Elections and Sendong
by: Harvey S. Keh
The Manila Times
The Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership (KN), a national movement initially convened by the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government in 2008 recently welcomed five new Champions of Good Governance into its fold. The movement counts Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, former Pampanga Gov. Among Ed Panlilio and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Government Service, Grace Padaca as among its founders. Aside from them, other Champions of Good Governance currently include Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, Quezon City 3rd district Rep. Bolet Banal, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, Jr., AKBAYAN Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, Alicia, Isabela Mayor Jeng Reyes and former San Isidro, Nueva Ecija Mayor Sonia Lorenzo, who is also the current Executive Director of the Union of Local Authorities ofthe Philippines (ULAP). There are currently 27 KN Champions who come from different areas all over the Philippines.
New champions of good governance
The newly inducted Champions of Good Governance include current Vice-Mayor Joy Belmonte-Alimurung of Quezon City, Rep. Erin Tañada of Quezon, Councilor Aura Landar of Passi City, Ilo-Ilo, Councilor April Dayap of Davao City and Brgy. Captain Caesar Marquez of Brgy. Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Belmonte-Alimurung was cited for her accomplishments in the promotion of local tourism and the effective implementation of livelihood programs for women from depressed communities in Quezon City. Tanada was cited for his continued fight for transparency and public accountability by being one of the main proponents of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. Landar and Dayap were both cited for their programs that help promote access to quality basic education among the youth in their communities. As the first barangay captain to be inducted as a KN Champion, Marquez was cited for transforming his barangay into one of the most child-friendly barangays in Metro Manila. All KN Champions were selected based on their proven ability to practice effective, ethical and empowering leadership.
Padaca visits University of Cebu
These new batch of KN Champions will now take part in the movement’s Caravan of Good Governance that aims to share inspiring their inspiring leadership stories to colleges and universities all over the country. Recently, Padaca through the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty and Freedom visited the University of Cebu where she encouraged student leaders of the school to become active agents in promoting transparency and public accountability among their local government officials. At the same time, Padaca reminded them of the enormous power the youth can have especially in electing better government leaders for our country.
Elections and Sendong
The massive destruction and loss of lives that typhoon Sendong has left in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan serves again as a grim reminder that we should never take our environment for granted. Many environment experts have already predicted that if illegal logging and deforestation activities continue all throughout our country, we will experience more tragedies such as this. It is very important for our government officials led by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Sec. Ramon Paje to immediately penalize and punish private businessmen as well as government officials that have perpetuated these acts. Unless we see people behind bars, we will see more these brazen acts of destroying our environment for one’s self interest.
As ordinary citizens especially those that have witnessed and experienced the effects illegal logging and illegal mining activities in their communities, this should also serve as a lesson to take our elections more seriously so that we will be able to elect better government leaders who will protect the environment and promote the common good. We should also take part in activities, institutions and organizations that promote voters education and will ensure clean, fair and honest elections so that we can finally have government leaders who will not use their power and position to enrich themselves and their families.
Start the New Year right with Success Source
What better way to start and kick off the New Year than with a series of inspiring talks filled with important lessons of success from notable young leaders of our country. The Asia Society Philippines will be holding Success Source: New Ways to Succeed series, a series of talks for students and young professionals that aims to shed light on the different aspects of success through the young and successful Filipino leaders of today’s generation. It aims to inspire participants to come up with their own innovative ways to success. With the fast paced development and progress of today’s global community, there are always new ways to discover to succeed. Starting January 2012, we will be having 3 separate sessions focusing on the different aspects of success specifically business and finance, education and travel.
Those who would like to register and take part in these interesting talks should contact Migel Estoque at (02) 752-4374 or you can send an email to email@example.com.
The Write Way to Good Governance
By Karla Angelica G. Pastores
The Manila Bulletin
Summer’s half over, and Filipinos are feeling the intense heat of our tropical climate. For most students, summer means beach getaways, road trips, family vacations.
Other students on summer break find this a chance to do as many activities as they can before the stress and demands of academics start all over again in June. Whether it is a hobby or an opportunity to enrich their minds, these young people take the chance of a two-month long break to do whatever they want, and possibly cross off an item or two off their bucket lists.
One way that these students can spend part of their summer vacation is through Kaya Natin’s Good Governance Writing Workshop this May. The Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership is an organization that aims to promote effective, ethical, and empowering leadership by providing support to good leaders and encouraging responsible citizenship to all Filipinos.
The Good Governance Writing Workshop will train participants how to write feature stories well. Giving it a twist is the topic of good governance; participants will learn what it takes to be an effective, ethical, and empowering leader during these times in the country, and how to write about important issues in a way that would encourage other Filipinos to take part in Philippine development.
Kaya Natin! has invited experienced and notable professionals in the media industry to share their expertise in different aspects of feature writing, such as the technical side of feature writing, ethics in media, and interview skills.
Aside from media practitioners, Kaya Natin Champion and co-founder, former governor Grace Padaca will also share her experiences as a former radio broadcaster Isabela and her experience in dealing with journalists during her time as governor.
At the end of the workshop, participants will get a chance to write as contributors in the first book project of Kaya Natin, “Public Service: Others Above Self,” a compilation of the profiles of the Kaya Natin Champions of Good Governance. It will be the first in a series of books to be published by the movement that would tell the inspiring stories of all the Kaya Natin Champions.
The workshop will be held on May 18-20 at the Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Slots are limited, and registration is free. For inquiries and applications, you may contact Wendell Balderas at (02) 434 1458 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know good governance isn’t sexy but…
By: Harvey S. Keh
Ever since I’ve graduated from college in 2000, I have been very much involved with two major advocacies that I feel very passionate about, the improvement of access and quality of education in our country and the promotion of good governance. I have always believed that both of these elements should be attained by our country in order for us to eventually move out of poverty and become a first world economy.
Pathways to Higher Education
I started Pathways to Higher Education-Philippines in 2002 together with Fr. Ben Nebres, S.J. and Dr. Milwida Guevara, both of whom I look up to as mentors and as great Filipino servant leaders. Pathways helps academically-gifted but financially-disadvantaged public high school students gain access to college and eventually finish their college education. Since we started Pathways in 2002, more than a hundred students have already graduated from college many of which come from families who earn less than P 150.00 a day. Raising funds for the scholarships of our participants wasn’t very hard since many generous Filipinos were more than willing to “adopt” our scholars. Even large companies such as Universal Robina Corporation, Healthway Medical, Diamond Hotel, RCPI and Smart Communications have partnered with Pathways in helping bring opportunities to more deserving young Filipinos. Those who may want to consider helping our Pathways participants can call (02) 426-6001 local 4048.
In 2006, Mr. Hector Tagaysay and I worked together to establish the Acts of Hope for the Nation (AHON) Foundation, a corporate foundation of Filway Marketing, Inc., that aims to help build well-equipped public elementary school libraries all over the country. Since then, we have helped refurbish more than 40 libraries in Marikina, Quezon City, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, La Union and Pangasinan. Like Pathways, AHON does not find it very hard to get book donations and grants from individuals and organizations who believe in providing quality basic education to every Filipino child. Just recently, AHON got a grant from Target Sourcing Services which will allow us to provide Filipiniana storybooks and other reference materials to our beneficiaries. Two weeks ago, another multi-national company got in touch with us and committed to helping provide books to another public elementary school in Pasig. Those who may want to help AHON bring books to more Filipino children can call (02) 434-1458.
Good governance’s struggle for support
Unlike Pathways and AHON, the biggest challenge for me in terms of raising funds and support has been in Kaya Natin. The Ateneo School of Government together with Among Ed Panlilio, former Gov. Grace Padaca and DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo launched the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership in 2008 at a dinner meeting at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan. Since then, we have evolved to become not just a movement that promotes good governance but also as a leadership sanctuary that supports effective, ethical and empowering government leaders in our country. We believe that the only way for good people to prevail against graft and corruption is if they synergize their efforts and work together. Yet, despite the great need for good governance in our country given that billions of pesos are lost every year to graft and corruption, it has been quite tough for us to raise resources for our programs and activities.
One major reason for this is that many Filipinos still shun away from getting involved in anything political especially major companies which have their own interests to protect. Another reason that I see is that unlike Pathways and AHON where you can concretely see where your money goes (in the form of a scholar or a library), good governance is vague and it doesn’t yield results immediately. Finally, I discerned that by espousing good governance and ethical leadership, you are forced to take a side thus by choosing to advocate for what is right, you automatically gain enemies which are those who live and perpetuate graft and corruption in our society. Whereas in other advocacies such as education, healthcare and shelter, you don’t have to step on anyone’s interests.
Looking at the bigger picture
Yet, if you look at the bigger picture in the Philippines, isn’t it supposed to be the role of our government to ensure that quality education is provided to all? Isn’t it the role of our government to be able to provide equitable opportunities to every Filipino to be able to own a house? My point here is that if good governance is practiced by our government leaders, the impact would be greater and much felt by more Filipinos in a faster way. Yes, a movement that promotes good governance isn’t sexy but in the end, it also needs to be supported lest we want our country to be continually run by corrupt leaders.
A story comes to mind as I write this piece. There was a man who saw another man drowning in the pool so he jumps into the pool and saves the drowning man. Right after he brings the man out of the pool, he sees that there are two other men who are now drowning in the pool as well. He then jumps into the pool and saves both of them. This process happens again and again and again until the man grows tired because the man fails to see the bigger picture and address the root cause of the problem which is the presence of an evil man who continuously throws people into the pool.
Making a commitment
One could reflect on this story as a story of our country today. While there are so many good people who are doing their own share to contribute to nation-building, many Filipinos continue to still live in poverty. The greater challenge now is how we can engage our government and its leaders so that they can become champions of good governance who can effectively respond to our growing social problems. By doing so, we make our leaders accountable for their actions or inactions and in the end, better delivery of basic services to every Filipino can happen.
In conclusion, donating or volunteering for a cause is a personal choice which I hope many Filipinos especially those who live comfortably will make. Whether it’s helping provide a scholarship, donating books or supporting champions of good governance, the important thing is you have gone out of your comfort zone, made a choice and more importantly, a commitment to get involved and contribute to making our society a better place for all of us. Genuine and lasting change will only happen if every Filipino will not just stop at complaining about our present problems but also start to become a proactive changemaker in his or her own small way.
Comments are welcome at email@example.com
To invite the Caravan of Good Governance to your school or institution, please feel free to contact Wendell at (02) 434-1458 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Are you looking for a memorable way to spend your summer vacation?
Are you a college student with a passion to change our nation?
If you are, then JOIN the Kaya Natin! Good Governance and Leadership Summer Camp this April 28-29, 2011 in Antipolo, Rizal. Kaya Natin! is a movement for good governance and ethical leadership initially convened by the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government together with Among Ed Panlilio and Ramon Magsaysay Awardees for Government Service, former Gov. Grace Padaca and DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo.
During the 2-day seminar, you will have a chance to interact and engage with inspiring leaders in our country as well as take part in activities and workshops that will help you become a young changemaker in our society. At the end of the seminar, we hope that you will be able to use the knowledge and skills that you have gained to encourage more young Filipinos to become agents for change in the promotion of good governance and ethical leadership in our country.
Registration Fee is only at Php 2,000.00
We offer scholarships to exemplary youth leaders and those who cannot afford the registration fee.
To register or apply for a scholarship, send an email to email@example.com or call the KN! office at (02) 434-1458 and look for Wendell or Kai.
You can download the registration form by going to this link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/51363567/CampApplicationForm
Deadline for Registration is on April 15, 2011.
See you there guys!
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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