounded on trust. This model has been described as
indigenous and fundamental. While GK is a faith-based initiative, it is nonetheless a working model of
development that can complement with research, training, and extension work. The initiative has gone
beyond providing roof for the homeless. Research by various student groups, such as that by the Civic
Welfare Training Service students of the UP School of Economics presents how GK is transforming
people's lifestyles, giving hope and aspirations, resulting in greater self-reliance (lower, if not eradicated,
incidence of scavenging and mendicancy among GK residents), disciplined habits (lower spending on vices
such as alcohol and gambling and greater spending on food) and improved health (less incidence of
disease, less spending on medicines).

GK shuns politics while working with politicians. It successfully draws out Filipino ingenuity and
generosity. Perhaps the secret formula of GK success is genuine leadership founded on trust. As GK
founder Tony Meloto enthused in an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer:

“The leadership here enjoys public trust. We are nonpartisan but we always like to work with
national and local leaders who believe in the vision of Gawad Kalinga which is simple: To bring the
Philippines out of the Third World; to make it a First World nation." (Philippine Daily Inquirer 2008)

GK as a Template for Good Governance

Gawad Kalinga (GK) can be considered an excellent paradigm of good governance. Good
governance revolves around the values of transparency, accountability, participation, rule of law, equity and
social justice, sustainability and continuity. GK revolves around the values of “Bayanihan” (becoming a
hero to one another and addressing the root cause of poverty – not simply the absence of money but an
absence of shared values, sense of community and higher purpose), . “Massive Mobilization of GK
Partners & Volunteers” (beginning with ‘padugo’- or ‘to bleed for the cause’ which means devoting one’s
own time and resources to initiate work within the community without expecting outside funding or support)
and “Patriotism in Action” not just a work with the poor but more importantly a work of nation building that
began as a simple but a daring initiative of the Couples for Christ (CFC) that has grown into a multi-sectoral,
and interfaith partnership driven by the same faith-based spirit and vision.

GK practices are now being adopted by various sectors and as such can be described as having
become a template for good governance. The new initiative being developed by the leadership of the
House of Representatives, aptly called Kalinga Pilipinas, will call on all members of the House to each give
P10 million of their annual PDAF to building communities via the GK approach (Montelibano). While
voluntary in nature, the proposed House resolution is being matched with an Executive Order from the
President so that the transfer of funds from the DBM to GK will be smooth and unhampered by red tape.

GK as a Global Model for Development

Gawad Kalinga has become a global model for development in the sense that it has extended to
Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Cambodia, and will soon extend to East Timor, India, Nigeria and
Nicaragua. Furthermore, Filipinos abroad are coming home to help rebuild their motherland. The President
of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, describes GK
as the new kind of “people power” the country needs.

“Many Filipino doctors and other health professionals in North America are supporting us by adopting
GK communities. Corporate executives who have retired are volunteering their expertise; some even
give up their promising careers to work with GK full time. Ateneo University and the University of the
Philippines are putting up the GK Institute for the training of volunteers, caretaker teams and the local
government unit (LGU) partners for township development.” Meloto enthused. (http://www.cfc-de.org)

GK has built more than 100,000 homes all over the Philippines and in Southeast Asian countries
such as Cambodia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. More than 1,000 GK communities have been built
in 350 towns and cities. ((http://www.cfc-de.org) These communities are in various stages of development
of which there are three: start up, build up and showcase.

These three stages of Gawad Kalinga Community Development may be seen and evaluated
through two global lenses: first, in view of Mahbub Ul Haq’s Core Pillars of Sustainable Human Development,
and second, in view of the innovative, entrepreneurial principles of Osborne and Gaebler’s Reinvented Public
Administration. This congruence concretely illustrates the possibilities of objectively studying and establishing
the effectiveness of the GK model through the lens of Public Adminsitration. Table 10 presents confluences
between GK’s Stages of Community Development, Haq’s Pillars of Sustainable Human Development and
Osborne and Gaebler’s Innovative, Entrepreneurial Principle of Public Administration.

Table 10. The Pillars of Sustainable Human Development and the Innovative, Entrepreneurial Principles
of Reinvented Public Administration vis-à-vis the Stages of Gawad Kaliga Community Development


(UNDP) (Gaebler and Osborne)
Equity • promote competition between service Stage 1
providers • Secured Land
• redefine clients as customers and offer • A caretaker Person/ Team
choices prefer market mechanisms to • Beneficiaries agreed to start (“KB
bureaucratic mechanisms Enrollment”)
• focus not only on providing public service but
in catalyzing all sectors
Empowerment • driven by goals, missions rather than rules and Stage 2
regulations • Partnerships in place
• empower citizens by pushing control out of the • Start-up / Build-up of at least 1 of the 5
bureaucracy into the community Basic Programs
• decentralize authority, embrace participatory 1. Community Infrastructures (formerly
management “Shelter”)
2. CYD – Child and Youth Development
3. Health
4. Productivity
5. Environment incoroporated in the 4 programs
• “KB Build-up” (Ongoing and Formation of KB
– Kapitbahayan)
Productivity • put energies into earning money, not just
Sustainability • measure the performance of agencies Stage 3
focusing on outcomes rather than inputs • Formed KB Governance Team
• prevent problems before they emerge • Showcase of at least 1 of the 7 Programs
1. community infrastructure
2. Child and Youth Development
3. Gawad Kalusugan (Community Health)
4. Bayan-anihan (Productivity)
5. Mabuhay (Culture and Tourism)
6. Kapitbahayan (Community Empowerment)
7. Green Kalinga (Environment)
• Mabuhay Program running (Tourism/

The possibilities for creating an objective Public Administration template by which to evaluate how
GK flourishes and continues to shine may be anchored on its capacity to engage strategic cooperation
between government, business and civil society through its social network, effective delivery of service
through its programs and enhancing social equity through its culture.

GK has by far succeeded in collapsing the social divide by being non-discriminatory and thus
serving as a converging point for all sectors of society. It has achieved unprecedented milestones in
providing land for the landless, homes for the homeless and food for the hungry. It concretely animates the
indigenous principle in the “sweat equity” concept which has brought out the productive and creative side of
people while promoting a sense of belonging and unity. Furthermore, it has revived the indigenous practice
of “bayanihan” or volunteerism.

It has been said many times over that GK showcases the best of the Filipino in the Philippines and
abroad. Many dimensions of GK community life present possible areas of study to determine exactly how
the best of Filipino culture manifests in this development model. Nevertheless, warmth, volunteerism and
hospitality are indigenous Filipino cultural traits clearly manifested in GK villages.

The presentations of selected local and national government leaders as well as workshop outputs
from mayors, vice-mayors and city government representatives in the GK Township Development Summit
collaboratively convened by UP and Ateneo concretely describe the effectiveness of GK as a governance
model. They have illustrated how GK has effectively responded to the problems and concerns of the small
communities in the LGUs and enhanced the capacity of national government to deliver what the poorest
Filipinos need. Furthermore, GK is reaching the poor and the underprivileged in other parts of the world.
Seen in this light, and through the lens of the New Public Administration, Reinvented Public Administration
and Governance, GK is indeed a Filipino ingenuity that is slowly progressing into a global template of good
governance and development.

Having examined GK through the lenses of the new public administration, reinvented public
administration and governance, we may now ask the same questions raised at the beginning of this
discourse in view of GK:Does GK enhance social equity? Does it effectively deliver services? Does is it
engage cooperation between government, business and civil society? Is Gawad Kalinga Philippine Public

Given that GK facilitates the effectiveness of government in delivering service; enhances the
investment of business; and engages the creativity, capacity and values of civil society; who benefits from
the Gawad Kalinga Public Administration?

Indeed Gawad Kalinga as a model of good governance and public administration needs to be
seriousy considered and continuously studied.


The discipline of public administration in the Philippines has been a rapidly changing and
growing one. . Given the history and evolution of the field of public administration, a number of
challenges have to be addressed:

First and foremost, for whom have the fields of public administration been developed? Has
Philippine public administration been simply reacting and following the lead of the international public
administration community? Or do we need to develop and design local and Philippine-based fields, or
could these be incorporated into existing fields? A good example would be another emerging field,
indigenous forms of governance?

Additionally, how have public administration structures, systems and institutions in the
Philippines responded to the broader questions of promoting accountability, transparency and

What has been role of information, communication and technology is making public
administration more responsive to the stakeholders who really matter?

How have public administrative structures, processes and institutions responded to the ever
pressing problem of poverty?

What have been the impact of globalization and the response of PA structures, institutions
and processes in the development and evolution of a Philippine public administration?

How can we address the problem on maldistribution where those who have less in life should
have more in governance and public administration?

And how can we develop indigenous PA practices – like GK? How can we replicate and
further mainstream good practices of governance and development in a venue of cooperation, trust,
and partnership with various stakeholders?

And how has the teaching, research and publication of public administration responded to the

The above are only some of the emerging issues and challenges pertaining to the evolution of
the discipline of public administration in the Philippines. These questions may serve guide questions
are our continuing quest not only to answer the question, “Is there a Philippine Public Administration?”
but more importantly, “For Whom is Public Administration.” The essay provided a discussion of the
evolution of the field of public administration, in general, and zeroed in on the Philippines in particular.
It also included a discussion of what may be considered as emerging illustration of an indigenous
governance paradigm in the Philippines – Gawad Kalinga - one that combines partnership between
government, business and civil society. For after all, public administration and good governance is
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Internet Sites


Annex 1. List of Best Practices of LGUs in Sectoral Areas 30
Sectoral Areas Best Practice Local Government Unit
Local Resource Generation Bonds Victoria, Negros Occidental
Built-Operate Transfer Dingras, Ilocos Norte
Mandaluyong City
Infrastructure Munoz, Nueva Ecija
Reforming the Real Property Tax Province of Nueva Ecija
“Paglilingkod Abot-Kamay” Magsaysay, Davao
Environmental Environmental Management Project Bais City
Watershed Protection Maasin, Iloilo
Reforestation Plan Metro Iloilo Water District
Environmental awareness program for Baguio City
children (Eco-walk)
Coastal Management (Kontra Kalat sa Province of Bataan
Solid Waste Management System Carmona, Cavite
”Balik Kalikasab, Balik Amang Pabrika”
”Tree Resources for Education, Province of Nueva Viscaya
Enterprise and for Legacy
Solid Waste Management Program Linamon, Davao del Norte
“Basura-Atras, Linamon Abante sa
Kalamboan (BALAK)
Social Welfare and Health Primary Health Care (PHC) Surigao City
Services (Primary Health Care Program
Counter Insurgency Strategy Province of Negros Oriental
(Community Primary Hospital
Community Health Volunteer program Dumarao, Capiz
MBN Approach to Development Province of Davao
Housing Low cost housing Puerto Princesa
Housing through bond flotation Legaspi City and Victorias
Inter-Local Cooperation Integrated Planning (Metro Naga Naga City
and Partnership Council)
Central Panay Economic Union Capiz and Aklan
Illana Bay Regional Alliance 9
People's Participation Volunteerism Program Olongapo City
and Empowerment "People's Congress" Dumarao, Capiz
Constituent Responsive Governance Malolos, Bulacan
"People Empowerment Program Naga City
Empowerment of Persons with Province of Nueva Viscaya
Local Government Productivity through Naga City
Productivity Improvement IT
and Management "Tripartite Industrial Peace Council Mandaue City, Cebu
Innovations (TIPC)
"Reorganization Program Goa, Camarines Sur
Barangay Talyer (Shop in Every Marikina City
Livelihood Generation Village) Program
Livelihood generation through Guagua, Pampanga
Bayanihan Banking Program Pasay City

Drawn from Brillantes 2003.
Annex 2. Philippine Government Anti-Corruption Agencies 31

Drawn from ADB 2005: 22.