INQUIRER.net: MANILA, Philippines – Still in doubt about your choice of candidates for the May 10 presidential elections? This voter’s scorecard might help you come up with that intelligent, no-regrets decision.
Launched on Friday as the first of its kind in Philippine politics, the scorecard provides “simple and effective guide” to evaluate candidates based on three Es – effectiveness, empowering, and ethical leadership.
The criteria were initiated by the Movement for Good Governance (MGG), a non-partisan, multi-sectoral citizen’s movement, to help voters make the wise choice.
“Instead of saying we want this senator or presidential candidate because we know him or because he is popular, the voters can use the scorecard to evaluate if the candidate has the competence, integrity and care for the poor. We encourage people to evaluate each candidate based on the scorecard,” said Milwida “Nene” Guevarra, one of the convenors of the group.
In a news conference, Guevarra said that voters could assess the candidates based on the three leadership criteria and grade them with 1 (poor), 2 (good), 3 (very good).
Instead of bringing a sample ballot on election day, Guevarra said voters could instead bring their scorecard to guide them in choosing who to vote.
“That way, [our vote] is not dependent on who gives us the sample ballot, but it will depend on how we have evaluated the candidates in terms of the way we feel they are in terms of criteria that we can agree with,” she said, stressing that the scorecard then becomes an empowering tool for the citizens.
The scorecard, which has English and Filipino versions, was crafted using local and international governance benchmarks from Gawad Galing Pook, the World Bank, and the United Nations. It was polished after a series of workshops with multi-sectoral groups, and then finalized with the help of the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP), the country’s leading human resource organization.
Guevarra said the scorecard looked at the candidates’ effectiveness or their ability and track record to perform their duty; empowerment, or the candidates’ ability to unite and engage sectors to develop and implement policies and programs that meet the genuine needs of the people; and ethical, which affirms the need for the candidates’ integrity and character.
She said the scorecard has been tested in several schools, where students were asked to choose their presidential candidates first without the scorecard, then listen to a debate of the candidates, and then grade them using the scorecard.
“You can see that there’s a very, very big change in their choice. For example, initially [Senator Francis] Chiz [Escudero] did well, then after the debate and after the students saw the scorecards, they go for [Senator Richard] Gordon,” Guevarra said.
“You can see that people get to be influenced by criteria so when you tend to focus their choices on criteria, their choices differ and what they really want for their choice is to be sound and based on good characteristics,” she added.
Escudero eventually did not pursue his presidential bid.
With 10 days to go before election day, MGG hopes the scorecard can help make the voters choose the right public servants.