Presentations in Parallel Sessions 6B looked at importance of policy research and analysis, taking into consideration the interplay of key actors and their interests, as basis for developing and executing policy reforms. The session is chaired by Professor Byeong-soo Yoon of the National Human Resources Development Institute, Korea. It features cases from Indonesia and the Philippines.
The first presenter, Mr. Muhammad Syafiq of the National Institute of Public Administration in Indonesia looked into the role of a public perception survey in reducing the negative impact of bureaucratization in their country. In particular, the survey involved the perceived problems during the process of business licensing. The study employed policy research, qualitative methods and case studies of six local governments’ business licensing services. Syafiq also looked into procedures, time and cost variables in order to measure the complexity of the services. Results of the perception survey showed problems such as lack of certainty of time and cost, as well as lack of standard procedures – these were further identified as partial delegation of authority, lack of professional HR, overlapping rules and less optimal use of IT. To address the problems, he recommended four simplification strategies: capacity building of human resource apparatus, optimizing the utilization of IT, delegating authority, and synchronizing policies or regulations.
The next presentation was also from Indonesia, which focused on how to use policy analysts for better policies. Ms. Agit Kristiana contextualized her presentation to her home country, she shared the situation and complexity of policy development – thus justifying the need for policy analysts in government institutions. The expected functions and roles of a policy analyst is to conduct policy research and analysis (knowledge to knowledge), bridging knowledge to policy, and bringing this knowledge to communities. However, in her findings, she emphasized the lack of maximization in utilizing policy analysts in the country. Thus, she recommended that her institution, NIPA has to work with the Government Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform in order to take advantage of the policy analysts’ existence in order to further develop policy-making in Indonesia.
The third presentation by Ms. Rosalina Yokomori of the University of the Philippines Diliman discusses regulatory governance done by the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA). Laguna Lake, the largest inland body of water in Luzon, is plagued by environmental concerns (pollution and health concerns), resource use (fishery productivity and illegal settlements around the lake) and jurisdictional overlaps, among others. Managing the lake, according to Yokomori, ought to involve stakeholders from government, private sector and the civil society.
Dr. Paulito Nisperos and Ms. Anna Rose Lloren, meanwhile, looked into the situation of estate tax transfer in the Philippines, particularly in the Ilocos Region. The study explored the level of awareness on the documentary requirements of estate tax administration by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), assessors at the provincial, municipal and city levels and the Land Registration Authroity (LRA). It also delved on how much support is received from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) National office and the problems encountered in the process of transacting estate tax. While the authors emphasize the importance of tax transfer, results show that there was partial awareness by families and beneficiaries. At the same time, Lloren also shared that there is perceived inadequacy from the assistance given by BIR, thus the recommendation of having one stop shops with the joint effort of the concerned agencies to effectively process estate tax transfers.
The discussion of public sector reform in Parallel Session 6A2 looks back to the fundamentals, i.e., the kind and level of institutional change needed for attainment of development goals. The session explores incrementalism as a model for innovations in housing policy; indigenization of conservation policy; and the pivotal role of the academe in shaping public administration discourse. The session is chaired by Professor Sung Min Park of Sungkyunkwan University, Korea, and features presentations from Filipino scholars.
Ms. Haydee Jacklyn Quintana-Malubay of the University of the Philippines, in her presentation, "Sustainable Housing for the World’s Urban Masses: Incrementalism and the Policy Innovation Imperative," reviewed how incrementalism can ensure modest gains for sustainable housing. Her paper essentially digs deep into the following conferences that sets world policies on housing and urban development: (1) United Nations Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016, (2) at the Preparatory Committee for UN Habitat III in Surabaya, Indonesia in July of 2016, and (3) the Urban Thinkers Campus in Geneva, Switzerland in October 2015. In her paper, incrementalism might not exactly result to the ideal but she contended that as a general direction towards policy innovation, it could make real the vision to start making a dent in the field or urban housing and development.
Meanwhile, Ms. Loreta Vivian Galima probed into the strategies pursued by the government in restoring and conserving the world heritage areas in Ifugao. The results of the research revealed that the rice terraces of the Cordilleras have significantly transformed since the 1990s, when heritage and development became more intimately connected. The inclusion of these sites in the World Heritage List, and the restoration programs and projects in heritage conservation have clearly played a significant role in the changes of the sites. The study concluded that to optimize the opportunity, sharper handles on conservation and preservation may be adopted. Indigenization, respect for the people’s time-honored practices, recognition of the importance of preserving the people’s culture and not just the structures, shall spell the difference between sustainable measures for restoration and development.
Finally, Mr. Vincent Silarde provided a historical account and valuation of the role of the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG), the first and premiere school of public administration in the Philippines, in shaping the academic and popular discourse on governance in the country and the internal and external factors that molded its intellectual foundations. In his presentation he concluded that PA as a field of study has been growing in scope and content as well as changing in focus and style with the times and climes under which the practice of public administration operates.
Are countries in the Asia Pacific ready to tap the gains of the so-called "technological revolution" to make governance more inclusive and participatory? Presentations in Parallel Session 6A1, chaired by Mr. Daniel Gerson of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), highlighted economic and political challenges that hinder the development and adoption of ICTs and other innovations at the national and local level. The session focuses on cases in the Philippines, Indonesia, and other countries.
According to Mr. Jaewon Peter Chun, the fourth industrial revolution, which is currently underway, is different from the previous industrial periods as its main movers are the users of the technology rather than the providers. Mr. Chun provided an overview of the changing dynamics between the government and the main actors in the context of Smart City and Open Innovations. As CEO of the startup company XnTree, Mr. Chun shared his experience in the smart city labs they established in Europe and the challenges they are facing in Asian countries.
On the other hand, Mr. Jhon Dave Llanto, in his presentation, "e-Government Implementation: The Case of City Local Government Units (LGUs) in Mindanao, the Philippines," argued that e-government is a vital tool of the government to achieve the SDGs, in particular Goal 16.7 which pertains to responsive, inclusive and participatory governance. However, the maturity of e-government implementation in the Philippines remains low. It is in this context that Mr. Lllanto’s study aims to assess the level of e-government implementation in city governments in Northern Mindanao through the level of functionality of their respective websites. Mr. Llanto found that the e-government implementation is moderately implemented by city governments as observed in their websites.
Inclusiveness is also the focus of Mr. Octa Sartono's presentation, "Does Public Policy Innovation Promote Inclusive Economic Growth?" Despite the decline in poverty incidence and economic growth in Indonesia, inequality continued to widen as evidenced by the increased Gini coefficient, from 0.33 in 2002 to 0.393 in 2016. This issue serves as the premise of Mr. Soehartono’s comparative study on the relationship between policy innovation and inclusiveness using the cases of Surabaya and Bandung. He found that innovation in public service has positive impact on the improvement of human development, which is more evident in the case of Surabaya than that of Bandung.
Lastly, the session discussed the impact of political factors on reform in the public sector. Professor Carl Marc Ramota of the University of the Philippines Manila contended that, despite having a minimalist-procedural democracy, the electoral system of both Indonesia and the Philippines is dominated by political dynasties. Comparing the case of the Banten province in Indonesia to Philippine experience, Prof. Ramota has drawn some observations and identified factors and characteristics of the Indonesian and Philippine politics and society that made the rise of political dynasties pervasive in their respective milieus.
The lone presenter of Parallel Session 5C, Mr. John Paul D. Antes of the Sugar Regulatory Administration, Philippines, explained some of the factors that drive biofuel production among the top 17 biofuel producing nations in the 2007 and 2008 Biofuels Country Attractiveness Indices commissioned by Ernst & Young. Empirical evidence suggests that environmental concerns appear to be the primary motivation behind the exploration and development of biofuels. Gross national income (GNI) is also a significant determinant of biofuel production. However, the effect of GNI on biofuel production for developed economies differs significantly from biofuel production in developing economies. In particular, strong institutions, in the form of markets, infrastructure and legal framework for the development and use of renewable biomass energy, helped develop the industry.
The author concluded that identifying the determinants of biofuels production and using the data of selected countries that are considered to be pioneers in the production of biofuels may help in developing more effective and efficient biofuel policies.
The session is chaired by Professor Kenichi Nishimura of Osaka University, Japan.
Central to the discussions in Parallel Session 5B is the development of skills, as well as cultural and ethical values, of public servants. Drawing from the experiences of Iran, Korea, and the Philippines, this session put premium on the individual morale and character as a valuable asset in the implementation of reforms for attaining SDGs. The session is chaired by Dr. Paulito C. Nisperos of the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, Philippines.
Professor Hun Hueon Cho of the National Human Resources Development Institute, Korea, presented a service model in designing course modules for human resource development. Prof. Cho argues that to be able to design an effective course module is to shift the perspective of the one designing from instructional designer’s point of view to the receiver’s. He proposed the following step-by-step process: Listen, Analyze, Develop, Deliver, Execute, and Revise.
Moving from skills and competencies, discussions then centered around values. Ms. Fatemeh Nadjar Shams of the University of Tehran, Iran, began her presentation with the concept of resilience and how resilient ethics plays a critical role, not only in conflict or crisis situations, but also in managing organizations. Ms. Shams tackled how to build the resilience of individuals, organizations and the society at large by developing a resilient administration plan. She underscored the need for resilient administration in conjunction with developing a crisis management system.
Meanwhile, Ms. Gina Salazar situated her study in the context of the lack of discussion on cultural governance in the field of Public Administration in the Philippines. This is despite crucial role of culture in promoting economic sustainability. Ms. Salazar proposed a conceptual framework to configure the relationship of cultural governance with economic and social stability.