Towards a Strategic Development Road Map (Update)

The following is a matrix of the Strategies contained in the government’s Philippine Development Plan 2011-16  plotted against the five key results areas under the Cabinet Cluster system of the Aquino Cabinet.

The five themes include: 1) Good Governance and Anti-Corruption, 2) Human Development and Poverty Reduction, 3) Economic Development, 4) Security, Justice and Peace, and 5) Climate Change, Adaptation and Mitigation. This was contained in Executive Order 43: Pursuing our Social Contract with the Filipino People Through the Reorganization of the Cabinet Clusters.

The strategies under each theme were taken from the Philippine Development Plan 2011-16. In some cases, the actual targets were contained in it or some other announcement such as the renewable energy target. Some targets we are actually proposing here based on the intent of the PDP and other statements by the government. Some targets remain ambiguous or require quantification, but at least a measurement indicator is identified here.

This should form the basis for a periodic review of the government’s progress in meeting its official development plan and agenda. In the future, we will be revisiting these targets to hold this government to account. Comments on the construction of the matrix are quite welcome. Feel free to point out things that are missing or need to be revised.

Scorecard of Social Contract and Philippine Development Plan 2011-16 Targets


Good governance targets

I chose to go with the World Bank’s Good Governance indicators because the government has adopted its whole philosophy of economic development from the Washington Consensus. It is only but fitting that it should benchmark itself against the indicators set by this Washington-based institution.

In setting the targets for the nation, I had to benchmark our rating with our East Asian neighbors. For instance under control of corruption, the Philippines and Indonesia were at 27.1 and 28.1 respectively, China and Vietnam were at 36.2 and 36.7, Thailand was at 51, and Malaysia was at 58.1 back in 2009. Hong Kong and Singapore were in the 90s.

It is only but fitting that we try to break into the range of Thailand and Malaysia. So I said we need to be achieving above 50%. I used a similar approach with the other indicators in this area.

Human Development and Poverty Reduction

Most of the targets found here were lifted from the government’s plan. The only target which I had to set on my own was the HDI target. To do this I simply projected the current trend from 2005 to 2010.  The target of reaching a 0.65 value for HDI means we would catch up to where Thailand and Sri Lanka were back in 2010.

All the other targets dealing with poverty reduction, literacy, land reform and distribution, Pantawid Pamilya recipients, housing and reaching the MDG targets were all based on official published documents by the government.

Economic Development

Most of the targets came from official published documents by the government. The only targets where I took the liberty of setting were the fiscal spending targets, but even there I took the policy pronouncements contained in the PDP into account.

For example, the PDP stated that its Medium Term Expenditure goal was to “substantially increase productive expenditures and catch up with the accumulated deficits in these areas.” It also noted that in 2007, the average expenditure on education among our Asian neighbors was 3.9% of GDP. To “catch-up” and make up for our accumulated deficits, we would need to at least match that spending, which is reflected in the target.

Aside from education, the PDP also made mention of our infrastructure spending which is woefully inadequate when compared with that of China, Vietnam, and Thailand which spent upwards of 7, 8 and 14% of GDP over the last decade. The 5% target was based on the World Bank’s recommended level for a middle income country such as ours. In other words, it was a modest but reasonable target in light of our regional peers’ spending.

The targets for achieving higher rankings in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness and World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business reports are self-explanatory. You can see by reading their most recent editions the countries in whose proximity we would be landing if we achieved the targets.

The consumer welfare and agricultural productivity targets are yet undefined and merit further discussion.

Security, Justice and Peace

The target for achieving political stability was arrived at similar to the other good governance targets already discussed above. The defense modernization target assumes that the government has a revised plan for this and will be working towards achieving 100% of it by the end of its term. Finally, the press freedom strategy and target, I had to personally add given the silence of the PDP on it. I based this on PNoy’s policy pronouncements at an AFP conference call. I further believe the Human Rights Commission should seek to publish official statistics in the area so that we can aim to bring that figure down.

Climate Change, Adaptation and Mitigation

The targets for reducing environmental damage and casualties are yet undefined but flow directly from the strategies outlined in the PDP. The rest of the targets contained here are from official published statements by the government, including the renewable energy target.

Why the Need for a Scorecard?

It has been nearly three months since the cabinet reorganization was announced, and yet it seems no further developments were made towards fleshing out the social contract in terms of major strategies and targets, which the EO that created it envisioned.

That is the reason why we have taken this bold step towards developing this strategic development road map. Of course, nothing would please us more than to see the government announce something similar. When it does, we will be sure to revise the document to reflect it.

The Propinoy Project began as an attempt to hold the government to account for its electoral promises. Now that the government has officially laid down its official policies and plan for its term, it is but fitting that we assess its future performance against its own targets with objective baselines and independent and reliable sources.

This matrix as detailed as it is cannot capture the complexities at the implementation or operational level. We leave that to the community service organizations who are partnered with various agencies to monitor. At least at the strategic level we can look at this scorecard to assess whether the government is doing the right things (and doing them right!) at the operational level to achieve its strategic goals.

Doy Santos aka The Cusp

Doy Santos is an international development consultant who shuttles between Australia and the Philippines. He maintains a blog called The Cusp: A discussion of new thinking, new schools of thought and fresh ideas on public policy ( and tweets as @thecusponline. He holds a Master in Development Economics from the University of the Philippines and an MS in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • GabbyD ,

    S&P has downgraded. lets see what happens. i predict a small increase in interest rates in the US. but not that big of a deal.

    • uP nN gRD ,

      Doy: thannks for providing a lot more detai about the nunmerical goals. You also answered another of my questions about whether Malacanang inner-circle would allow PresiNoy nmaking himself to SMART goals.

      • GabbyD ,

        did u decide on the numerical targets? why these targets?

        • Doy Santos aka The Cusp ,

          To remove some of the mystery from these targets, I updated the post. Please see the discussion added above.

        • J_ag ,

          The main problem with the matrix of our resident “expert” is the fact that he took the brainchild of the Executive Secretary which was meant to lighten the workload of his boss Wang Wang Aquino.

          Everything about governance flows from economic policy. That is where government gets its funds from to govern and implement its policy frame.

          The growth drivers of the economy in this country have been always been based on external demand to drive the expenditure side of the economy. Never the supply side.

          In the past the growth drivers were the export of raw resources and crude agricultural products. Then came the assembly of electronics and garments. Then came the BPO model. Naturally the lack of domestic productive capacities to drive domestic demand remains the structural bottleneck to increasing domestic driven demand. NOWHERE IN THE PRESENT DEVELOPMENT PLAN BREAKS FROM THE SIMILAR PLANS IN THE PAST.



          The global economy is undergoing a massive shift in tectonic plates. The Bank of New York has just announced that it will charge new institutional savers for deposits. Japan, Switzerland and now even the BSP are looking for ways to cheapen their currencies to avoid an economic meltdown.

          A few banks in Europe are beginning to take charges for their holdings of Greek bonds. A prelude for restructuring them. The first time that a major economy will default on part of their sovereign debt.

          The creative destruction process is moving to gain momentum to destroy over production based on cheap credit that can not be repaid.

          Almost half of the GDP number estimates come from the informal sector that is outside the control of fiscal authorities. Fish ball vendors and tricycle drivers are the growth stories in this sector. Endemic state corruption the other driver.

          I still cannot understand why our resident expert continues to write on the framework for development issued by the government.

          Nothing is different from past export driven models…

          Business and business accounting is totally different from economic accounting.

          The fundamental flaw that most people realize about the country is this. The private sector invests in sectors that they believe has unmet demand. Our lack of demand does not stem from a business cycle. It stems from a lack of capacities on the supply side.

          Hence one does not have to be a genius to figure out that no macroeconomic policy frame is possible to pump prime demand in this country dependent on external demand.

          The problem of technological based unemployment and deflation will increasingly become a major problem in the mature economies of the West and Japan. That together with a slow loss of confidence in the U.S. dollar in the world and the search of safe havens is driving uncertainty to great levels. The price of gold is a great oracle of turbulence.

          The collapse of the dollar and with it interest rates are not due to Secretary Purissima nor to Wang Wang Aquino contrary to what MB may believe.

          It is coming from external sources.

          • Doy Santos aka The Cusp ,

            I agree with the essence of your comment J_AG that what we need is a DEVELOPMENTAL STATE rather than a MANAGERIALIST STATE.

            However, given that we cannot set policy, the next best thing for us to advocate aside from questioning the framework is to monitor the attainment of the government’s own development targets.

            Many of these targets won’t be achieved by sticking to the Economic Orthodoxies applied in the PDP. However, if through this exercise, the government realizes it won’t achieve most of its own targets, it might focus their minds on considering other approaches. In other words, I am hoping that adversity will become the mother of invention.

            • J_ag ,

              A developmental state would require the right type of capitalists in the Philippines.

              Our landed capitalists are bad for Philippine capitalism. They depend on guaranteed demand (rent seeking) activities that has hardened the wang wang culture into an ideology that had deep roots in the Spanish system of privilege.

              Look at the people who got the monopoly contract with PAGCOR to supply coffee. Guaranteed demand at a high price. Yet they say there is nothing wrong with the transaction. Look at the BOT now PPP. All guaranteed demand whose capital is drawn from future guaranteed income.

              How does a country that spends less than 2% of its broad estimates of GDP on capital goods expects to improve productivity of the productive sector?

              Point it out to Ochoa and Co as their cautious policy of walking on eggs will make things worse.

              • Doy Santos aka The Cusp ,

                Capitalists by their very nature will try to rort any system if they can get away with it. Corruption and rent-seeking in its non-pejorative sense is the act of a rational individual trying to maximize his gains from an activity.

                To get to a developmental state we need to renovate our economic bureaucracy to withstand pressure from powerful, private interests. It doesn’t mean patronage can’t exist in other areas of the civil service, but in the governance of the economy we have to be extra careful.

                Our economic history does not necessarily equate to our destiny. Even though we came from or still have a high level of asset inequality, and our state is vulnerable to powerful interests, it does not mean that we cannot change things in the future…that is if we are open to recognizing what the problem is.

                • J_ag ,

                  Unfortunately you do not have a “we” mentality as far as ideas of a developmental state go.

                  Pinoy consciousness has been so warped that one does not exist.

                  Historical determinism plays a large part in the everyday consciousness of most Pinoys. We are still a budding state since the time of Rizal.. Nothing much has changed.

            • Up NN grd ,

              Good comments from Ja_g… And doy’s response, also appropriate espewcially for pilipinas OFW-economy

            • Bert ,

              That’s Doy’s score card, I’m sure the government has its own score card to follow, not necessarily Doy’s scorecard.

              Personally, Doy’s matrix above is a little bit on the higher extreme side in some of its aspects hence difficult if not impossible to attain considering the short span of 5 years of implementation of the government’s programs, but that’s expected, coming from a consistent government critic.

              Me, I will be content with watching the reactions of the Filipino people instead of Doy’s matrix. If President Noynoy can maintain an approval and popularity ratings not less than positive 50% from the people at the end of his term, I will “jump with glee”.

              • UP nn grd ,

                The numbers should be easy, at least this goal is easy-peachy-easy-as-buko-pie : 15.6% tax-to-GDP ratio by 2016.

                Now, why 15.6% and not 16.4%, that’s Noynoy’s call — he is Persi-dente.

                • UP nn grd ,

                  Hey… bert… NoyNoy is following your “…Noynoy scoring high on popularity surveys”. (***I guess Noynoy is trying to out-Erap Erap, huh?)

                  Seriously —- I like Noynoy trying to be popular with World Bank’s version of SWS/Pulse with getting Pilipinas in 60-75 for Competitive ranking.

                • Doy Santos aka The Cusp ,

                  Bert, be more specific. A lot of these targets are already part of the government’s targets in the PDP. Which ones do you find impossible?

                  Again, when we have pointed out in the past the government’s inadequate response to their own assessment of need, many in this space have commented that we were being too pessimistic about our view. Now that the targets are up there and they are consistent with government policy, some are saying we are now being overly optimistic in target-setting. Which is it?

                  • Doy Santos aka The Cusp ,

                    Actually, if Bert and others here are so convinced of the government’s abilities at weeding out Wang Wang Culture, then why should they find the Good Governance targets so onerous (they’re the only ones that I had to propose a set of measures)? Why try to wiggle out of it with some flimsy appeal to popularity? Popularity driven policy is one of the more corrosive features of modern politics.

                    • Bert ,

                      Let’s put it this way. If UP n (I’m not sure about Doy), Thai anton, rego, Bencard, and some others, are still awed at GMA’s records inspite her negative 48% approval and popularity rating during her administration given by the people, can we imagine how good it would be for the nation and for the people if Noynoy can make his administration so good and effective that the people would be giving Noynoy positive 50% approval and popularity ratings at the end of his term.

                      ‘Di ba?

                      • UP nN dropout ,

                        Bert: it is so difficult to be in awe of guLO when she has so disappointed deLIMa, MLQ3, cvj, now-Ambassador Cuisia and you. It is so difficult to be in awe when the citizens from banana-republics of Central and south America remind me that they have outclassed Pilipinas. It is embarassing and an affront that Pilipinas has been left in the dust by Thailand and Malaysia.

                        And then, there is Nigno Akino and his KKK’s and QuirinoGrandstand and Baguio — ribbon-cutting.

                        • Doy Santos aka The Cusp ,

                          Put it another way, Bert. If the govt under PNoy is successful in achieving its own targets, I will be glad to celebrate it and yes, stand in awe of its achievements, but only then. Does that make me anti-PNoy? No I don’t think so. Where it falls short, I will continue to offer feedback and suggestions here to help it achieve those goals. That’s why we need to base our assessment of the situation on objective measures rather than anyone’s or any group’s biased subjective views.

                  • Joe America ,

                    Whoa, Nellie, someone has been working overtime. Top of mind reactions: (1) superb, professional discipline, (2) each measurement is deserving of a discussion as to the reasonableness of achieving the target (reducing poverty 10% a year seems out of reach to me) and the stability and accuracy of the measuring organization’s method (e.g, would Transparency International’s rating be a better measurement of anti-corruption success?)

                    I would recommend starting with fewer measures focused on top-line success. Rather like a business would measure success by net income growth rather than sale of widgets or reduction of receivables. It seems to focus the mind better if there are fewer measures to track and “popularize”.

                    • UP nn grd ,

                      I am very glad to see that in the Matrix is the goal for access to safe drinking water. One of the reasons why Mindanawans <i.volunteer to put mortar-shells in a bus along Buendia Avenue is to protest — and access to safe drinking water is a Mindanaw cry for social justice.

                      The need is there, too, for Aetas as well as other groups in practically all nooks/crannies of Pilipinas.

                      • Doy Santos aka The Cusp ,

                        Joe, that’s the thing about the public sector, there is always more than one bottom-line, and often they are in conflict with one another. Unlike in the private sector where you can point to net profit or net value added to shareholders. That’s why running a state is more complex than running a business venture.

                        For those states that have been using a strategic plan in their governance framework (I would point to Oregon and South Australia), the number of targets contained here is not too large.

                        Believe me, if we cascaded down from the strategies to the specific programs and projects with which they are linked, there could easily by thousands of them! If the budgeting system would follow a program-based approach instead of a zero based budgeting approach, we would be able to attach peso figures across each of these key results areas.

                        • Joe America ,

                          Makes sense. There certainly is more complexity. And your choice of corruption indicators also makes sense, given the number of measures you are taking from that source. I’ll have to familiarize myself with that organization.


                          • UP nN grd ,

                            Maybe to PresiNoyNOY, CURB-Corruption means “… no more kickbacks and money-flow to GuLO and her BFF’s and kam–mag-anak”. The historical “..tapos na kayo, kami naman” also. Anglicized into Weather-weather by TABAKO.

                            • Bert ,

                              Maybe, UP n, just maybe.

                              Or, maybe Noynoy is different from GMA and Tabako, who knows.

                          • Doy Santos aka The Cusp ,

                            Transparency International’s corruption perception index would have given a picture for the weeding out of political and bureaucratic corruption strategy, but I chose to go with the WB’s Good Governance indicators since they provide measures across a whole range of strategies, not just taming corruption.

                            Note that the PDP’s strategy is merely “to CURB” corruption. So I hope the strict adherents of Daang Matuwid who insist on an absolute dismantling of it would pay close attention.