Why gov't officials must fire underperforming friends
MANILA, Philippines – It’s not the friendship but the performance.
This truism should apply in government as it does in the business world, stressed venture capitalist Paco Sandejas during the Philippine Yearend Economic Briefing on February 13.
"We need to get used to firing people," said Sandejas, the managing partner of Narra Venture Capital, a company that invests in high-tech companies.
Speaking at a highbrow event featuring the top economic managers of the country, Sandejas urged government officials to fire underperformers – even if they are friends.
He called on authorities to fill positions with the right people, citing the Pope's resignation as an example of how a mismatch can affect an institution.
"If things are not working or not moving fast, normally the problems are on the top," he said. In Silicon Valley where he used to work, he said CEOs are immediately fired if the organization is not performing well.
He acknowledged, however, that there are “many obstacles” in doing the same in the Philippine context.
“Many come from private sector and we know it’s hard: Everyone here is our friend,” he said.
“But even if it’s politically hard and with friendship [as a factor], we sometimes need to make changes and need to fire our friends,” he stressed.
He explained that this is because of the targets that need to be met. He called on government to “work faster,” citing the case of public-private partnerships (PPP) scheme for infrastructure projects that have faced delays.
“Patience in the business world only runs so far,” he noted.
He spoke as a private sector representative at the event, which featured top economic managers of the Aquino administration. – with reports from Christian Bautista/Rappler.com