Monday, January 14, 2019

National Summit Propels Civil Society Engagement in Democratic Governance

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Last October 9, leaders and stakeholders from civil society, business, media, academe and the youth gathered together for the first “Innovations for Good Governance Summit” hosted by the INNOVATEGov Project.

The summit featured local and international speakers who comprehensively discussed themes in pursuit of a governance roadmap for a “Dream Philippines” and panel discussions such as: the role of science and technology in promoting good governance; impact of women and people’s councils in achieving good governance; role of media literacy and arts in supporting democratic governance; mainstreaming the youth agenda in governance reforms; and, how good governance enables inclusive business.

The Summit enjoined civil society engagement in supporting a holistic and inclusive governance agenda that promotes democratic values and principles. The summit culminated with “Good Governance Pledge” where summit participants affirmed their support on a set of shared democratic values – centered on citizen participation, transparency, accountability, freedom and rule of law.

“You are part of a global trend. The Philippines is not alone. The whole world is changing around us. As you work to improve on the Philippines, [you have to] think globally because you are part of a global trend but also act locally, because nobody knows the Philippines as much as you do. Nobody can help the Philippines as much as you do,” Mr. Abdulwahab Alkebsi, the Managing Director for Programs of the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), advised the delegates. As part of his address, he explained that the current political condition of the country relates to the global challenges of economic disenfranchisement, threats of terrorism, and perceived threat to identity that many countries are also facing today. Through the creation of the Innovations for Good Governance Summit, Mr. Alkebsi expressed his hope and praise to the Filipinos on combating these problems by initiating a roadmap for good governance in the Philippines.

Alluding this gathering as a gathering of the multisectoral –representing government, business, and civil society --Dr. Jess Estanislao encouraged the delegates to become part of the development of the nation by outlining the framework of “Dream Philippines”.  As a closing statement, Dr. Jess Estanislao also gave an advice to not be confined to only one issue of our country and to think long term and national when it comes to creating solutions for our country’s problems. As he put it, “The reality of life is shaped by many issues whether it may be closely or not interrelated to one another, this is why I think national competitiveness becomes a compelling rally cry for all of us. It is about national self-respect, about the dignity of the Philippines, and about the ability of the Filipinos to prove themselves not only on their country but also in many other countries as well. “

InnovateGov Project enables stakeholder engagement on national issues and global challenges by raising awareness on good governance issues, performance standards, and frameworks on better public-private dialogue. This initiative is supported by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) in partnership with the De La Salle University Jesse M. Robredo  Institute of Governance, Institute for Solidarity in Asia, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, National Competitiveness Council, and the Makati Business Club.

Prior to the National Summit, two successful consultative dialogues were held in Cagayan de Oro and Puerto Princesa last July.  The regional dialogues enabled participants to address and participate in providing key solutions towards grassroots problems of good governance in accordance with the dimensions of the TrustedGov framework, namely: institutional strengthening, economic freedom, access to social services, and environmental governance.

By creating opportunities that highlight innovative approaches in multi-stakeholder participation and public policy-making, InnovateGov opened up an avenue for students, young professionals, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders, to engage in good governance both in local and national levels. The summit enkindled hope for social change -- that is, for as long as there are citizens actively exercising their rights to develop good governance strategies in their chosen sectors and communities.

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