Is There a Philippine Public Administration

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In Onofre Corpuz's esssay on "Is there a Philippine Public Administration", he negatively stated that there is a Philippine public administration by repeatedly stating, "It's all very Filipino". He even stated that "...the existing public administration is faithfully Filipino.".

I must agree with his statement because indeed, a Philippine public administration exists, I believe in terms of structure. I would like to quote Alex Brillantes, Jr. and Maricel Fernandez on their statement. "Yes we have basic public administration structures and processes. We have an executive branch with the bureaucracy at its core. We have a Philippine legislature. We have a Philippine judiciary. We have Philippine electoral processes and procedures. We have Philippine sub-national institutions and local governments, together with decentralization processes and procedures. It is within this context that we argue that indeed, we have a Philippine public administration characterized by the presence of administrative structures and processes operating within a unique Philippine context." But the funny thing is, and I would like to stress out this statement by Corpuz that "The government had been run independently for just the last four decades, managing most of public affairs in a language that is not native to its citizens.". Considering more than three centuries of Spanish rule and decades of American occupation, the period that was ruled by foreigners surpassed the period ruled by our own native people. I agree with Corpuz with this. Although they had spread many of the fundamental values of the West through the proselytizing of the Catholic religion, the Spanish had nevertheless done little to advance the development of science or the spread of economic growth in the Philippines (partly reflecting the scientific and economic backwardness of Spain itself in the nineteenth century).

On the author's statement on "The old (colonial) and the new political ethics have become one, a syncresis or a combination of often contradictory elements, since the beginning of the century. The victorious elites affirm the triumph of democracy, the victory of the people; and the latter listen to finely crafted speeches on nationalism, social justice, and the popular welfare."

This is very reflective of the famous platforms speeches of candidates during elections, with their vague but "for masses promises" to their almost impossible action plans - which in the end, always fail to be implemented. This is reality in Philippine politics. Though it is very hard on my part, I have to agree with Corpuz on his statement that "But the archetypal lider (leader) in Filipino politics is still he who gets the most jobs for his followers, increases his income when his faction is in power (while paying less in income taxes), and gives the most help in various forms to his followers’ families. This is the relationship between a Mafia don and his soldiers. What is Filipino in this is: that the rewards distributed by politicians are public resources; the politicians who are out of power regard their counterparts in power with envy and admiration; and no practitioner of this highly developed Filipino art has ever been accused of anything but success.”

This reflects the bureau pathology deeply embedded in Philippine politics. That's why politicians only do what the Filipino wants, doing things that is deemed "popular" in the Filipino context. A country's culture is indeed a reflection of its political and economic situation. Religion also plays a major role in shaping the mindset of the people, thus affecting the cultural dimension as well.

In the case of the Philippines according to Corpuz, Philippine politics is greatly influenced by more than three decades of Spanish colonization and decades of American occupation. In that very long period of time, our Western colonizers have instigated certain norms, beliefs and practices that were adopted by the Filipino...
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