Exploring the world of policymaking has been a fascinating journey for me. I have developed a deep interest in this field by actively participating in international forums and offering policy recommendations. Motivated by my idealism and the desire to make a lasting impact, I learned to appreciate the significant role of policymaking in shaping our society as it addresses urgent issues like healthcare, climate change, education, and social justice, making it a powerful tool for positive change.
Driven by my eagerness to enhance my understanding of policymaking, I actively sought ways to further my learning in this field. That’s when I discovered a training course on basic policymaking offered by the Ateneo School of Government. I secured a subsidized training fee through several email exchanges from the organizers. Additionally, I feel incredibly fortunate to have former Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes as the resource person for the course.
During the one-day online course, I derived some key takeaways:
- Learning about public policymaking is crucial to prevent the implementation of ineffective policies that burden the public. For instance, the requirement of motorcycle barriers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines is an example. This was a failure as it may cause accidents and imbalance to the riders.
- The purpose of a government is to serve and safeguard the people. Therefore, it is vital to choose leaders who prioritize the public interest. As mentioned in the lecture, “The happiness of the society is the end of government.”
- Public policy encompasses the government’s actions or decisions, from active measures to guides or nonaction policies.
- As defined by Howlett and Ramesh, the public policy process cycle includes agenda-setting, formulation, adoption, implementation, and evaluation. Agenda-setting involves identifying and defining problems to be addressed by policymakers. Policy formulation entails generating and evaluating options and considering criteria for feasibility. Adoption, implementation, and evaluation involve taking action and assessing policy success.
- Regardless of our roles in the government, think tanks, non-government organizations, or private sectors, we all can influence the policies implemented in our society.
Bonus! I was also given the chance to speak on behalf of my co-participants. Here’s an excerpt:
“Today’s session has taught me an important lesson. Regardless of our background or affiliation with the government, NGOs, or private sectors, we play a vital role in shaping the policies that impact our society. We can, directly and indirectly, influence the implementation of these policies by proposing to inform, educate, penalize, or incentivize our fellow Filipinos.
As we conclude this workshop, I hope we can all internalize the significance of our roles — to serve and protect the Filipino people, especially those in marginalized communities. I remember a famous quote that might resonate with many of us: “With great power comes great responsibility.” Let us embrace this responsibility and endeavor to share our knowledge with our colleagues as “problem-solvers.” Together, let us apply everything we have learned to contribute to the betterment of our nation.
Thank you all for participating and making this training course a memorable and enlightening experience. Let us carry forward the lessons learned here and positively impact policymaking in our society.”
These are just some of the highlights, but there’s much more to learn in the course. If you want to know more about the public course offerings of the Ateneo School of Government, follow their social media accounts.
Disclaimer: This is not a paid advertisement. 😉