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The Philippine Medium Term Development Program of 2006: The Viability of

Super Regions as a Philippine Public Policy

A Research Paper
Presented to
Dr. Teresita Pareja
Languages and Literature Department
College of Liberal Arts
De La Salle University-Dasmariñas

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements


in Communication Arts and Skills II (English 102)

Presented by:
Carlo Vincent G. Balicas
Mar Edward Earl S. Dales
Lyndone Kristoffer dela Cruz
Political Science 4-1

January 23, 2008


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

“I am not here to talk about politics; I am here to talk about what the people want;
details on the state of the nation and what their government is doing to make
progress every single day.”
-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (SONA 2006)

Every Philippine Presidents has their own policies and programs to achieve their
vision for every Filipinos. It can be a blueprint, plan, program or projects that will be
presented in the State of the Nation Address. As what stated in the 1987 Philippine
Constitution Article 7 Section 23 wherein the President shall address the opening
session of the Congress of the Philippines. According to Abinales (2005), it is not the
first time (Arroyo) a president promised Filipinos a government strong enough to
address their needs. Marcos said “This nation can be great again” or Magsaysay and
Aquino repairing the state’s democratic foundations. This statement of Abinales is part
of the effort of each president to present the message of what we are going as a people
and as a nation. Moreover, this commitment of the Philippine Government particularly
the Chief Executive must have a concrete Public Policy to analyze the problem and
address it for possible solutions. A proposed course of action of a person, group or
environment within the policy was proposed to utilize and overcome in an effort to reach
a goal or realize an objective or purpose (Friedrich in Anderson, 2000). This involves
the different ways or strategies that policy implementers looked on the demands,
decision, statement, output and outcome. The policy implementers, particularly the
President, will consider the different aspects that the policy will affect or benefit
particular constituents. In the 2006 State of the Nation Address, President Arroyo
presented a breakthrough of concretizing a Medium Term Development Program
dubbed as “Super Regions”.
This Super Region concept is the division of the Philippines into sub-parts that
will address the need for economic development. The Northern Luzon Quadrangle,
Luzon Urban Beltway, Central Philippines, Mindanao and Cyber Corridor- a partition of
the Philippine provinces in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao that has the needed
resources(human and natural capital) to boost the investors’ confidence in the country
and realize the Government’s vision for national development. It is the first time also
that a concrete public policy will now address the country’s efforts to achieve the status
of a First World Country. It is now a response to “a more basic policy issue is the role
that the government should assume in promoting and sustaining national
development.”( Ocampo in Tapales, 1995) This is a structural change to the public
policy that past administrations have done within their term limit and putting into view a
more concrete and longer development plan. Aquino placed her efforts for a democratic
institution ground-up; Ramos has the Philippines 2000 and Estrada on Angat Pinoy
2004/ But none of them did an ambitious, realistic development plan to address the
plight of the Filipinos. On the other hand, President Arroyo gave us a program that will
determine our different capabilities and potentials as part of the Super Region concept.
This term paper will determine the Medium Term Philippine Development
Program particularly the Super Regions in the context of Public Policy. Is it a viable
program to address the needs of the nation? Can it be a genuine public policy that will
undergo different methods to achieve its aspiration? Walden Bello (2004) said The
promise of political liberation and economic and social progress has just remained: a
promise. Is this a promise of a Messiah in our midst or the public policy presented by
President Arroyo is a step in achieving the long promise of quality of Filipino lives?
Background of the Research Paper

The State of the Nation Address last July 23, 2007 is a collaboration of the
accomplishments made by the present administration on their plan of Super Regions.
As what President Arroyo (2007) said that “The time is here for facing forward for a
better future our people so desperately want and richly deserve”. She explained the
efforts of her administration to fulfill the vision that she presented last July 24, 2006 to
uplift the Filipinos from poverty. Infrastructures like roads, airports and ports
interconnecting the provinces and decentralization of National Agencies to provide more
development in the countryside and economic growth as well.
This Super Region concept is the answer to the 10 point Agenda done by the
Arroyo Administration in 2004-her election as president. Particularly, Agenda No. 4 and
6 pertains to the creation of this public policy which states the Decentralization progress
across the Nation through the public investments in infrastructure. It is also a
manifestation of the commitment of this government in the creation of a Medium Term
Philippine Development Plan (2004-2010) which involves the primary mission of poverty
alleviation. Under the National Economic and Development Authority, it created a
development plan with partition: Economic Growth and Job Creation, Energy, Social
Justice and Basic Needs, Education and Youth Opportunity and Anti-Corruption and
Good Governance. This detailed program will determine through its results to achieve
the United Nations Millennium Development Goals which our country is a signatory. The
primary objective of it is for the member governments to answer the call for the
achievement of the 8 priority goals: End Hunger, Universal Education, Gender Equality,
Child Health, Maternal Health, Combat AIDS/HIV, Environmental Sustainability and
Global Partnership. MTPDP envisions that through the partition and implementation of
the programs economic opportunities and stability in the nation will be achieved.
According to the NEDA website-MTPDP (2008), for the economic growth-it will focus on
the small, medium, micro and agriculture businesses for the production of jobs and
economic strengthening. There is a need also to intensify the global competitiveness of
the businesses in order to survive globalization. For the energy sector, energy
independence can only be achieved through alternative and renewable energies and
privatization of power industry. As for the Social Justice, programs are lined up for the
anti-poverty, national harmony and the assurance of the rule of law. The program for
Education stated in the MTPDP involves strengthening the Science and Technology
Education as well as the Fundamentals of Public Education System. Lastly, the last part
concerns about the addressing of corruption practices due to low salary of civil servants,
big economic interest interfering the affairs of the government and high tolerance of
corruption. Moreover, it engages also with the Foreign Relations of the country to
protect its interest and forge cooperation and Constitutional Reforms. The MTPDP is a
blueprint of the Arroyo administration for its public policy to be implemented. In the
foreword of MTPDP, I ensured that my involvement in the crafting of MTPDP are seen
through the basic outline that focused on the policy strategies and programs with its
strategically and in the essence of reality (Arroyo, 2004).
With President Arroyo’s involvement in the creation and execution of MTPDP
comes a more concrete public policy that will address her 10 point agenda and the
MTPDP as well. The Super Region concept was presented to the Congress and the
Filipino people in her 2006 State of the Nation Address. The North Luzon Agribusiness
Quadrangle is comprised of 15 provinces located in Regions 1 and 2 and the Cordillera
Administrative Region. According to the Philippine Government portal, it targets
domestic market through agricultural production and the export potentialities of a North
Asia market. P56.28 Billion is allotted to the NLAQ projects that will come from the
National Government. While the Luzon Urban Beltway is comprised of the Region 3, 4-
A, 4-B and NCR that will cater to the country’s business and economic hub. Central
Philippines includes the Region 5 and some provinces of Region 4-B and the entire
Visayas region. The main task of this region is to harness their resources to become the
prime eco-tourism part of the Philippines. Mindanao Super Region will be the bulk of
agribusiness of the country with emphasis on infrastructure development to address its
competitiveness. Lastly, the Cyber Corridor which comprises of Baguio to Zamboanga
will be focusing on information technology to be globally competitive. President Arroyo
made an Executive Order No. 561 on August 19, 2006 which creates the Super
Regions and having a Superregional Development Champions to oversee the
implementation and evaluation of the Super Region program.
Statement of the Problem:

General

This research paper aims to determine and analyze the Philippine Medium Term
Development Program of 2006 by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo particularly the
viability of the Super Regions concept as a Philippine Public Policy

Specifically, this study attempts to answer the following questions:

1. Is the Super Regions concept is in concurrence to the context of Philippine


Public Policy?

2. Is the division of the Super Region is based upon the capabilities of the
specific places to achieve its full potential as Philippine Public Policy?

Significance of the Study

This research study will be significant to the following:

Academicians This research paper will help them to understand the need of a
Philippine Public Policy in the government to address the concern of the people through
determining their competence. It will incorporate to the academic discussion of the
government’s responsibility to develop our country.

Political Science Students This research paper will define the political dynamics
through the application of government’s work in a public policy and the necessary
implications it will give to the different sectors of society

Local Government Units This research paper will provide the necessary information
on the incorporation of their Local Agenda with the National Plan to deliver the services
to their constituents.

Future Researchers This research paper will give broader perspectives on the
government’s addressing the problem through public policy. Also, it will open the
avenue for more concrete researches on the previous public policies of the Philippine
Presidents and its effect to the Filipino in general

Scope and Limitation

The scope of the study pertains to the Medium Term Philippine Development
Program of 2006 under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo particularly the Super
Regions as a Philippine Public Policy. The researchers used some books, articles,
newspapers and internet resources as the reference to the said topic. Authors like
Abinales, Anderson and Bello are used to intensify the understanding of the topic. The
program and plan that involves the said topic came from the official website of the
Philippine Government and the National Economic Development Authority

Definition of Terms

The following terms are defined operationally based on the context of this study:

Constitution The primary law of the land which concerns on the rights and privileges of
the people and the role of the government.

Government The institution that has a mandate from the people to exercise governing
authority over them.

Medium Term Development Plan It is the six year priority programs that coincide with
the term of office of the concurrent President to address the political, social and
economic problems of the country.

National Development It is an effort of the country through its people to extend their
potentials for their collective aspirations.

National Economic and Development Authority The lead agency of the government
under the Executive Branch that functions as the country’s social and economic
development planning and coordinating body for its implementation.
Public Policy The action plan of the government to plan, decides, implement and
evaluate the necessary solutions to a problem.

Reference:

Books

Abinales, P. et. Al. (2005). State and Society in the Philippines. Anvil Publishing: Pasig
City

Anderson, J. (2000). Public Policy Making: An Introduction. 3rd Edition. Houghton Miffin
Company: Boston

Bello, W. et. al. (2004). The Anti-Development State: The Political Economy of
Permanent Crisis in the Philippines. Quezon City: University of the Philippines.

Tapales, P. et. al. (1995). Public Administration by the Year 2000: Looking Back into the
Future . Quezon City: University of the Philippines

Internet Sources

Government of the Republic of the Philippines official website.(n.d.). Retrieved January


25, 2008 from http://www.gov.ph/listings/10ptagenda.asp,
http://www.gov.ph/listings/mtpdp.asp, http://www.gov.ph/superregions/default.asp

Philippine Daily Inquirer website. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25,2008 from


http://www.inquirer.net/specialreports/sona/previousaddresses/2007.php ,
http://www.inquirer.net/specialreports/sona/previousaddresses/2006.php

National Economic Development Authority website. (n.d.) Retrieved January 25,2008


from http://www.neda.gov.ph/ads/mtpdp/MTPDP2004-2010/PDF/MTPDP2004-
2010.html, http://www.neda.gov.ph/econreports_dbs/mega_regions,
http://www.neda.gov.ph/econreports_dbs/MDGs/default.asp