Ma. Victoria R. Raquiza, Ph.D. (University of the Philippines)
The Philippines is a development paradox: on the one hand, the country has experienced high growth rates in recent years, earning the reputation of being one of the fastest, emerging economies in the region. On the other hand, poverty and inequality levels remain high. In the last decade alone, the wealth of the richest clans have either doubled or tripled their wealth underscoring the fact that the gains of high economic growth have benefited only a few.
An important pathway out of poverty is structural transformation which necessitates boosting the productivity across all sectors and moving employment to the most dynamic sectors of the economy. In real terms, this means significant investment in agriculture and the manufacturing sector, including the micro-, small, medium enterprises. Unfortunately this has not happened because the government’s neoliberal policy framework of deferring to the private sector has prevented it from playing a more interventionist role in the economy in support of domestic manufacturers and micro and small entrepreneurs.
Because the laissez faire strategy, in place for the last thirty decades, has produced the development paradox of high growth rates simultaneous to high poverty levels, government has resorted to social protection schemes in order to somehow mitigate the worst consequences of macro-economic policies. That these schemes have broad clientelistic appeal to politicians have only added to its allure.
However, for as long as the country’s institutional and policy framework remains neoliberal, significant levels of poverty, hunger and inequality may remain staple features of the country’s development landscape as the country’s potential to significantly boost labor productivity growth remains unrealized.
Arius Lauren Raposas (University of the Philippines)
The vote is the primary legitimizing tool of democracy, and studying how the vote behaves in such a context would prove helpful to current democratic principles. In addition, the youth of today would be the leaders of tomorrow. This philosophy holds true throughout generations. To help analyze how Filipino democracy works in the national or the local scale, one can begin with the student level. The choice of the University of the Philippines as locale of the study mainly underlines the role played by the premier university in shaping future leaders. Indeed, the university has produced a number of presidents, senators, representatives, among others. In 2014, a study concerning student council elections in the University of the Philippines (UP) began with focus on one of its largest college units, particularly the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy (CSSP). One key factor taken into consideration in this study was voter turnout.
Initially, the study showed that voter turnout is dismal in the college (52% as of 2014). This is despite the fact that in the national setting, voters with college-level education post higher turnouts than those who achieved elementary or high school-level education. With these data accounted, the researcher put into the equation major reasons for not voting (either not casting their vote or voting abstain). After eliminating less plausible reasons by counterchecking with the information available, the study came to the conclusion that voters make the conscious choice of not participating in elections. Beyond this, the researcher also presented possible factors behind non-participation in student elections. In 2016, the data was updated and the scope broadened to cover the entire university. Evidently, voter turnout in the university is even lower than that of CSSP. In turn, the results of the study in 2014 were reinforced in a larger context in 2016. Meanwhile, to test the recommendations made in this study, the researcher attempted to observe them in application to an election in a group of 54 people. With these findings, it is observed that key factors other than politics (such as culture and social media) influence leadership formation in schools, colleges, and universities.
Koichi Kawai (Kanazawa University)
The independence of administrative agencies to elected officials is a central question in democratic governance. A key source of variation in independence is agency structure. This article tests a hypothesis in the study of the institutional design of administrative agencies. Political explanations consider the degree of institutional design of administrative agencies as a function of political factors, such as the degree of policy conflict and political uncertainty. In this article, we test this hypothesis on a data set of about 100 administrative agencies of central government that were created between 1945 and 2016 in Japan. This article uses statistical analysis to explore what makes an administrative agency independence.
We find strong support for political explanations. Our findings suggest that political factors play role in the institutional design of administrative agencies within parliamentary regimes. We illustrate how political influence affects agency structure.
This article is organized as follows. After introduction, we will describe the recent studies on administrative agency design. Next, we will explain our research method and data. Then we will show our research findings. Finally, this article will close by pointing out the implication of our analysis.
Irene Lau (Hong Kong Public Administration Association)
Increasing stringent regulation and transparent information disclosure are current trends that companies need to face arising principally from unprecedented climate change. Such responses to a low carbon economy overtly influence not only the society and environment but also a company’s financial performance. The Porter Hypothesis explains how environmental regulations directly influence sustainability strategies and overall performance of individual company. Limited studies examine why companies respond differently when facing the same regulation pressures and the influence of company reaction on its own performance in a minimal-competitive environment. This study synthesises the Porter Hypothesis by adding resource-based view theory, stakeholder theory and institutional analysis to examine the case of two Hong Kong electricity suppliers in the period between 1994 and 2015. Semi-structural interviews and archival materials from these two companies as well as reports from the Hong Kong Government are the major sources of data.
The results indicate that company resources influence company response regarding environmental regulations. In addition, the importance of a company’s anticipated institutional change cannot be neglected. This study also finds that a company needs to consider a trade-off between financial objectives and non-financial objectives in terms of its impact on society and the environment. This study contributes to the understanding of organizational responses to sustainability issues and their performances in a minimal-competitive context. It also offers practical suggestions for policy makers and companies to focus on their sustainability strategies in the future.
Allan Hil Pajimola (Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University)
Paulito Nisperos (Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University)
A livable city is a resilient local government unit which withstands societal challenges be it in social, economic, environmental or political aspects. This study described and explored the livability status using 8 research-based indicators of economic vitality, human urban environment, public safety, public infrastructures, sense of community, access to education, access to health care, and mobility and transportation of the 4 component cities in the Ilocos Region, namely Laoag City in Ilocos Norte, Vigan City in Ilocos Sur, San Fernando City in La Union and Urdaneta City in Pangasinan. Using a combined qualitative and quantitative research approaches, employing triangulation of documentary analysis, satisfaction analysis and content analysis, findings revealed that each component city has its own livability advantages and at the same time livability challenges that need to be addressed. Generally, residents are satisfied with the facilities and services of the 4 cities. Nonetheless, the satisfaction survey results proved that there are specific concerns needing to address with in order to be responsive to its constituents as these cities envision for sustainable, walkable and livable city for all. As an output of this research, recommendations as input to enrich their City Policy Agenda were offered to the LGU respondents to address livability issues and challenges.
Public Governance and Transformations in Thailand: A Policy Framework towards Sustainable Development
Pairote Pathranarakul (National Institute of Development Administration)
Chaiyanant Panyasiri (Siam University)
Sustainable Development (SD) is a paradigm of maintaining a delicate balance between fulfilling human needs and aspirations and preserving natural resources and ecosystems for our future generations. Nowadays, the United Nations’ seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been announced as a global-scale effort to create a common set of development goals for every country. As one of leading countries in Asia-pacific, Thailand has recently rolled out nation-wide new development model called “Thailand 4.0” in order to ensure sustainability and global competitiveness of the country. The essential elements of this agenda are focused on a “sustainable growth and development” with long-term vision on security, prosperity, and sustainability. Upon this rationale, the main objectives of this paper are to illustrate the shifting of public administration in Thai public sector towards a more responsive governance model and to provide a policy framework in transforming Thai public sector that enable the country’s stable path to sustainable development. In order to become successful with this agenda of Thailand 4.0 and to comply with the UN’s SDGs of the new millennium, there are certain forms and patterns of new governance concepts for Thailand to be strengthened. In addition, the theoretical discussion in this paper will be exemplified by the real case in current public governance in Thailand.
Akio Kamiko (Ritsumeikan University)
Recently, Japan is faced with depopulation and, partly due to it, ageing of population. In this situation, Japan saw a large scale amalgamation of municipalities, its lowermost level local governments. These local governments function as the basic units of local democracy, choosing their chief executive officers and local assemblymen through elections. Also they works as units for the purpose of health insurance and long term-care insurance, which means that insurance fee for these schemes are calculated in these units and are different from each other. These years, equalization schemes in the finance of these schemes are expanded but still municipalities perform large roles in those schemes whose importance is definitely increasing in the ageing society.
The number of municipalities were reduced from over 3,000 to a little more than 1,700 in just a dozen of years. Naturally, this means that the scale of democracy was pushed up, however, in rural areas where population reduction is especially conspicuous, this reduction in number of municipalities may not have led to the increased size of democracy, especially seen in the longer period. In this paper, I will look into this matter taking account of the statistics of people by age groups.
Jonald Fontanilla Carrera (Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University)
Violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace. It both violates and impairs or nullifies the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. In all societies, to a greater or lesser degree, women and girls are subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse that cuts across lines of income, class and culture. The low social and economic status of women can be both a cause and a consequence of this violence. The study aimed to determine the current situation of VAWC cases in the City of San Fernando, La Union using qualitative-quantitative research design. Salient provisions of the said law were the bases in crafting the questionnaire which was the primary data-gathering tool. Findings show that current situation of VAWC in the City of San Fernando includes cases fall both in economic and physical abuse. Anent thereto, the extent of implementation of VAWC Law along the identified areas is moderately implemented. Based on the findings of the study, the researcher concluded that victims were deprived of financial support due to unwarranted circumstances; provisions of VAWC law are given full attention for stricter compliance; and the intervention program gives emphasis on the Commission’s mandate in addressing the needs of the victims.