It isn’t just “more fun” in the Philippines, it is more responsible, too, particularly where governance is concerned. Thus, in this country, you can find islands of good tourism and adventure, as well as islands of good governance.
Last October 20 and 21, the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), a public governance reform advocacy group founded by Dr. Jesus “Jess” Estanislao, held a Public Governance Forum together with the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) and the National Competitiveness Council Philippines at the Philippine International Convention Center. During this Forum, 12 public sector institutions were named the very first Philippine “Islands of Good Governance” to acknowledge the reforms that they have undertaken through transformative and sustainable good governance programs.
The awardees from the national government agencies were the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Philippine Army (PA), the Philippine Navy (PN), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the National Electrification Administration (NEA), the Philippine Heart Center (PHC), and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). For the local governments, the awardees were the city governments of Balanga, Bataan; Butuan, Agusan Del Norte; Dipolog, Zamboanga Del Norte; and Talisay, Negros Occidental.
Truly these awardees, through their progress reporting in this bi-annual forum, have shown the real initiative needed towards genuine reform where governance is concerned.
Dr. Estanislao, who also heads the ICD, had served under the administration of the late President Corazon C. Aquino as Finance Secretary, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary and Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority. His current thrust towards building not just good public governance but also corporate governance is nothing less than heroic, to say the least. Dr. Jess also sits as the Chairman of the National Police Commission Advisory Council on Transformation where I am also a board member.
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