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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Huffington Post: Benigno Aquino; Transformational or Transitional Leadership?

23 comments

How could you describe the leadership of the world famous Philippine leader President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III?

  • (A) Transformational Leadership?
  • (B) Transitional Leadership?
  • (C) None of the above?
  • (D) No Comment

This Article is written by Richard Javad Heydarian, and published in Huffington Post. The author described Mr. Aquino as more of a transitional rather than a transformational leader. The world want to know your point of view to Mr. Aquino. 

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Without a doubt, the Philippines is finally on the move -- and well on its way to regain its long-sought place of pride among Asian nations. After decades of stagnation, political uncertainties, and anemic economic performance, the country has emerged from the ashes of despair, confidently riding on a wave of cautious optimism.

Today, the country has one of the world's fastest growing economies, one of Asia's most bullish stock markets, a constantly improving credit rating, a booming real estate, and a strong currency that is helping an increasingly mobile and confident consumer class.

Despite its reputation as Asia's 'sickman,' or even a regional basket case as others have suggested, the Philippines hasn't been a stranger to success -- definitely far from being a lifetime laggard. Back in the '50s, the country was one of the world's fastest growing economies, relishing Asia's second highest per capita income after Japan. Manila's soft power lied in its status as a regional hub of fashion, commerce, travel, and culture. It was a beacon of democratic capitalism in the whole Asia -- reflecting the relatively benign colonial legacy of America.

However, over succeeding decades, the Philippines found itself steadily falling behind its regional peers. First came the Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs) of South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore. Then, the Philippines watched with much envy the likes of Malaysia and Thailand overtaking it. By the early 21st century, Vietnam and Indonesia -- to Manila's horror -- began outdoing their Filipino counterpart. With Myanmar opening up its economy, some commentators have sardonically suggested a new competition for the Philippines.

There is nothing romantic about a former high school jockey watching all his classmates cruising past him.

So, why has the Philippines -- a former regional leader -- fallen behind its Asian peers? Why does it suffer from one of the highest rates of underemployment, malnutrition, inequality, and poverty in Asia? Well, basically because of a lethal cocktail of bad policies, cultural complacency, and weak (if not bad) leadership.

The issue of culture is a tricky one. In his award-winning essay, 'A Damaged Culture,' veteran journalist James Fallows suggested that a culture of dependence, complacency, corruption and ineptitude lies behind Philippines' dramatic decline in the latter half of the 21st century. Yet, the problem with 'culture arguments' is that they have a static analytic approach, failing to understand the dynamic and mutually constitutive interaction between culture, on one hand, and the broader political economy, on the other.

Modern history is replete with examples of how so-called 'backward societies' -- described as lazy and savage by status quo powers -- have been transformed into one of the world's most innovative and progressive nations. After all, at the beginning of the 19th century, who would have thought that the feudal-agricultural Japan would rise -- thanks to the 'Meiji Restoration' -- as a global industrial power? Or, at the beginning of the 20th century, who would have imagined that relatively isolated Scandinavian states such as Sweden and Finland or resource-poor Northeast Asian countries such as Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan would leapfrog to the top of global indices, in terms of infrastructure, innovation, science, and technology? This is where policy and leadership come into the picture.

In Southeast Asia alone, if there is one thing that the likes of Malaysia's Mahathir or Singapore's Lee Kwan Yu could teach the Philippines, it is the fact that culture is malleable; it can change and be shaped along a particular vision -- thanks to information technology, universal education, and varying forms of state indoctrination and/or mainstreaming.

The very concept of 'nation-state' is in itself a construct, so when we say 'national culture,' we are also describing a specific construct. Thus, I find it a bit 'orientalist' to ascribe an essential cultural trait to a particular country, especially one as globalized and cosmopolitan as the Philippines.

In short, the maladies of Philippine society could be traced back to decades of bad leadership and wrong polices, which have failed to create the conditions for sustainable economic growth and political stability along democratic lines. For decades, a combination of corrupt leadership and technocratic incompetence has given birth to crony capitalism, oligarchic politics, and concentrated economic growth.

This is where the second question comes in: So, why is the Philippines re-emerging? Well, largely because of the new leadership of President Benigno Aquino III. When one starts from a relatively low base -- high rates of poverty, corruption, cronyism and political indifference -- it simply takes a clean, credible, and sincere leader such as Aquino himself to a) restore a measure of trust in state institutions and b) calm nervous markets.

Banking on his larger-than-life pedigree, Aquino's main focus has been to rid his country of corruption, especially in the upper echelons of the state. Staying true to his campaign promises, he has successfully pushed for the impeachment of leading magistrates (tied to the previous administration), who have been accused of public misconduct and corruption -- paving the way for the execution of Aquino's ultimate plan: to put former President Gloria Arroyo in jail for good.

Since President's Aquino's economic policies are not significantly different from his predecessors, the current economic resurgence is largely a reflection of growing market confidence in the leadership's ability to maintain political stability, shun draconian regulatory reforms, and provide a measure of macroeconomic predictability, especially in terms of interest rates and inflation.

Even rebel groups such as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have been encouraged by Aquino's sincere leadership, precipitating a historic 'framework peace agreement' that was signed between the rebels and the Philippine government -- potentially ending decades of conflict in southern Philippines. Overall, the Philippines' resurgence is not so much about Aquino's technical expertise as it is the good will expressed in his actions.

However, Aquino is yet to propose an economic agenda that will reverse Philippines' highly unequal, unsustainable, and concentrated patterns of growth. He has also been criticized for his lack of support for important transparency-boosting measures such as the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill.

This is why Aquino is perhaps more of a transitional rather than a transformational leader.

Written by Richard Javad Heydarian, Published in Huffington Post

Huffington post 

23 Responses so far

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is address to President Pnoy, the Senate and Congress:

    Excerpts from Mr. Hernan Tiu Laurel interview:

    "Why do we have the highest power cost in Asia when we have not only normal power generation cost but we have actually very many reasons for having the lowest cost such as geothermal.

    The reason for higher power cost despite these natural blessings is the Electric Power Industry Reform Act which privatizes the electric industry sector and makes it instead of a public service, a profit industry for big corporations.

    It should not be for profit. Electricity is a commodity like air and water that everybody needs and all our industries need. It should be for public service that is why it is called a public utility. Utility - for the use of public not for the profit of maybe 6 corporations and oligarch families in the Philippines."

  2. Anonymous says:

    President Pnoy can still become a transformational leader if he will have the will to do it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    For me BOTH.. [A & B]with conditions.....

    (A) Transformational Leadership
    (B) Transitional Leadership

    * If he will allow the country to transform from unitary or single power to Federal system then he could gain new weight for (A) Transformational Leadership

    * If he will invest more in infrastructure by taking $5 to $10 billion US Dollars from the Gross Reserves for Bullet Train that would link, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao then he could be Both as he needs to amend the law to allow the Philippine Government to "Loan" from the Central bank so we could use some portion of the Gross International Reserves plus (B) Transitional Leadership because of the progress and change of having the bullet train to link the whole country to the island of borneo

  4. Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous says: November 8, 2012 11:18 AM

    You said.......

    "It should not be for profit. Electricity is a commodity like air and water that everybody needs and all our industries need. It should be for public service that is why it is called a public utility. Utility - for the use of public not for the profit of maybe 6 corporations and oligarch families in the Philippines."

    Who are these 6 corporations and oligarch families in the Philippines living in profit while the MASA suffering the burden of the high cost Electricity?

    Should I call the NPA to eradicate this family so at least mga NPA meron naman kayong Silbi.

    I chose (C) None of the above? for the available choices because Aquino is still lots of things to do.... I am not convince to chose A or B but I could not Chose D because I COMMENT

  5. Anonymous says:

    OO nga sobra na talaga ang taas ng electricity power cost sa Pinas.

    Sino ba ang mga Oligarchs na ito.

    Kailan ba nagkaroon ng EPIRA - di ba during former President Fidel Ramos?

    Is Ramos receiving profits here and there from these Oligarch families' corporations?

  6. Anonymous says:

    magaling lang yang mga NPA na sinasabi mo sa pagkuha ng REEVOLUTONARY TAX sa mga BUS COMPANY,CELL SITE,AT SA MGA MALILIIT AT NAGHIHIRAP NA TAO SA MGA BARYO,at hindi namin kailangan ang mga KOMUNISTA dito

    kita mo ang ganda ng ginagawa ng PANGULO pero ang pinili mo none of the above.bagay kanya kanya tayo ng palagay

    for me A}TRANSFORMATIONAL

  7. Anonymous says:

    Si Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ang pumirma ng EPIRA law.

    So si Gloria ang nakaka-receive ng bonanza at maaring hindi is dating President Fidel Ramos tumatanggap ng mga dividends.

  8. Anonymous says:

    C Dwendi (slut porn star Gloria Aroyo) ang may kasalanan ng lahat ng ito.Dapat kung may bitay na parusa sa Pinas dapat bitayin na yan eh!Isa syang salut sa lipunan walang kwentang tao ,gahaman sa lahat ng bagay!
    Isa syang walang kwentang anak ng dating butihing Pangulo na si Diosdado Macapagal ....pati nga mga taga Pampanga galit dyan kay porstar na dwendi eh kasi kung dahil daw sa box ng Ama noon malamang di yannagkapangalan sa pulitika pero sinira nya ang tiwala ng taong bayan sa kanya ....Karamihan sa Kapampangan galit dyan at ikinakahiya yang si porstar isa syan virus sa lipunan matinding uri ng virus na dapat puksain.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Gloria Aroyo is a big liar.....
    Ngayong nagsasakit sakitan na siya...pero nung panahon na siya ay naka upo bilang Pangulo napaka active niya (active sa pangungurakot)

    Isa siyang walang ka kwenta kwentang tao Virus ng lipunan.

  10. Anonymous says:


    Tsk..Tsk..Tsk. Goodluck Philippines.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Ang mga Oligarchs ay:

    Lopez group, Aboitiz group, Henry Sy group, Manny Pangilinan group, Cojuangco group, Ramon Ang group, Consunji Group,etc.

    Malamang kasama rin ang mga Zobel and Ayala, Lucio Tan group.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Siguro kasama na rin dito ang mga Yuchengco Group, George Ty group and Gokongwei Group.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Very informative revelations by Mr. Herman Tiu Laurel on the power Oligarchs in the Philippines! He explains why we have the highest power cost in Asia.

    ERC is also mentioned that they are not doing their mandated duties and responsibilities.

    Please watch him on You Tube.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Your crying about this for a while now? Dont you worry son soon we will lower it down for you so your mama can use her electric dildo all the time at the bargain cost/kwh!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I watch him in youtube sucking the oligarch dick!

  16. Anonymous says:

    The Philippine Government must intervene to reduce the high electricity power cost in the Philippines.

    God bless the Philippines!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Yes i watch on you tube the program of Mr. Herman Tiu Laurel. Very informative - included in the panel was Mr. Lualhati.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I think President Pnoy is both A and B.

    He is also concern about the high electricity cost in the Philippines - I hope he will do something concrete that will benefit many Filipinos.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Ang ERC wala naman ginagawa puro daldal lang.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Ang daming dapat gawin - infrastructure facilities, mga airports, railways/railroads, highways, flood control, water and electricity in places like Quezon and Bicol and many more.

    Bilis bilisan lang ni Pnoy ang trabaho niya at maglagay ng mga honest, above reproach, not corrupt na mga officials.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ang tagal naman kasi ng pag-approve mo President Pnoy ng FOI.

  22. Anonymous says:

    lekramo kua jan ha, ang galing ninyo ng utos,,,, utusan ko rin kau kumuha kau ng bagong sedula taon-taon,,, bka nga sedula wala kau, basic tax yan sa bawat filipino.....me isa p akong utos s lhat ng mamayang filipino, here and abroad, boycott CHINESE MADE PRODUCTS,,,their products contains poisonous and toxic materials,,CHINA IS OUR POTENTIAL ENEMY TO US FILIPINOS........

  23. Anonymous says:

    Buy we have enemies within our society and these are the corrupt and the oligarch families who are greedy!

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