Setting quantifiable targets for the future: Does Noynoy Aquino have the guts to do it?

Any Government is quick to associate itself — or worse, credit itself — with statistics that describe some kind of success or achievement for the nation. Even as the Inquirer.net editor struggled to find Filipino “achievements” in 2010, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda was busy citing hard figures and associating these to his boss

After only four months of the Aquino administration, the Philippines’ ranking in the global corruption index improved five rungs better, according to the Transparency International.

In a media briefing in Malacañang, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the recent survey somehow reflects the Aquino administration’s determination to promote good governance.

(Lacierda should work a bit more on coordinating with their moles within the Inquirer.net.)

Wouldn’t it be fair then to expect a government that validates itself retrospectively using these figures to quantify its vision and goals for the country by defining targets using these figures as well?

Say, for example, that our vision or aspiration is to achieve the current level of development that Thailand or Malaysia enjoys today. A pretty reasonable target, yes? Then using widely-accepted indices, it becomes clear what the quantifiable targets are.

I chose three key areas: (1) corruption – because that is the message of the first part of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III‘s famous assertion (Kung walang corrupt…), (2) poverty – the second part of Noynoy’s famous assertion (…walang mahirap), and (3) economic security – because there is no point in gaining something that one cannot secure.

The following three key performance metrics reflect the above key aspects of our aspirations as a people (more information about these can be found in a previous article I wrote). The whole idea surrounding the use of quantifiable measures is that it makes this whole business of holding people accountable a lot more real. More importantly it could go some way in ensuring certain “Communications” executives think twice before grandstanding about measured “gains” that have dubious causal relationships with their administration’s “reform” initiatives.

* * *

[Note data format: Country, Number, (World Rank)]

CORRUPTION – as measured by the corruption perceptions index of Transparency International for 2010. This is a number between zero (very corrupt) and 10 (not corrupt).

As of 2010:

Philippines 2.4 (134)
Malaysia 4.4 (56)
Thailand 3.5 (78)

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT – as measured by the human development index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This is a number between zero (severely stunted) and one (highly-developed).

As of 2010:

Philippines 0.638 (97)
Malaysia 0.744 (57)
Thailand 0.654 (92)

The beauty of the HDI is that it measures overall human well-being in a society along several dimensions and not a single financial measure (economic poverty) that makes the “debate” open to half-witted assertions of how “happy” Filipinos are despite their wretched existence.

REMITTANCES FROM OFWs – as a percentage of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Among countries that benefit significantly from remittances from their overseas workers, the Philippine economy has the highest rate of dependency on this source of income. From less than 10 percent in 2002, the Philippines has since become dependent on foreign remittances to the tune of this accounting for 12 percent of its GDP in recent years. There is no point in comparing this to other countries — even China and India — because the Philippines’ figure is way way above any other country in the world.

* * *

So what is our goal for 2011? 2012? 2013? 2014? 2015? How about 2016? Do we aspire to be at Thailand’s level of development by 2011? Or 2013? How about Malaysia’s by 2016?

If so, the quantifiable goals are clear above (and by the way, Malaysia and Thailand have relatively negligible chunks of their economies dependent on overseas remittances). Does Malacanang have as much cojones to set quantifiable targets using these as it has the gall to grandstand about after-the-fact statistical “findings” on a regular basis?

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata…

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7 Responses to Setting quantifiable targets for the future: Does Noynoy Aquino have the guts to do it?

  1. Hyden Toro says:

    Would you believe, if a New York Mafia Boss will tell you, he is no longer corrupt? The Noynoy Aquino government tells everybody, that: “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Sabi ko naman: ” maraming mahirap, sapagkat pinpoprotektohan ang mga corrupt.” Best example is the confessed Bribe-Taker Sec. Puno. His case was not even investigated. Because, the President refuses to look into his bribery-confession scandal. Who would believe he is fighting against corruption; when his own Sec. Puno, is not even investigated for his bribe-taking from Jueteng money. Maybe, I’ll bet on Sec. Puno’s Jueteng today. Who knows, I will hit the Jackpot. “Taob and Bangka!!!”

  2. anon says:

    you cannot improve what you do not measure.

    it is critical that individuals and departments and goccs are accountable.

    there is not the will nor the innate honesty to do this.

    just watch even the much touted freedom of information act will de delayed indefinitely.

  3. anon says:

    as any change agent will tell you, performance measurement and managment by objectives is the key to structural and cultural change.
    governments just like companies should be duty bound to produce comprehensive annual reports.
    pay out some money and get mckinseys or similar to come up with system. other countries manage to do it.
    or develop a peoples based web site to determine and report on key metrics

  4. JOSEPH OPULENCIA says:

    Noynoy shows up in CoA report as big spender in Senate
    By Angie M. Rosales

    01/05/2011

    He may have portrayed himself as one who does not spend, and is happy with hotdog and pizza meals, here and abroad, mainly for publicity, it seems. But it appears, from Commission on Audit (CoA) data, that Noynoy Aquino, then a senator, and not yet even a presidential candidate, was one of the big spenders in the Senate.the daily tribune

    • Hyden Toro says:

      Have you ever heard the term: Hypocrite and Liar. The Aquinos are like that. They were in politics, because they have to protect their landholdings and business interests. They even armed to NPA, which is causing a lot of death and sufferings to our people…they’d massacred tenants protesting against them.

      Of course, anybody can just claim: he is with the poor. by eating Hot Dogs and Pizzas, in the streets of New York. With eager Yellow Horde Nazi Media Photographers and Journalists, Ready for the Photo Opportunities. Same way as Adolf Hitler of Germany. He was talking about Peace; but, in truth was planning massive invasion and occupation on Europe.

      Jesus Christ had simply said: “It is in the heart and works, that man is judged. Not on the outside appearance. ” Remember his Parable of the: Jewish Pharishee and Tax Collector praying in the Temple?

  5. anon says:

    p-noy, highest spending and least productive senator.
    days it all really.
    each senator costs on average 50 million pesos a year. what on earth do they do with the money except pad their personal bank accounts.
    no wonder they dont want frredom of information or any performance measures

  6. aboy says:

    A country should be treated as a company or firm… Lee Kuan Yew defined Singapore this way and took care of business… If we have quantifiable targets and visible metrics which we can review every quarter of the year, we can clearly/easily assess if the country met its targets and justify the efficiency and effectivity of the government. However it is the responsibility of the top level management to set the goals of the company for a given time period. Too bad, we have a very very poor CEO right now and a group of mediocre top level management that runs the country…

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