Concepts of Public Policy

According to Frank J. Goodnow (1999), he emphasized the inseparability of the different branches of the government through the creation and implementation of public policies, in which these branches have their own unique type of responsibility when dealing with the creation of a policy. An analysis of the organization of the government will reveal the kinds of authorities that are involved in the execution of the “will of the state”, regardless which problem arises and to which authority the leader of the state delegates the implementation of the policy.

He reiterated that there are authorities that apply the provisions of the policy when controversies arise; there are also the authorities that supervise and execute the policy after it has been enacted; and finally, there are the authorities which translate the “will of the state “into policies that relate to the needs of different individuals within the state.

There are actually three kinds of authority; Charismatic Authority where in a leader is followed based on his personal qualities and well-being as a whole. Second, the Traditional Authority in which a leader was delegated from his ancestral heritage and Majority of this type of authority is practiced by tribes and remote nations who still observes the traditional way of authority. And finally, the legal-rational authority which is based according to democratic means, constitutional way of delegation and grounded in clearly defined laws.

What is Public Policy by the way? According to Clarke E. Cochran, Lawrence C. Mayer, T.R. Carr and, Joseph Cayer (2000), the term public policy “refers to the actions of the government and intentions that determine those actions. It is an intentional course of action followed by a government institution or a government official for resolving an issue of public concern”. In addition, government representatives and people concerned play a vital role in performing these actions. Nevertheless, some interested groups and local government units are the backbone of these actions. Actually, there are two types of actors that play in Public Policy, First are the Institutional Actors and the Non-Institutional Actors. Under the first set of Institutional Actors are The Executive Branch and the leader of the state, secondly, will be the congress and finally the court or the judicial branch of the government. Another set of actors are as follows: The media, Parties, Interested Groups and Political Consultants.

We are already aware of the Institutional Actors. However, the Non-Institutional during the recent National Elections played a vital role in placing the incumbent president on his seat. The media as we all know became the peak of the campaign during the electoral period of President Duterte through Mocha Uson Blog, many Filipinos and majority of the generation today have their own personal smartphones and access to the web anytime and anywhere. Therefore, they are hooked up through media despite being biased at times. Another actor of Public Policy are the parties, some of the parties have smaller groups and for them to have a nod from the authority, they connive with larger groups for them to coalesce and persuade the higher branch to accept their proposal and as we all know about our government we can’t simple ask a favor without giving something in return in which some interested groups intervene for their own benefit about the policy being processed. And finally, the political consultants, most of these consultants have their own ways and means of running the public and many of them have their own interest as well, their interest may fall on political ambitions, business or wealth and some are just for their own consumption.

As we move along the line, there are different categories of Public Policy; first, the constituent policy where in the government focus of the establishment of the structure of the government, In addition, when the law is enacted they find some glitches in the policy after it was implemented for improvement. Second, Distributive Policy; the most famous of this policy is the Pork-Barrel Scam of the Philippines in the figure of Napoles, the funds came directly from the Philippine Government and when it is distributed to the Policymakers, it is already up to them on how will they use the funds. Third, Regulatory Policy; pertains to the impositions of restrictions or limitations on the behavior of individuals and groups that reduce the freedom or discretion to act among those regulated, whether bankers, utility companies, meat packers or saloon-keepers. A classic example of this type of policy is the implementation of business permits of companies and prices of their commodities are regulated as not to cause public commotion and negative impact to the society. Fourth is the Self-Regulatory Policy, a policy in which a person or group governs or polices itself without outside assistance or influence. A basic example of this policy is the individual licensing like driver’s license, teaching license and other personal licensing that are vested to certain individuals and of course these set of policies are monitored and regulated. Finally, the redistributive policy; it is the deliberate effort by the government to shift the allocation of wealth, income, property, or rights among broad classes or groups of the population. Just like the Cash transfer program and the 4P’s of the former president, some of the funds are prioritized whether such funds will be used either for infrastructure or health care; it’s up to the Policymaker if they see where the funds are deemed necessary.

In the next topic we are going to discuss is the Public Policy process. First we have to identify the problem according to the needs of the society, and it will be screened by the policymakers, once the problem is identified then they will proceed to the Public Agenda, in here they will set the problem on the table that needs the serious attention of the public officials. Second, they conduct brain-storming and come up with several solutions to the problem, some of the actors we spoke of before proposed solutions to the problem and courses of action. Third, once they came up with the best possible solution, they will now proceed to the adaptation of the problem so that the policy can be legitimatized or authorized. Next will be the implementation of the policy, in this part of the process, the concern unit or agency will be tasked to implement the policy. We can’t simply implement a policy for AFP personnel then give the tasking to DILG of course we can’t, so basically in here we place the right implementing authority to the right agency. And finally, the policy evaluation, we can’t proceed to this part of the process if the policy was not enacted. Therefore, the policy shall be implemented first before this phase is executed. In here, we can see if the policy is effective and gave positive results; if not then they scrutinized the problem and proceed back to the process of public policy.

So why does Public Policy process really matters? In this process, we can see different types of people uniting together to come up with a best possible solution for the betterment of the government, they set their differences aside for a common goal. On the other hand, poor Public policy making will result to a poor policy implemented that would yield negative impact to the society. That’s all, Thank you!

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