BASIC POLITICAL CONCEPTS
Public Administration and Social Communication
Reported by: Ryan C. Espino
- denotes a social activity
- is the creation,maintenance and amendment of social norms or rules.
- Is an art and science of the government.
- Is the realm of public affairs or the state.
- Is the exercise of power/ authority by political leader for the well being at
their country’s citizens or subject.
- Refers to the manner of steering/ governing and or directing and
controlling a group of people/ the state.
BASIC CONCEPTS OF POLITICS
- Is the central to the study of politics because it shows different components
of human society.
STRUCTURES of ORDER
a. COMMUNITY – is one kind of social order which refers to the association
of individual who shares a common identity.
b. GOVERNMENT – is a higher level of social order that exist primarily for
the maintenance and perpetuation of the community.
c. STATE - is the largest social order today and in which the term politics
- The main source of reign of the government.The possession to govern or rule
- The process of legalizing and penalizing the abuse of political power and
power to rule.
“ If the government gives what people need, protect and respect their rights,
and put the common good over and above the personal interest of the
leaders then there is said to be justice.”
TWO APPROACHES to the STUDY of POLITICS
• POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
- It is the traditional approach in which the primary goal is to understand the
essence or the truth about politics.
• POLITICAL SCIENCE
- It is the empirical/ objective approach in which it places little emphasis on
abstract and normative question, and concentrates on a dispassionate and
objective of the realities of politics.
Importance of Studying Governance
Governance, the people, most especially the citizens, will be aware
of the need for good governance. Consequently, such awareness should
move them to action. For their continued empowerment and sustainable
development, they have to know how to fight for their rights by knowing
what to expect from Philippine governance.
PROCESSES AND ACTORS IN GOVERNANCE
Decision-Making and Implementation
- decision-making refers the process by which a
person or group of persons, guided by socio-political
structures, arrive at a decision involving their
individual and communal needs and wants.
Implementation is the process that logically follows the
Actors and Structures
- An actor is a sector or group or institution that
participates in the process of decision-making and
implementation. A structure refers to an organization
or mechanism that formally or informally guides the
decision-making process and sets into motion the
different actors and apparatuses in the implementation
Informal Actors and Bad Governance
- Their influence is felt more clearly in local governments,
such as organized crime syndicates and powerful
families, and in rural and urban areas. Most often than not,
these actors are the cause of corruption, in that legitimate
government objectives are distorted by their illegal and
private interests. Worse, they manipulate government
officials and agencies, and cause widespread yet
organized violence in the community. In urban and rural
areas, for example, the rich and powerful families control
the economy by controlling the local government officials.
They bring about a controlled environment so that
decisions must always favor them.
- active involvement of all affected and interested parties in
the decision-making process.
Participation is one of the strengths of Philippine governance. The 1987
Philippine Constitution is replete of provisions dealing with relational
and inter-sectoral governance. The Local Government Act of 1989 was
borne out of the need for decentralization in Philippine governance. As
such, these and other related legislations may be considered as
normative standards for good governance.
2. Rule of Law
- Democracy is essentially the rule of law.
- Rule of law demands that the people and the civil society render habitual
obedience to the law. It also demands that the government acts within the
limits of the powers and functions prescribed by the law.
The Philippines does not fare well in this aspect of good governance. In spite of
being one of the oldest democracies in the region, the Philippines ranked as last
among seven indexed Asian countries according to the World Justice Project Rule
of Law Index. Generally, the reasons for ranking last are “lack of respect for law,”
“pervasive and systemic corruption in the government,” and “circumvention of
the law.” Lack of respect for law is generally caused by distrust on the integrity of
law enforcement agencies. Order and security are compromised and criminal
justice is rendered ineffectual.
3. Effectiveness and Efficiency
- actors meet the needs of the society means that there is effective
governance.That the valuable resources are utilized, without
wasting or underutilizing any of them, means that there is efficient
- enhancement and standardization of the quality of public service
delivery consistent with international standards, professionalization of
Efforts were made to attain effectiveness and efficiency in Philippine
governance.The Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (ARTA), for instance,was
passed to require the setting up of Citizen’s Charter for a simplified
procedure and to facilitate governmental transactions. Also, many
government departments and agencies pursued a rationalization
program to check excessive and redundant staffing.
- Transparency, as an indicator of good governance, means that people are open
to information regarding decision-making process and the implementation of the
same. In legal terms, it means that information on matters of public concern are
made available to the citizens or those who will be directly affected.
- It also means that transactions involving public interests must be fully disclosed
and made accessible to the people.
Efforts were made in pursuit of transparency in Philippine governance. As far as the
government sector is concerned, the current administration, consistent with its
drive of curbing corruption, promotes honesty and integrity in public service. It is
currently pursuing the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill and other related
legislations, as well as intensifying people’s engagement in local governance.
Transparency in budget and disbursements are, however, still far from being
- means that institutions and processes serve all stakeholders in a timely and
appropriate manner. It also means that actors and structures of governance
easily give genuine expression to the will or desire of the people.
Some of the important efforts made to attain responsive governance in the
Philippines are decentralization, creation of citizen’s charter in all frontline
agencies (as required by ARTA), and gender sensitivity programs. First, through
decentralization, local governments, which are more proximate to their
constituents, serve more promptly the people, who in turn become more
involved in decision-making. Second, every government agency now has it
Citizen’s Charter, which provides timeframes for every step in attaining frontline
services. Agencies now must also respond to written queries sent by the
stakeholders or interested parties within a period of ten days, otherwise there
will be delayed service. However, this aspect of governance still remains to be
one of the causes for the decline of public’s confidence in the public sector.
Although the ARTA has been passed, there is still so much delay in public
service delivery. The failure of the government agencies to explain the charters
to the stakeholders is one of the main reasons why there is still delay.
6. Equity and Inclusiveness
- Equity and inclusiveness means that all the members of the society,
especially the most vulnerable ones or the grassroots level, must be
taken into consideration in policy-making.
- Social equity refers to a kind of justice that gives more opportunity to the
less fortunate members of the society.
The Philippine Government has done extensive efforts in promoting equity and
inclusiveness. The Constitution makes it as one of its state policies the promotion of social
justice. Pursuant to this, the Congress has enacted social legislations like the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law which aims at freeing the farmer tenants from the
bondage of the soil. Also, representation in the Congress, under the party list system, is
constitutionally mandated to have sectoral representation of the underprivileged. Gender
and Development programs are in the process of being integrated with the various
structures and institutions in the country. But legislation is one thing; implementation is
another. It is in the faithful implementation of these laws that the country failed. Inequality
is especially felt in the justice system, electoral system, and even in the bureaucracy itself.
7. Consensus Oriented
- Governance is consensus oriented when decisions are made after taking into
consideration the different viewpoints of the actors of the society.
Among the things done by the Philippines in promoting a consensus oriented
governance are: (1) creation of a wide-based of representation in the Congress;
(2) a two-tiered legislature or bicameralism which subjects legislation to the
evaluation of national and district legislators; and (3) necessity of public
hearings or consultations of various governmental policies and actions.
- Accountability means answerability or responsibility for one’s action. It is based
on the principle that every person or group is responsible for their actions most
especially when their acts affect public interest.
- Accountability comes in various forms: political, hierarchical, and managerial
accountability. Political accountability refers to the accountability of public
officials to the people they represent. Hierarchical accountability refers to the
ordered accountability of the various agencies and their respective officers and
personnel in relation to their program objectives. Managerial accountability
refers to employee accountability based on organization and individual
The Philippines in the recent years had endeavored to comply with the
requirements of accountability. It had put in action the concept of political
accountability as it held answerable erring public officials involved in graft and
corruption and for acts contrary to the mandate of the constitution. It had also
strengthened parliamentary scrutiny through legislative investigations and
creation of special committees exercising oversight functions. The Office of the
Ombudsman, considered as the public watchdog, has become ever so active in
investigating and prosecuting graft and plunders cases. Citizen’s Charter, as
required by ARTA, was also an important tool in promoting professional public
service values. In this area, Philippine governance has done relatively well.
The Philippines is plagued by bad governance. Based on the six
dimensions of governance in the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), it
ranks in the lower half of the percentile. In 2010-2011, the Philippines ranked
only 85th in the Global Competitive Index (GCI), lagging behind most of its
Southeast Asian neighbors. The decline of trust on the actors of governance and
the consequential poor economic condition were brought about by the
systemic corruption among and between public officials and private
organizations. In 2013, it ranked 94th among 177 countries in the Corruption
Perception Index. Among the key institutions in the Philippines perceived to be
most corrupt based on the Global Corruption Index are “political parties,”
“judiciary,” “police,” “public officials and civil servants,” and “legislature.” This
means all branches of the Philippine government are now challenged.