Saturday, January 31, 2015


Is the President's EQ, Dry?

EQ or Emotional intelligence is the ability to monitor one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. (Wikipedia)

A dry EQ would probably refer to the state of a person who lacks Emotional Intelligence.

When the President chose not to prioritize the arrival honors for the fallen PNP-SAF commandoes at the Villamor Airbase, does it mean his EQ is Dry?

January 29, 2015, MANILA, Philippines–As the nation watched three Air Force planes land in Villamor Airbase with the remains of 42 of the 44 elite cops killed in an encounter in Maguindanao, President Benigno Aquino III was in Sta. Rosa, Laguna attending the inauguration of the new Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s manufacturing plant.

Unlike attendance, compassion cannot be delegated.
Unlike images, value cannot be replaced.

Compassion is the emotion that one feels in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help. Compassion is really the act of going out of your way to help physical, spiritual, or emotional hurts or pains of another.(Wikipedia)

Value is the regard that something is held to deserve.

The President missed the right opportunity to show real compassion to the grieving families of the fallen PNP-SAF Commandoes. He also failed to educate young Filipinos how and when true compassion is communicated by a loving father although he usually say "Bilang Ama ng Bayan." Even in his speech during the necrological services at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, he was not communicating compassion, he was reading and narrating his own experience.

As Pope Francis said: “It’s dangerous to lose that human sensibility that lets you cry with those who are crying, and celebrate with those who are joyful.”

Indeed, many claim that they are intelligent but fail to understand and distinguish people's emotions and his own. As such, they fail to think and behave appropriately to situations. - Here lies the real misencounter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Unsolicited Advise... for Sen. Nancy...

Sen. Nancy Binay
"After making the announcement [PDI, January 20, 2015] that the committee on social justice, welfare and rural development is scheduled to hold its first hearing on alleged irregularities in the administration’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program on January 22, 2015, Senator Nancy Binay has decided to reschedule the first hearing [PDI, January 21, 2015]. Binay said the hearing on the CCT would push through at a later date."

The postponement of the committee hearing will be good for the chairperson and members of the committee on social justice, welfare and rural development. At least they will have enough time to reflect and do their homework prior to the committee hearing. Don't worry, it doesn't matter whether you are able or unable to prove the "alleged irregularities". What is important is that you are businesslike, thorough and orderly rather than confused or mixed up with your actions. The Filipino people deserve a methodical and intelligent committee hearing. 

To ensure that the public will be able to witness an intelligent senate inquiry, which accordingly is intended to determine how the CCT's implementation can be made more efficient, it would be fine for the committee to be objective and study the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program Business Process and Systems Flow first. Knowing the policies and procedures of the program will enable the committee to formulate logical questions rather than politically motivated queries; gather true information from true beneficiaries to gain insight on how they are being served which cannot be done by a rehearsed witness; gather reliable information from DSWD workers to establish how they perform their tasks to serve the poor; gather verified information from stakeholders to appreciate their support to the program; understand the COA report to include the DSWD's response to the issues [which unfortunately were not included in the PDI report last year]; and yes, gather more information to determine if indeed there are convincing reasons that would warrant the hearing. I am sure that this preparatory exercises can only result to two things, either you are able to formulate questions revealing your sound judgment or decide that the hearing is not necessary after all. 

Conducting the hearing without knowing these details may result to a stupid or illogical inquiry. The public will not appreciate the committee hearing if it will only prove to be a fishing expedition [an investigation that does not stick to a stated objective but hopes to uncover incriminating or newsworthy evidence]. If you skip, refuse or fail to do your homework, then the committee hearing will never be sensible or logical. Worse it will only be a waste of people's money. 

Monday, January 19, 2015


Not Running...But Definitely, Not Running Away from Challenges...

I was able to attend the dialogue initiated by  Secretary Corazon Juliano "Dinky" Soliman with the National Project Management Office [NPMO] of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program last Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at the DSWD Auditorium. I was informed about the dialogue just when it was about to start but I came ahead of the Secretary and was able to stay and complete the event. The dialogue with the Secretary gave me a better perspective of how we are working as a team to support the program, the challenges of improving the team and the service, and our priorities. I was also able to catch Secretary's statement regarding the "running" issue and her "friendly reminder" to the program staff to be kind and respectful to one another. I have here some of the most meaningful parts of the Secretary's discussions together with my own impression, opinion and stand on the issues.


Secretary Dinky emphasized that "the poor families served by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program are our "Partner-Beneficiaries."

Indeed the Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries are not passive participants of the program. They have their distinct roles and responsibilities that contribute much to the realization of its objectives. Pregnant mothers avail of regular check-up and children stay in school and get the health services they need. Parents attend monthly family development sessions and apply what they learn in caring for their families. 

Dole-out? - well, this is a common "alias" in lieu of the true essence of the program used by some critics who refuse to understand how the program works to eliminate the intergenerational cycle of poverty. These are the critics who have their own agenda to discredit the program and sow intrigues but are unable to introduce any better alternative to help improve the plight of poor families in the country. The best proof of success are the gains experienced by our partner-beneficiaries. 

"Madalas ang mga may malisyosong komentaryo, wala namang naibibigay na solusyon sa isyu."

Fixing the Gaps, Sustaining the Gains

Amidst the criticisms, the Secretary said that "it is also equally important to highlight the gains of the program that has so far sustained health services to mothers and their children, kept the children in-school, enhanced parenting skills and contributed to the improvement of the level of well-being of our partner-beneficiaries."

The program is not perfect. The information systems are not perfect. Neither are the program implementors, partners and stakeholders. We acknowledge the gaps in the implementation of the program and we are initiating measures and interventions to improve our processes and procedures. We have responded appropriately to the audit observations and recommendations of COA and we will continue improving our policies and procedures to fix the gaps and sustain the gains of the program.

"Ang pagsisilbi sa bayan ay buhay na proseso ng pag tutulungan."

Criticisms Make us Better 

Secretary Dinky stressed that "responding to criticisms  is part of program management."  

Responding to criticisms is a regular feature in the Department's operation. We just need to ensure that we are able to provide the public the right information at the right time. We cannot choose the comments and criticisms we get from the public. We can only choose the way we respond. And the best way to respond to comments and criticisms is to provide the right and complete information to the public, at the time they need it and through the most appropriate and efficient modes of communication.

Being transparent makes your action, intention and response to issues clear to everyone. Wrong information means wrong decision and wrong action.

"Sa serbisyong matindi ang hamon, titiklop ang mga balat-sibuyas at pikon!" 

Reengineering the Business Process, Enhancing the Systems

The Secretary also emphasized the "need to further improve the business processes and systems that support the program to attain efficiency in service delivery."

It will also be necessary for us to ensure that the public understands the business process and systems flow of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. On December 1, 2014, a walk through on the Pantawid business process and systems flow was conducted by the combined team of the National Project Management Office [NPMO] and the Department's ICT Management Service for the state auditors of the Commission on Audit [COA]. The walk through provided the state auditors details of program processes and procedures from the identification of partner-beneficiaries, updates, compliance verification, and release of grants. Next steps include the state auditors' actual observation of the procedures during the the actual generation of compliance verification reports, generation of the notice of approved payroll action [NAPA] and the grants computation.

The Department's National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction [NHTSPR] provides the data on poor households identified through the administration of the Proxy Means Test [PMT]. An Eligibility Check Routine [ECR] is then administered to choose the eligible households and establish the list of potential partner-beneficiaries. List of potential partner-beneficiaries are posted and a community assembly registration is conducted. Subsequently, updates on the profile of partner-beneficiaries are fed into the systems as they are collected and verified by community-based workers. Compliance verification are generated as basis for the notice of approved payroll action which serves as the basis of computing the grants of partner-beneficiaries.

Enhancement of the policies, business processes and systems are part of the updates that are provided to the Department's workers, partners and stakeholders.

"Ang maayos na serbisyo ay instrumento ng pag-babago. Ang mga sistema at teknolohiya ay katuwang sa pag-asenso."

Information Management is Key

Secretary Dinky announced that "the Department is coming up with an Information Management Bureau."

I am part of the ICTMS team that provides technical assistance and support service to the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program National Project Management Office [NPMO]. We know very well that information management is critical to the success of our operations. Collecting and securing data, processing and transforming them into information are key processes for effective information management and communication.

Inline with this principle, the Secretary announced the creation of the Information Management Bureau [IMB] which will be composed of the Department's Information and Communications Technology Management Service [ICTMS] and the National Household Targeting Office [NHTO]. The ICTMS provides technical services along ICT policy development and enforcement, systems development, infrastructure management, security, service delivery and support. On the other hand the NHTO manages the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction [NHTSPR] which is now aptly called as "Listahanan."

To further enhance information management in the Department, the two offices shall merge to form the IMB. The merger will also pave the way for the consolidation of all IT staff of the agency to establish the enterprise information management strategy. The establishment of the IMB is also expected to trigger the meaningful transformation of the ICT teams at the DSWD Field Offices into Regional Information Management Units [RIMU] composed of the Regional counterparts of the ICTMS, NHTO and the Pantawid Pamilya IT Officers.

This is a significant change that has long been anticipated by most of us. It opens the opportunity for the Department to unify the ICT service management functions and work teams, build the enterprise information management system and respond meaningfully to the challenges of the service. 

"Ang tamang impormasyon ay nagbubunga ng angkop na desisyon at aksyon."

Kindness and Respect 

Secretary Dinky provided a friendly reminder to the program staff to "maintain kindness and  respect to one another." The Secretary expressed her concern about the tedious work being performed by the program staff to serve partner-beneficiaries. "Though we have very tight work schedules and some things don't work as planned, we have no reason to be unkind to each other. We can always find solutions to issues by working together," she added.

Unknown to others and probably to most of our critics, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program follows a firm process implemented by the workers at the community level, the provincial and Regional levels and the Central Office of the Department. Identifying eligible households, conducting community assemblies and registration procedures, updating the profiles of partner-beneficiaries, conducting family development sessions, verifying compliance, processing cash grants, monitoring field operations, resolving grievances, processing and protecting the integrity of data, and maintaining the infrastructure and support services, are just some of the critical procedures of the program being implemented and managed by the program staff and support teams. These processes are initiated within a very tight timeline to ensure that partner-beneficiaries get the quality service they deserve. Given this very firm processes in a very tight timeline, everyone should really be kind and respectful to one another. 

"Ang trabaho'y gumagaan, kung may respeto sa samahan."

Not Running... But Definitely, Not Running Away from Challenges...

The first time I was asked if Secretary Dinky is running for an elective position in the 2016 elections, my answer was "I really don't know." But after responding to the question, my mind was pre-occupied by thoughts about the possible implications, if indeed she runs for an elective position. 

The main issue I had in mind then was that all of the Department's effort to help and serve the poor will come to naught if the Secretary decides to run for an elective position in 2016. I believe that if she runs for any elective position in 2016, it would be easy for the critics and the public to conclude that the CCT was used to establish the foundation for her candidacy.  That is how politics work in the Philippines. There is no doubt about it. But on the other hand, I know that we needed to listen to the DSWD Secretary about this. Her response would always be better than what others may have in mind about her intentions.

Referring to the "running" question, Secretary Dinky said "I am not running for any elective position in the 2016 national elections." The Secretary said that the only "running" she may do is at the UP Diliman, for health and fitness. A program staff asked, "What if the President insists that you run?" The Secretary responded "he will not, because the President understands and respects my stand about the issue."

Finally, we have the firm response to the "running" issue. Secretary Dinky is not running for any elective position in 2016, but Secretary Dinky is not running away from challenges. Yes, it is always necessary to be "mahusay at magiliw" but more than these, we should always be "matapat at matatag sa pag lilingkod."

"Ang pagsisilbi sa bayan ay sagrado. Tuloy ang Pag-babago at Pag-Asenso!"

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ailments of Curia, Our Ailments...

Ailments of Curia, according to Pope Francis

Pope Francis listed 15 “ailments” of the Vatican Curia during his annual Christmas greetings to the cardinals, bishops and priests who run the central administration of the 1.2-billion strong Catholic Church. [Philippine Daily Inquirer, December 24, 2014 at 4:13 am]

The Ailments of Curia are most probably the same ailments we have in our team or organization. We see the Pope's message in this context. It is not only for the Vatican, it is actually for all of us.

This 2015, we can probably take a look this list and learn something from it.

Feeling immortal, immune or indispensable. “A Curia that doesn’t criticize itself, that doesn’t update itself, that doesn’t seek to improve itself is a sick body.”

  • "Feeling immortal" - the feeling of having an eternal life or the ability to live forever.
  • "Feeling immune" - the feeling of having sufficient biological defenses to avoid infection, disease, or other unwanted biological invasion.
  • "Feeling indispensable" - the feeling of being extremely important and necessary that the organization can't do without him/her.

These feelings are definitely feelings and nothing more than feelings. They are products of wild imagination. And therefore they are not real.

Madalas ang mga "feeling immortal" ay siyang may "karamdamang mortal". They actually do not have the ability to live with the organization because they float in "eternity" and feel that they can live forever and ever. 
Ang mga "feeling immune" ay siyang madalas dapuan ng "sakit na nakaka-awa". They are always defensive because they are both infected and infectious. They are actually the unwanted "buy-you-logical" invaders. 
Ang mga "feeling indispensable" are those who are "extremely believe sa self" always thinking that only he/she is the best, that only he/she can do the right things in the organization and that the organization can't do without him/her.

My goodness!
We have to be real. We need to be true.
No one is immortal, immune or indispensable.
We have to embrace both the good news and the bad news.
We cannot pretend that everything is good in us and the organization.
We have to criticize ourselves and allow our team mates to criticize us.
We have to appreciate comments from within and outside the organization.
We have to know more and be prepared at all times.
We have to work with the good, the bad and the ugly and adopt and adapt to change to update and improve our team.
If we refuse to improve ourselves and our capacity to work together, then we are indeed "feeling immortal, immune and indispensable." And therefore, we are sick. [To be continued at the end of the next day]

Working too hard. “Rest for those who have done their work is necessary, good and should be taken seriously.”

Rest should be included in your strategic plan.
If you really love your work and you really love working hard, then you should love yourself.
If you love yourself, you will ensure that rest is included among your precious activities to be a more effective and productive human being.
If you don't love yourself, then you really don't love your work and you really can't work hard because you don't know what rest means.
If you understand the value of work, then you should understand the value of rest.
You don't understand the value of work and working hard if you don't understand the value of rest.

According to Wikipedia, a workaholic is a person who is addicted to work. While the term generally implies that the person enjoys their work it can also imply that they simply feel compelled to do it. There is no generally accepted medical definition of such a condition, although some forms of stress, impulse control disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder can be work-related. Workaholism is not the same as working hard.

Workaholism in Japan is considered a serious social problem leading to early death, often on the job, a phenomenon dubbed karōshi. Overwork was popularly blamed for the fatal stroke of Prime Minister of Japan Keizō Obuchi, in the year 2000.

Workaholics feel the urge of being busy all the time, to the point that they often perform tasks that aren't required or necessary for project completion. As a result, they tend to be inefficient workers, since they focus on being busy, instead of focusing on being productive.

In addition, workaholics tend to be less effective than other workers because they have difficulty working as part of a teamtrouble delegating or entrusting co-workers, or organizational problems due to taking on too much work at once.Furthermore, workaholics often suffer sleep deprivation which results in impaired brain and cognitive function.

As with other psychological addictions, workaholics often cannot see that they have a problem. Confronting the workaholic will generally be met with denial. Co-workers, family members and friends may need to engage in some type of an intervention to communicate the effects of the workaholic’s behavior on them.Indeed, mental treatment to cure a workaholic can successfully reduce the hours spent on the job, while increasing the person's productivity. Studies show that fully recovered former workaholics can accomplish in 50 hours what they previously couldn't do in 80. [Wikipedia]

Tignan mo nga. Baka ikaw ay lagi lang busy pero hindi naman productive. 
Kung seryoso ka sa trabaho, maging seryoso ka rin sa pahinga dahil parehas itong mahalaga.
Kung alam mo ang kahalagahan ng trabaho dapat alam mo rin ang kahalagahan ng pahinga. Kung hindi, baka bigla ka na lang mamahinga.

Becoming spiritually and mentally hardened. “It’s dangerous to lose that human sensibility that lets you cry with those who are crying, and celebrate those who are joyful.”

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to monitor one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. (Wikipedia)

Many claim that they are intelligent but fail to understand and distinguish people's emotions and his own. As such, they fail to think and behave appropriately to situations.

Some "leaders" are unable to "manage" themselves and some "managers" are unable to "lead" themselves due to their inability to perceive and respond to their emotions and those of other people.

Similarly, some followers are unable to "follow" and some team members are unable to "make the team work" because they lack the human sensibility to "work with the team."

Mahirap ang matalino pero walang emosyon. May utak pero walang pakiramdam. Hindi ito tao at hindi ito bagay... sa mga tunay na tao.

Planning too much. “Preparing things well is necessary, but do not fall into the temptation of trying to close or direct the freedom of the Holy Spirit, which is bigger and more generous than any human plan.”

"God made the master plan. We cannot master His plan."

When things don't happen the way we want them to, we blame others and we question God. And we say, "Oh no, things did not happen the way we planned them", never realizing that God made them happen the way he planned them to.
When things happen the way we want them to, we don't remember others and we forget God. And we say, "Yes, we did it, things happened the way we planned them", never realizing that God made them happen the way we want them to.

"Mahirap kung sa sobrang pag-paplano, pati ang plano ng Diyos ay gusto na nating baguhin.

Working without coordination, like an orchestra that produces noise. “When the foot tells the hand, ‘I don’t need you’ or the hand tells the head ‘I’m in charge.”’

Coordination is the act of organizing, making different people or things work together for a goal or effect to fulfill desired goals in an organization. Coordination is a managerial function in which different activities of the business are properly adjusted and interlinked.

"Ang tunay na pagkakaisa ay nagsisimula sa tunay na pagsasama."

"Communicate, Coordinate, and Collaborate" - sounds good. we talk about it but are we able to communicate and use it effectively?

  • We talk but we don't listen. We always want people to listen to us. The moment they attempt to speak, we continue to talk. The tounge is more active than the ears. The problem is the tounge can't listen and the ears can't talk.
  • Others listen but refuse to talk. Because they are not given the chance to speak, they just listen and remain quiet. They probably will tell somebody else the things they want to tell us, but can't.
  • Still others refuse to listen and refuse to talk. Not given the opportunity to talk, they choose not to listen.
  • Some are informed, some are not, but we expect a well coordinated action.
  • We talk to someone about someone and we never talk to that someone whom we talked about, with someone. 
  • We ask others to tell us what they are doing or what they are going to do, but we refuse to inform them about what we are doing or what we are going to do.
  • We decide on things without informing or involving everyone but we require everybody to own the decision.
  • We invite others to attend our meetings and events, but we don't attend their meetings and events when invited. 
  • They know when we need them, we don't know when they need us.
  • We want to establish their "coordinates" but we don't want them to find our "coordinates."
  • We want everyone to work hand-in-hand but we refuse to give them a hand.
  • We want everyone to work with us but we don't want to be with them when something goes wrong.
  • We want others to do somethings in our behalf as we want them to take the blame in our behalf.
  • We developed the convergence framework but we hardly work on the frame of the principles we formulated.
  • The "Executives" are different from the "Committee"as the "Management" is different from the "Committee."
  • We want convergence downstairs but we don't have convergence upstairs.
  • Our territory has a lot of boundaries...inside.
Workplace Politics? It depends on how we use it.

According to Wikipedia, Workplace politics, (office politics or organizational politics) is the use of power and social networking within an organization to achieve changes that benefit the organization or individuals within it.
Influence by individuals may serve personal interests without regard to their effect on the organization itself.
Some of the personal advantages may include access to tangible assets, or intangible benefits such as status or pseudo-authority that influences the behavior of others.
On the other hand, organizational politics can increase efficiency, form interpersonal relationships, expedite change, and profit the organization and its members simultaneously.
Both individuals and groups may engage in office politics which can be highly destructive, as people focus on personal gains at the expense of the organization.
"Self-serving political actions can negatively influence our social groupings, cooperation, information sharing, and many other organizational functions."
Thus, it is vital to pay attention to organizational politics and create the right political landscape.

Again: "Ang tunay na pagkakaisa ay nagsisimula sa tunay na pagsasama."

Glorifying one’s bosses. “It’s the sickness of those who court their superiors, hoping for their benevolence. They are victims of careerism and opportunism, they honor people who aren’t God.”
Being indifferent to others. “When, out of jealousy or cunning, one finds joy in seeing another fall rather than helping him up and encouraging him.”

According to Bratton and Kacmar's article, The "Dark Side of Impression Management", extreme careerism is the propensity to pursue career advancement, power, and prestige through any positive or negative non-performance based activity that is deemed necessary. These "non-performance" based activities are activities in which an employee can easily manipulate the people whom he is trying to impress.

Opportunism is the conscious policy and practice of taking selfish advantage of circumstances – with little regard for principles, or with what the consequences are for others. Opportunist actions are expedient actions guided primarily by self-interested motives. (Wikipedia)

These are the certified "sipsips." The group of "praisefully" who are capable of praising just anything about their Boss. Their Boss is their God. They believe that by glorifying their Boss, they will be able to gain favor and realize their whims and caprices in the organization. As they glorify their Boss, they also discredit others to eliminate competition and satisfy their selfish motives.

"Ang mga Oportunista ay magagaling na Artista. Sanay sa arte at anumang drama para sa Boss na sinasamba."