Ask your Candidate – What's In It For the Philippines?

Sans rhetoric and emo the core issue to each candidate is this – What is your value proposition? What do you bring to the table? What’s in it for me – the taxpayer? What’s in it for my children and community? What’s in it for our country? What’s in it for our public agents? What’s in it for our businessmen? What’s in it for all of US, yes, that means YOU, ME, and EVERYONE ELSE?

What Does Value Proposition Mean?

Value Proposition is a business or marketing statement that summarizes why a consumer should buy a product or use a service. This statement should convince a potential consumer that one particular product or service will add more value or better solve a problem than other similar offerings. Companies use this statement to target customers who will benefit most from using the company’s products, and this helps maintain an economic moat. The ideal value proposition is concise and appeals to the customer’s strongest decision-making drivers. Companies pay a high price when customers lose sight of the company’s value proposition. (source: Investopedia)
A more detailed discussion on value propositions can be found here. Here are some excerpts from the site – (Caveat: this might give you an idea on why Villar is on the upswing and Aquino is headed south).

Value propositions can be intimidating because they strive to combine small size — often 10 words or less — with a lot of substance. After all, those 10 words are supposed to convey the unique qualities of your company and/or products and services.

No wonder marketers tend to shy away from one of the strongest and lowest cost optimization strategies: re-crafting their value proposition.

Our research shows that most marketers have trouble with the following areas:

  • Company has not identified a value proposition
  • Company does not clearly express its value proposition
  • Company is not testing or measuring its value proposition (BongV:that’s what surveys are for! if you don’t measure – you have no idea where you stand – there’s another phrase for that – you are clueless!)

These three problems can feed on each other, creating a negative cycle that hurts ROI.

Key point: To counter these issues, your optimization strategy must include a continuous process of identifying, testing, and expressing value propositions effectively.

Advertising is a tool of strategy, the noynoyistas oughta quit whining , step up to the game and have a strategy of communicating Aquino’s value proposition. That goes the same for all the other candidates – just because you have performed and have brilliant plans does not mean people will buy – you need to get out there and communicate your value proposition.

In layman’s terms, the value proposition to a candidate can be restated as – What exactly do you stand for?  Who are YOU? Why should I vote for you? Convince me.

Given – The Current State/ As-Is State / Here’s Where We Are Stuck Today

I would like to thank Dr. Romulo A. Virola, Secretary General, NSCB for providing the reliable number which will be the central reference upon which we can have a sober and impartial discussion. Great job sir.

We need a central reference point – something both sides agree on as credible. That’s why we, taxpayers,  pay taxes, to keep track of the numbers – on our performance as an economy and society. How we have fared so far in the economy, jobs, poverty, and our incomes.

Between 2000 and 2003,

GDP/GNP grew at effective annual rates of 8.76%/9.10% and 3.70%/4.12% in current and constant prices, respectively.

Poverty incidence, as a proportion of poor families, declined from 27.5% to 24.4%.

Likewise, the magnitude of poor families was reduced by about 124 thousand families from 4.147 million to 4.023 million families.

Technically therefore, to be able to address poverty, it is not sufficient that there be economic growth, nor that there be increased income and improved income distribution. Income must increase faster  than inflation.

Between 2003 and 2006,

GDP/GNP grew at effective annual rates of 11.80%/12.14% and 5.56%/5.90% in current and constant prices, respectively, which growth rates are higher than in the  previous period.

However, poverty incidence, as a proportion of poor families, increased from 24.4% to 26.9%.

The magnitude of poor families likewise increased by about 655 thousand families from 4.023 million to 4.677 million families.

Between 2000 and 2006,

GDP/GNP grew at effective annual rates of 10.27%/10.61% and 4.62%/5.01% in current and constant prices, respectively.

Poverty incidence, as a proportion of poor families, slightly declined from 27.5% to 26.9%.

The magnitude of poor families increased however, by about 531 thousand families from 4.147 million to 4.677 million families.

Thus, during the period under review, while economic growth was higher from 2003 to 2006 than in 2000 to 2003, poverty reduction was more effective during the latter period. Of course,  Mareng Winnie has been telling us that economic growth is not sufficient to reduce poverty. Growth must be high enough, and it must trickle down to the poor!

Let us look at other indicators, and reflect, as politicians do, for discernment! Specifically,  let us look at wages/income and prices.

Economic growth during the 6-year period from 2000 to 2006 actually translated into a general improvement in the income distribution with the shares of the poorest three deciles and the next three deciles increasing  at the expense of the three richest deciles.

Per capita nominal income has increased.

The increase in per capita income  among the vulnerable groups, specifically the second to the fifth poorest deciles,  was high enough  to cope with the increase in prices in 2000-2003.
However, in 2003-2006, the increase in income of these vulnerable groups was slower than the inflation rate, be it in terms of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food, or the CPI for all items.Between 2000 and 2006, the increased income of the vulnerable groups coped with the inflation for food, but not with the CPI for all items.

In other words, from 2000 to 2006, the Philippines experienced economic growth that was pro-poor and to a certain extent, pro-middle class.

However, our poverty reduction program has not exactly been an outstanding success because inflation eroded whatever increase there was in the income of the vulnerable groups.

What exactly are they going to do about it? What are the things that can convince us to select leader – having blogged the issues of integrity, and track record before, let’s look at another set of tangibles. Stuff upon which the candidate can be held accountable to in the future. We can definitely measure whether the leader is on target and the manner it was achieved. Did he do exactly what all of us understood as what he said he will do  – this is how you measure integrity – and  discrepancy.


Key Result Areas (KRAs) – Deliverables

Each candidate’s value proposition needs to address the following:

1-1. Economic growth – What levels? Give me a number. Yes, its a %

1-2. Poverty reduction – What levels? Give me a number. Yes, its a %

1-3. Increase in income – What levels? Give me a number. Yes, its a %

1-4.  Control of inflation – What levels? Give me a number. Yes, its a %

Policy Tools

Each of these 4 KRAs can be addressed through a variety of Policy tools which are available to each candidate IF they get elected into office::

2-1. Economic growth Activities – investment liberalization, investment promotion, process improvement,

2-2. Poverty reduction Activities – anti-corruption measures, relief, capability building, etc.

2-3. Income Improvement Activities- reduction in taxes, grants/loans for education/certification, institutionalization of a US SBA-like institution in the Philippines, etc

2-4. Inflation Management Activities – Inflation can have positive and negative effects on an economy. Negative effects of inflation include a decrease in the real value of money and other monetary items over time; uncertainty about future inflation may discourage investment and saving, and high inflation may lead to shortages of goods if consumers begin hoarding out of concern that prices will increase in the future. Positive effects include a mitigation of economic recessions,[5] and debt relief by reducing the real level of debt.

What is your candidate’s Value Proposition?

The crux of the matter, therefore, boils down to this question –

What are the policy tools (2-2,2-2,2-3,2-4) that each candidate will use and how will they use it, how much will it cost taxpayers in to achieve the KRAs/deliverables (1-1, 1,2,1,-3,1-4)?

Where are you taking this country?

What will happen to me? my job? my family? my community? my city? my country?

Convince me. Give it your best shot. If it’s all good – we all win – our country wins, we all win – you, me, community, country.

If I find you credible and I am convinced of your value proposition- you lead, I will follow and help you move your agenda for the country forward – in whatever way I can.

As simple as that.

No bull. No emo. No spin. Just the facts.

In answering me consider the following tips from the site I referred to above

Characteristics of Strong Value Propositions

  • You must differentiate your offer from your competitors’ offers.
  • You may match a competitor on every dimension of value except one.
  • You need to excel in at least one element of value.
  • In this way you become the best choice for your optimum customer – that’s me – the taxpayer.. the voter.. yes, me… convince me..
  • There is a difference between the value proposition for your administration and your policies. You must address both.

Crafting a value proposition requires substantial reflection on what is unique about your candidacy and your administration and your services.


These question(s) goes to Noynoy Aquino, Manny Villar, Erap Estrada, Gibo Teodoro, Dick Gordon, and Nick Perlas.

If you had just 10 words to describe why people should vote for you instead of another what would you communicate?

What is your value proposition?

What are the policies that you will pursue, how will you implement it, how much will it cost taxpayers if you were to achieve the change we seek?



  1. Makabayan · ·

    Heavy ito pare 🙂

  2. ano yan pre…an “attempt” to put numbers behind the rhetoric 🙂
    qualitative scorecard baga (if there were such an animal)

  3. Most Filipino candidates would rather think of what’s in it for them… while the people do not articulate the “what’s in it for us” question, when they should.

  4. Zadkiel · ·

    “mahina ako sa math pre”

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