Future leaders learn about good governance

Entry submitted to Manila Bulletin, Sept.12

Are there still good, honest, and competent leaders in government?

I am sure that a lot of us, if not the majority, are asking the same question over and over again. Some, if not many, have become apathetic because of their doubt and distrust that there will ever be one.

As a student of Public Administration, my formation throughout college has always been based on the principles of good governance and ethics in public service.

Most of the time, however, students get frustrated and angered by what they see, of what has been happening within our government, its institutions, all the corruption and lies. We get the real and good picture of what good governance is not.

Last Tuesday, Harvey Keh and Kai Pastores of the Ateneo School of Government brought the Kaya Natin Caravan of Good Governance featuring its newest batch of champions Mayor Fermin Mabulo of San Fernando, Camarines Sur and Quezon City Councilor Jorge “Bolet” Banal, to the National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) at the University of the Philippines (UP) to share with students the simple message of hope and change in our government through good governance.

Fermin Mabulo is an ex-Army captain and one of the Magdalo Soldiers who took part in the 2003 Oakwood Mutiny. He is now the mayor of San Fernando, Camarines Sur. He believes that power should come with idealism, else, he or she will inevitably be greedy and corrupt.

He narrates that what his mistake was before was that their means of attaining power was wrong. “The power must come directly from the people. Now I am elected, I can better serve the people, exemplify good governance in my city,” he said.

He further added that transparency, social accountability and people participation are important elements in implementing good governance practices in a local government unit.

Meanwhile, Bolet Banal, a down-to-earth alumnus of NCPAG, is now the 3rd district councilor of QC. He has topped the last two elections without resorting to vote buying or any unethical means of campaigning which I believe are qualities of an ethical leader that our country sorely needs. What is noticeable about him is that he lives by what was taught during his master’s studies in Public Administration. He enables people to participate even as a legislator – through his Quezon City People’s Council ordinance, which was passed just recently. This ordinance would allow representatives from different sectors in Quezon City such as the youth, business and civil society to take part in the decision making processes of key committees of the city government.

Dean Alex Brillantes Jr. of UP-NCPAG in his closing remarks shared, “A mark of a student of Public Administration is that he or she becomes angry of the status quo, but after being frustrated and infuriated, we become hopeful.”

This is what Kaya Natin! brings to everybody, that there is still hope. “If bad people can congregate and wreak havoc in society, why can’t good people come together and change society,” added Harvey Keh, lead convenor of Kaya Natin.

The challenge for all of us, not only for the students of Public Administration, is that we should take a stake in this coming elections. It is our time, our chance to elect effective, empowering and ethical leaders, not only for our country, but also for us, who will suffer the most if we perpetuate corrupt and incompetent leaders this 2010.

Kaya Natin!, a non-partisan movement founded by Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, Isabela Governor Grace Padaca, and Naga City Mayor Jesse Rebredo, is advocating good governance and ethical leadership by championing selected government officials’ local experience in their province, town, city, municipality or district in order to inspire fellow government officials and students in building, once more, a great Filipino nation.

For more information about Kaya Natin and its activities, visit http://www.kayanatin.com or call (02) 426-5657.

Mayor Fermin Mabulo, Councilor Bolet Banal, Mr. Harvey Keh

Mayor Fermin Mabulo, Councilor Bolet Banal, Mr. Harvey Keh

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