Office of the Vice President
01 August 2017
QC Reception House, 01 August 2017
Mr. Harvey Keh, Lead Convener of Kaya Natin; Vice Mayor Amy Hernandez, Executive Director of Kaya Natin; our good friend, Wolfgang Heinze, FNF Country Director.
We are very fortunate this afternoon to be in the company of a Ramon Magsaysay Awardee. She was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Awards for Transformational Leadership, Ms. Lahpai Seng Raw, who is incidentally Wolfgang’s mom. You know, ma’am, I have read so much about you, and I was telling Wolfgang to make sure that I meet you when you’re here. I even asked him to invite us over to his house when you are here. It’s a real treat that he brought you here this afternoon. It is our honor.
Of course, Kai Pastores-Keh, President of Excel Center for Educational Leadership; our local government officials present; the FNF family; members of Kaya Natin who are here; fellow workers in government; mga minamahal kong mga kababayan: Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat.
It was Jesse who once said: Leadership is not about form nor structures, but it is about developing outcomes. How true, how very true.
Mr. Jess Lorenzo pala, I was not able to greet you. Councilor LA Ruanto also.
How very true. When we started going around after I assumed the vice presidency, we saw with our own two eyes how many of our local governments have been or are implementing a lot of very good projects. But the mindset is more on the form rather than the outcomes.
And that is one thing that we are trying to change: for local government units to measure the effectivity or the success of each project in terms of outcomes and not of form. One example of this is in places where the incidence of malnutrition is very high. If you look at the landscape, there are existing feeding programs, but the concentration is on the form of the feeding programs and not on the outcomes. That is something we want to change.
Also when we started going around, when local government officials meet me for the first time, the first thing that they would tell me is, “We are inspired by the leadership of your husband. We want to know more, and we want to learn from his experiences in Naga. We want to learn the best practices that he started.” So that gave us an idea of trying to print best practices, not only of my husband but of several other local government units.
We proposed to Harvey for us to publish this handbook, for us to be able to impart to our local government officials, not only the best practices started by my husband, but also the many other best practices all over the country. We have a lot of local government officials who have started really very good programs and we just need to introduce these programs to many other local officials for them to get inspiration from.
And this is the purpose really of this book. If I am not mistaken, this is the second time that FNF is helping us publish a book. The first time was on my husband, the best practices of Jesse. We expanded it a little to include the best practices of some other local officials. I think this is the only time that local officials are given the license to copy, to plagiarize, because knowing local officials, it always gives you a deep sense of fulfillment if your programs get copied by other local government units – not just copied but improved.
There are just so many opportunities for innovating, depending on the needs and the peculiarities of the municipalities. This book will be a real treasure to our local government officials. They can make this an inspiration, a guide book, or a handbook. We can also do a continuing program of gathering more inspiring stories of best practices also of local officials because there are truly so many of them.
Just yesterday, one of the staff members of the Office of the Vice President was telling me about a small town in Bukidnon in far-off Mindanao, where organic agriculture is very successful—and no one has heard of it. So you know, through this book and future reproductions of it, we can include such stories, for them to be inspirations to other local government units.
In this light, we would like to thank FNF for making this possible.
As was said earlier, mabilis lang ang panahon, pero we are already commemorating the fifth death anniversary of my husband. Everyone is invited. FNF is sponsoring “Pedal Like Jesse.” I do not know if you are aware that my husband, in all the years that he was mayor of Naga and in all the years that he was Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, people always see him going around the city in his bike.
So on the 19th, we will have the “Pedal Like Jesse” event. But on the 18th, which is the very day that we are commemorating his death anniversary, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines is inaugurating the Jesse Robredo Museum. It contains a wealth not only about Jesse as a person or Jesse as a public servant, but also serves as a repository of many of the good work and best practices that he initiated when he was a public official.
So to all of you, to FNF, and to Kaya Natin, thank you very much for this wonderful gift to our local officials. Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat.