How does the notion of Filipino Military Leadership appeal to you especially in the context of the Armed Forces of the Philippines?
The Filipino Military Leadership has rich history of gallantry, of courage, of perseverance to attain noble purpose of attaining freedom, of maintaining peace and security. The glorious accounts can be traced back from pre-colonial period when the center of Filipino determination and motivation is the community, family and kinship to current challenges brought by continually evolving security environment coupled with AFP’s multi-faceted tasks.
The Filipino Military Leadership evolved to be adaptive address the challenges of
As a leader, what are the ethical dilemmas that you find to be prevalent that needs to be addressed in the military? Badaracco (1998), stated that ‘we have all experienced situations in which our professional responsibilities unexpectedly come into conflict with our deepest values we are caught in a conflict between right and right. And no matter which option we choose, we feel like we’ve come up short.
I’m in the military service for quite long and there were circumstances that I found myself also in the middle of leadership dilemmas brought by the culture and practices in the AFP that is most of the time needs to consider in making outright decisions. And sometimes these decisions became questionable with regards to the motives of the military leaders since it is seen to serve the shareholders of the decision and the decision makers themselves. In my own opinion here are some of the ethical dilemmas that are prevalent in the military (in AFP in particular) that need to be addressed.
Adherence to policy vs compassion and consideration. There are so many policies formulated by the higher headquarters aimed to instill discipline, create competitiveness and professionalized the entire AFP personnel. Policies about handling of cases, recruitment, promotion system, retention and attrition were among of those with the intent of providing standard guidance and procedures in personnel management. Nevertheless our culture of compassion to our comrades; the humanitarian consideration is always being one of the primary factor in the decision making especially in the disciplinary cases (not of those grave offenses) that would cause attrition of our personnel. We always opted to find mitigating factors so that decision will be favoring our men. Similarly, in reenlistment process or promotion process, we tend to give high rating in order to ensure that our men will be promoted which most of the time the exemplified performance of other became equal to those of average performance. Being compassionate is right, as the policies were made to standardize our actions.
2. Reporting what have done and disregarding what were failed to do. All of the after tour of duty report of the commanders from company commander to highest echelon of command was accomplishment reports, all were winning, nobody loses. However, why on earth that all of the threats being confronted by the AFP still exist after more than five decades of continues skirmishes and implementation of various campaigns. Yes we know the fact that the problem of internal security, of insurgency cannot be solved by military alone, however, it seems that it’s been long time that we didn’t see the real common operating picture because we failed to report what were the things we failed to do. Nobody in the chain of command wanted to hear our report if we do so. Real dilemma.
Utilitarianism as mentioned in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy is distinguished by impartiality and agent-neutrality. Everyone’s happiness counts the same. When one maximizes the good, it is the good impartially considered. These features of this approach to moral evaluation and/ or moral decision-making have proven to be somewhat controversial. This theory is very much applicable to current practices in the AFP especially in resource (financial) management. We usually violated existing laws and policies and used technicalities to cover the irregularities, and we do it with our mind for the good of the unit. Still, the end does not justify the means.
What concrete action steps can you think that will bring positive social change not only in the organization but in the country as a whole? Change is constant and the leaders don’t just embrace change but they are the catalyst of change. Change must begin on ourselves and equally important we must influence other to change for good. Collectively, we have the power to influence social change that will benefit not only our organization but the country as a whole. Dunfrey (2019) mentioned that sociologist defined social change as changes in human interactions and relationships that transform cultural and social institutions. These changes occur over time and often have profound and long-term consequences for society.
Organizational wise, the AFP as a whole is implementing organizational change through the implementation of the AFP Transformation Roadmap (AFPTR). The AFP Transformation Roadmap is the Armed Forces’ guide towards organizational change and of better service of Filipino nation (5th CRG, 2015). The AFPTR is based on the Performance Governance System (PGS) which is an adaptation of Harvard’s Balanced Scorecard framework into local circumstances of the Philippines. The AFP instituted reforms based on the principles of good governance and performance excellence.
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