In the first article that brainstormed a method for rating President Aquino, I proposed seven areas of job performance that can be scored and summed to reach a total score. Link to article. The job performance functions are:
- Global engagement
- Health and security
- Wealth building
- Social cohesion
- Timeline architecture
In this article I'll brainstorm some more: (1) proposing a scoring method, (2) doing a first cut at "Presentation", and (3) doing a first cut at "Global Engagement."
The President's performance in each area will be scored from 1 to 10, with 10 being very strong and 1 being very weak. However, the first and last areas, "Presentation" and "Timeline architecture", are not actually productive work areas, but management qualities or disciplines. They will be given a 50% weighting. The other six areas will be given 100% weighting. The result is a numerical score that will fall somewhere between 6 and 60.
How presidential is President Aquino? Does he project strength, intelligence, smooth diplomacy, calmness, rational thinking?
- Does a president have to look like Mitt Romney, square jawed and handsome, to be presidential? What is he walks with a limp or is a little chubby? One of America's toughest presidents was a short little sparkplug with a huge moustache and a scowl; his name was Teddy Roosevelt. One of the most respected was in a wheel chair, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
- Does President Aquino look Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama in the eye, as an equal? Yes.
- Does he sometimes look like a scared deer in the headlights when in a tough predicament, like when doing a news briefing on a bus massacre? Yes.
- Does he smile congenially when meeting heads of state, putting them at ease? Yes.
- Does he get overly emotional when a Chief Justice goes against his will? Yes.
- Does he look like a nerd or an athlete? Nerd.
- Does he have a sense of humor? Yes.
- Does he express complex ideas simply but profoundly so that people can grasp them? Ummmm, half and half. His State of the Union presentations contain a lot of self-indulgent back-patting.
- Did he handle the flare-up of "noynoying" gracefully? No. He would have been better served by self-deprecating humor than issuing photos of himself hard at work lugging files or reviewing documents.
- Does he come across as sincere? Yes.
Presentation: Score 6. This is a first quick cut at it. At 50% weight, assign 3 points to the President's overall score.
What could President Aquino do to improve? De-politicize and de-personalize the attack on the Chief Justice in order to build strength in the Judiciary, not disrespect for that branch of government. Be less a "showman" and braggart and more an achiever. Be less sensitive about criticism; use his natural humor and charm to disarm critics. Get more things moving, explicitly (like an HR Bill, or electricity solutions for Mindanao). He should explain them, not gloat about them. He should continue to grow and display the maturity domestically that he does in international relations. He has the influence and national support to move things; he ought not squander this rare and powerful opportunity to move the Philippines forward. Maturely. Confidently. With grace and humility.
The President oversees executive functions that determine how well the Philippines and Filipinos engage with other nations. Immigration, OFW's, imports and exports, tourism, customs, territorial rights. How well is President Aquino shepherding the various elements of Philippine global affairs?
- Has he established inter-executive relationships with top leaders of Asian neighbors, trading partners and the United States? Yes.
- Is his position regarding China and the United States firm and rational? Yes. The aim is to protect the positive aspects of the relationships (e.g., trade with China, mutual defense interests with the U.S.) while working through the significant face-off over national boundaries in the seas. He is balancing this well.
- Are the mechanisms supporting international commerce smooth and efficient? No. Red tape and irrational fees remain in place. Customs remains corrupt.
- Are overseas investors turning toward the Philippines? Yes. The stock market is strong, investment ratings are up, economic stability is recognized globally, the peso is strong.
- Can rich overseas individuals and businesses invest freely in the Philippines? No. Although unrestrained investment should not be permitted, the existing stance, unchanged under President Aquino, is heavy with restrictions, burdens and fees.
- Is the network supporting OFW's the most advanced in the world? Yes. It is an area that the Philippines manages well, advocating and taking specific steps to ensure the safety and improving working environment of its overseas workers.
- Is tourism looking more promising? Definitely.
Global engagement: Score 8.5. Assign 8.5 points to the President's overall score.
What can President Aquino do to improve? (1) Pursue an "anti-red tape" drive as aggressively as he is after corruption. Clear the avenues for investment, with proper regulation. (2) Replace the top management of Customs and insist on clean-up and focus on processing efficiency and security supporting an active flow of goods. Not fee-raising. The goal should be for importers and exporters to make money. Not Customs.
In the next article on this subject, we will assign initial scores for: (1) Infrastructure, and (2) Health and security.