By DR. JESUS P. ESTANISLAO
Manila bulletin, Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Having listed its priorities under the five perspectives it has chosen, the Philippine Navy (PN) sailed further and went on to craft performance scorecards for each priority.
Under the personnel perspective, the Navy had listed only one priority, “highly competent and motivated professionals.” It went on to answer this question, “How are we to pursue this priority?”
To be able to do so, the Navy has put forward a first initiative, which it labelled as the PN Education & Training System. It then proposes a measure, which it will be using to track progress and monitor accomplishment in pursuit of the priority. The measure is quantitative, and it is the “Personnel Readiness Profile.” The base, in 2010, of this measure is 44 percent. The Navy has targets for this measure to go up to 50 percent, 55 percent, and 65 percent in 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively. By the end of the Vision period, 2020, the Navy has set a target of 95 percent for this measure.
It is clear that the Navy sets great store upon its training system, which should produce for it the “highly competent and motivated professionals” it seeks. Furthermore, the Navy recognizes that it is starting from a low base, by the measure it has chosen, at 44 percent in its Personnel Readiness Profile. But note the ambitious target: By 2013, or within three years, this should shoot up by 21 basis points. Moreover, by 2020, it should shoot up by another 30 basis points from the level it will have reached in 2013. Considering how important the personnel perspective is in the Navy Sail Plan, this measure and the targets set for it is a bell-weather of any substantive, breakthrough results the Navy would deliver under its Sail Plan.
The Navy has also put forward a second initiative, which is equally fundamental: It is a Competency-Based PN Personnel/Human Resource Management System. Again, the Navy stresses the word “system,” and in this specific instance it also underscores competency as at the very core of its HR management. Through a system it proposes to introduce upgrading its HR management, it expects to reduce the “Turn-over Rate of Skilled Personnel” within the Navy. The baseline data, still to be finally determined, show that this rate is currently at a high level, above 75 percent. Thus, the Navy has set the following targets for 2011, 2012, and 2013: 75 percent; 70 percent; and 65 percent, respectively. The target for 2020 is 30 percent.
A high turn-over rate is expensive for any organization. In the case of the Navy, such a high rate can be debilitating relative to the Mission it has to carry out. Thus, in view of the imperative to strengthen the organization, the PN has correctly put forward this initiative, with its corresponding measure and targets: On this initiative, it has committed to turn in substantive breakthrough results. The turn-over-rate of skilled Navy personnel must be cut drastically within the Vision period. By 2020, it should be down by more than half of its current rate.
Into the two systemic initiatives the PN has put forward, the first related to education and training, and the second related to competency-based HR management, it needs to consider embedding the demands of a transformation culture that its Sail Plan calls for. This would entail giving concrete flesh and substance to the core values the Navy has chosen to enshrine in its Governance Charter. It has to look for specific ways and means by which those core values, with the level of competence and motivation associated with them, find life in every facet and at all levels of day-to-day operations. This is a tall order, but it happens to be one that a deeply committed Philippine Navy should be able to meet and fill.