Future research in Philippine policy-making

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Philippine politics, Political economy, Political institutions, Uncategorized

The previous blog entries reveal some gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the workings of the policymaking process in the Philippines as well as the salience of key actors (within and without the state apparatus).  These gaps suggest research that could be undertaken in the future.  For example, a more detailed examination of the role of the Supreme Court and the rest of the judiciary in

Supreme Court

policymaking, especially in economic policy making should be undertaken.  Key analysts have observed a retreat by the courts from a judicial activist stance in economic policymaking (most explicit during the late 1980s and early 1990s) to a less-interventionist position since the late 1990s.  The proposed research can establish whether such a retreat indeed transpired, identify the reasons and factors behind the change, and evaluate its impact on policymaking. 

Another future research project can focus on the role and impact of non-traditional players (such as donors, ratings agencies, new trade partners such as the People’s Republic of China and South Korea, and the like) on economic policymaking. 

 While the book-by-installment offered a detailed study of recent tax policymaking in the Philippines, it is proposed that a similar case study be done with respect to the passage of annual general

2010 GAA pie-chart

appropriations (GAA or budget) bills since the latter are expressions of concrete governmental intent. 

In addition, it is also proposed that assessments of public policy in key areas—education, health, public utilities, decentralization and devolution of central government functions—be undertaken.  Ala The Politics of Policies (published by the Inter-American Development Bank) , these policies should be assessed as to their stability, adaptability, coherence and coordination, quality of implementation and enforcement, public-regardness, and efficiency. 

It is also suggested that a political economy analysis of the economic reforms attempted since the Asian financial crisis be done to identify the reasons and factors behind the success or failure of a particular reform episode.  Among others, this research must inquire into the changing attitudes of big business and economic elite groups with respect to specific policies such as foreign trade, exchange rate, and liberalization of services.  

A case study of the NAIA Terminal 3 project imbroglio will be instructive in re-examining the

NAIA Terminal 3

pathologies of policymaking and public contracting in the Philippines and how these may be remedied.  This study is particularly interesting given the recent proposal of the German envoy to the country for all stakeholders to sit down and explore a negotiated settlement.

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