Understanding Public Policy

Essay by golf93University, Master'sA, February 2006

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Public policies are courses of action, rules and guidance for which are taken and adopted by the government or its instrumentality in order to address a given problem or a set of interrelated problems in the society intended for the common good and welfare of the citizenry. For common citizens, they generally refer it as "what government do or do not do."

Public policies typically involve the interplay of many actors and organizations. The policy system in our country is an intricate web of actors, institutions and organizational turf that facilitate or deter the passage of progressive policies. Its role is not exclusive to public agencies.

One must understand that public policy system involves stakeholders, the environment and the policy itself. Its success is dependent on the harmonious relationship of these elements. In our country this system does not work that simple. The structure of our bureaucracy and the Filipino style of management oftentimes affect the conduct and implementation of public policy.

These characteristics are inherent to Philippine public policy making. This situation is aggravated by the present economic difficulties we are experiencing wherein citizens prioritized self-preservation more than anything else. With that, public policies must be made and anchored for the best intentions of public interest and common good.

We could cite examples and situations wherein public policies could not achieve its purpose and could be considered as failures in its implementation. One case in point is citing my organization, the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The present AFP is one of the least equipped and modernized among Armed Forces in the world. We are ranked among the lowest in our Asian counterparts. For this reason that the AFP leadership initiated a modernization plan aimed at ensuring a capable and respectable Armed Forces. Thus, the AFP Modernization Law...