One Year of Shotgun Marriage: The Aquino Government and the Bureaucracy

Ledivina V. Cariño


A review of the year that passed after the Aquino government was established and had began reforms and its relationship with the bureaucracy it inherited from the previous government and what prospects it holds. The bureaucracy at the end of the Marcos regime was strong, capable but dedicated to Marcos and contained the same contradictions of society within itself. The bureaucracy wanted the Aquino administration but it was evident that it was not mutual. To clean up the bureaucracy, it was purged. However, asking for section chiefs and rank and files to resign was seen not as cleaning up but an opening for new patrons to play politics. Although grounded on two basic principles that all removals are justified and should stop at positions of authority, the procedures’ fairness was questioned because of who stayed and who was let go. Employees were terrified of being axed from their jobs does started a new trend of applying from one agency to the other while others who were reluctant stopped working and just waited it out. The government reorganization did not live up to its hopes as it nearly doubled the already existing deputy minister positions from the previous administration. The issue of corruption did not stop either and continued in all levels of government. After a year of the Aquino government and redemocratization the authoritarian tendency remained in the bureaucracy. Although the relationship of the administration with the bureaucracy is generally calm and would likely survive as compared to the problems the administration faced with the military. Potential areas of conflict may come out in the personnel and administrative moves as well as in the issues of corruption and politicization.


Philippine bureaucracy; purge; government reorganization; politicization; regime-bureaucracy relations

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