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1 
INTEGRATING FILIPINO VALUES IN MANAGING INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS 
F. Landa Jocano 
Professor, Asian Center 
University of t...
2 
But these outside influences are superficial. They form the layer of our mental and emotional modes of thinking, believ...
3 
This reciprocity is needed in order to survive. The corporation needs labor in order to survive and make profits. Labor...
4 
In Filipino psychology, halaga and all its enduring attributes are embodied in the concept of asal. The term refers to ...
5 
Kapwa is used to emphasize the high premium we give to relationships. We are, by cultural orientation relationalists, n...
6 
that during crisis, one has to go out of his way to condole, sympathize, or share the sorrows. Pakikiramay is voluntary...
7 
Next to hiya are amor propio and delicadeza. These are Spanish terms which Filipinos use to define damdamin in highly p...
8 
Galang means respect. It is one of the important moral norms in the Filipino value system. It is imperative that a Fili...
9 
CORE VALUES AND BEHAVIOR 
At the outset of this paper we said that unless the core values of Filipinos are understood, ...
10 
The third mode of communication resulting from the core values is pagkakasundo. It means consensus. Filipino culture i...
11 
VALUES AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS 
Industrial relations is used in this paper in a special way. It is defined as the wor...
12 
EPILOGUE 
We are not concluding this paper. The descriptions above are preliminary and highly tentative. We are contin...
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INTEGRATING FILIPINO VALUES IN MANAGING INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

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PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION BY THE YEAR 2000:
LOOKING BACK INTO THE FUTURE
Tapales, Prosperina Et. Al.
National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG)
University of the Philippines – Diliman
Quezon City
pp.178 - 185

Published in: Education
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INTEGRATING FILIPINO VALUES IN MANAGING INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

  1. 1. 1 INTEGRATING FILIPINO VALUES IN MANAGING INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS F. Landa Jocano Professor, Asian Center University of the Philippines INTRODUCTION Much has already been written about Filipino values. Many are based on impressions; some on systematic surveys. Few writers have inquired into the positive functions of these values in society; many look at them in negative ways, mainly in association with the undesirable traits or behavior of Filipinos. Of course what scholars write about are those which they have observed or researched. But as an old saying puts it: “How you look is what you see.” Many of us, including the writers, look at ourselves in negative ways because we are told in schools and in the media that our values cause all the undesirable traits we have and all the troubles that surrounds us. Why did we have these negative views about our values? To answer this question is to go back to history. We have been colonized by Spain for four hundred years and by the United States for forty-eight years. During those times, the colonizers imposed on us their own cultural standards for thinking, believing, and doing things. The Spaniards used the Church to achieve the change in us and the Americans used the school to do the same. The influence of these two major colonizers has become embedded in our consciousness that we believe and reason like them. We learn to dislike our values because they were (and today still are) branded as backward, traditional, and superstitious while those of the colonizers are rational, desirable and modern.
  2. 2. 2 But these outside influences are superficial. They form the layer of our mental and emotional modes of thinking, believing, and doing things. They also exist only in the formal structures of our institutions. Beneath the veneers of changes remained intact the native or indigenous value system which continue to emphasize the “oughts’ and the oughts’ not” in our system of values. But since our institutions do not provide the proper venue for their positive functions, these values are generally judged as inappropriate for institutional behavior. To justify our biases, we set up institutional rules making these values dysfunctional as in the civil service where our kinship loyalties become nepotism, our gift- giving become a form of graft and corruption, where our friendship become cronyism, and our politeness become timidity and shyness. Because of these institutional impediments, our values become repressed in our subconscious as negative traits. We deny them overtly but we keep them covertly. We argue like the Westerners but we feel and want to behave as Orientals. The ambivalence produces coping mechanisms which we describe as undesirable or negative traits and which we complain a great deal. Perhaps if we start looking at the positive side of the values, we may understand ourselves, as Filipinos better, and ultimately change our ways of looking at ourselves. In the process we may be able to redirect our perspectives toward better appreciation of our cultural traits and values and to use them to achieve better ends. This is particularly important in industry. The industry is a formal organization made up of individuals with diverse backgrounds and values. Management has to level these and mold into a corporate collectivity of shared sentiments. The worker has to understand these values in order to respond satisfactorily to corporate demands. Management and labor relations can be made more dynamic in this way: reciprocal understanding of each other’s values and value orientation.
  3. 3. 3 This reciprocity is needed in order to survive. The corporation needs labor in order to survive and make profits. Labor needs the corporation needs labor in order to earn a livelihood and survive the realities of urban life. Both of them need each other for survival. If they are continuously at odds, nobody survives. Understanding of cultural values is the link between labor and management. MEANING OF VALUES Values are commonly shared standards on the basis of which people judge things around them as right or wrong, good or bad, just or unjust, appropriate or inappropriate. Associated with values are norms. Norms are rules of conduct specific to situations or conditions where behavior takes place. Values are internalized in the process of growing up. Norms are established as a result of interactions people have with one another in various situations and conditions. As these values and norms become part of their experiences, these also become embodied in their personalities, retrieved as principles with which they guide their future behavior. Filipinos behave the way they do because they are observing certain standards and conforming to certain rules or norms. Many people who have been exposed to western standards and norms often find it difficult to understand Filipino behavior. THE NOTION OF VALUE IN FILIPINO CULTURE The closest Filipino term to value is kahalagahan. It is derived from the word halaga, meaning precious, essential, vital, important, desirable, and significant. Halaga is also used as an economic term, meaning price or worth. On the whole, kahalagahan transcends all this and can be viewed as a set of principles that Filipinos hold so dearly, that they are willing to sacrifice even their lives for it.
  4. 4. 4 In Filipino psychology, halaga and all its enduring attributes are embodied in the concept of asal. The term refers to the inner representation of external behavioral realities. It is standard for what is at once good, desirable, moral, ethical, beautiful and true in life. That is why Filipinos judge each other in terms of magandang asal (good character) or masamang asal (bad character). Persons with good asal are liked; those with bad ones are set aside as deviants. Asal also embodies the Filipino code of ethics. It defines the “ought’s” and “ought’s not” in individual and group life. It is the source (pinagmulan) of the constitutive rules governing order, coherence, continuity, and change in Filipino cultural practices and institutions. It synthesizes within it the metaphor of group consciousness about “what counts as what” in the organization of everyday life; a moral judgment of a kind that provides meaningful interpretation of ideas, objects, and events in the surrounding world. FILIPINO CORE VALUES The asal is made up of three core elements. These are the kapwa (relational imperatives), damdamin (emotional imperatives), and dangal (moral imperatives). These elements are instigators of behavior within the individual and sources of regularities of actions in group transactions. They give rise to specific orientations to the environment, as well as to perceptions and expectations individuals should have when interacting. Kapwa. As a concept, kapwa refers to equality in status or of being a part of an entity. That is why we speak of kapwa-tao when we talk about a fellow human being. Similarly, we use kapwa manggagawa to refer to fellow worker. The statuses occupied in the organization may be different but membership to the organization is perceived to be the same. Before the “eye of God,” everybody is equal; they may have different statuses in specific areas of life.
  5. 5. 5 Kapwa is used to emphasize the high premium we give to relationships. We are, by cultural orientation relationalists, not individualists. We give much significance to interpersonal relations. In fact, such emphasis has moral undertones. We expect to be treated well. Older people generally advise the young: “kailangan marunong makipagkapwa sa kasamahan” (you need to get along with your companions). Or “dapat marunong kang tumingin sa kapwa-tao” (it is necessary that you know how to treat others as fellow human beings). To uphold the quality of treatment in kapwa relation, several norms or rules of conduct have to be observed. The more dominant norms associated with interpersonal relations are: pakikisama, pakikitungo, and pakikiramay. In popular usage, pakikisama is used to refer to the desire or demand “to come along with.” Ethically, it means to be concerned about, to be supportive and/or to be helpful at all times. Pakikisama has social referents. It is used to define relationship in social situations mainly. Pakikitungo means to act humbly, to deal with others properly, and to conduct oneself towards another in the most appropriate way. As a norm, pakikitungo has personal referents. It governs how an individual should behave towards others in specific situations. Those who relate to others humbly and properly are looked up to as “madaling pakitunguhan” (easy to get along with). Some troubles in formal organization arise because of transgression of this norm. In one company the workers struck because of “masamang pakikitungo ng may-ari ng kumpanya” (because the owner dealt with the workers badly). The strong moral undertone of kapwa is expressed in the norm of pakikiramay. The term is derived from the concept of damay, meaning to condole, to express sympathy, to share somebody’s sorrows, and to show compassion; pities, Filipinos, culturally, are compassionate people. They are easily moved by crises others unfortunately find themselves in. Pakikiramay is a norm governing behavior in time of crisis. It is expected
  6. 6. 6 that during crisis, one has to go out of his way to condole, sympathize, or share the sorrows. Pakikiramay is voluntary. Anyone who shows unconcern in time of crises is generally ostracized. People talk about his/her uncaring behavior. Damdamin. The second element in Filipino value system is damdamin or emotional standard. This standard accounts for much of the sensitivity Filipinos have in almost everything he does. As a concept, it refers to the emphasis Filipinos place on feelings or emotions. It focuses attention on the mode and specificity of relations. Damdamin can also mean refined or tender feeling, a state of mind, a disposition, or a spirit. Because of this concern, damdamin underlies much of Filipinos way of relating to all conditions, situations, and realities of things around him. It is in fact fairly accurate to say that Filipino rationality is ninety-five percent (95%) subjectivity. To prevent conflicts arising from transgression of damdamin, there are specific rules of conduct to observe in all occasions. The most dominant norms supportive of the damdamin value are; hiya, “amor propio / delicadeza” and awa. Hiya is the most popular norms which is often mistaken as a value itself. As a rule, hiya has social referents. It is used to define how one should behave in public and in relation to others. Hiya has often been defined as shame, embarrassment, timidity, and shyness. These rather negative attributes are found in hiya and also include politeness, bashfulness, and self-esteem. The most important thing to remember is that hiya is a norm defining public behavior. That is why it gives so much emphasis on the mukha or face which has to be saved in public. Hiya has several subcategories, defining level of feelings in different situations, the most important ones are: nangingimi (from the word ngimay, meaning to feel numbed) or unable to proceed with original plan, atubili or uncertainly, and alinlangan or hesitation.
  7. 7. 7 Next to hiya are amor propio and delicadeza. These are Spanish terms which Filipinos use to define damdamin in highly personalized feelings of self-esteem. Some analysts translate these terms as “self-love” or “self-control.” These do not express only sentiments but also moral judgments. Amor propio and delicadeza are ego-oriented. They are associated with personal eccentricity and extreme sensitivity. Both are embodied in the Filipino concept of “balat sibuyas” or onion-skinned. The onion-skinned concept expresses well the notion of mukha or face in Filipino culture. By all means the face must be protected; in critical situations, it must be saved. The third norm in damdamin value is awa. It is crisis-oriented. It means pity, compassion, mercy, charity, kind-heartedness, and sincerity. It is expected that in time of crisis, one need not be called upon to help. To have no awa is not to be like a Filipino. Going out of one’s way to condole or offer assistance is viewed as appropriate and moral behavior. It shows loyalty, sincerity and kindheartedness. Dangal. The third value in Filipino culture is dangal. It embodies the moral imperatives of the system. In popular usage, dangal refers to personal honor and dignity. As a moral norm it is used to characterize identity, pride and commitment to ideas, principles, practices and people. As a value, it summarizes the kapwa and the damdamin into one integrated whole: moral and ethical mode of perception, expectations and action. Supportive of dangal as a moral value are several norms. Among the dominant ones are: bahala or pagbabahala, galang, utang na loob. Bahala or its action-correlate, pagbabahala means responsibility. Filipinos expect that relationships must not be defined as purely social transactions but also as moral obligations actors have to one another. Many conflicts occur when the pagbabahala is lost in interpersonal and intergroup relations. Sometimes pagbabahala is embedded in “very patronizing” behavior. It is made manifest in hordes of people sending off (hatid) or welcoming (sundo) relatives from a trip.
  8. 8. 8 Galang means respect. It is one of the important moral norms in the Filipino value system. It is imperative that a Filipino respect his word of honor, status, and feelings of others. Galang is used to prevent people from losing face or being mapahiya and therefore avoid conflicts. The norms is often used as a moral injunction for undesirable behavior involving kapwa damdamin. Utang na loob refers “debt of gratitude.” It is established when interactions are carried out in the name of friendship, is sought after, or offered voluntarily as in time of crisis. Utang na loob involves reciprocity. In rural areas it includes specific jobs like plowing the filed or building a house. If one asks another to help him plow his field, it is expected that when the one who gave the favor is in need, the former comes to his aid. Or else he would be accused of “walang utang na loob” (no debt of gratitude). In the urban setting, utang na loob is established when one helps another land a job. The one who received the favor has utang na loob to the one who did him the favor. Functionally, utang na loob serves as the moral force underlying the interpersonal or intergroup transactions which involve responsibility of the actors to each other, especially in time of need or crisis.
  9. 9. 9 CORE VALUES AND BEHAVIOR At the outset of this paper we said that unless the core values of Filipinos are understood, we will never understand or appreciate Filipino behavior. We took time to describe and characterize these core values because they are central to the way Filipinos think, believe, feel and act. It is relationships that are important. Minding one’s business is not the rule in Philippine society; to be concerned with what others are doing seems to be the dominant theme in community life. Whether this is good or bad is not the issue here. The issue is that Filipinos behave the way they do because there are certain assumptions or postulates internal to their personalities telling them that what they are doing are right or wrong. Educated Filipinos and foreign observers have other coeds governing their cognitive, expressive, and evaluative systems. That is why they tend to look at Filipinos in negative rather than positive ways. It is because of this internal value system that in all aspects of interactions, Filipinos give emphasis on kapwa, damdamin, and dangal. These three elements in the value system underlie and give to Filipino modes of communication as well as decision making. These modes include pagsangguni, paghihikayat and pagkakasundo. Pagsangguni means “to consult.” Filipinos always expect to be consulted. This is one way of avoiding conflicts from transgressions of relational, emotional, and moral imperatives governing behavior. To consult is the norm for proper behavior. It means enabling others to participate in the decision or decision making process, it is to be democratic. Paghihikayat involves expectation. It means to persuade or to convince. This explains why Filipinos do not go directly to the point. They are almost always ambiguous in their communication. Filipinos desire not only to be consulted but also to be convinced that he is an important part of the event being considered. It gives the individual a sense of belonging to whatever is being transacted.
  10. 10. 10 The third mode of communication resulting from the core values is pagkakasundo. It means consensus. Filipino culture is not confrontational in orientation; it is consensual. Consensus is desired as a mode of communication because in this way transgressing the principles of kapwa, damdamin, and dangal is avoided. Avoidance of conflict, if possible, is sought after because internally what is being emphasized in the value system is respect, honor, and dignity of those one is interacting with. Figure 1: Interaction of community and Corporate Subcultures Cultural norms Cultural norms Area of 1. Personal conflicts 1.impersonal 2. Subjective 2.objective 3. Familial area of integrations 3.organizational Worker manager Community subculture corporate subculture
  11. 11. 11 VALUES AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS Industrial relations is used in this paper in a special way. It is defined as the working relations between people who work in the industry for living. These include workers and managers. The working relationships may be formally laid out, as in written contracts, or informally, as in office practice. Nevertheless, the resultant affects management and supervision styles, attitudes, motivations and outputs among others. The stress in this definition of industrial relations is on behavior. In context, industrial relations is a special kind of social encounter, either in boardrooms, office or shop floors. The individuals or set of individuals interact in a corporate setting, for the purpose of attaining certain production or service ends. How they carry on these interactions determine the momentum of productivity. And since attitudes, habits and motivations affect work performance, it is important that these be understood in the context of the cultural and value systems existing in the environment where the workers come from and where the corporations operates. It follows from this observation that the initial step to improve industrial relations is to incorporate, as part of the major industrial relations strategy, Filipino values. After all, the workers are Filipinos and the industry is operating in the Philippine cultural environment. The second step is to sustain training programs - in-house or otherwise - in order to allow these values to seep down into the consciousness of the workers and the managers. And the third step is to complement these training programs with projects that can be operationalized as empirical evidences for everyone not only to see but also to experience.
  12. 12. 12 EPILOGUE We are not concluding this paper. The descriptions above are preliminary and highly tentative. We are continuing in our study of Filipino values, hoping that once examined in their proper context, we would be able to understand ourselves better. Better understanding forms the basis of positive thinking and a highly appreciation of one’s own traditional system. Let us begin with our values. Let us start in this industry. Let us retrieve these values from the dustbin of our colonial neglect and modern prejudices and use them positively to enrich and strengthen our industrial relations. PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION BY THE YEAR 2000: LOOKING BACK INTO THE FUTURE Tapales, Prosperina Et. Al. National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) University of the Philippines – Diliman Quezon City pp.178 - 185

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