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Who will be the next President of the Philippines?

It’s undoubtedly a question of critical importance to our country. For the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, as a community devoted to learning about leadership and management, there’s a related question that is as critically important:

What is the thinking process that you are using to decide your own answer?

And that process must include critical thinking. This was the aim of AGSB’s Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Human Resources in its series of webinars leading to the May 2022 elections.

Dr. Mars Balgos, Department Chair, said, “Part of the subject matter we teach (in courses like Leadership, Ethics, Leading Organizational Change, Human Resource Management, and even Business Communications) has to do with critical thinking skills. But in order for critical thinking skills to gain traction, our students need factual content, preferably based on original research. Throughout the webinar series, we tried not to be partial to any one set of candidates. Rather, the focus was on providing data and process questions and allowing students to make up their own minds and make considered choices, particularly for┬áthe May 2022 elections.”

In the first webinar, “Schema of Preferred Filipino Leaders,” Dr. Edna Franco shared the results of a qualitative study, which explored what Filipinos expect their leaders to be and to do. Clustered themes from the data revealed seven qualities: person-oriented, servant leader, competent, firm (conviction), firm (control), with integrity, and God-fearing.

schema of preferred filipino leaders

Dealing with fake news and disinformation was the agenda for the second webinar, “Keeping it Real.” Guest speakers John Neri and Pia Ranada from Rappler said there are several behaviors we can apply to counter fake news. Among them: “Do critical reading. Learn critical thinking. Apply critical feeling.”

keeping it real

In the third webinar, Dr. Ron Mendoza, Dr. Jon Bulaong, and Ms. Gabrielle Ann Mendoza shared a precis of their paper, “Cronyism, Oligarchy, and Governance in the Philippines: 1970s vs. 2020s.” The authors concluded that “the challenges of economic and political governance persist, insofar as the risks of cronyism and oligarchy have merely evolved over time… The challenge of concentrated power remains in the hands of political clans. This underpins the reform agenda to continue to rebalance economic and political power in favor of inclusive economic and political institutions.”


Think critically. Vote wisely.



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