1. As an introductory course in public administration, PM 201 is
designed to give you an overview of public administration
theory and practice. In line with this, we discussed
developments, trends, concepts and processes in public
administration study and practice and related these as far
practicable to Philippine experience. We have likewise focused
on concepts and strategies of development, especially human
development for. Public administration will ultimately be
geared towards achieving the development of the country and
2. After covering these topics, it is relevant that we survey
some of the major issues that public administration in the
country will continue to grapple with and new challenges and
directions that have to be faced.
SOME MAJOR ISSUES AND
3. BEREAUCRACY AND THE CIVIL SERVICE – WE USUALLY
ASSOCIATE IT WITH PEJORATIVE MEANINGS. INEPT, RED
TAPE, HUGE OVERSAFFED, INEFFICIENT, WASTEFUL,
UNRESPONSIVE, INACCESABLE, “PALAKASAN”. DOUBT
STANDARDS ( ONE FOR THE POWERFUL AND ANOTHER FOR
THE SMALL PEOPLE) – THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE
MOST COMMON CRISTISMS HURTED AGAINST THE
BUREACRACY AND THE CIVIL SERVANTS. THESE ANTI-
BUREACRATIC SENTIMENTS ARE REINFORCED BY MEDIA-
BASHING AND SCHOLARLY STUDIES MADE ON THE
BUREAUCRACY. IT IS PERHAPS NO EXAGGERATION THAT
PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION IN THE
4. Every new administration seeks to reform the bureaucracy various ways,
such as reorganization civil service reform and training, infusion of new
technologies and management tools, privatization, decentralization, etc. but
these administrative reforms apparently have not solved all the problems
plaguing the bureaucracy. Performance has lagged behind targets.
5. According to Reyes (1994), there are four reasons why reform efforts in the country
have failed. These are
Lack of sufficient and uncompromising political will to implement reforms :
complex web of rules in the administration of justice thereby making it difficult to
promptly remove, prosecute and punish erring officials and employees, especially
those who were involved in graft and corruption:
The absence of well – defined standards and monitoring system that will undertake
surveillance of bureaucratic activities. And performance thereby facilitating swift
decision making ;
The lack of focus in the direction and target of reforms and tendency to address
problems in compartmentalized fashion, thus, dissipating the reform efforts.
6. While the rise of global markets and the liberization of international trade and
the tremendous advancements in science and information technology open
opportunities for the country, these likewise present. Formidable pressure on
public administration to make adjustment and reforms.
NATIONAL PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION IN A
7. The increasing trend toward globalization particularly of the economy, creates tensions on
the independence of national public administration to formulate national policies consistent
with the needs and aspirations of a sovereign people. Agreements and commitments entered
into by the country at the international level, for instance, in the case of the General
Agreements on Traffis and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO) and the Asia-Pacific
Economic Council (APEC) would require the national government to make adjustments and
revision in the existing laws and policies in order to conform to such agreements. It is said that
even the Constitution has to be amended to comply with the requirements of the GATT. In the
ultimate analysis, these adjustments made in the name of globalization will have tremendous
impact on the lives of the Filipinos.
The scope and role of the Public Administration
8. Globalization carries in the wings the call for redefining the rose State and public
administration from one of the direct involvement in production to the functions of
development, regulation, and continuance of an enabling framework. In the reinventing
government parlance, this is what you may call a government that ‘steers’ rather than
‘rows’. Some call it ‘minimalist’ government. This is paradigm shift necessitates tremendous
adjustment in the existing administrative set-up and in the competencies and orientation of
public servants to adjust to the new role of government and the changing environment.
9. We have always looked up to government as provider of public goods and the final arbiter
in the spheres of life - social, economic, and political. In the context of poverty,
unemployment and other socio-economic inequities would this new ethos of government be
desirable in the Philippine setting?
Technology and Bureaucratic Traditions
10. Public Administration has benefited from the advancements in computer and information
technology from efficient and faster administration of routine work to improve process of policy and
decision making and monitoring and evaluation of government policies, programs and projects. These
new technologies, consequently are revolutionizing the workplace and behavior of the employees.
What are the implications of these technological innovations on traditional practices of public
administration such as work hours, staffing, raining, organizational strategies, decision making, work
11. The benefits of technological advancements, however, are yet to be fully harnessed by the
bureaucracy especially at the lower levels of administration like the provinces, cities, municipalities,
and barangays. Many of these local government units are yet to install a computer in their offices. In
contrast, sophisticated computer and software’s are used widely and progressively in many national
government agencies and public corporations and in more prosperous local governments. These is a
need to fill this gap because information technology can contribute to improving the administrative
capacities of government to undertake socioeconomic development. This implies costs in terms of the
computers and computer software's.
Public Accountability and Graft and Corruption
12. Most of us wouldn’t like the spectre of the unlamented authoritarian regime that was
accountable only to itself and used public funds as if these were its own to visit this country again.
The 1987 Constitution that was ratified after the popular overthrow of the Marcos regime upholds
the accountability of civil servants to the public.
13. It is said that the country does not lack laws, rules and procedures that ensure the
accountability of public officials and employees in the conduct of their official functions as well as
punish the commission of graft and corruption. The public expects and demands transparency in
government operations. Yet, corruption continues to beset the government. Every incoming
administration professes to eradicate graft and corruption in government but with little success.
The public has become cynical about government pronouncements to bring the full force of the law
on the violators. It has become accustomed to seeing the ‘big fish’ being given the face-saving exit
and the ‘small fries’ being jailed for petty corruption. It’s not only that there is a lack of strong
political will to enforce the law; there also appears a double standard in the administration of
justice. What would it take to ensure that accountability is observed not in breach but in practice?
Civil Society and Non-Government Organizations
14. Connected to the issue of redefining the role of public administration is the increasing
involvement of the non-governmental organization (NGOs) and the civil society in the arena of
governance. Our old notion of public administration is dramatically being transformed as NGOs,
people’s organizations, cause-oriented and advocacy groups, women’s groups, fisherfolks and
farmers’ organizations, organizations of disabled persons, and other sectors of society are
increasingly and actively getting involved in the practice of public administration. For instance,
provision of public goods and services is no longer a monopoly of government; these groups also
provide public services to the people. They are also active in policy advocacy especially when
the issues involved have overwhelming implications on the lives of the Filipinos.
15. Before, we make distinctions only between private and public administration. Today,
we have to make room for emergence of the civil society in the study and practice of
public administration. What could be the implications if this development on public
administration? Would it result to the ‘withering’ of the state? Or to refocusing on what
it can do best under certain existing conditions? Or will it inspire government to give its
best to maintain the loyalty and obeisance of the public that, in the first place, put it in
its present status? You can think of other theoretical questions which you can consider as
research topics in your public administration courses.