The EQ Post

TRUTH & TRUST. For God & Country. Fearless citizen journalism.Year 10.

one year

one year
So The World May Know: The Duterte Achievements After One Year In Office.

EQ Video

EQ Post HOME

Reflections

“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Jesse Robredo: Sad But True..


Goodbye Jesse. Dios Mabalos!

Breaking News:
MANILA, Philippines—A five-seater light plane purportedly carrying Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo crashed in Masbate, said radio and television reports.

Two are reportedly missing.


CITATION for Jesse Robredo
Ramon Magsaysay Award Presentation Ceremonies
31 August 2000, Manila, Philippines 

It is sad but true. Democratic government is not necessarily good government. Too often, elections yield power to the few, not the many. Injustices linger beneath the rhetoric of equality. Corruption and incompetence go on and on. Voters, alas, do not always choose wisely. And yet, in Asia and the world at large, much is at risk when democracy founders, because democracy is the hope of so many. Jesse Manalastas Robredo entered Philippine politics at a time when hope was high. As mayor of Naga City from 1988 to 1998 he demonstrated that democratic government can also be good government.

In the wake of his country's People Power Revolution in 1986, Jesse Robredo responded to President Corazon Aquino's call to public service. He abandoned his executive position at San Miguel Corporation to head the Bicol River Basin Development Program in Naga, his hometown. In 1988, he stood for election as mayor and won by a slim margin. He was twenty-nine. 

Once the queen city of the Bicol region, Naga in 1989 was a dispirited provincial town of 120,000 souls. Traffic clogged its tawdry business district and vice syndicates operated at will. City services were fitful at best. Meanwhile, thousands of squatters filled Naga's vacant lands, despite the dearth of jobs in the city's stagnant economy. Indeed, Naga's revenues were so low that it had been downgraded officially from a first-class to a third-class city.

Robredo began with a strike against patronage. He introduced a merit-based system of hiring and promotion and reorganized city employees on the basis of aptitude and competence. He then moved against local vice lords, ridding Naga of gambling and smut. Next, he relocated the bus and jeepney terminals outside the city center, ending gridlock and spurring new enterprises at the city's edge. In partnership with business, he revitalized Naga's economy. Public revenues rose and by 1990 Naga was a first-class city again. Robredo's constituents took heart and reelected him.

Spurning bodyguards, Robredo moved freely among the people. By enlisting the support and active assistance of Naga's NGOs and citizens, he improved public services dramatically. He established day-care centers in each of Naga's twenty-seven districts and added five new high schools. He built a public hospital for low-income citizens. He set up a dependable twenty-four-hour emergency service. He constructed a network of farm-to-market roads and provided clean and reliable water systems in Naga's rural communities. He launched programs for youth, farmers, laborers, women, the elderly, and the handicapped -- drawing thousands into civic action in the process. No civic deed was too small, he told the people, including the simple act of reporting a broken street lamp. He sometimes swept the streets himself.

Consistently, Robredo prioritized the needs of the poor. Through his Kaantabay sa Kauswagan (Partners in Development) program, over forty-five hundred once-homeless families moved to home-lots of their own. They became part of Naga's revival. So did a revitalized city government. Applying techniques from business, Robredo raised performance, productivity, and morale among city employees. As a culture of excellence overtook the culture of mediocrity at City Hall, Naga's businesses doubled and local revenues rose by 573 percent.

Reelected without opposition in 1995, Robredo urged the Naga City Council to enact a unique Empowerment Ordinance. This created a People's Council to institutionalize the participation of NGOs and people's organizations in all future municipal deliberations. When obliged by law to step down after his third term, the popular Robredo made no effort to entrench his family. His advice to would-be leaders? "You have to have credibility." 

In electing Jesse Robredo to receive the 2000 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, the board of trustees recognizes his giving credence to the promise of democracy by demonstrating that effective city management is compatible with yielding power to the people.
Backgrounder:


Jesse Manalastas Robredo (born May 27, 1958) is the current Secretary of the Interior and Local Government of the Philippines.[1] Robredo is a member of the Liberal Party.
On July 9, 2010, President Benigno Aquino III named Robredo as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government.[1] Robredo was formerly the Mayor of Naga City in Camarines Sur. Robredo is the first Filipino Mayor to receive the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in 2000.

Secretary of the Interior and Local Government

From June 30–July 9, 2010, President Benigno Aquino III was Secretary of the Interior and Local Government,[3] until Aquino named Robredo as Interior Secretary.[1]
Vice President Jejomar Binay initially wanted to become Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, however, Aquino stated that the post is not being considered for him,[4] but has offered Binay various positions, such as, to head a commission that will investigate the outgoing Arroyo administration, the posts of Secretary of Agrarian Reformchairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and the chairman of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), but Binay refused.[5] However, on July 15, 2010, Binay has accepted the offer of Aquino to take charge of the housing sector as chairman of HUDCC.[6]
"Ma, Follow Your Heart" Jesse
On March 29, 2003, then Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo delivered this address during the Commencement Exercises of the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.
Excerpts:
CHANGING PARADIGMS

In some Asian countries and even in our beloved country, people say that democratic principles cannot work, and that the Oriental model of “ruling with a hard hand” is the call of the hour.

We disagree. Our experience in Naga is our best argument against the traditional and authoritative ways in the management of people and governance.

Our experience, too, proves that our people are our best resource and our best hope. Our experience, and that of many others, have shown that if we can not do it at the national level, we can begin at the local level. Collectively, successful local governments, driven by constituencies who are well-informed, constructively engaged, and willing to share the burden of community building, can build our country.

Despite all our problems, I know we shall overcome. It just might be a matter of changing course. It just might be a matter of leading from the bottom rather than being herded by the top.

Again, why am I relating to you all these, my dear graduates?


It is because many of you will be leaders of our country someday, or may even become President of this Republic. But is it not ironic that while many of our leaders have succeeded in achieving their personal goals, the country has lagged behind? Maybe it is because they have failed to make heroes out of the ordinary Filipino. Maybe it is because they have relied solely on their own capacities, rather than on the contributions of the ordinary people they are responsible for.
Dios Mabalos!