Good appointments by President Noynoy Aquino
Good appointments by PNoy
by: Harvey S. Keh
The Manila Times
LAST week, the Asia Society-Philippines held it’s Asia 21-Philippines Young Leaders Forum at the Meralco Management Leadership Development Center (MMLDC) in Antipolo. The forum gathered the nine chosen young leaders who will represent our country in the upcoming Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit in New Delhi, India.
Our theme for this year’s forum was “Heroes meeting Heroes” in tribute as well to the 150th birth anniversary of our great national hero, Jose Rizal.
The nine young leaders who were chosen were Mayor Doy Leachon of Calapan City, Solvie Nubla of Ateneo de Manila’s Pathways to Higher Education, Doris Dumlao of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, well-recognized independent filmmaker Mike Sandejas, Alvin Dakis of the Alliance of Young Heath Advocates, Atty. Lesley Cordero of the Presidential Communications Group, Jeffrey Tarayao of the Meralco Foundation, Annalie Edday of Synergeia Foundation and Anya Lim of the ANTHILL Fabric Gallery.
What makes a hero?
During the forum, Prof. Winnie Monsod of the UP School of Economics stressed the need for our country to produce more modern day heroes especially among the younger generation of leaders. She mentioned that heroes are ordinary people who are able to go beyond themselves to do extraordinary things for a greater cause. Aside from this, Monsod also stressed that heroism also entails sacrifice and going beyond our comfort zone to give service to those who need it the most.
One should also not expect anything in return for being of service to others because once you begin to think about what you will get in return then it becomes a self-serving deed which is no longer heroic in nature.
Lessons in leadership and heroism
The Asia 21 Philippines’ fellows also had the unique chance to have a dialogue with two modern-day Filipino heroes of our country, Gawad Kalinga’s Tony Meloto and DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo. Meloto and Robredo are both former recipients of the Ramon Magsaysay Award which is widely acknowledged to be the equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize in Asia.
Meloto stressed the importance of being able to sustain the hero within you by having a clear vision of what you want to achieve for the good of others. It is his passion. He also advised the fellows that the best way to respond to your detractors is to just continue to do good without asking for anything in return. Moreover, he emphasizes that when one does not desire power, he gains the trust of the powerful and that trust becomes a very important tool in pushing for our advocacies and our causes. He concludes by challenging the fellows to demand from themselves to become heroes and to use their talents and skills to help those who have been left behind by our society.
For his part, Robredo enjoined the young leaders to continue to surround themselves with good people who can share their passion to do good for our country. He also said that leaders must always learn to consult with his or her followers since by doing this the leader is able to make the whole organization own the decision thereby making everyone accountable for it. Finally, Robredo says that our government alone will not be able to solve the problems of our society, it needs an active citizenry who will also do their own share in nation-building.
Up until now, I still cannot understand the decision of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to renege on his promise to make the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill a priority measure of his administration. I hope he will eventually come around to see how important this piece of legislation is in terms of promoting greater transparency and public accountability in our government.
On the more happier side, I am very happy that he has appointed two competent and upright leaders in the government: former Bukidnon Rep. Neric Acosta as Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection, with Cabinet rank, and former Bulacan Gov. Josie Dela Cruz as Postmaster-General and President of PhilPost.
Acosta has always been known to be one of the country’s top environmentalists and is actually the author of two landmark environmental laws in our country, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. I hope Acosta will eventually become Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. I will go out on a limb and say that he will definitely do a much better job than the one who is currently in that position.
I have previously worked with Dela Cruz in our education reform programs at Synergeia Foundation and Pathways to Higher Education. I have always looked up to her as one of my mentors in being a competent, effective and empowering leader. One thing for sure is that she has her heart in the right place when it comes to being of service to our country.
Under her leadership, Bulacan become one of the top performing provinces in education and she was also instrumental in making the products of her province world-class. Bulacan’s loss is the country’s great gain but I am sure that Dela Cruz will still continue to serve her province even if she is no longer the local chief executive there. PhilPost is very privileged to have Dela Cruz as their leader, I am sure that she will be able to revitalize the organization so that it can continue to deliver good services to the Filipino people. Kudos to President Aquino for making these very good appointments in our government!
One million signatures
The Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership led by our co-founders, Among Ed Panlilio, DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo and former Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca, are supporting the One Million Signature campaign launched by the Justice for Dr. Gerry Ortega Movement.
It’s been more than 8 months now since Ortega was brutally murdered and up until now, the mastermind of the said crime remains at large. Strong evidence points to former Gov. Joel Reyes as the brains behind the crime but despite this, the Department of Justice exonerated Reyes and the owner of the gun used to kill Ortega. Clearly, an injustice has happened here and we cannot just sit down and do nothing.
If you wish to sign and support our campaign for justice, please visit http://www.ramatak.net. Let us all remember that evil will prevail if good men choose to do nothing!
Comments are welcome at email@example.com