By Jesus Estanislao
It is natural for any enterprise, with a governance and transformation program that it seeks to sustain and even strengthen over time, to take into account the wider reality within which it would be transforming itself. For enterprises in the Philippines, that wider reality is the country itself.
For now, in the absence of a fully articulated and officially adopted transformation program for the entire country, Philippine enterprises have to make a guess of what “dream Philippines” may entail. Even the time horizon they have chosen for the realization of their governance “vision” varies, since there is no specified time horizon for the long-term governance and transformation program for the country as a whole. In the case of the Philippine National Police (PNP), its Patrol Plan has 2020 as the end of its “vision period”; in the case of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), it is 2028; and in the case of most local government units, their vision period is at most 10 years into the future.
For the country, a first helpful step had been taken: The National and Economic Development Authority (NEDA) initiated a process of articulating and presenting a “vision” of what the Philippines must become by 2020. NEDA invited different focus groups to come up with their own suggestions on “Philippines 2040.” The number of groups asked to participate was impressive; but absent any over-arching framework, the different focus groups came up with a list of items that should characterize a more prosperous and more economically developed Philippines. It is no surprise that most of the items refer to material welfare: People want to have more – much more – of the material “goods” in their life.
But should material comforts and economic wealth predominate the dream we as a people should have for our country? To be sure, these are very important, indeed rather essential, facets of our “dream Philippines. But as any comprehensive governance framework tells us – such as the one stipulated under personal governance aiming at striking a proper balance between life and work – there are other essential facets that should also be given their due importance.
Furthermore, why stop at 2040? When the focus groups met to discuss about their dreams and aspirations for the country, 2040 was only 24 years away. From the perspective of individuals who are just graduating from college and entering the world of work in 2016 as young professionals, 24 years into the future would be too short; by 2040, they will only be 45 years old, now generally considered as the age when people are in their mid-career. Indeed, if we take the whole working life time of those 21-year old college graduates (class 2016), we should be thinking of 2070, i.e. 30 more years beyond 2040. By 2070, those 21-year old fresh college graduates of 2016 would become 75 years old, which is probably the age when they shall be starting to ride into the sunset.
Two things, then, that would be most helpful to enterprises intent on sustaining and strengthening their governance and transformation program. The first is an articulation of “dream Philippines,” a governance and transformation program for the country as a whole. The second is a longer time period for “dream Philippines”: and an idea is for a time horizon of around 54 years (just slightly more than 5 decades), during which the young college graduates of today would be active at work and doing their bit in building up our “dream Philippines.”