By Harvey S. Keh
Feb 20, 2009
More than a thousand college students and teachers attended the Kaya Natin! Caravan of Good Governance held on Friday at the Malayan Colleges Laguna and the First Asia Institute for Technology and Humanities in Tanauan City, Batangas.
During those forums, Kaya Natin! leaders Gov. Eddie Panlilio of Pampanga and Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, shared with the audience their experience of good governance and ethical leadership in running their respective local government units.
Panlilio talked about his experience in curbing the rampant corruption present in the collection of quarry taxes in his province. His success in collecting proper taxes has allowed him to raise more than P200 million that will be used to provide better basic services in education and health for the residents of Pampanga.
Recently, President Gloria Arroyo awarded him the Gawad Galing Pook award for excellence in local government management.
For her part, Lorenzo stressed that good governance can mean good politics since during the last elections her whole team decided not to spend money to put up posters and streamers but she was still able to win by the largest margin in her town’s history due to the effective programs that she was able to implement for the past 10 years.
As a testament to Lorenzo’s solid record in good governance, San Isidro was recently promoted by the Department of Finance from being a 4th class municipality to a 2nd class municipality. In addition to this, Lorenzo also added that some of her programs such as her partnership with Gawad Kalinga are now being replicated all over Nueva Ecija. She is also instrumental in bringing in non-profit organizations such as the Jollibee Foundation and Synergeia Foundation to help in the public education reform programs of her province.
Finally, both Panlilio and Lorenzo reminded the audience that as the 2010 elections come closer, it is imperative for Filipinos to take time to register and be involved in electing the right leaders of our country.
“It only takes a few hours to register and vote for the right leaders as compared to three to six years of bad and unethical governance if we do not make the time to take part in the electoral process” said Panlilio.
Since its inception last June, Kaya Natin—which also counts Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga City, Gov. Grace Padaca of Isabela and Gov. Teddy Baguilat Jr. among its leaders—has already recruited more than 6,000 volunteers who are committed to promoting good governance practices in their respective areas.
Today, the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership is in Davao City to speak at several colleges and universities.