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ON GOOD GOVERNANCE: AN OPINION,

By Shien Ransel F. Villaruel

And many must get interested in this issue since the National Election Day is fast approaching; again, we are
face with the confronting question, “Does our Government Govern the Way They Ought to?”

The subject of governance is tackled by political activists & theorists, scholars, and those considered ‘great’
thinkers of the century under one branch of Philosophy: the Political philosophy. It is the study of government
and the relationship of individuals and communities to the state. It includes questions about justice, the good,
law, property, and the rights and obligations of the citizen.

But before either the one or the other can be done, it is absolutely necessary to define the term, to fix the
precise meaning of the word in question. Unless this is done, men may dispute to the end of the world without
coming to any good conclusion. This is one great cause of the numberless altercations which have been on the
subject. Very few of the disputants thought of this; of defining the word they were disputing about. The natural
consequence was, they were just as far from an agreement at the end as at the beginning.

I believe that good governance happen under favorable situation where the following ingredients are present:

[1.]

I. What do we mean by the term, “Good Governance”: What is it?


Recently the terms "governance" and "good governance" are being increasingly used in
development literature. Bad governance is being increasingly regarded as one of the root
causes of all evil within our societies. Major donors and international financial institutions
are increasingly basing their aid and loans on the condition that reforms which ensure
"good governance" are undertaken.

The following article, from the website of United Nations *ESCAPa, tries to explain, as
simply as possible, what "governance" and "good governance" means.

GOVERNANCE

The concept of "governance" is not new. It is as old as human civilization. Simply put
"governance" means: the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions
are implemented (or not implemented). Governance can be used in several contexts such
as corporate governance, international governance, national governance and local
governance.

Good governance is an indeterminate term used in development literature to describe how public
institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in order to guarantee the realization of
human rights.[1] Governance describes "the process of decision-making and the process by which
decisions are implemented (or not implemented)".[1] The term governance can apply to corporate,
international, national, local governance [1] or to the interactions between other sectors of society.

The concept of "good governance" often emerges as a model to compare ineffective economies or
political bodies with viable economies and political bodies.[2] Because the most "successful" governments
in the contemporary world are liberal democratic states concentrated in Europe and the Americas, those
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Footnotes: *United Nations ESCAP a -
http://www.unescap.org/pdd/prs/ProjectActivities/Ongoing/gg/governance.asp
countries' institutions often set the standards by which to compare other states' institutions.[2] Because the
term good governance can be focused on any one form of governance, aid organizations and the
authorities of developed countries often will focus the meaning of good governance to a set of
requirement that conform to the organizations agenda, making "good governance" imply many different
things in many different contexts.[3][4][5]

Political philosophy is the study of government and the relationship of individuals and communities to
the state. It includes questions about justice, the good, law, property, and the rights and obligations of the
citizen.

Governance is the activity of governing. It relates to decisions that define expectations, grant power, or
verify performance. It consists either of a separate process or of a specific part of management or
leadership processes. Sometimes people set up a government to administer these processes and systems.

In the case of a business or of a non-profit organisation, governance relates to consistent management,


cohesive policies, processes and decision-rights for a given area of responsibility. For example,
managing at a corporate level might involve evolving policies on privacy, on internal investment, and on
the use of data.

In terms of distinguishing the term governance from government - "governance" is what a "government"
does. It might be a geo-political government (nation-state), a corporate government (business entity), a
socio-political government (tribe, family, etc.), or any number of different kinds of government. But
governance is the kinetic exercise of management power and policy, while government is the instrument
(usually, collective) that does it. The term government is also used more abstractly as a synonym for
governance, as in the Canadian motto, "Peace, Order and Good Government".

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Footnotes: *United Nations ESCAP a -
http://www.unescap.org/pdd/prs/ProjectActivities/Ongoing/gg/governance.asp