The MAP Research Project
Several years ago, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) embarked on a project to help Filipino voters make their choice for President in the national elections of 2004. MAP appointed one of its most active members, Vic Magdaraog, who was the COO of the Development Dimensions International (DDI) then, to head the task force and the research team that conducted the study on what the “must” roles are of the Philippine President. Volunteers from FINEX and PMAP were invited to join the research project. Once completed and approved by the MAP, a team was organized to spread the research output in as many fora as possible including universities, rotary clubs and other organizations all over the country.
Since the project was essentially a leadership issue, Vic and his team looked at the various leadership models of various authors popular with management professionals. DDI had its own (Navigator, Strategist, Entrepreneur, Mobilizer, Talent Advocate, Captivator, Global Thinker); so did Covey (Pathfinding, Aligning, Empowering, Modelling); Belbin (Planner, Company Worker, Resource Investigator, Chairman, Shaper, Monitor-Evaluator); Gallup (Formulation, Strategic Thinking, Creativity, Activator, Simulator); and Mintzberg (Disseminator, Entrepreneur, Liaison, Leader, Spokesperson). These were the sources of primary data.
The team, knowing the Philippine context and applying these to the task at hand, narrowed down the “must” roles of a successful President to five: (1) Navigator/Strategist, (2) Mobilizer, (3) Servant Leader, (4) Captivator and, (5) Guardian of the National Wealth, Patrimony and Law and Order. These five roles were then defined and clarified, the rationale for each was explained and the team agreed on the behaviors and competencies associated with each role.
Various subgroups in the team were then formed to vet the findings with personalities who had been presidents (FVR and Erap), who had front-seat views of the Presidency (Senate President, Chief Justice, Cabinet members, Comelec Chairman), those in and out of media who follow the art and science of politics (a publisher, journalists, political analysts) and leading personalities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao (university presidents, Muslim leaders, women sector, etc.). These were used as secondary data and helped contextualize the study.
Just identifying the Roles of a Successful President is not enough, however. Just as important are the attributes of the person who would be president. These 5 attributes identified then were: (1) Character, (2) Competence, (3) Commitment, (4) Sense of Country, and (5) Responsible Citizenship.
A scoresheet was then developed that showed all the 10 roles and attributes of a successful leader. The voter could rate each candidate in a matrix and compare said ratings among competing candidates. The scoresheet was and could be used for rating the candidates in subsequent national and local elections. This could be applied to candidates for President, Vice President, Senators, Congressmen, Governors and Mayors.
The 2019 People’s Choice Movement Project to Select the Ten Best Senatorial Candidates
Last March 15, about 150 individuals gathered together in a convention to select the Ten Best Senatorial Candidates. The event was organized by the People’s Choice Movement (PCM), a group of lay leaders coming mostly from different faith-based organizations from the catholic, evangelical and protestant communities in the country. Also invited were personalities from the business and civil society sectors. Participation in the PCM is by individuals, not organizations. Thus, the PCM participants in the convention joined in their personal capacities and not as representatives of their respective organizations. It was made very clear to the participants that this was not a Church activity but an initiative of the leaders of the Laity.
The PCM Methodology
All the sixty-two (62) senatorial candidates went through two layers of screening. The first screen was two (2) knock-out issues. The candidate must (1) believe in God, and (2) be against Charter Change / Federalism in the various versions under the present administration (especially the GMA/House version). A third knock-out issue suggested on the floor was not adopted. The proponent suggested that since the President had been attacking the Church and its teachings and actually suggested to kill bishops and priests, then any candidate who is supported by him should likewise be knocked out. This proposal was defeated.
Only those senatorial candidates who passed the above two knock-out issues were included in the pool of senatorial candidates from which the Selection Convention chose the 10 best senatorial candidates. All 62 candidates passed the “belief in God” criterion. Thirty (30) candidates who have declared their support for Cha-cha and Federalism were removed from the pool. There were 17 candidates who have declared to be against ChaCha/Federalism while 15 others had no declared position on the issue. Because the 15 others do not have a declared position, the convenors suggested and the body approved that only the 17 should be subjected to the selection process. They did not want to risk including in the list candidates who did not declare his or her position against Chacha but who turns out to be for charter change after all.
The 17 remaining candidates in the pool were then subjected to the second screening. They were rated using a common criteria called GabayKristo, a guide comprised of 20 specific questions which fall into four (4) categories – (1) Character & Honor, (2) Competence & Abilities, (3) Faithfulness to Public Service, and (4) Faithfulness to God, the Constitution and the Law. The summarized curriculum vitae of the candidates were provided to the participants. In each of the 20 questions, the candidates were graded from 1 to 5, with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest. The ten candidates with the highest scores were then declared the selected Ten Best candidates.
The list of the selected Ten Best Senatorial Candidates will be made available, with the permission of the Church hierarchy (bishops and parish priests), to all the dioceses, parishes and other church communities. The Catholic schools and other faith-based educational institutions will also be furnished a copy of the list. All the lay or faith-based organizations, including all their chapters and household prayer groups nationwide, will also be furnished with the list of 10 candidates, with a request to consider voting and campaigning for them since they were a product of a collective discernment of a community of lay leaders.
The CBCP, in its January 28, 2019 Pastoral Statement, encouraged the laity to conduct circles of discernment in choosing the best leaders who can serve our country and defend the faith. The bishops also took a stand against continuing attacks, insults and threats hurled against the church, its bishops and priests. The People’s Choice Movement (PCM) is the answer of the Laity to the call to action of the Church and its leaders.
Once every three years, the Filipino voter is given the right and the duty to choose the leaders of this country. The people’s vote has awesome power – it has the potential, if exercised properly, to transform Philippine society by making sure that the leaders they elect are pro-God, pro-poor, pro-life and pro-country (as opposed to pro-self), pro-democracy and inclusive. It is the obligation of every responsible citizen to vote wisely, not to sell that vote and to make sure the vote is counted properly. Whether the voter uses the MAP, the PCM or any other method in making a choice, what is clear is that such vote is sacred and is the exercise of real people power.
(This article reflects the personal opinion of the author and does not reflect the official stand of the Management Association of the Philippines or MAP. The author is a member of the MAP National Issues Committee. Feedback at <email@example.com> and <firstname.lastname@example.org>. For previous articles, please visit <map.org.ph>).