Hope for the Philippines
by: Harvey S. Keh
The Manila Times
TWO weekends ago, a group of patriotic and passionate Filipino leaders coming from different sectors of society met in a conference atop the hills of Antipolo entitled, “Reimagine Pilipinas Bukas.” During this by-invitation only conference, artists, politicians, military officers, businessmen, academicians, social entrepreneurs, media personalities and social development leaders converged to share about their vision for our country and how to transform this vision into reality.
This conference was envisioned six months ago by the likes of Jim Paredes, Mae Paner (a.k.a. Juana Change), former Gov. Grace Padaca, former Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, Bam Aquino, Marian Roces and Senators Kiko Pangilinan, TG Guingona and Serge Osmeña. Unlike typical conferences where there are many invited speakers, “Reimagine Pilipinas Bukas” featured mini-concerts and skits depicting the state of our country and the problems we often face. These events then led into discussion sessions among the participants where they are able to share their views on certain issues.
A recurring theme during the conference was the need for us to continue to develop more upright and effective public sector leaders for our country. Another recurring theme was the call for us to develop more innovative and new solutions to social problems such as poor quality of education and lack of access to public health that we have faced for several decades now. The best thing about all of this was that the participants didn’t stop at just identifying the problems but they also discussed what concrete steps they need to take so that we can move forward as a nation.
As one of those involved in organizing this event, we hope to be able to bring this level of discussion to as many Filipinos as possible. By doing so, we want to encourage more Filipinos to dream of a better Philippines and work with us towards making that dream into a reality. Wasn’t it our President, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd who also said that during his administration, “Ang bawat Pilipino ay pwede na muling mangarap!”
Let us remember that the long arduous journey towards reclaiming our nation’s future from the hands of our corrupt political leaders begins with a single step. Learn how you can make that step and be involved in “Reimagining a better Philippines,” visit our website at http://reimaginepilipinas.com/.
When we talk about our future, we should never fail to talk about our youth and just last week, the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership (KN) began its Caravan of Good Governance that aims to visit colleges and universities all over the country. The caravan will bring our KN Champions who are known to be effective, ethical and empowering government leaders to these educational institutions so that they can share their leadership stories with these future leaders of our country.
Last Friday, the caravan visited Miriam College in Quezon City with Rep. Bolet Banal of Quezon City and former Mayor Janjan Disomimba of Tamparan, Lanao del Sur as speakers. Banal stressed the need for young Filipinos to be involved in promoting transparency and accountability especially in our local governments. He also invited them to be part of the QC People’s Council that he institutionalized through an ordinance that he authored when he was still a councilor in Quezon City. Members of the council would have the right to scrutinize the budget of city hall and also take part in important discussions with the members of the city council.
Disomimba, who was the first ever woman mayor of her town and also a fellow at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), shared that when she became mayor there was no municipal hall that people can go to. This was due to the fact that her husband who was the former mayor, made their house as the municipal hall thus, there was no proper checks and balance when it came to using their municipal hall’s budget. She changed all that by building their municipal hall and institutionalizing social programs for their constituents.
Sadly, the family of her husband didn’t agree with these good governance programs and during the last elections, Mayor Janjan lost to her own husband due to rampant intimidation and electoral fraud that transpired in Tamparan. In the end, she told the students that she doesn’t regret being an upright public servant despite all the difficulties and problems that she faced. She is still very hopeful that peace and development will eventually reign in their province.
In the coming weeks, the KN Caravan of Good Governance will visit St. Scholastica’s College-Manila, Letran, Malayan Colleges-Laguna, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University and the University of the Philippines-Los Baños. Should you wish to bring the KN Caravan of Good Governance to your school or institution, you can call Wendell Balderas at (02) 434-1458 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to also invite volunteers (preferably doctors and lawyers) and donors for our upcoming Karapatan at Kalusugan Kaya Natin! Pangalagaan medical and good governance mission on March 5, 2011 in Pampanga. For more information, please contact Marisa Lerias via e-mail at email@example.com.
Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ni: Harvey S. Keh, Abante
Laman parati ng mga balita ang mga katiwalian at korapsyon na nangyayari sa ating Kongreso at nakilala rin ang institusyong ito bilang siyang pangunahing nagbigay proteksyon kay dating Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sa tuwing siya ay iimbestigahan o kaya naman ay tatanggalin sa puwesto. Siyempre alam naman nating lahat na may kapalit ang pagbibigay proteksyon na ito kabilang na riyan ang ilang mga malalaking proyektong ibinibigay sa mga kaalyadong kongresista na maaari nilang pagkakakitaan. Kaya naman tuwang-tuwa talaga ako nang matalo nitong nakaraang halalan ang mga kilalang malapit kay Arroyo na kongresista kagaya ni dating Speaker Prospero Nograles at ang dating kinatawan ng Quezon City na si Mat Defensor.
Ang tumalo kay Defensor ay isa sa kasamahan naming sa grupong Kaya Natin at siya ay walang iba kundi ang masipag at tapat na kongresistang si Bolet Banal. Para sa mga hindi nakakaalam, ang pangunahing trabaho ng isang kongresista ay gumawa ng batas at irepresenta ang mga pananaw at paniniwala ng kanyang mga nasasakupan. Noong si Defensor ang kongresista sa Quezon City, kahit na ang karamihan ng kanyang mga nasasakupan ay ayaw sa pagpapalit ng Saligang Batas ay patuloy pa rin niya itong isinulong alang-alang sa kanyang amo. Kahit na isinusuka na rin ng karamihan sa Quezon City ang administrasyong Arroyo ay heto pa rin si Defensor at patuloy pa rin ang pagbibigay proteksyon sa dating pangulo. Hindi ganito si Banal. Sa kanyang unang buwan pa lamang ay bumaba na siya sa iba’t ibang baranggay sa Quezon City, nakipag-usap sa kanyang mga ka-distrito at nakinig sa kanilang mga pananaw patungkol sa iba’t ibang mga isyu kabilang na ang pagpapalit ng Saligang Batas and ang Reproductive Health Bill. Ganyan ang tunay na kinatawan ng taumbayan, kusang loob na lumalapit sa kanyang mga nasasakupan dahil alam niya na ang kanyang trabaho at posisyon ay utang niya sa libu-libong mga ordinaryong mamamayang bumuto sa kanya.
Bukod pa sa pagiging bukas sa mga pananaw at paniniwala ng taumbayan, si Banal ay hindi katulad ng ibang kongresista na ang tingin sa gobyerno ay isang negosyo. Todo suporta siya sa katagang binitiwan ng kanyang partido nitong nakaraang halalan na kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap. Naghahanap siya ngayon ng maayos at tapat na paraan ng pag gamit ng kanyang Countrywide Development Fund o ang tinatawag na Pork Barrel na nagkakahalaga sa P 70 Milyong Piso kada taon. Nakikipag-usap siya sa iba’t ibang pribadong institusyon kabilang na ang Ateneo de Manila University upang mabigyan siya ng sapat na payo at tulong para magamit ang halagang ito sa tapat at tamang paraan. Sana ganito lahat ang kongresista ng bayan, tapat, matalino, marunong makinig at handing mag sakripisyo para sa kapakanan ng kanyang mga nasasakupan. Maswerte ang ikatlong distrito ng Quezon City at meron silang isang Rep. Bolet Banal, sana magsilbi siyang magandang halimbawa sa iba pang mga pinuno sa ating pamahalaan.
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