[Blueboard] Best Practices in Good Governance Shine in 3-day Conference

Harvey Keh harveykeh at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 08:23:07 PHT 2009


*MANILA, November 11, 2009*—Good governance is a key factor in effective
public service delivery, empowering poor and disadvantaged groups, hammering
down the costs of goods and services that government buys, sustaining
investments, and improving the quality of economic growth. These were the
major learnings during a three-day conference led by the World Bank, the
Asian Institute of Management – Center for Development Management, and the
Ateneo School of Government at the AIM last November 4-6.

The conference, called *Panibagong Paraan for Good Governance 2009 (**New
and Innovative Ways in Good Governance**)*, puts a spotlight on how local
government officials have successfully empowered their constituents,
partnered with civil society organizations for better public service
delivery and protection of disadvantaged groups, enhanced transparency and
social accountability, and how all these were used to make growth work for
the poor. This year's Panibagong Paraan focused on sharing knowledge instead
of project grant competitions as in previous years.

Among the speakers were Ramon Magsaysay awardee and Naga Mayor Jesse
Robredo, World Bank Country Director Bert Hofman, former Socioeconomic
Planning Secretary Cielito Habito, and AIM Associate Dean of Center for
Development Management Juan Miguel Luz. Local government officials from
places far from Manila like Mayor Florante Gerdan of Nueva Vizcaya,
Presidential Assistant for Western Visayas Raul Banias, and Mayor Pedro
Acharon of General Santos were some of the resource persons in the panel

In his talk, Mayor Robredo explained how good governance starts with the
local chief executive, but is made potent with the participation of civil
society, and each individual in every locality.

"*Leadership should demonstrate that if you want to have a culture of
excellence, you should be excellent yourself. If you want a culture of
honesty, you should be honest yourself,*" said *Mayor Robredo*.

Naga City is one of the models for good governance in the country, earning
awards for projects, one of which is *iGovernance* where the city hall used
the Internet to enhance transparency. For example, all prices of goods
bought by the local government in Naga city are posted in its website.

Other good governance models also shone during the conference, like Mayor
Prudencio Maxino's Kalahi program in Mulanay, Quezon, which empowers
barangays to craft their own development agenda, and Mayor Florante Gerdan's
strategy to professionalize the local bureaucracy by focusing on
performance. Local chief executives present during the conference said good
governance worked for them because it ensured their continuity even without
much campaign efforts.

"*The best campaign strategy is delivering public services well and
empowering communities,*" said *Mayor Maxino*.

The World Bank's network of academic and research institutions called
Knowledge for Development Centers (KDC), which participated in the event,
believes that the rich experiences and variety of competencies of resource
persons and speakers brought forward burning issues in good governance

"*We know that there are great governance achievements out there at the
local level. We need to bring out these examples, learn from them, and
support further reforms*," said *Mr. Hofman*.

During the conference, the World Bank also discussed selected development
topics, under the broader theme of its Country Assistance Strategy, "Making
Growth Work for the Poor." These topics will be included in a series of
Discussion Notes which are intended to serve as vehicles for stirring and
informing policy discussions and dialogue as the next Medium-Term
Philippines Development Plan is developed.

"*What we need is to work on the quality of growth*," said *Mr. Habito*.

Good governance in both the national and local level is seen as an effective
inoculation against poverty and poor investment climate, but more change
leaders are needed to replicate these stories of good governance across the

"*Change leaders are always, without exception, those who are ethical and
transparent. To them, good governance is not a statement without legs and
feet. Leaders who are serious about good governance are the kinds of leaders
that will bring about transformation in our country,*" said *AIM President
Dr. Edilberto de Jesus*.

"*In fighting poverty, it is not enough that we put the economy on a growth
train or expand trade and industry. Governance is as much a part of the
battle against poverty and inequality as roads and bridges,*" *Ateneo School
of Government Dean Tony La Viña* said.

The KDC is a knowledge-sharing partnership between the World Bank and
knowledge institutions in the country. Recently, it organized a series of
both online and face-to-face forums for youth all over the country, bringing
to them champions of good governance through a Caravan for Good Governance.

*For more information and to join the online discussion, go to **
www.facebook.com** >> Panibagong Paraan.*

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