Saturday, October 13, 2007

Public Administration, the “Marikina Way"

Prof. Sofronio Dulay

1.0. Introduction

Public administration, the way it is being done in “Marikina City” since the time of then City Mayor Bayani F. Fernando, who is now the MMDA Chairman, up to the present city mayor, Marides C. Fernando, has been a source of fascination among the general public. The city has been reaping several local and international awards. The cleanliness and orderliness of the surroundings around the city is phenomenal. The squatters, the flooding, the anarchy in the sidewalks were all acted upon. Its programs are trailblazing. Oftentimes, you will hear people saying that if things can be done in Marikina, why can’t we do it in other places? In fact, even the Asian Institute of Management’s International Movement of Development Managers is planning to come up with a training module for local leaders on how they can benchmark on Marikina. The proximity of Marikina to Manila and the IRA it gets from the national government as mandated by the Local Government Code are some reasons why Marikina achieved a lot of things. But there is something - a factor in Marikina’s success story - that maybe of interest to the public administration practitioners and the general public. We will call that factor the “Marikina Way”.
I will develop this paper the “Marikina Way” – direct, honest and unsophisticated. I will not spend much time writing about Marikina or its program of government. I will not use the style of Asian Institute of Management where an environmental scanning is done, prepare some analysis using some management science tools and finally, do some smart recommendations.
Rather, I will write this in very direct manner: write the salient points of dominant ideas in public administration and relate them with the “Marikina Way”. At the end of the paper, I should be able to unveil some of the mysteries behind the success of Marikina City. (Comment of Prof. Danny Reyes: "Are they mystery or simply innovation?" , Answer: Of course they are not mysteries, it is only a literary spin to make this stuff exciting.)

2.0. Public Administration Defined

Public administration is defined differently defending on context and emphasis. According to David Rosembloom, public administration is the action part of the government. It is the means by which the purpose and goals of government are realized. As a field, public administration is concerned with the means for implementing political values and is identified with the executive branch. It differs with political science on its emphasis on behavior, methodologies and bureaucratic structures. Dwight Waldo defined it as the organization and management of men and materials to achieve the purpose of government. To him, it is the art and science of management as applied to the affairs of the state. According to Raul de Guzman, public administration may be viewed to refer not only those activities in implementing policies and program of the government but also the process and contents of these programs. Gerald Calden, on the other hand define it as a cooperative group effort in public setting showing interrelationships of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government. Being part of a political process, it has important role in the formulation of public policy. In a significant way, public administration is different and more important than private administration. It is however closely related with the individuals and private groups providing services to the community. As a field of study and practice, it is closely related to the human relations approach of management.
Public administration the “Marikina Way”, an eclectic public administration approach whose credence is anchored on the world class progress of Asia’s shoe making capital, Marikina City, and can be viewed in the statement of it’s city mayor Marides Fernando: “Our city hall is run like a private corporation. We treat our clients as our customers whom we want not only to satisfy but to delight” This view of public administration is within the new public management framework which does not emphasize much the administration and politics dichotomy but on the private sector’s total quality management concept of customer satisfaction. But because “Marikina Way” also uses other paradigms of public administration, it is therefore an eclectic approach to public administration.

3.0. History of the Public Administration

Democracy in America is a book published by a young French magistrate Alexis Tocqueville in 1835 and 1840 which is partly a result of his study of the US penal system as well as the viability of the American democracy and system of government. In his book, he said that in the US, public administration was not taken seriously as a subject of study and is limited to oral and traditional term.
The Jacksonian democracy of President Andrew Jackson started the democratization of jobs in the US civil service. It viewed federal job as simple that does not require elaborate education. This view of public administration open a floodgate of personalistic appointments based on political loyalties.
A progressive movement to professionalize public service produced the Pendleton Act of 1983 which instituted the merit system in the civil service.
In 1987, Woodrow Wilson’s “The Study of Administration” revolves around the team of professionalizing the bureaucracy by separating administration from politics and prescribing what he termed as an approach towards the science on administrative practices. This dichotomy of politics and administration was acknowledged several years later, in 1926, in a book by Leonard White entitled “Introduction to Public Administration.” Frank Goodnow made a further elaboration of this dichotomy concept in his book “Politics and Administration: A Study of Administration” by saying that politics is the expression of the will of the state while that of administration is the execution of that will.
In 1930’s a movement clamoring for the inclusion of scientific process to the public administration is getting adherents. The scientific method and the one best way approach of doing things was being advocated by Frederick Taylor. Taylor argued that to increase the predictive values that account for the fluid nature of the administrative phenomenon, public administration must embrace scientific method in the shop room level. The “Papers of Public Administration” by Luther Gulick and Lyndal Urwick talks about public administration revolving a linear process of planning, organizing, staffing, directing, coordinating, reporting and budgeting, or POSDCORB. Herbert Simon criticized this approach as being mere proverbs and state that the real managerial function is in the decision making process, which will later be adopted in the studies of public policy making..
In the writings of Gaus “Reflection in Public Administration”, it says that public administration can not dissociate with its political environment, thereby putting the discipline nearer to political science.
Eventually, public administration will be recognized as an eclectic field, picking up new perspective from psychology, sociology and political science. Thomas Kunn in his book “The Structure of Scientific Revolution” talks about paradigm and paradigm shift. The concept of paradigm, that is a package of related ideas agreed upon by a group of like - minded scientists and educators, gives character to public administration, and make the discipline self - conscious by integrating its thoughts in the order of a paradigm.
New public administration, putting ethics, values and social equity in public service was born in Minnow brook Conference at the Syracuse University in 1968.
Reinventing government, a public administration approach that uses the entrepreneurial management theme of the private sector such as privatization, total quality management and contracting, emerged in the 1980’s. There are other concepts that eventually joined in the public administration ambit, such as using the managerial rigor of the private sector in the affairs of the state which will later be known as the new public management.

4.0. The Public Administration Ideas and Its Parallelism with “Marikina Way”

4.1. The Bureaucratic Model

The bureaucratic form is most appropriate in an organization where productivity is a barometer, characterized by a highly routine set of activities, among which, is the government bureaucracy. This model was articulated well by Max Weber, one of the founders of the modern sociology who also influenced economic, social and administrative thoughts. Weber expounded on the concept of rational legal authority which is an authority by virtue of a position. He believes that bureaucracy is the most efficient form of organization when addressing complex institutions like business, government and the military. These institutions came out of the needs of the society. With his model, Weber was able to provide a useful framework and point of departure for much of the current theories and empirical research on complex organizations. However, it is by nature of its design, bureaucratic mechanisms may develop certain forms of autocratic leadership and control that may have dysfunctional consequences on the organization. The bureaucratic model of Weber has the following basic characteristics: 1. Fixed and officially identified areas, field of specialization and division of labor, regular and fixed duties, rules on authorities to give command and employment of staff based on qualifications. 2. Hierarchical positions where there is supervision of the higher office on the lower office. Unity of command exists together with super and subordination with authority serving as the formal system of communication. 3. System of abstract rules exists and while personnel changes, rules persists. 4. A separation of private life and public office with official activities demanding full working capacity of the impersonal individual, and, 5. The principle of merit pervades in the selection and promotion of employees with examinations as a prerequisite to employment which also presupposes expert trainings on the part of the applicant.
The ‘Marikina Way” as regards to bureaucracy, can be viewed in the ideas of MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando put forward in a party building workshop held recently in Astoria Plaza in Pasig City, for his own Kabayani Party. (Prof. Danny Reyes asked:"When?", Answer : See Ateneo Web ).He said that bureaucratic structures all over the world may not have major differences because they are based on the needs of men. Since the needs of men are somewhat predictable and similar, ergo, structures addressing these needs are almost similar. What makes the difference among good organizations and bad organizations is the management. This is somewhat similar to the idea of Herbert Simon on his reaction to POSDCORB saying that decision making is more important that prescriptive proverbs. Fernando emphasizes the virtue of good leadership, political will and action - even quoting an author from his personal readings saying that “men of pure intellect do not rule the world but those who have the will and action.” To Fernando, a leadership that inspire followers and staff is capable of coming out with good management because it will have a cascading effect of good management and judgment from up to bottom. To him, it is useless to keep on blaming the structure, because structure will always be essentially the same. Rather, it is better to concentrate on good management to mitigate the imperfections of the structure. One way of putting good management into action is to stop old programs that does not address effectively the priority needs of the constituents and initiate programs that address them on its root. In Marikina, flooding was solved by not just occasional cleaning of drainage that may be used for political visibility but on engineering solution of directing the flow of water into the river by building drainage system that are not circuitous and leads to the river in the shortest route possible. This is a combination of good management, good decision making and an engineering expertise, he being an engineer. Fernando fights the corruption in the bureaucracy and he will even dramatize them “para wag pamarisan” (to serve as example). At one time, he fired his long term political strategist who is making money demolishing informal settlers using governmental resources and authority in behalf of private individuals. (Prof. Danny Reyes asked: " But is he putting this to use now as MMDA Chair? Answer: Yes, of course, unfortunately, my paper is only about Marikina, that is what you previously approved.)To Fernando, corruption in third world countries may already be a way of life but this should not hinder the leaders from exercising good management. As way of looking at it and not hindering leaders to pursue their good judgments, corruption can be considered a personnel cost, just like informal “salary increases” to underpaid civil servants or tips in the restaurant. Corruption in the bureaucracy should be consistently fought with but it should not hold captive the leadership from pursuing good governance.

4.2. Politics and Administration Dichotomy

According to Woodrow Wilson, an academician who later became the president of the United States, administration is outside the proper sphere of politics, administrative questions are not political questions. Although politics sets the task for administration, it should not be suffered to manipulate its offices. This came about as a reaction to the prevailing preoccupations in the US that time …on putting too much drama on constitutional questions and thereby ignoring government operations. This situation leads him to say that it is harder to run a constitution than to frame one. Wilson said that in order to achieve some degree of efficiency in the public sector, one should benchmark on the management styles of the private sector. To him, administrative responsibility would be improved through centrally structured power based that is basically hierarchical.
For some respect, the “Marikina Way” subscribes to the idea of Wilson, especially on benchmarking with the private sector. By force of circumstances, MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando and Mayor Marides Fernando have been in the private sector before they join politics. Their flagship company is a construction firm that built several tall buildings in the main commercial district of the country. Even the writer of this paper, who was one of the campaign staff of Chairman Fernando when he first run for Mayor and now a Consultant of the Office of Mayor Marides Fernando, has never been in the public sector. However, the dichotomy of administration and politics was disarticulated in “Marikina Way” due to the fact that it emphasizes more on political will, action and getting things done, so, to centrally manage politics and administration is necessary. One proof to this approach is the fact that the Administrator of the city is also the Secretary General of the Kabayani Party. The best way to control politicians is through their political party, through party whips when they hinder or mothballed the government priority programs. There are instances of systematic weeding out of grandstanding politicians who deviates from the Kabayani Party’s government programs which resulted often times to the politician’s untimely political obscurity. Lately however, the City Administrator himself is recommending creating another position that will handle purely Kabayani Party matters because of sheer volume of works but not on consciously adapting the administration – politics dichotomy.

4.3. The Scientific Management School

According to Frederick Taylor, there is one best way of performing in any organization and this best way can be discovered by investigating the various components of work and announcing the result of the study to the workers so that they could adopt them. He said that detailed time and motion study improves the efficiency of the production process. He said that every single act of workmen can be reduced to science. It is therefore the role of the managers to design and to conduct experiments, to plan the work process, to discover the efficient techniques and to train workers to these techniques. This will usher the mutuality of interest between workers and entrepreneurs because high productivity gives higher salary or incentives to workers and bigger profit for the entrepreneurs. The key concepts of scientific management school are the identification of a standard of an ideal worker, time and motion study, the work standard and the differential rate system. Taylor’s method was applied more in the ground level and is useful among line managers as it addresses the kind of characteristics the line managers must have. Time and motion study has the following steps: define the task to be studied and inform the workers to be studied, determine the schedule of the study, time the job and rate the workers’ performance, and finally come up with the standard time. In real life however, unionized workers fear that working faster would lead to fewer works available later. There are also instances that the emphasis on too much productivity and profitability leads to exploitation of workers and even customers. This also undermines the discretion and better judgments of the managers. As a whole however, time and motion study eliminates unnecessary motions, combines similar activities, improves the arrangement of workplace and improves the design of tools and equipments.
The “Marikina Way” is strong in the advocacy of one – best - way principle, owing to the fact that the main proponent of this eclectic concept is a highly successful mechanical engineer, (Prof. Danny Reyes asked: "I thought he is a civil engineer?, Answer: He is a mechanical engineer, take it from me, he is my idol.) Bayani Fernando, who made his first million as a businessman constructing high rise building in the country’s main business district. The redesign of road networks in Marikina city which maximizes the use of river banks and creek banks for accessibility, at the same time preventing them from being converted as squatter areas, is an application of ergonomics. Marikina city even has the standard time for the response of the firemen and the policemen by placing public safety substations in strategic places in the city. ( Prof. Danny Reyes commented: "This is Taylor indeed", Answer: "Of course, my paper exactly would to show parallelism.") The advocacy of see – thru fences is also along this line. It creates illusion of spaciousness, prevents crime, and gives beauty to the environment because it will encourage the owners of the place to beautify the area since it is seen by the public. The implementation of set - back from the road in residential and commercial areas, being a law in the building code, is well implemented in Marikina City. Tearing down existing residential and commercial buildings just to comply with the set – back rule as per zoning ordinances, might be very cruel. But, in applying for new construction or major repairs, an applicant is required to comply with the set - back rule, thereby slowly but surely, rectifying the mistakes of the past, thru time. Garbage collection is always on schedule, one set of schedules is for biodegradable wastes and another set is for non biodegradable wastes. The citizens, partly to develop awareness of the system, are required to tie green strings to plastic bags containing the biodegradable waste and pink for the non biodegradable. Incidentally, green is the political color of Bayani Fernando during his political campaigns in Marikina and pink is the color of current mayor Marides Fernando. This scheme combines political campaigning, value formation and operation management. Engineering and construction equipments are well maintained to develop the capacity of the city in doing fast and pro - active engineering responses, like clearing of obstacles on the sidewalks. Bayani Fernando loves to say, in fondness, that some city engineering office in some cities in Metro Manila doesn’t even have the technical capacity to remove an empty, huge and stinking concrete flower base obstructing the side walks of the main thoroughfare of the metropolis. The contribution of “Marikina Way” to the scientific management school of Frederick Taylor is that it is not enough that you identify the one best way, what is important is your will to implement them. That is what differentiates the “Marikina Way” from ordinary scientific management school adherents.

4.4. The Administrative Science Approach

The lead theorist of this approach is Henri Fayol, a manager of a large iron and steel plant, and his theories find prints in some basic management textbooks. He believes that as the manager moves up into the organizational ladder, the demands for his management skills increase while the demands for his technical skills decrease. He defines management in a simpler linear term than POSDCORB. Incidentally, Fayol’s definition of management is the one being used in main management textbooks - planning, organizing, leading (commanding and coordinating), and controlling. He identifies six major operational activities in business management: technical as in production and manufacturing, commercial as in buying and selling, financial as in the acquisition and use of capital, security of personnel, accounting and managerial. Fayol stated some principles of administrative managements as follows. Division of labor concept states that workers and managers working on the same matters acquire a great sense of mastery, ability, sureness and accuracy of the job thereby making them more efficient. Authority and responsibility must be properly defined. It can provide legitimacy to give orders and extract obedience. Discipline must pervade in the organization thru good leadership in all levels. One best way to affect discipline is by applying judiciously and consistently fair rules and agreements. Unity of command - that is an employee receiving orders from only one superior- is necessary. There should only one plan and one leader for group of activities serving the same objectives. This is known as unity of directions. Individual interest must be subordinated to the general interest. Remunerations should be fair as possible to afford satisfaction to both personnel and the firm. Centralization is important, although it may vary from case to case. The share of initiatives left to the intermediaries defends on the personal characteristics of the managers, reliability of the personnel and the conditions of the organization. Scalar chain must be maintained. It is the chain of authority from the leader to the lowest rank and file. It is an error to depart needlessly from the chain, but is a greater error to keep it when some portion of it became detrimental to organization. Order is necessary in the organization. There must be an appointed place for everyone and everyone must be in their appointed place. Equity, arising from kindness and justice, must pervade in the organization. The stability of tenure for everyone must be respected. Part of it is reasonable time for employees to get used and succeed to his new work. A culture of respect for initiatives should be in place. There must be some encouragements for thinking out and executing plans. Esprit d’ corps, or harmony and union of everyone, must exist in the organization.
Lots of laymen have the misconception that the “Marikina Way” is a dictatorial way (Prof. Danny Reyes commented: " Yes, I heard this" , Answer: "Its a misconception"). In fact, Bayani Fernando has occasionally been labeled as Hitler by some individuals. But if one is familiar with Henri Fayol’s administrative concepts, which are one of the classics in administration and management thoughts, one will realize that Bayani Fernando is literally just like a “child who did his homework”. When he once posted in bold letters in his office in Marikina City Hall something like… “Make sure that everyone has my order”, some people reacted that this man is so dictatorial. That singular post, an action, can be viewed in the light of Fayol’s concept of discipline, unity of command, unity of direction, centralization, scalar chain, order and even esprit d’ corps, which are prescriptions in how to manage well a complex organization which is turning from chaos to responsive public service. Bayani Fernando loves to dramatize things by once burning some wares of illegal vendors in front of the public. He admitted that he has to do that once, in a highly publicized way, to drive home the point of the importance of the rule of law. Secretly, he paid for that vendor’s ware.( Prof. Danny Reyes commented: "More he just reenforced the behavior", Answer: "Its a matter of style, dramtizing things but having a heart is a style, that is why BF can be a good President"). That highly publicized and dramatized defining moment broke the backbone of the mentality that doing illegal activities, like illegal vending, is just fine. If you see Marikina Public Market today, it has expanded…so orderly, clean and bursting with commercial activities. Residents of nearby towns and cities do their regular trips to Marikina Public Market. It has been winning lots of awards and citations from both local and international awarding bodies. It is now compared to a huge privately - run mall, with all the positive things attached to it. Bayani Fernando has the will to implement classical management concepts like that of Fayol to the letter. He once spoke in the national televison, in a typical Marikina accent saying, “maraming mga tao na gustong makita ang itsura ko, na isang Hitler daw….pero, tignan nyo to, wala pa akong pinapapatay..” Indeed, hurting or killing anyone is never in the political style of “Marikina Way” and the history or track record will show it. If Bayani Fernando does not like you, he will just not mention your name in a polite conversation, or will just ignore you and you will feel it. He will even publicly refuse to shake hand with you. That is his equivalent of “killing your political enemies” and this is ironic for a man who more than once had been labeled as Hitler. If one has to go back to the precepts of Fayol, the style of Bayani Fernando is in line with the concept of equity and this is shown in his ‘free the sidewalk campaigns” with writings in the cemented pavements, “Pantay pantay pag may disiplina.” One thing about Bayani Fernando, one of his trade secrets in government, he knows how to communicate his ideas to his constituencies, another eclectic style which was not discussed by Henry Fayol but could be in the discussion of other classical management thinkers.

4.5. New Public Administration (NPA)

The so called new public administration was born in 1968 at the Syracuse University, Minnow brook Conference Center. Most of the ideas were contained in Frank Marini’s work “Towards New Public Administration”. New public administration rejects the politics – administration dichotomy of Woodrow Wilson. It believes that administrators, aside from just implementing the will of the state, should make policies too. They should take matters into their hands, so to speak. Another salient idea of NPA is the recognition of values as an important component of public administration. It distanced from the earlier practice of too much emphasis on data collection and statistical manipulation. NPA is more normative in approach. It is an advocate of change. Values and norms occupy a premier role that guides the direction. Social equity is another important concept in NPA. Before NPA, public administration is too much concerned with efficiency and economy, which is too aloof from the nature of public service. Rather, NPA believes that benefits must be greater to those who are disadvantaged. NPA also believes that clients or the public must be allowed to participate in the operations of a public office as a way of a democratic exercise. Cooperation must be the name of the game rather than competition. Finally, NPA believes that change is always a part of public administration, so organizations must be adaptive to change. Organizations must not be static and be pro-active. Organizational restructuring must be based on the needs of public service rather than the internal concerns of the organization itself.
“Marikina Way” is heavy on the values and norms of the community due to the fact that the main proponent of this approach, Bayani Fernando, is a “parochial” son of a former mayor of a clannish town, Marikina, which is known for “small town’ values. It is no wonder why “Marikina Way” is pushing for “urbanidad”, which is the right conduct in a highly civilized and urbanized society. Public administration therefore is the vanguard of this community values. This explains the fact that if you walk in the streets of Marikina without any upper shirt, you will be apprehended by the police or barangay tanods because you violated the “urbanidad” values of the community. Drying your clothes (panties, brief, T-shirts, etc.) in front of your house, when you have plenty of space at the back is not only violative of “urbanidad” but a sign of gross bad taste, and so, the public servants, as the implementing arm of the will of the state has the responsibility to rectify this violation of good taste. If you let your dogs roam in the street uncared and unfed, you showed disrespect to your community and therefore, the public servants has the responsibility of correcting your uncaring attitude by hauling your neglected pet into the city pound. Social equity is also very strong in “Marikina Way”. Bayani Fernado hates people calling themselves urban poor because to him, it is derogatory. He even joked to one of his campaign staff saying, “ikaw urban poor ka ng urban poor kaya hanggang ngayon mahirap ka pa rin”. He does not want to call the – used - to - be “squatters” as squatters, not even as “depressed area” residents. He wants to call them “nakatira sa matataong lugar’ or living in a highly populated area. What is the point? He wants to give dignity to everyone as a way of his pursuance of social equity. On record, he was able to relocate thousands of ‘squatter’ families to permanent relocation areas with land titles, electricity, road, water, telephone lines, cable television lines and near to their place of work. To relocate them, Bayani Fernando has to fight rich and professional land grabbers supported by some influential local politicians who were occupying the relocation areas. The fights are both in physical show of force and in court. “Marikina Way”, therefore, defines public administration as using the power of the state to champion justice and social equity.

4.6. New Public Management (NPM)

The New Institutional Economics and New Public Management is a marriage of two different streams of ideas emerging after World War ll – development of public choice and principal agency theory. NPM generated a set of doctrines intended for administrative reforms grounded on transparency, incentive structure, user choice and contestability of public decisions. NPM however is better known in the advocacy for business type managerialism in the public sector, in the tradition of international scientific management movement and respect for technical expertise. In line with business type managerialism, NPM calls for discretionary power of the public entities to achieve results and usher better performance through the development of appropriate cultures and active standardizations and measurements of output. NPM talks about citizens as customers, and the public servants are accountable for the results of their actions. It suggests a more decentralized structure doing a wide variety of alternative service delivery.
The “Marikina Way” believes in transparency and showed physical manifestation of this belief by, for instance, breaking the physical disconnects of the city hall employees, by making their offices exist in a glass house, literally seen by the public. No special and separate rooms were provided to the department heads, as a manner of saying that they have to be transparent with their staff. In particular months of the year when long lines are expected for a certain tax payments, for instance, queuing is handled like in private airlines – customers get a number, take their seats and wait for their turn as their numbers are being flash in an electronic gadget just in front of the office. In other words, ‘Marikina Way” is about using a well - settled business sector management practices into the public administration. In the private sector, development of corporate citizenship is a concern. In Marikina city hall, professionalism is very much applied in hiring, uniform (just like the pilot’s uniform), training (they have Center of Excellence), and tapping outside consultants for specific projects.

4.7. Reengineering Government

Reengineering the government is an approach popularized by Michael hammer and James Champy. It requires fundamental rethinking and more radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements of a set of critical measures such as quality, service, cost and speed of delivery. It advocates for an abandonment of long - established procedures and principles prevalent in government bureaucracy, and instead, invent new processes and structures. It is even willing go to the extend of starting from scratch, just to dramatize the need to reengineer the lethargic bureaucracy. It seeks breakthrough by moving away from ineffective and antiquated ways of government bureaucracy. The need for reengineering comes from intense competition, constants change in the socio - political environment and the pressure from more engaging public. Basically, there are organizations that are more inclined to do reengineering: those in deep trouble, those that are on the verge of achieving the peak of success and want more innovations to fast tract the process, and those who anticipate some problems in the near future. There are key themes in the process of reengineering. It may look on process - the entire process. It may look for aim or ambitions of the leader in his attempt for a breakthrough. It may go for rule - breaking in the field of specializations and sequence of activities. It may decide to deliberately abandon the sense of timing. Reengineering advocates for the creative use of information technology, allowing the organization to work in more radical ways. Some characteristics of the reengineering processes involve combining of several jobs into one, allowing workers to make decisions, steps in the process are done in the natural order, processes have different versions, work is performed where it makes the most sense, checks and control are reduced, reconciliation is minimized, a manager provides a single point of contact and finally, hybrid centralized and decentralized operations are prevalent.
The “Marikina Way’ that approximates reengineering is its latest successful effort to connect the different barangays and the offices in the city hall in a centralized information technology network. The leaders of the city government and political party are massively using the SMS or texting technology, and internet, in their daily communications. Mayor Marides Fernando even revealed that there are aspirants in the Kabayani Party (the local party of the Fernando’s) in the coming barangay elections pleading their appeal for endorsement thru text messages to the Mayor. The City Government has been operating under seven major clusters with different offices inside each cluster, namely, administrative support, public order and safety, finance management and project development, citizen’s affairs, infrastructure development and transportation, economic development, and, lastly, health and environment management. Bayani Fernando believes in doing things differently to the point of breaking away from the traditional ways of doing things. In the tradition of reengineering, he initiated the extended rotunda concepts in the main thoroughfare in Metro Manila as the Chairman of Metro Manila Development Authority, thereby solving the massive traffic problems in the past. He initiated the MMDA Art as way of fighting graffiti in Metro Manila streets. He even suggested arming the MMDA enforcers with jungle bolo instead of guns or “batuta”. The logic being, aside from being historical and patently Filipino, a jungle bolo is not as fatal as gun where one can kill people even in a distance, but on the other hand, jungle bolo is not as weak as the “batuta” in cases of heated street encounters. During the latest workshop of top Kabayani Party leaders, Bayani Fernando insisted on changing the usual format of VMOKRAPISPATRES in strategic planning. He suggested a Vision, Will and Action statement followed by a Decalogue. This leads us to one specific highlight of “Marikina Way’ – independence of mind, openness and not being captive to any ideology, approach and theories. “Marikina Way”, being grounded on strong family values and sense of “small town’ community is silent about contentious issues like sex education, population control, and other controversial issues like same sex marriage , mercy killing, and maybe even formation of world government being advocated the followers of The Globalist Manifesto. Some extreme prescriptions in reengineering the government may also run contrary to the basic beliefs expounded in “Marikina Way” despite the fact some of their practices are within the ambit of reengineering the government. “Marikina Way” therefore is a thinking public governance approach that smartly adopts eclectically good concepts and practices from any school of thought as long as they are doable, they serve the public better, and they respect the culture and tradition of the community.

4.8. Reinventing Government

Reinventing the government is one of the emerging public administration approaches today, popularized by David Osborne and Ted Gaebler. It calls for entrepreneurial approaches to governance, characterized by innovations and creative energies in formulating solutions to variety of governmental problems. In a nutshell, it suggests that government must posture in entrepreneurial ways. As such, it may involve revisiting the ways resources and processes are utilized to maximize productivity, efficiency and effectiveness after the realization that the traditional ways of doing things are no longer effective. Reinventing government is grounded on key premises such as belief in the government bureaucracy, that effective government is a requisite in making civilized society works, that public servants are basically good despite of an imperfect system in which they work with, that the conventional or traditional approaches are becoming irrelevant in facing governmental problems today and finally, a belief in equity and equal opportunity for all. Reinventing government advocates for several working principles. The government today must be catalytic, a government that steer, instead of row. A government must be empowering, not serving, believing that it is the community who owned the government. The government must be competitive against fellow government offices and against the private sector in service delivery. We should do away with rule - driven government and usher in a government which is mission - driven. Government must be result - oriented by way of emphasizing results rather than processes. It is not the need of the bureaucracy that is important, rather, the need of the constituencies. The government must be enterprising, emphasizing earnings rather than expenditures. A government must be preventive rather than curative. Decentralization of public institutions should emphasize teamwork rather than hierarchy. Lastly, the government should be market oriented by way of leveraging change through market forces.
Having come from the private sector, the concept of reinventing government is very close to the hearts of Bayani Fernando and Marides Fernando, the two major proponents of “Marikina Way”. Interviews with civil servants close to Marides Fernando quoted her as emphasizing cash inflows to the government instead of perennial cash outflows. The logic being that if the government has plenty of resources in its coffers, it will have plenty of flexibility in doing real pro - people projects that are identified as priorities. Bayani Fernando, however, thinks that the government should provide political party finance rather than the political parties raising funds from its members and supporters. To him, this will lessen corruption in the government because political parties are not too pressured to raise campaign funds that usually are always the source of paybacks after elections. Merging social equity with entrepreneurship, “Marikina Way” believes that the rich must have bigger share of burden than the poor as a way of flowing back to the society the blessings that the rich have been reaping. This explains the fact that Marikina increased the real property tax because the rich are the ones that owns real estate properties. Towing of cars illegally park, with cash penalties, also hits the rich because they are the ones that own cars in the first place. While building permits in Marikina are basically free, the logic is that the boom in the construction of structures brought about by free building permits, energizes the economy and increases the aesthetic view of the community. Grantmanship, or grant sourcing, is also being pursued by Marikina City government. A possible partnership with Habitat for Humanity for the housing project of the poor city government employees is now in the pipeline. Funding agencies have worked with the city government on several projects like bike lane, saving Marikina River, etc. Marides Fernando believes that government support does not always mean dole outs. It also means moral support and good governance. One innovative program of the city government on tax collection effort is to provide a system of discounts and amnesty for taxpayers, thereby encouraging early payments and fewer delinquencies. A very specific project, the Marikina Citizens First Privilege Card, provides a series of discount to card holders on some identified private establishments.

5.0. Conclusion

What therefore is”Marikina way”?
“Marikina Way” is born out of circumstances and experiences of MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando and Marikina City Mayor Marides Fernando who for the past 15 years, has transformed Marikina City from a neglected, backwater town known only for its shoe industry, into a highly urbanized city capturing the imaginations of the Filipino people by the manner in which it won several local and international awards. Bayani is the only son of a dedicated town Mayor who never enriched himself in public. Being the only boy among several sisters, and with an imposing and nationalistic doting father as his model, Bayani, early in life learned the very foundation of “Marikina Way” – good taste, respect for your neighbor and community, action, godliness, social equity, and political will. Somewhere along the way, he departed from his father’s path when he took engineering instead of his father’s law degree. This is an indication that he is capable of thinking out of the box in addressing a problem. His engineering expertise contributed to the strength of Marikina’s physical reconstruction and MMDA’s ability to solve pressing urban problems. Marides, on the other hand, is a rich girl born in a silver platter from wealthy industrialist parents of national stature. She was able to continue the social orientation, inculcation of urbanity and urban revitalization in Marikina. When President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointed Bayani to MMDA, the instruction was to do in Metro Manila what he did in Marikina. This indicates that there is something about “Marikina Way” that excites the imagination of people, even the president of the republic. During the meeting of AIM – based International Movement of Development Managers (IMDM), a proposal of tie - up among IMDM, Konrad Adenuer Foundation and the AIM Policy Center, for a short seminar – workshop among newly - elected local officials about the way things are being done in Marikina (“Marikina Way”). This thing leads to Mayor Marides Fernando formally coordinating with the Ateneo School of Government about Marikina’s grass roots political program and documentation of “Marikina Way”. (Prof. Danny Reyes commented: "Why not U.P. he he he", Answer: Mayor Marides Fernando is a UP graduate, Me, as her consultant is also a UP graduate, I think we just have to try other schools. Frankly, it is the judgement call of Mayor Marides Fernando)
As we can see, “Marikina Way” is an eclectic style of public administration, picking the best and applicable features of reinventing government, reengineering government, new public administration, new public government, and classical public administration concepts like administrative science, scientific management and Weber’s bureaucratic model.
It emphasizes leadership, good taste, expertise, political will, action, good judgments, and good governance in public administration because how can one choose the best approach from the array of contending views of the brightest public administration thinkers of our time, if one does not know, at least, their basic ideas, to begin with. This may sound very elitist and skewed towards highly educated leaders, but the stark reality in leadership is that how will you reach your destination if you do not know where you want to go and you do not know how to get there?
“Marikina Way” emphasizes freedom from the box created by contending academic thinkers because it gives you the flexibility to use your judgment calls as a leader, with only your good taste, love of community, “can-do attitude”, political will, desire for action, love of God and concept of social equity as your basis of action. End

Final Comment of Prof. Danny Reyes: " I could see that you tried to adopt the thinking in P.A. and reflect them in the depressive (sorry, I cant understand the handwriting) of political management in Marikina, but what were the innovations? What happens next? What about poverty and growth? Answer: I followed the pre - approved paper proposal. Maybe, these questions will need another paper. We in Marikina are discipline people, we never go beyond what is approved.)

Maybe "Bayani Fernando For President" is a good Strategic Paper too. I would like to write about it in my next doctoral paper. What do you think sir?

6.0. Bibliography

1. Raadschelders, Jos C.N. 2003. Government, a Public Administration Perspective, New York: M.E. Sharpe. Ch. 1, “Government: The Most Central Phenomenon of our Time, pp.3-31.
2. Wilson, Wooddrow, 1887. “The Study of Administration.” Political Science Quarterly, Vol.2 (June,1887), as reprinted in Jay M.Shafritz and Albert C. Hyde (eds.). 1997. Classics of Public Administration.(4th ed.). Forth worth, Texas:Harcourt Brace and Co., pp.14-26
3. The following articles and essays reprinted and abridged in Jay M. Shafritz and Albert C. Hyde (eds.). 1997. Classics of Public Administration. (4th ed.). Forth Worth, Texas: Hardcourt Brace and Co: Frank J. Goodnow.1900. “Politics and Administration” pp. 27-29; Frederick Taylor, 1912. “Scientific Management.” Pp.30-32; Max Weber, 1946. “Bureaucracy.” Pp.37-43; Leonard white.1926. “Introduction to the Study of Public Administration” pp.44-52; Luther Gulick.1937.”Notes on the Theory of Organization” pp.81-89; Herbert simon.1946.”The Proverbs of Administration” pp127-141.

4. Reyes, Danilo R. 2001.”An Overview of Current Development in the Study and Practice of Public Administration.” Philippine Journal of Public Administration (July).pp.225-241.

5. Frederickson, George.1971.”Toward a New Public Administration” in Marini (ed.) Toward a New Public Administration: The Minnowbrook Perspective, Scranton: chandler.
6. Osborne, David and Ted Gaebler, 1992. Reinventing Government, New York:Penguin. ”Introduction: an American Perestroika.” Pp.1-24 and Ch. 1, “Catalytic Government: Steering rather Than Rowing,” pp.25-48.
7. Hammer, Michael and James Champy. 1993 Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution. New York: Harper-Collins Publishers.
8. Osborne, Stephen and Kate McLaughlin. 2002.”The New Public Management in Context.” In K. McLaughlin,S.Osborne and E. Ferlie (eds). New Public Management: Current Trends and Future Prospects. London and New York: Routledge, pp 7-14.
9. Hunt, Diana, 1982. Economic Theories of Development: An Analysis of Competing Paradigms, Ch 1 & 2.
10. Marikina Citizens Factbook, Second Edition, 2007.
11. Marikina City: the Past 15 Years, Published by the Public information Office, City Government of Marikina
12. Konstitusyon ng Partido ng Kabayani, as provide by the Office of the City Mayor of Marikina.
13. Bagong Filipino Movement, as provided by the Office of the City Administrator of Marikina.
14. Articles of Incorporation of Kabayani Movement, Inc. as provided by Securites and Exchange Commission.
15. The Bagong Filipino Vision, a PowerPoint Presentation done by the Campaign Staff of MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando.
16. Marikina Citizens First Privilege Card Booklet, as provided by the Office of the City Mayor of Marikina.
17. Disiplina sa Bangketa at Iba Pang Program ng MMDA by Bayani Fernando as provide by the Metro Manila Development Authority.
18. Balitang Komunidad, Opisyal na Pahayagan ng Lungsod ng Marikina. Vol 2, No 2.
19. Website of the City Government of Marikina at
20. Marikina City- Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
at http://

No comments: