Assessing Local Governance and Autonomy in the Philippines: Three Decades of the 1991 Local Government CodeThis discussion paper looks at the issues and concerns of decentralization, democratization, and development vis-à-vis local governments in the Philippines. Briefly looking at the relevant concepts as well as historical and legal contexts of local governments and central-local relations, it begins with a review of the reforms introduced by the 1991 Local Government Code (Republic Act No. 7160). There is particular emphasis on assessing the impact of the 1991 Local Government Code on local governments, central-local relations, people’s participation, and development after three decades of implementation across different administrations to the present since the enactment of the Code. Then, it discusses development, continuing issues and challenges related to improving local governance, autonomy, and central-local relations in the Philippines. Finally, the study assesses the different suggested changes or reforms in central-local relations and local governments, including proposed amendments to the Local Government Code and the 1987 Constitution. The study draws from available academic literature, government documents, literature from nongovernment and international agencies, media reports, proceedings of public fora, and focus group discussions.Atienza, M.E.L. | Go, J.R.R.2023https://bit.ly/429cZlW
Barriers to Filipino Women’s Political ParticipationLocal and international mandates have greatly facilitated gender equality legislation and programs, a key reform measure that has been missed is overcoming barriers to women’s political participation. A key puzzle is that Filipino women have historically been either at par or have a higher voter turnout than men. However, they have faced obstacles in electoral politics. This policy brief aims to (1) present the situation on women’s representation in electoral politics; (2) point out significant barriers to women’s entry into electoral politics; and (3) recommend key policy directions and ways forward to address persistent issues.Encinas-Franco, J. | Laguna, E.P.2023https://bit.ly/3MXkHeI
Close the Gap: Accelerating Post-pandemic Recovery through Social JusticeSocioeconomic disparities run deep in the Philippines, but the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated these inequities. Globally, there is a renewed sense of urgency to break these inequities and place social justice at the front and center of the post-COVID recovery. Social justice is about redressing power imbalances, assuring the protection of equal access to liberties, rights, and opportunities, and distributing the benefits, risks, and costs among peoples across generations. This paper examined the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the following sectors: health, labor and education, and environment, as well as the deep-seated structural and systems challenges that could explain these disparities. Avenues for insightful discourses and genuine reforms are needed to address concerns on human capital development and social protection and environment resilience and climate change.Ulep, V.G.T. | Epetia, M.C.F. | Domingo, S.N.2023https://bit.ly/45uERnD
Incorporating Insights from Behavioral Science into Public Administration: Changing Mindsets and Behaviors in the Public Sector SettingPublic administration (PA) is a multidisciplinary field. One important discipline linked to PA is behavioral science. Although there has been a call for the integration of PA and behavioral science, scholars also recognized the failure of this integration. To contribute to the growing trend of research, the current study investigated how mindsets and behaviors in the public sector towards corruption may be changed using behavioral science. With this, the author created a model derived from social cognitive theory, kapwa theory, nudge theory, and flexible mindset. This will help individuals learn ethical behaviors and mindsets. The model also reinforces the mindsets, values, behaviors, and other dimensions indicated in the Governance Reform Framework. In doing so, the model hopes to contribute to good governance; strengthen the principles of effectiveness, inclusiveness, and accountability; and help achieve global and national development goals.Antolino, P.N.A.2023https://bit.ly/3CfvZFb
Revisiting Metropolitan Governance: Improving the Delivery of Urban Services through Inter-LGU CooperationInterlocal cooperation has long been promoted in the Philippines to address the resource limitations of local government units; however, there is a lack of discussion on how it can efficiently deliver urban services. This study aims to investigate cooperation models in the delivery of critical urban services by evaluating the management structure, financing strategies, sustainability, and issues/challenges of the interlocal arrangement in relation to operationalization. It focuses on answering the following policy questions: (1) what forms of interlocal cooperation have been utilized in the delivery of urban services; (2) how has interlocal cooperation improved the delivery of urban services; and (3) how can interlocal cooperation work better and be sustained given the decentralized nature of local politics. A closer look through findings from desk reviews and interviews is given to solid waste management and healthcare since they have been identified as services wherein cooperation among LGUs is extensively developed. Reforms are then proposed to improve the effectiveness of interlocal cooperation in efficiently delivering urban services.Ballesteros, M.M. | Mercado, E.S. | Rodil-Ocampo, A. | Ramos, T.P. | Lorenzo, P.J.M. | Ancheta, J.A.2023https://bit.ly/3IHSFRN
Sustaining and Enhancing the Monitoring of Development Goals: Policy Coherence and Multi-Level Governance in Philippine BureaucracyIn achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2016-2030 (UN SDGs) and the national collective vision AmBisyon Natin 2040, the Philippines has encountered politico-administrative challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The deadlines of the UN SDGs and the Philippine AmBisyon Natin 2040 extend beyond the presidential executive term of office, highlighting the urgency of continuity and reform in the pursuit of development goals. The shift in political leadership resulting from the 2022 national elections and the transition to full devolution, compliant with the Supreme Court’s Mandanas-Garcia ruling, offer prospects for sustaining and enhancing the Philippine efforts to achieve the global goals, integrated with national and development goals. This paper examines the efforts of the Philippine government for executive policies and bureaucratic capacity, particularly in designating the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) for monitoring the SDGs implementation. Specifically, the paper analyzes the Voluntary National Reviews as performance reports and the government’s policy and institutional framework on the SDGs pertinent to the: (1) extent of performance and gaps indicated by the data-monitoring results; (2) design of development plans and policies, and; (3) areas for policy and bureaucratic interventions to enhance coordination and monitoring of progress on the global SDGs with national and local development goals. The paper takes a constructivist-institutional approach and analyzes policy coherence and multi-level governance in the monitoring of SDGs implementation results from 2016-2022. Monitoring and reporting on the SDGs results are vital to determining the need for policy change and bureaucratic capacity to achieve the goals and targets. Qualitative methods were used to collect and analyze the content of documents and key informant interviews. Amid social-political challenges, the Philippines will need to align and synergize its efforts and resources to achieve development goals by 2030 and beyond.Rebullida, M.L.G.2023https://bit.ly/3qdRQdd
The Party is Dead! Long Live the Party! Reforming the Party System in the PhilippinesStrong and stable political parties and credible elections are the hallmarks of any democratic system. The Philippines represents a case where parties are both relevant and irrelevant to the political system. While they flourish particularly during elections, they are not seen to be integral to the effective functioning of democracy in the country with its predominantly patronage- and personality-based electoral system. Parties in the Philippines perform a largely superficial (nonprogrammatic) and mechanical (electoral) function. This situation is not lost to congressional representatives—dozens of proposals have been, and continue to be, made in Congress to reform the party system. Regrettably, none have been adopted into law. This paper looks into why these congressional reform initiatives have not prospered. Addressing the root cause is both necessary and vital for the country to move in the direction of stable and sustained democratic consolidation.Tigno, J.V.2023https://bit.ly/3BU7eOq
Barangay Assembly: A Citizen-Led Reinvigoration of Political Discourse and Civic Engagement in the PhilippinesThe Filipino indigenous custom of collective action known as bayanihan is institutionalized in the Barangay Assembly, a community forum where citizens can directly influence local governance. However, it is not widely utilized because many barangay officials are co-opted by local political dynasties. Results of the 2019 elections reveal that political dynasties continue to dominate the electoral process, making genuine political competition virtually impossible. This piece will present the strategy of using the Barangay Assembly as a citizen-led reinvigoration of political discourse and civic engagement. It will expound on the inherent value of the Barangay Assembly as a venue for purposeful democratic deliberation at the community level and the suitability of actively involving civil society organizations (CSOs) in organizing and managing those deliberative sessions. The piece will make the argument that citizens can collectively exert more influence in local politics and governance by routinely utilizing the Barangay Assembly in this manner. This regular formal process of robust civic participation in local democracy can then instigate the incremental erosion of political dynasty domination in local politics.Yusingco, M.H.2022https://bit.ly/3IGBuQH
Cronyism, Oligarchy and Governance in the Philippines: 1970s vs. 2020sMartial Law exacerbated cronyism and oligarchy by concentrating political power into the hands of one political clan. Technocratic industrial policy combined with political anti-oligarch rhetoric spurred the rationalization and liberalization of different economic sectors. Some traditional business oligarchs were quickly displaced by a new cohort of business leaders with strong ties to the Marcos administration. This was the basic recipe for malgovernance and one of the deepest economic implosions faced by the Philippines in the early-1980s that eventually led to the dictator’s removal via the 1986 EDSA revolution. While institutional reforms and subsequent economic recovery has been achieved by post-EDSA Presidents, economic and political governance challenges persist as the risks of cronyism and oligarchy only evolve over time. Reformists appear to have liberalized the economy and spurred economic growth, but they have made little progress to liberalize the political system. The tendency for political clans to concentrate power remains. This underpins the reform agenda to continue to rebalance economic and political power in favor of stronger inclusion and competition, in turn supporting inclusive development.Bulaong, Jr., O. | Mendoza, G.A.S. | Mendoza, R.U.2022https://bit.ly/45uVyPO
Cultivating Democratic Citizenship, Political Views, and Filipino Social Identification in Philippine Elections and BeyondThis research explored democratic citizenship, political values, and Filipino social identity in the context of Philippine democracy. Using data gathered from an online questionnaire, 1525 Filipinos eligible to vote in the 2022 elections participated. Results showed that respondents have average scores in terms of democratic citizenship, high endorsement of self-transcendence, low endorsement of globalism as values, and an average Filipino social identity. The research also examined how notions of democratic citizenship, political values, and social identity are associated with the respondent’s preference for presidential candidates. These findings highlight the necessity of being informed about how much citizens embody democracy so that more strategic socialization towards the achievement of a full democracy can be planned.Yabut, H.J. | Dumaop, D. | Simpao, A.C. | Quinones, D.M. | Silvestre, J.P.2022https://bit.ly/438RGlO
Election-Related Violence in the Philippines: Trends, Targets, and PerpetratorsElection-related violence (ERV) is a recurring concern in the Philippines — one that strikes deep into the hearts of the country’s democratic institutions. As such, a thorough analysis on the nature of ERVs in the country is necessary for the development of policies that combat such violence. While there has been a number of ERV studies post-Marcos, this is the first that looks at electoral violence data at both the individual and aggregate levels. This study examines incidences of Election-Related Violence (ERV) in the Philippines from 2013 to 2019 using a novel dataset, the ASOG ERV Database, constructed from online media reports. The findings highlight key characteristics of ERV in the Philippines from 2013 to 2019.
● Certain areas in the Philippines are hotspots of ERV incidents from 2013 to 2019, such as Metro Manila (e.g. Malabon City), Western Mindanao (e.g. Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur), Central Visayas (e.g. Cebu), Eastern Visayas (e.g. Samar), South Luzon (e.g. Batangas, Quezon, and Masbate), Central Luzon (e.g. Nueva Ecija), and North Luzon (e.g. Ilocos Norte, Abra, La Union, and Isabela).
● The number of ERV incidents increases as the election comes closer — with a significant build-up at around 100 days before the election. The number of ERV incidents also reaches its peak at the election date.
● Most of the perpetrators of ERV incidents in the country are unidentified assailants (such as unidentified gunmen, motorcycle-riding gunmen, assassins, hired gunmen, etc.).
● State actors are among the most frequently targeted in ERV incidents. Further, while ERV incidents involving state actors comprise most of pre-election violence, citizens are targeted the most on election day.
● There is also a significant number of ERV incidents targeting state actors right after election day — a pattern that is absent for other targets.
● A significant number of ERV incidents in the country are lethal. Interestingly, while state actors observe a build-up and a peak of ERV incidents (combined fatal and non-fatal) on election day, lethal ERV incidents targeting state actors do not exhibit a peak on election day — unlike some other targets.
Using the ASOG Political Dynasties Dataset, a positive relationship was observed between the number of ERV incidents and the concentration of dynastic officials in a province for a given year. That is, more dynastic provinces are more likely to exhibit higher total incidents of ERVs than less dynastic provinces.
This study confirms how high levels of electoral violence in the Philippines take place or are linked with other forms of organized violence. The study emphasizes the importance of institutional and policy reforms, particularly the anti-political dynasty reform, stricter gun regulation, and the dismantling of paramilitary groups and private armies.
Deinla, I. | Ballar, K.J. | Refani, R.P. | Yap, J.2022https://bit.ly/3BV0Mqj
Evidence-based Local Planning and Budgeting Using the CBMSThe Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) is an organized technology-based system of collecting, processing, and validating local-level data based on a census of households in the locality. It was institutionalized by virtue of Republic Act 11315 in April 2019. This paper aims to illustrate how local government units (LGUs) can use the CBMS in their planning process. The study finds that since the CBMS provides disaggregated local-level data, local planners can use it to identify and target vulnerable members of society better. Regular updating of the CBMS would also allow LGUs to generate panel data, which could help monitor the long-term impact of policies and programs on vulnerable households. Moreover, geotagging of households through the CBMS allows local officials to locate those at risk from natural hazards.Reyes, C.M. | Vargas, A.R.P. | Arboneda, A.2022https://bit.ly/3WyHIaS
Fostering Democratic Citizens: Proposals for a Spectacle of Democratic Life in the PhilippinesThere is a sheer lack of participation among ordinary citizens in political decision-making outside of elections. Citizens do not deem themselves as capable of effectively participating in politics and for this reason, their participation is more or less exclusive to voting. If democracy is to be construed as a system that is based upon and directed at fostering an active citizenry, then such a condition must be reversed. To break the cycle of disempowerment between elections, civil society organizations (CSOs) and democratically oriented local government leaders must generate demand for political inclusion in the policy process among those who remain outside such activities. This can be achieved through both the expansion of inclusive and effective spaces for participation in the policy process and also through developments in political marketing that can create a spectacle of democratic civic life for those who remain outside it. This should be tied to a network of democratic sister cities/municipalities meant to facilitate the sharing of resources and expertise on participatory-democratic governance. Both can then be subsumed under a general and long overdue program for civic education -untethered from voters’ education -that can shift focus from institutional reform towards citizenship.Borja, A.L.2022https://bit.ly/3BXxaZB
Local Government Conditional Grants: The Seal of Good Local Governance and the Performance Challenge FundThe Philippine government provides conditional grants to local government units (LGUs) for certain priorities, such as budgetary allocations from national government programs. Other conditional grants depend on the LGUs’ (1) matching counterpart spending and (2) requirements or characteristics. An example of the latter is the Performance Challenge Fund (PCF). In the past decade, conditional grant programs have helped elicit an improved level of governance among LGUs. Eligibility to the PCF depends on the level of governance defined by the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG). On top of the eligibility requirements, the PCF mandates that it must be spent for identified national government priorities. This study examines the views of municipal development planning officials on the conditional grant program based on a survey of 1,373 municipalities. The results are intended to guide policymakers in the implementation of the SGLG Act of 2019.Diokno-Sicat, C.J. | Mariano, M.A.P. | Castillo, A.F. G. | Maddawin R.B.2022https://bit.ly/3MzHDzh
Misinformed or Overconfident? Fake News and Youth Voting Likelihood in the PhilippinesHow can online misinformation affect the Filipino youth’s likelihood to vote? While the youth is recognized as a crucial sector for Philippine democracy, disillusionment towards the government can compromise participation. We examine how social media, by facilitating the spread of misinformation and incivility, inhibits voting likelihood among the youth. Using ordered logistic regression on survey data comprising 23,996 college students across the country, we find that citizens who can accurately identify real political news from fake and have high confidence in their ability to detect misinformation are more likely to vote in the upcoming Philippine presidential elections. Thus, contrary to previous empirical work, both confidence and information accuracy are crucial predictors of voter likelihood.Mendoza, G.A.S. | Ballar, K.J. | Yap, J. | Deinla, I.B.2022https://bit.ly/424WdEB
Outcome Evaluation of the Public Management Development ProgramThe Public Management Development Program (PMDP), the National Government Career Executive Service Development Program, was revitalized in 2012 through Republic Act 10155 or the General Appropriations Act of 2012. The Program is the government’s response to professionalize the bureaucracy and the call for ethical, honest, and effective public governance. The Development Academy of the Philippines acts as the implementing agency of the PMDP. Currently, it offers four courses: the Middle Managers Class, the Senior Executives Class, the Phronetic Leadership Class, and the Local Government Executives and Managers Course.
The results of the outcome evaluation of the PMDP, which used both qualitative (surveys and key informant interviews) and quantitative (quasi-experimental statistical matching and difference-in-difference) methods, show positive indications of improvement in the CES competencies of the PMDP graduates, as well as their individual and organizational impact and phronetic leadership traits. However, there is less convincing evidence regarding their networking and innovation skills. The quantitative and qualitative evaluations of the scholars’ individual competencies and organizational contributions led to favorable outcomes due to the Program, despite areas for improvement in the PMDP’s implementation being noted.
Domingo, S.N. | Abrigo, M.R.M. | Diokno-Sicat, C.J. | Bernardo, P.U.S. | Saquing, M.P. | Ocbina, J.J.S.2022https://bit.ly/3IFarVX
Participatory Budgeting in the Philippines: Promise amidst Populism and PandemicParticipatory budgeting offers the promise of social accountability through citizens’ engagement in public sector budget allocations. The international evidence suggests that participatory budgeting initiatives can help produce more efficient and equitable budget allocations, but that the most successful cases depend on the context. Fox (2015) offers a useful framework for understanding the common elements for success: citizen-centered information access and transparency, representation and aggregation of citizens’ “voice”, minimal constraints on “voice” (and the absence of fear-of-reprisal), clear accountability goals such as reactive vs. preventive policy responses, and finally the state’s capability to respond adequately to citizens’ “voice” (also referred to as “teeth” behind participatory budgeting). Drawing on this framework, this brief paper elaborates on the Philippine case, as far as the changing landscape of participatory budgeting.Mendoza, R.U.2022https://bit.ly/3IGGfK3
Safeguarding the Elections: Policy Recommendations in Fighting Disinformation and Misinformation on Social Media OutletsThis policy brief outlines policy recommendations vital in combating disinformation and misinformation based on the preliminary results of an online survey participated by Filipino Youth residing in the National Capital Region and Calabarzon. The discussion underlines the worsening problem of the proliferation of false information and fake news on various social media platforms as experienced by the respondents in their daily social media use. Offered practical recommendations highlight the importance of a collaborative and liberal approach to safeguard the freedoms enjoyed by citizens as well as our democratic institutions, particularly in the upcoming 2022 National Elections.Jaca, G.B.2022https://bit.ly/3ILf8NV
The link between fake news susceptibility and political polarization of the youth in the PhilippinesThis study explores the relationship between political polarization, measured as pro-administration and opposition support, and vulnerability to online misinformation through a survey distributed through snowball sampling among students in colleges and universities across the Philippines. Using quasibinomial models, a two-model approach was conducted to disentangle the accuracy goals and partisan goals of the students. We find that polarized supporters of President Duterte are more likely to inaccurately identify fake and real news, compared to polarized supporters of the opposition. This is remarkably similar to trends in the United States where Republicans are more vulnerable to misinformation. Other results also highlight possible trends, such as the link between increased self-reported frequency of seeing fake news and decreased likelihood of correctly identifying fake news, and the link between increased trust in news in social media and decreased odds of correctly identifying both real and fake news.Deinla, I.B. | Mendoza, G.A.S. | Ballar, K.J. | Yap, J.K.2022https://bit.ly/3ICoXhi
Upgrading the ICT Regulatory Framework: Toward Accelerated and Inclusive Digital ConnectivityAcross different metrics, the information and communications technology (ICT) performance of the Philippines remains subpar compared to ASEAN members and other countries at the same level of development. The quality of the country’s ICT regulatory environment, composed of regulatory authority, regulatory mandate, regulatory regime, and competition model, is significantly below what is considered international best practice. Consequently, this has impeded the use of various technological solutions available to bridge the gap in digital inequality. Although significant policy changes have recently been introduced, more reforms are needed to achieve inclusive and accelerated digital connectivity. Priorities include reforming the licensing regime, formulating a spectrum policy and plan, and reinventing the NTC to ensure regulatory independence.Serafica, R.B. | Oren, Q.C.A.2022https://bit.ly/42ayT8m
Youth Political Participation and Governance in the Philippines 5 Years Since the Ratification of the SK Reform LawSix years ago, Republic Act (RA) 10742 or the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Reform Act of 2015 was signed into law to enact key reforms to the Sangguniang Kabataan. While the SK Reform Law has been in place for six years, there has been no studies measuring the impact of the SK Reform Law on youth governance and political participation in the Philippines. This study addresses the lack of literature on the SK Reform Law by providing an academic examination of the law’s effects on youth political participation, governance, and in limiting nepotism and political dynasties in the Philippines.

To examine the impact of the SK Reform Law, a survey on youth leaders across the Philippines was conducted from June 8 to August 31, 2021. In the survey, 246 out of the 1,634 (15%) LGUs in the Philippines were represented through either its i) SK Federation President, ii) Local Youth Development Officer, and iii) Local Youth Development Council Members. The content of the survey focused mainly on assessing the impact of the key reform elements of the SK Reform Law. To supplement the survey data, a focus group discussion (FGD) with 11 participants was also conducted. Further, an expert discussion with key institutional stakeholders related to the SK — such as the National Youth Commission (NYC), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), concerned Senate and House Committees, and the Tayo Na Collaboratory, Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) — was also conducted for an in-depth study of the impact of SK law. Following a descriptive analysis of the survey data, FGD responses, and expert discussion responses the study uncovered key challenges to the SK Reform Law.

The study shows that, while youth leaders positively received the involvement of the LYDCs, many LGUs in the country still lack LYDCs. The study recommends that the DILG and NYC monitor LGUs more closely to allow more LGUs to establish their LYDCs. Support for youth organizations and youth-serving organizations across the country should also be strengthened. Further, opportunities, such as continued alignment, expectations-setting and an inclusive but dynamic engagement between SKs and LYDCs could be utilized to foster stronger coordination and collaboration between the two institutions.

Results show that, while the age reform provision of the SK Reform Law was well-received by youth leaders, there has been confusion regarding the language of the law. The study recommends that the age reform provision be amended to “below 25 years of age” to reduce the confusion on the age requirement. Further, information campaigns would be needed to ensure clarity on the age requirement — preventing unnecessary inconvenience and legal challenges to youth leaders. Additionally, a significant number of instances concerning violations to the age reform provision was also reported by the survey respondents — with no cases filed for about half of the reported instances.

The study also observes that a significant number of SK Federation Presidents reported that they were not able to pass their Local Youth Development Plan (LYDP) either for 2019, 2020, or for both 2019 and 2020. The study recommends the support for the agenda-making of SK leaders to pass their LYDPs. Refreshers by the DILG and NYC on the LYDP and other submissions pertinent to SKs, LYDCs, and LYDOs should also be conducted. The study also shows that legislative effectiveness has not been consistent among SK Federation Presidents — skills training, such as ordinance drafting, public speaking and debate, constituency building and advocacy, negotiations skills, and project management, could help SK Federation Presidents improve their capacity to pass resolutions or ordinance outputs.

Results also show that, while respondents agree that financial independence is crucial in implementing projects and programs, youth leaders lamented the lack of training and complex processes involved. As such, a refocused and simplified training on financial management should be made available to youth leaders to ensure judicious use of their funds. Further, the study also recommends that more training be made available to LYDOs as the level of training for LYDO remains inconsistent. Additionally, barangay officials should be reminded of the provisions relating to the financial independence of the SKs to lessen conflict between barangay officials and SK leaders.

A significant number of youth leaders also reported that they were aware of SK leaders in their area who violated the anti-dynasty provision of the SK Reform Law. Further, they indicated that no cases were filed against the SK leaders who violated the SK Reform Law. The study recommends a legal remedy or relief on violations to the SK Reform Law, wherein corresponding institutions, such as the DILG or COMELEC, would institutionalize a whistle-blower type of reporting to violations of the SK Reform Law. This would allow the identity of the complainant to be protected, while processing the complaint accordingly.

The SK Reform Law brings with it innovations that have strengthened the role of the youth in society. Fine-tuning of the SK Reform Law implementation is needed to further ensure that the innovative reforms of the SK Reform Law be executed. A thorough examination of proposed amendments to the SK Reform Law should be conducted.
Flores, III, L. | Ballar, K.J. | Yap, J. | Deinla, I.2022https://bit.ly/3qfokne
Advancing Youth Governance in the Philippines: A Narrative of the Sangguniang Kabataan and its Road to ReformIn almost 30 years of implementation, the Sangguniang Kabataan, which is the Philippines’ version of the village youth council, has faced many challenges, from accusations of exposing ineffective and corrupt practices to young leaders to allegations of electoral malpractices such as vote-buying and patronage politics. All these led to real threats to the abolishment of a beleaguered governance mechanism which would have been a model of youth participation. In this study, we narrate the history of the Sangguniang Kabataan and its obstacles, and its road to reform over the years. We discuss the key circumstances and influences that led to calls for its reform in the mid-2000s, and the key events and arguments in the SK Reform Law’s legislative process in the 15th and 16th congress. The SK Reform Law was successfully passed through a comprehensive reform agenda and determined leadership, despite multiple strong pushes for abolishment. We also analyzed the current SK Law, its key strengths and weaknesses, and its effects on the power dynamics of the SK and local governments. Despite improvements in the age range, fiscal autonomy, and reinforcement of local youth development ecosystems, coordination in the national level and training in the local level were still lacking. We also looked at the effects of the law’s anti-dynasty provision in 3 key metropolitan areas in the country, and found that despite uncertainties in the implementing procedures, it was able to lower the incidence of individuals with incumbent relatives in local elected positions. In part due to the SK Reform Law, the incidence of dynastic SK officials (eg. Elected SK officials with the same surname as incumbent SK or local officials at the time of filing) decreased by 0.4%, 2.5% and 7% from 2010 to 2018 for Cebu City, Davao City, and Quezon City, respectively.Flores, III, L. | Mendoza, R.U. | Yap, J. | Valencia, J.S.O.2021https://bit.ly/3BUI3v0
Economic, Gender, and Digital Divides: Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the PhilippinesDr. Ascuncion pinpoints country-specific features widening economic, gender, and digital divides in the Philippines during the pandemic. It has a young population, the service sector accounts for approximately 60% of employment, the internet penetration rate is >72%, and overseas Filipino workers contribute some 10% of GDP. Nonstandard employment is common, and pandemic restrictions have disproportionately affected the poor and women who juggle paid/unpaid work, employment inequalities, and family responsibilities. Government and other policy measures for the way forward are suggested.Asuncion, R.A.2021https://bit.ly/3WxoJOb
Is the Philippine Government COVID-19 Response Gender-Blind?The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the already dire state of inequality around the world, particularly for women. While the Philippines is considered as one of the most gender equal countries in the world, Filipino women still experience very high discrimination in different institutions, including the family, and with regard to physical integrity, access to productive and financial resources, and civil liberties. This preliminary descriptive study investigates whether the negative impacts of the pandemic on women were considered and factored in the Philippine COVID-19 response. It finds that the government’s pandemic response, both at the national and local levels, is not entirely gender-blind. Measures were taken to address sexual and gender-based violence. However, the government’s pandemic response glosses over other critical gendered impacts of the health crisis in terms of economic security, unpaid domestic and care work, sexual and reproductive health services, and empowerment of women.Castillo, M.C.2021https://bit.ly/3oAVnll
Navigating the COVID-19 Storm: Impact of the Pandemic on the Philippine Economy and Macro Responses of GovernmentThe Philippines entered its deepest recession in post-war history in 2020, with output declining by 9.6 percent. Coming up with a strategy on how to best manage the economy and deal with the fallout of the public health shock, especially on the weaker segments of society, became the biggest challenge of the country’s economic policymakers. This chapter/paper looks more closely at that episode, dissecting the macroeconomic impact of the coronavirus, viewing it up close through its impact on households and firms, and then chronicling and reviewing the macroeconomic policy responses of government. It ends by summarizing the lessons to carry and the options on the path forward—for the near future—as the country continues to struggle with the pandemic, and for when it enters a more normalized (post-pandemic) world.Debuque-Gonzales, M.2021https://bit.ly/43p9j0z
Process Evaluation of the Performance-Based Bonus SchemeThis study examines the extent to which the Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) scheme has been executed and identifies implementation deficits, if any. Specifically, it looks into the bottlenecks and challenges encountered by government agencies in meeting the conditions to qualify for the PBB. It also presents initial data on the possible effects of the PBB on at least three levels: (a) agency-wide incentive effects, (b) team-level collaboration effects, and (c) individual staff-member incentive effects. This study finds mixed results on these three main channels of impact. It recommends a general review of the main policy objectives of this reform. It also identifies several concrete reforms that could help sharpen the PBB moving forward.Ramon, J.R.G. | Mendoza, R.U. | Cuenca, J.S. | Opiniano, G.A. | Monje, J.D. | Pastor, M.A. | Munoz, M.S.2021https://bit.ly/3MCgM5v
Understanding Dutertismo: Populism and Democratic Politics in the PhilippinesThe present study investigates how the normative views on democracy influence the analysis of Dutertismo. There are two prevailing normative views that is operative in the analysis of democracy which also provide differing take on the role of populism. On the one hand, the deliberative perspective emphasizes on consensus building and considers populism as irreconcilable with its democratic framework. On the other hand, the agonistic model privileges conflict and tension and considers populism as an essential component of democracy. I shall advance the thesis that a third perspective is necessary which considers the framework of mutual correction where democracy is seen as a postponed synthesis between the task of consensus building and the recognition of irreducible conflict. It is through this framework that the complexity of democracy in the Philippines can be comprehensively grasped and the role of populism be extensively understood.Parcon, I.C.R.2021https://bit.ly/45uXLuA
Baseline Study on Policy and Governance Gaps for the Local Government Support Fund Assistance to Municipalities (LGSF-AM) Program (Integrated Report)One major challenge faced in assessing the impact of the various national government interventions is the lack of baseline data. This study aims to identify policy and governance gaps in infrastructure and planning to provide baseline data on key areas and current planning practices of local governments. The desk review revealed low revenue effort, as well as inadequate utilization of mandated development fund, due to poor planning funds in majority of the municipalities. The study recommends (1) improving compliance of LGUs in the regular updating of their multisectoral development plans, (2) revisiting the basis for establishing the current situation of a locality, (3) improving project readiness and feasibility, and (4) strengthening capacity development programs to address governance gaps in development planning.Diokno-Sicat, C.J. | Adaro, C.E. | Maddawin, R.B. | Castillo, A.F.G. | Mariano, M.A.P.2020https://bit.ly/3BUK4HA
Digital Transformation and COVID-19: Policy Imperatives for Local Governments and MSMEs in the PhilippinesThe virulence of the Novel Coronavirus is expected to have a profound impact on the world. The Philippines is not immune to the looming global recession due to massive local lockdowns, work stoppages, and decline in economic activities. This enormous challenge requires the Philippines to look at new opportunities that can ensure its economic resiliency. The imminent shift in regional production and relocation of services can provide ample demand for digital offshore and manufacturing services. For this, digital transformation (Dx) strategies can provide new ways of energizing the country’s supply chain and customer relationship management. Likewise, public services can be improved through online systems that will encourage citizens and businesses to transact with the government within the safety of their homes. The adoption of digital transformation strategies can open new opportunities in the Philippines. This policy brief proposes a Dx roadmap for local policymakers, local government executives, and entrepreneurs with a new perspective on how to use Dx to create stronger integration of local governments and Micro, Small, Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs).Ona, S.E. | Ching, S.F.S.2020https://bit.ly/3OJa0xA
Evaluation of the Effects of the Performance-Based Bonus Incentive SchemeIn 2012, the government established a Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) scheme to reward performance, align individual personnel and team-level efforts with agency-wide targets, and improve public service delivery in the Executive Department. The Department of Budget and Management, together with other oversight agencies and the Development Academy of the Philippines, manage the implementation of the PBB using the framework of the Results-Based Performance Management System. They deem it critical to study the effect of the PBB on government efforts to boost productivity and push reforms, as well as government employees’ individual and team-level motivations and productivity, especially given the budgetary implications of the incentive scheme. Prior to this study, a process evaluation of the PBB was conducted to clarify whether and to what extent the PBB worked as planned. This follow-up study examines the possible impact of the PBB by employing mixed methods research drawing on primary and secondary data, undertaking not only a perception-based survey on effects of the PBB on over 1,200 respondents, but also seven focus group discussions with PBB focal points and members of the performance management teams of selected agencies, as well as representatives of oversight agencies. The findings suggest while the PBB has had some design issues and implementation challenges (e.g. changes in eligibility requirements across the years, gaming and dysfunctional behavior), the PBB is generally welcomed across the bureaucracy. Further, there is evidence that the PBB has contributed to boosting individual, team-level and agency-wide improvements in motivation and productivity. Results of the study suggest that PBB could be further re-designed to sharpen its effects on public sector reform.Albert, J.R.G. | Mendoza, R.U. | Cuenca, J.S. | Vizmanos, J.F.V. | Munoz, M.S.2020https://bit.ly/3OGkZYM
Towards a Definition of Public AdministrationScholars of public administration have been encumbered by a crisis on the definition of the fieldsince its move away from classical theory. The confusion arises from three areas—the lack of clarityin scope for both the practice and the study, assertions on the purpose of public administration asbeing the attainment of only the 3Es or only the public interest, and scholars’ aversion towards anydefinition or theory that employs the notion of structure. A definition of public administration must: (1)unify the scope of its study and its practice; (2) not be conceptually restricted to a specific structure,method, or values of governance; (3) encompass all the concerns of the state; (4) allow the use ofother bodies of knowledge; and (5) preserve the uniqueness of the field from the bodies of knowledgethat it employs. A sample of definitions from Stillman’s (2009) compilation are each tested whetherthey meet all five criteria. The author concludes that such a definition is: public administrationrefers to all the work involved in the implementation of government policies and programs.Quiros, M.2020https://bit.ly/3qfqlzO
Transparency and Accountability in the Philippine Local GovernmentAs a practice, transparency is an act of allowing the internal and external forces of governance to inquire into, have access to, and influence to a certain extent the government operations.
As a concept, transparency embraces accountability. It is linked to and provides the enabling environment for greater accountability and is therefore presumed operating in a continuum. The effectiveness of transparency is measured on the degree of accountability that it would provide to government personnel. Transparency is a matter to open up government and governance to public scrutiny and encourage greater citizens’ participation.
Castillo, L.C. | Gabriel, A.G.2020https://bit.ly/42cIICO
When Size Matters: A Study on the Rightsizing Act of the Duterte AdministrationThe Rightsizing Program (RP) proposed by the Duterte administration is studied in this paper. The state of thetop two largest national government agencies, namely, the Department of the Interior and Local Governmentand the Department of Education, is analyzed to determine if the national government is bloated. The twoagencies had the highest number of career service personnel (first and second levels) in 2017. The impacts tothe national government of the most recent reorganization endeavor, the Rationalization Program started bythe Macapagal-Arroyo administration and concluded during the Aquino III administration, are articulated.Though the paper discusses the RP and other reorganization reforms of the past administrations as designs bythe New Public Management approach, the New Public Service lens shares alternative perspectives on public,accountability, service, and efficiency. This paper includes recommendations, which are built on the lessonsfrom the reorganization endeavors of the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Department ofInformation and Communications Technology, with the aim to achieve effectivity and efficiency in national government agencies for the better enactment of their mandates. Views with regard to the proposed RP, from relevant agencies such as Department of Budget and Management and the Civil Service Commission, and the employees’ associations, are expressed.Estocado-Dulpina, N.2020https://bit.ly/3BXgIIF