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TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF THE PHILIPPINES Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility Mr. Dominick Discarga

The Filipino Value System and Its Effects on

The Filipino Value System and Its Effects on


The Filipino Value System and Its Effects on Business

The Filipino value system or Filipino values refer to the set of values or the value system that a majority of the Filipinos have historically held important in their lives.

Filipino Cultural Values

Utang Na Loob (Reciprocity)

Obligation and responsibility are often viewed in terms of reciprocity ( utang na loob), comprised of debts ( utang), and inner-self- free will ( na-loob). The process begins with an unsolicited gift and continues going often into to the next generation.

The essence of utang na loob is an obligation to appropriately repay a person who has done one a favor. The favors which elicit the Filipino's sense of utang na loob are typically those whose value is impossible to quantify, or, if there is a quantifiable value involved, involves a deeply personal internal dimension. This internal dimension, loob, differentiates Utang na Loob from an ordinary debt("utang"); being an internal phenomenon, utang na loob thus goes much deeper than ordinary debt or even the western concept of owing a favor.

In business:

Utang na Loob may be good or bad for business depending on a lot of considerations, but it affects the way business is conducted especially when the business person is confronted with ethical issue.

Filial Piety

Filial piety is a virtue of respect for one’s parents, elders, and ancestors

Filial piety is an important concept in Filipino culture. It is understood as essential to maintain the collective face of the family and to avoid experiencing hiya

In business:

The Filipino family is so intact that it is common for members of the same family work for the same company.

Padrino System (Palakasan, Patronage)

Padrino System, or patronage in the Filipino culture and politics is the value system where

one gains favor, promotion, or political appointment through family affiliation (nepotism) or friendship (cronyism), as opposed to one's merit.

In business:

Nepotism is the practice of hiring family members regardless of their qualifications. In some cases, a relative of a company executive may be qualified to perform the job for which she is hired. The fact that she is an executive's relative gives her an advantage over the other applicants. But when the employee is not qualified to perform the job, then nepotism becomes counter-productive. Your executive staff begins hiring family members because they need jobs, But the family members' lack of qualifications and ability can affect your company's profitability.

Cronyism is the other side of nepotism. It is the act of hiring friends regardless of qualifications. One of the main problems with cronyism, which you also find in nepotism, is the feeling of entitlement that employees hired under these circumstances feel. Because they know or are related to an executive with the company, they feel they deserve raises and promotions that should be reserved for more qualified staff members. This creates conflict in the workplace and can result in losing qualified personnel.

Suki System

“Suki” is a Filipino term which means “loyal customers.”

According to Ronald (1991), "in the commercial context, suki relationships (market- exchange partnerships) may develop between two people who agree to become regular customer and supplier. In the marketplace, Filipinos will regularly buy from certain specific suppliers who will give them, in return, reduced prices, good quality, and, often, credit."

“Suki” is a distinct Filipino value system which is rooted primarily in personal alliance systems based on commercial relationships

In business:

Though a suki relationship usually takes time and many business transactions to be solidified, suggesting a suki like relationship and backing it up with concessions could be used as a measure to build trust and at the

TECHNOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF THE PHILIPPINES Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility Mr. Dominick Discarga

very least hasten the development of a suki like arrangement.

Bahala Na

The word Bahala is actually a derivative of the word Bathala, which refers to the ancient Supreme Being worshiped by Filipinos during the pre-Spanish Period. It can be said that the proper use of this phrase should be in the context of leaving things in the hands of the Divine Being. Simply put, “Bahala na” can be the equivalent of the Islamic term Inshallah, which means “God willing” or “if Allah wills.”

Bahala Na has been loosely translated as “come what may.” Hence, it is referred to as the Filipino version of fatalism, that is, leaving everything in the hands of fate

Bahala Na is an attitidue of just letting things happen instead of doing something to make things happen is not a genuine “Bahala Na” value

Bahala Na is a distinct Filipino value system which is rooted primarily in personal alliance systems based on religion

The use of the phrase “Bahala na” in the second context somewhat manifests the tendency of Filipinos to humbly submit everything to the Higher Being during tough times

Filipinos usually say “Bahala na” when they are unable to decide their next course of action or when they have no idea what will happen next. They say this phrase as if all they want is to go with the flow, not minding what the outcome might be

Mañana Habit (Procrastination)

Mañana Habit comes from the Spanish word "Mañana" which literally means "tomorrow” or "an unspecified future time." Hence, Mañana Habit, refers to procrastination, or putting off for tomorrow what can be done today

The ‘Mañana habit,’ synonymous to the Filipino expression “Mamaya na,” is just another term for procrastination

In business

Reduced efficiency

Damaged reputation if it gets to the point where the effects of procrastination affects what and when you deliver to customers you are obviously in trouble and it may cause a reputation for tardiness

Missed opportunities – if you’re on top of your workload you’ll also be a much better position to take advantage of new opportunities

Roadblocks/Bottlenecks When you start avoiding things it can interrupt the workflow in your business. Then, an accumulation of things that haven’t been done leads stress for you and frustration for other team members

Amor Propio

Amor propio best translates as “self-love.”

“Amor propio” is a Spanish word which means self love; a sense of self-esteem or self- respect that prevents a person from swallowing his pride

Amor propio is part of the Filipino culture. The Filipino people are super sensitive to the emotional imperatives that guide asal or conduct (behavior). "Delicadeza and Amor Propioare the two damdamin (emotional) norms which govern our sense of propriety and self-esteem

Extra sensitivity or “Balat Sibuyas”

In business:

Filipinos are not overly fond of saying “no” and therefore a “yes” you received earlier in the day might not actually pan out