"The Rizal Robredo Index"

How can the internet community have a real influence on politics? Words of themselves don’t create result.

Society of Honor brother Jim-e offered up what I think is a brilliant suggestion a while back. It was instigated by JoeAm’s article on ” A First Class Philippines: Amando Tetangco, Jr.” Jim-e wrote:
  • Perhaps it would be a good idea to establish a new “religion” or “cult”–the cult of quality, courage, honor, character and bravery–THE CULT OF RIZAL!
Well, I don’t like the term “cult” because it has a negative and religious meaning to me. But the idea of developing a movement that recognizes the excellence that exists in the Philippines today, the core of First Class people and institutions and places, is superb.
The way I look at it, the Philippines has been sleeping for 118 years since Jose Rizal penned a speech honoring Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo in 1884. The banquet at which he spoke was hosted by the Filipino community in Madrid, Spain. The audience was mostly prominent Spanish newspapermen, artists and statesmen, and a collection of well-connected Filipinos. The event was inspiring for the speech was inspiring, and for the first time ever, a Filipino was recognized as an intellectual and passionate equal to Spanish intellectuals.
Jose Rizal was 23 years old.
One paragraph of his speech is especially pertinent to this article’s topic:
  • “The patriarchal era in the Philippines is waning. The deeds of her illustrious sons are no longer wasted away at home. The oriental chrysalis is leaving the cocoon. The morrow of a long day for those regions is announced in brilliant tints and rose-colored dawns, and that race, fallen into lethargy during the historic night while the sun illumines other continents, again awakens, moved by the electric impact that contact with Western peoples produces, and she demands light, life, the civilization that at one time they bequeath her, thus confirming the eternal laws of constant evolution, of change, of periodicy, of progress.” (“Jose Rizal; Life, Works, and Writings of a Genius, Writer, Scientist, and National Hero” by Gregorio and Sonia Zaide)
Well, the patriarchs returned, didn’t they? Aguinaldo led the pack, the Americans descended with clubs and bullets to beat the Philippines back into lethargy, and we remain today where Rizal left off, the Catholic Church trying to impose its rigid and timeless way, its unchanging way, on the Philippines. The oligarchs loading the political machine up with self-patronage. And poverty remains relentless.
President Noynoy Aquino has prodded the cocoon once again, jabbed it into life, pushed the oriental chrysalis once again toward the light.
With apology to Jim-e for tweaking his mission statement a little, this is The Rizal Imperative enlarged to consider the very current high-minded ideal attached to the late Jesse Robredo’s work. It is now called the The Rizal Robredo Imperative:
  • To pursue a national character of intelligence, courage, honor, and capability.
  • Intelligence means reason, the highest levels of thought in science, in the humanities, in commerce , in law and in government.
  • Courage means the passion and determination required to hold the course, or the wisdom to adjust, to attain success.
  • Honor means living up to the highest standards of human kindness and well-being.
  • Capability means skill in the use of intelligence, courage and honor to attain the highest possible result.
Well, this is still open to tweaking, after all, the idea of community is that we are stronger together than as individuals.
So feel free to tweak.
How does such an imperative become action? How do we get from ideals and words to inspire changes in behavior and decisions from powerful people?
Well, how about establishing a rating index and a rating methodology?
The Rizal Robredo Index
This would be a score, say from 0 to 100, that would evaluate government officials on intelligence, courage, honor and capability. Like Pulse Asia, it would be published periodically to represent a scaling and scoring of competence in the Philippines. Elected and appointed officials would not feel the heat of public criticism or commendation only during election cycles, but regularly.
The methodology to implement the index would take some effort. I imagine a ratings panel like the Nobel Peace Prize Committee that would look at reviews prepared by teams of volunteer scouts in the field tracking and recording what government officials are up to. The ratings panel would issue their scores in two stages: (1) preliminary, with right of comment, and (2) final.
The essential goal is to recognize the strengths of the Philippines, the top people, and rally around them. Not obsess over weaknesses or problems or shortcomings. They are just temporary barriers. As Secretary Rebredo exemplified, and Joe Am has been illustrating through a series of articles, there is a First Class core within the Philippines, and the best way forward is to grow it.
For illustration purposes only, here is a quick example to show how the index would differentiate among people.  Now it is possible that the rating of Senator Sotto is influenced by the bias of near-term events and the power of Angry Maude’s recent rant. This fictitious, top-of-mind evaluation adds up scores from 0 to 25 in each category:
The rating could be improved by having sub-categories of scoring within each major  category. For example, intelligence might be comprised of: (a) education, (b) logic, (c ) innovation, (d) expression, and (e) open mindedness. Assign five points each.
It would also be improved if the process were run by Filipinos and the leaders gave JoeAm and Jim-e  the old nationalistic boot out the door.
Finally, the process could be improved by having a panel do the scoring to average out the evaluations and moderate extreme scores such as that we see for Senator Sotto.
The panel might also choose to shade the weightings. Maybe capability should be 40 points instead of 25.
With some work, credible tools and evaluations could be developed and voters would have important new information at their disposal.
  • When the ratings are applied to candidates, the public is be better able to select first class leaders.
  • When the ratings are applied to people in office, those office-holders are motivated to do better.
The Rizal Robredo Imperative: to find and build on the first class leaders of the Philippines.
The Rizal Robredo Index: a process, a tool for doing this.

UPDATE: 09/05/2012 Work on a draft evaluation form has been moved to a tab at the top of this page (“The Rizal Robredo Index”). Currently working is version 1.1.1, and comments are welcome. Specifically requested are suggested line item statements to include. Comments may be dropped off in the comment section to that tab page.

UPDATE: 09/09/2012: Development of the Rizal Robredo Index has been moved to an independent location. If you are interested in participating in development, please send Joe Am an e-mail via the “Contact Us” tab.

28 Responses to “"The Rizal Robredo Index"”
  1. andrew lim says:

    Great start, thought it would need some refining. Let's apply it to all national figures. I presume integrity is included in honor?Since this will provoke endless bickering and debates, the way to end it is to have the readership vote on it. E.g. Sotto supporters will cry foul, but they will be drowned out by the votes and the evidence on hand of his low intelligence and honor.

  2. Yes, it needs refining, including definitions that would, for instance, include integrity in honor, or use integrity as the top line and have IT include honor.And I envision a very extensive check list instrument that could be used by a team of evaluators. Intelligence would be comprised of sub-categories, and within each sub-category a checklist: for example, post-graduate degree, military service, business board experience, and other ways to tangibly measure intelligence.Lots of work to do. I mainly wanted to seat the idea, for I think it could be very powerful if done right.

  3. As I reflect on it, I think some of my checklist more appropriately goes under capability, not intelligence. Probably the instrument should be developed by educators or professionals who are skilled at interview and polling techniques. Like, maybe recruit someone from Pulse Asia or the like to oversee development of the survey checklist.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Agree 100%. There's enough nuancing with the categories and it's pretty dynamic because time-bound. Let's start with the cabinet secretaries and later when the word is out with the 2013 senatorial candidates, yes?DocB

  5. Anonymous says:

    Courage and honor are like Matino, and intelligence and capability for Mahusay, taking Robredo's inspiration. DocB

  6. Anonymous says:

    From: Island jim-e (aka: The Cricket)1. Amen! Great idea and concept! I hope that someone in the educational community-associations will take the responsibility of doing this as a quarterly publication. If someone could administrate a community bulleting board and showcase the inform- mation on the internet, release press releases as vignettes, sponor newsmedia releases and get on national talk shows for discussion features we would be a much stronger "positive force" for progress!2. In America the League of Women Voters puts out a good information product for voters use during each election. The trick is to get this information into the "average juans" hands to provide information about the potential elected individuals–unless the information reaches the people who need to get out to vote no progress can be expected–so newsmedia and talk show appearances and promotion of this information is very necessary!3. Question: Who best to administrate and monitor this rating system and information program?chirp, Chirp!

  7. Edgar Lores says:

    I prefer Matino to be a separate category. Matino is hard to define. The English equivalent of sensibility does not quite carry the original ingredient of "heart".Heart is many things: intuition, integrity, incorruptibility and love above self for the people and the country.It should have a higher weight than capability.Using this criterion, the ratings of Sotto, Santiago and Binay would properly place them in the abysmal ranks.

  8. I think step one would be development of a survey instrument so that people doing evaluations are pretty much on the same line of thinking, so that the main variable is candidate quality.

  9. Good observations. I'd think the "who" would be a small panel of Filipino professionals.

  10. These are superb concepts, and a good example of why the effort needs to be done by Filipinos. Y'all need to find an administrator who can organize things.Can you imagine the power a respected evaluation would have? Wow. It would have to be unaffiliated, neutral, independent, balanced, accurate. A sloppy survey would provoke bickering. A good one would send the unqualified back to school or home to the farm.

  11. Edgar Lores says:

    Assuming the R2 Index can be properly set up, Jim-e's third question gains great importance. The Nobel Prize Committee of the Philippines is the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation. Their choice of awardees is uncanny.But here's the rub: Even if a capable Filipino League of Voters could be set up, I am certain the moneyed backers of politicians will set up a rival committee claiming to have the correct index and the correct ratings.

  12. Cha says:

    It's a great idea Joe (and Jim-e too), hopefully there are educators or professionals out there who would be willing to take this on, as you have suggested. Maybe there are existing civil society groups like Kaya Natin etc. , who may want to take on the role of administrator, as well. In the meantime, what about we just continue exploring the concept, like fleshing out the evaluation criteria. At the very least it can serve as a guide for voters when they choose from among the candidates for the 2013 elections. Also a good reference point for discussion of who else should go into your First Class Philippines honor roll.

  13. Certainly a possibility. I'm sure the rising investigators of the Philippines (PCIJ, Rappler, Blogwatch)could properly vet the sponsors. Rival ratings might not be a bad thing.2011 Magsaysay Awardees: Nileema Mishra of India, KoulPanha of Cambodia, and HasanainJuaini of Indonesia.It appears to have a broad Asian perspective. Not too many Filipinos on the list. Cory Aquino is there. The Dalai Lama is there.

  14. Yes, good suggestions, Cha. I will probably keep working on the criteria as my brain is fired up and the only way to release the pressure is to produce. The comments above from Andrew, Doc and Edgar are helpful to this effort. The more brains piling on, the better.

  15. Anonymous says:

    How about using student grades with modifications? Excellent (intelligence but skill set not fit to position), needs improvement (capability, job started by no follow through), nonexistent ( honor, a thief in short), satisfactory (courage, sec took on the smugglers and drug traffickers to their faces)…DocB

  16. Cha says:

    Hope this can help:Stephen Covey who developed the Theory of Principle Centered Leadership has identified 7 Pillars of Servant Leadership : ( a servant leader being someone who sees himself as a servant first and who is concerned foremost with the well being of people and the community)1. A person of character2. Who puts people first3. Skilled Communicator4. Compassionate collaborator5. Has foresight6. Is a systems thinker7. Leads with moral authority

  17. Edgar Lores says:

    ChaInteresting list.Mahusay: 3. Skilled Communicator; 5. Has foresight; 6. Is a systems thinker.Matino: 1. A person of character; 2. Who puts people first; 4. Compassionate collaborator; 7. Leads with moral authority.Was not too sure where item 4 belonged to the Mahusay basket or the Matino basket. But the adjective "compassionate" seemed to be more important than the noun "collaborator".Assuming the above, the weights assigned should be 40% (4 out of 7) for Mahusay and 60% for Matino. Hey, give Joe a cigar. He said 40 points for capability.

  18. Edgar Lores says:

    These Matino and Mahusay concepts reflect the Heart and Mind dichotomy, the union of which is embodied in the aphorism at the top of the page.

  19. Very helpful, as are Edgar's notes below. Thanks.

  20. Cha says:

    As defined by Covey, it is more the ability to harmonise, relate well with others, encourage and reward contribution and resolve conflicts. So maybe mahusay?What about actual qualification and accomplishment that is relevant to the position being sought by the candidate? e.g. Whatever made Sotto qualified to be Majority Floor Leader anyway or much less a Senator?

  21. Reeaders: Work on a draft evaluation form has been moved to a tab at the top of this page ("The Rizal Robredo Index". Currently working is version 1.1.1, and comments are welcome. Specifically line item statements to include. Comments may be dropped off in the comment section to that tab page.

  22. Edgar Lores says:

    1. To me, the ability to harmonise and relate well are matino.2. Resolve conflicts seems to be similar to harmonize but isn't. It requires judgement, therefore mahusay.3. Encourage / reward contribution may be either matino or mahusay. Mahusay because it takes intelligence to perceive contribution, but heart to reward it.4. Therefore, IMHO, compassionate collaborator should still be matino. 4. Competency is not in the list – a glaring omission? It would be in the mahusay basket. If it were added, the baskets would be 50-50.

  23. Edgar, please see the tab a the top of the page, where the evaluation form is in development. Competency is there as one of the three main headings. Mind. Heart. Deed.

  24. andrew lim says:

    Im excited with the ideas being put out here, Joe. But everyone, pls remember these discussions, while important, cannot go on forever. We have to set a timetable for it to end, say 3 months, then launch it. Since you spearheaded it, feel free to make tough decisions, Joe. We'll just alert you on glaring errors.For sure, partisan interests will tend to derail it, but as long as we get a strong consensus (just like Raissa's blog, which is already a force to reckon with in feeling the public pulse), it will be effective. Joe, involving NGOs like Kaya Natin and Vince Lazatin's Transparency and Accountability Network is a good idea. Once we get it launched, Ill be mentioning it often in my posts on social media to give it traction. I think Raissa will be willing to help out, too.

  25. I agree with you on all points. If we can build a sensible prototype it will be easier to get a responsible, professional manager to run with it.Please note the tab above has a prototype evaluation questionnaire we can develop and shape. If you have ideas for "statements" to include,please drop off a note.

  26. You know what, if we had an internet meme compendium in the country we'll have an easier time to reference this.

  27. Glad you found the site, at least. If this progresses, it will be easy to reference.

  28. Readers: development has been moved to an independent location. Those interested in participating on development can contact JoeAm at the e-mail address indicated in the "Contact Us" tab.

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