Presidential candidates as job applicants | Inquirer Business

Presidential candidates as job applicants

Orly Zorilla, DPM, a retired business executive and management consultant, emailed me a job description he crafted for the President of the Philippines. In many companies, job applicants are screened and selected on the basis of two major criteria: Can they do the job, and will they do the job?  The first tells you if the candidate has the competencies, the second if he/she has the motivation.

Job qualifications

In the corporate world, nobody gets hired on the basis of a fantastic résumé. The résumé simply gets the job applicant invited for the job interview/s. Today, it’s also no longer enough that the applicant matches the job. The fit between the job applicant and the organization is more important. The résumé can give the hiring authority an idea if the applicant has the minimum qualifications for the job.


In the case of the Philippine presidency, the minimum requirements are: “a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.” (Article 7, Section 2, Philippine Constitution.)


It’s small wonder why job applicants for the Presidency initially exceed 100 every election, and the Commission on Elections has to prune the number.

Organizational relationships

According to the Wikipedia, the President is the “head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The President leads the executive branch of the government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”

Orly Zorilla adds that the President “coordinates with the legislative branch on his legislative agenda, and with the judicial branch on the dispensation of justice, and is accountable to the people of the Philippines.”

Orly thinks that the President’s mission is “to serve and lead the country with a shared vision of a progressive Philippines, where its people live happily and creatively work together while sharing God’s blessings.”

Presidential roles


The President plays the following roles, according to Orly:

As Father of the country, he “conceptualizes and implements programs for the benefit of all citizens, particularly the poor and downtrodden, to enable them to share the bounties of development, afford the basic amenities, and enjoy a decent life.”

As President of the country, he is responsible for “formulating integrated national programs for economic, political and social development, building consensus, and inspiring others to participate and support the implementation of the programs.”

As Chief Executive, he is “responsible for the overall organization and management of government offices and agencies, and for ensuring that all government officials and personnel discharge their duties and responsibilities effectively, efficiently and honestly.”

As Commander-in-Chief, he “ensures a competent and disciplined police force and military organization, enforcing law and order and preserving peace and tranquillity all over the country’s territory.”

As Head of the State, he “establishes and implements policies affecting our relations with other countries and international agencies to ensure a competitive position in the global market,

maintain effective relations among nations, and contribute to world peace and understanding.”

As Top Government Official and Public Servant, he “exercises overall coordination and control over all major activities of government; promotes harmony and unity among various communities, groups and sectors; leads people to rally behind moves to resolve national issues and concerns, and to motivate people toward building of a true Filipino culture and heritage.”

Readers don’t have to be experts in human resources management to see that the minimum job qualifications mentioned earlier will not guarantee the successful performance of the President’s job.  To effectively play these roles, Presidents need critical competencies.


Orly Zorilla thinks that the Presidency, as a job, requires the following competencies:

Integrity.  A leading example and role model of integrity, honesty, morality, and sincerity in public service; has self-respect and the respect of constituency; does what he says he would do.

Leadership. Inspiring leadership, to create and achieve a shared vision; has moral ascendancy to lead and unite the country.

Managerial. Top management expertise and unblemished record of successful performance, strategic orientation, critical thinking and sound judgment on issues both internal and external to the country. Must have the courage to solve difficult problems and seasonably make bold, critical decisions.

Knowledge. Familiarity with the Philippine Constitution, democratic and political processes, and the workings of the bureaucracy; working knowledge of business and economics; and up to date with international situation, diplomacy and foreign policy.

Communication Skills. Demonstrated skill to listen to and communicate ideas, to create understanding and gain public acceptance;must be a forceful, influential, diplomatic, and persuasive communicator, sensitive to all audiences and their feelings.

Political Savvy. Ability to negotiate, reconcile, and settle conflicting issues with Congress, Churches, political parties, leftist-rightist groups, secessionists, other sectors of society, and other countries.

Health. Mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually fit to work under pressure and during crisis.

If the presidentiables were job applicants, who will you hire? Choose wisely, for he/she will be your boss for the next six years.

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(Ernie is the 2013 Executive Director and 1999 President of the People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP); Chair of the AMCHAM Human Capital Committee; and Co-Chair of ECOP’s TWG on Labor and Social Policy Issues. He also chairs the Accreditation Council for the PMAP Society of Fellows in People Management. He is President and CEO of EC Business Solutions and Career Center. Contact him at [email protected])

TAGS: candidates, Comelec, Commission on Elections, communication, competencies, election, Health, job, leadership, presidency, qualifications, roles, skills

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