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Philippine Women’s University

HZB School of International Relations and Diplomacy

Ethics and Accountability in Philippine

Public Administration

Jan Emil Langomez

Master of Arts in Foreign Service

3 October 2015
Background and Overview

This paper seeks to discuss the existing good governance frameworks and programs

within Philippine public administration. Thus, the purpose of this paper is: a.) to explain

what is good governance; b.) to discuss the existing national legal instruments, bodies,

and development frameworks that promote good governances; and c.) to provide a

case example in Philippine public administration where good governance is being

mainstreamed. On the third objective, this paper focuses on the Philippine Air Force and

its initiatives in promoting ethics and accountability through good governance within its

Good Governance and the Framework for Accountability

According to the World Bank, Good Governance is defined as a form of political regime

where the capacity of governmnets to design, formulate and implement policies is

exercised towards the management of a country’s economic resources for

development. (International Fund for Agricultural Development, 1999). The concept of

Good Governance contains 8 pillars as elaborated by the United Nations Econmic and

Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (n.d.). The following pillars are:

1. Participation

2. Transparency

3. Responsiveness

4. Rule of Law

5. Consensus-oriented

6.Equity and Inclusiveness

7. Effectiveness and Efficiency

8. Accountability

All pillars are seen as integral in the promotion of ethics and accountability as

fundamental values in governance. However, the more common values of transparency,

accountability, effectiveness and efficiency, responsiveness, and the rule of law are

usually the most emphasized principles wiht regards to promoting ethical values among

civil servants particularly in Philippine public administration. Such concepts can also be

seen and reiterated in existing Philippine legal instruments, laws and government plans.
The 1987 Constitution

The 1987 Constitution contain provisions that institutionalizes ethics and accountability

within the Philippine Government. The most prominent of these provisions are those

enshrined in Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. Section 1 of Article XI of the 1987

Constitution states that:

“Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be

accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity,

loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.”

Moreover, the same article also establishes the powers of the House of Representatives

– the lower house of the Philippine Congress – to initiate impeachment cases against

government officials, including the President of the Republic of the Philippines. The

Senate’s role is to try and decide all cases of impeachment as written in the 1987

Constitution. A vote of at least one-third of all members of the House of Representatives

shall be needed to either affirm or reject a resolution containing the articles of

impeachment. Once the resolution on the articles of impeachment has been verified by

the House of Representatives, the Senate shall proceed with the trial of the impeached

official (Official Gazette, n.d.).

The 1987 Constitution also calls for the establishment of the Sandiganbayan and the

Office of the Ombudsman in charge of keeping government officials into account. On

the other hand, the Civil Service Commission also has the capability to promote integrity

and other core values among government officers and employees.

The Sandiganbayan and the Office of the Ombudsman

The Sandiganbayan is the special appellate court responsible for hearing criminal and

civil cases including graft and corruption charges against government officials. Such

jurisdiction also extends to public officials of government-owned and controlled

corporations (GOCC). The Sandiganbayan was first established in the previous 1973

Constitution as written in Section 5 of Article XIII during the Marcos regime. It was later

carried on in the 1987 Constitution as written in Article XI, Section 4 of the said

constitution (Official Gazette, n.d.). The current structure of the Sandiganbayan is

composed of a presiding justice and 14 associate justices who sit in five divisions of

three justices each in the trial and determination of cases (Sandiganbayan, n.d)

The Office of the Ombudsman, on the other hand, is in charge of acting on complaints

filed in any form or manner against public officers, employees, or any subdivision,

agency, or instrumentality of the government including GOCCs (Ombudsman, n.d.). The

Office of the Ombudsman in the Philippines originated from the Marcos Regime during

the establishment of the 1973 Constitution specifically under Section 6 of Article XIII

where it was originally known as the Tanodbayan (Ombudsman, n.d.). The Office of the

Ombudsman along with its mandate and features was later carried on to the 1987

Constitution through Section 5 to Section 14 of Article XI of the said constitution (Official

Gazette, n.d.).

Civil Service Commission

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) was established through Public Law No. 5 as

enacted by the Second Philippine Commission during the year 1900. This also makes it
one of the oldest government agencies in the government (Civil Service Commission,

n.d.). The CSC has the power to administer and enforce constitutional and statutory

provisions to promote a merit system of all levels and ranks in the civil service. It can

also promulgate policies, standards and guidelines for the civil service and adopt plans

to promote economical, efficient, and effective personnel administration. Moreover, it

also has the power to appoint and discipline its officials and employees in accordance

with existing laws and exercise control over the activities of the CSC (Civil Service

Commission, n.d.).

Good Governance and Reform Initiatives of President Benigno Aquino III

Integrity Development Action Plan

Each agency can enact their own Integrity Development Action Plan (IDAP) in order to

institutionalize core values, promote ethical standards of civil service, as well as to

support accountability measures within the government. In essence, the IDAP is

considered to be the national anti-corruption framework that promotes good governance

among public servants and government employees (NEDA, n.d.). The Department of

National Defense (DND) of the Philippines has also enacted their own IDAP in

promoting transparency, reponsiveness, and accountability within their agency. DND’s

IDAP has a strong focus on improving operational expertise and capability by adressing

organizational, management, and systemic deficiencies within the bureaucracy. Thus, it

seeks to harness the intellectual capabilites of its personnel while harmonizing existing

policies under the framework of good governance (DND, n.d.).

PAF Flight Plan 2028

Under the DND are the 3 branches of the military which are the Philippine Air Force

(PAF), Philippine Army and the Philippine Navy. Each branch of the military has their

own transformation roadmap which not only deals with modernization issues, but also

organizational, personnel, financial and management areas. The PAF’s own

transformation roadmap and development plan is known as the Flight Plan 2028. The

long term goal of the Flight Plan is to improve the readiness of PAF, its organization and

all of its units in dealing with territorial defense by 2028.

Part of improving the readiness of PAF for territorial defense is through the Performance

Grading System where each unit and office is assessed based on the parameters set by

the Flight Plan. This not only gauges the readiness of each office and/or unit, but

encourages the PAF organization to enact good governance-based measures oriented

to the higher missions and goals of the Air Force. The Flight Plan has 4 stages in terms

of compliance. The first is the initiation stage wherein units and offices are informed of

the existing nature of the Flight Plan, along with the parameters set in the Performance

Grading System which they have to prepare for the compliance stage. The second

stage focuses on compliance. This stage is focused on strategic execution of

mechanism to align the existing Performance Grading System with the processess of

the PAF organization. Strategic execution wil involve the creation of project

management teams that will plan and execute the strategies relative to the objectives of

the Flight Plan (PAF Flight Plan 2028, n.d.).

The third stage is focused on proficiency. This is where the execution plans of all the

project management teams are mainstreamed down to the unit and office level in order

to facilitate the creation of their respective scorecards for the Performance Grading
System. This will prepare the PAF organization with the fourth stage, which is the

institutionalization of the Flight Plan. By institutionalizing the strategic plans of each unit

and office, the entire PAF organization and its robust systems will be reinforced that will

sustain all organizational undertakings (PAF Flight Plan 2028, n.d.). Underscoring the

Flight Plan and its programs are the principles of good governance, particularly

effectiveness and efficiency, transparency, responsiveness, participation and the



InSTEP stands for Integrity, Service (above self), Teamwork, Excellence (in everything

we do), and professionalism. These are the core values of the Philippine Air Force that

first started out as the command framework of Commanding General Rabenna.

Subsequently it was further institutionalized by succeeding commanding generals of the

Air Force, becoming the official core values of the institution (Philippine Air Force,

2015). InSTEP seeks to promote ethical standards among PAF personnel internalized

in its activities (Philippine Air Force, n.d.). This seeks to realize PAF’s mission and

vision as a professional and well-ethical organization under the framework of Good


PAF Command Framework

The PAF Command Framework is considered to be the most important strategic plan of

a specific commanding general that he or she will implement during their tour of duty.

The current command framework is SOAR HIGH PAF, which stands for the following

(Philippine Air Force, 2015):

Sustaining transformation for Territorial Defense, Internal Security, and National


Optimize internal defense cooperation and interagency partnerships

Accelerate improvements to force level command and control

Respond rapidly to crisis and calamities

Harmonize efforts towards the whole of nation approach

Institute good governance and transformation

Generate superior strategies and doctrines to promote air power

Harness talents and expertise

Promote InSTEP and the Rule of Law

Adopt mechanisms and judicious and efficient utilization

Fast track capability development

While the end goal of the command framework is pegged on military related activities,

several of its pillars are considered to be under the framework of good governace.

Pillars such as harnessing talents and expertise, and institutiong good governance and

transformation seek to maintstream ethical standards and accountability within the PAF


PAF Bodies, Activities and Programs

Besides formulating plans related to good governance, PAF also contains bodies within

its organization that instils and maintains ethical standards and accountability within its

organization. One important body is the Office of Ethical Standards & Public

Accountability (OESPA). The function of this office is to enhance professionalism,

promote honesty and integrity in the military service, and instil ethical standards that
inculcate a strong sense of public accountability among military and civilian personnel

(Scribd, n.d.). It’s existence and mission is based on existing laws including Republic

Act 6731 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Official Employees

and Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Besides

investigating cases of misconduct, the OESPA also conducts several activities such as

quarterly workshops that education personnel on the importance of ethical standards

within the organization (Philippine Air Force, 2015).

Other activities conducted by PAF that instills ethical standards include the Leadership

and Core Values Symposium. This is an annual event where all PAF officers attend to

learn best practices on instiling ethics and core values, while also inviting speakers to

discuss such issues and ways to formulate them within the organization (Philippine Air

Force, 2015). There is also the Officers Workshop conducted by PAF which is similar in

nature to the Leadership and Core Values Symposium, but acts more like a retreat for

officers where teambuilding activities and other similar programs are conducted to

promote fraternity among personnel. Moreover, several courses on leadership and other

related programs are provided by PAF in partnership with other institutions such as the

Asian Institute of Management.


Even before the beginning of President Benigno Aquino’s administration, it is clear that

there is a drive to mainstream and institutionalize good governance. It’s very essence is

evident in the country’s constitution, legal frameworks, and programs that were carried

over from the previous administration. Nonetheless, it can be given credit to the Aquino

administration that good governance has been given greater importance as evident in
the establishment of more refined plans and more widespread activities on good

governance, including in the military institutions of the government. Whether or not

these initiatives are successful will depend on the implementation and continuity of

these programs. Moreover, it is sufficient to say that good governance will remain

relevant in Philippine public administration for it is considered integral in promoting

ethical standards and accountability within the public sector.


Department of National Defense. N.d. DND integrity development action plan. Retrieved

27 September 2015 from: http://www.dnd.gov.ph/idap/index.html

International Fund for Agricultural Development. 1999. Good governance: an overview.

IFAD, Rome.

NEDA. N.d. The integrity development action plan. Retrieved 23 September 2015 from:


Official Gazette. n.d. The constitution of the republic of the philippines. Retrieved 17

September 2015 from: http://www.gov.ph/constitutions/1987-constitution/#article-xi

Ombudsman. n.d. Mandate. Retrieved 17 September 2015 from:


Sandiganbayan. n.d. About sandiganbayan. Retrieved 17 September 2015 from:


PAF Flight Plan. n.d. Flight plan handout. Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.

Philippine Air Force. 2015. Tour of duty report. Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.
Scribd. n.d. PAF organization. Retrieved 1 October 2015 from:


United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. n.d. What is

good governace. United Nations, New York.