The sporadic but effective New Public Management practices in the Philippines as presented by the author may be good catalysts for NPM proliferation and actual practice, but as presented by Vina and Aceron in “Building the Basics”, the small sources of hope often die a natural death due to partisan politics, corruption and in my own opinion, in some areas, violence.
The idea of managing the government like a business and treating citizens not as constituents but customers/clients, public administration is therefore mutating from a benefactor which people tend to thank for the service to as a service provider that the clients can claim their rightful service. The appointment of Secretary Robredo to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is an effort of the Aquino Administration to have a successful grassroots-level performer and a paragon of good governance to effect change in the national level.
I believe that the idea is for a veteran and proven NPM practitioner who understands the local scene can effect change. This strategy has been marred with recent unsavory criticisms of how he handled the DILG, e. g. the Quirino Grandstand Massacre. On Robredo, I believe a DILG Secretary should have a very strong grasp on a wide array of sectors, still, he has to focus on the sector that he is most effective, local administration.
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His weakness on the other sectors should be complemented by undersecretaries and assistant secretaries to present a competent multi-sectoral leadership. On the privatization efforts of Weihl, if the Philippines will continue to further privatize services, a very thorough study should be made to assure that these companies which will be placed in monopolizing positions, would not be able to abuse that position and further place the Filipino further down the poverty line, e. . Oil Deregulation and Energy Sector Privatization. Though majority of the bureaucracy and the private sector have lost hope in the moral recovery program of the government, I have not. A moral recovery program should go hand-in-hand with the headhunt for corrupt officials to expedite the change process in Philippine public administration. As the saying goes, if we want something we’ve never had before, we should be willing to do something we’ve never done before. ”
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