By Cielito F. Habito
We have come a long way, no doubt, with President Aquino’s “daang matuwid” and “no wang-wang” policy and all they symbolize. But the pursuit of good governance is far from complete. So far, the focus has dominantly been on people in public service, especially those in positions of authority where having the wrong people can do the most damage. Even then, numerous people with questionable motivations remain in positions of power—some entrenched due to political entitlement in our deeply flawed political system, others by virtue of proximity to the powers that be. Cleaning up the bureaucracy to a satisfactory and irreversible level will take much more time than a presidential term of office allows. Indeed, many of us dread the very real prospect of backsliding on our governance improvements, with the possible election in 2016 of a president who may throw us back to the old ways that had perennially held us back as a nation.
The mixed views on the higher-than-expected economic growth for 2012 announced by the Aquino administration last week indicated that much has to be done to make development sustainable and its fruits available to all.
By Cielito F. Habito
Since Monday, top officials and leaders of government, business, civil society, academe and external donor agencies have been meeting in Davao City for the regular Philippines Development Forum (PDF).
By Peter Angelo V. Perfecto
The staff of the Makati Business Club (MBC) organized last Dec. 19 a Christmas outreach for 30 children of Sitio Gipit in Antipolo, Rizal. The whole MBC team participated in an afternoon of storytelling, games, art, gift-giving and merienda. The little treat was appreciated tremendously by the children and their parents who live in a rural poor community spawned in part by the operations of a huge cement factory in the area. We crossed some rice paddies to get to another side of the community and were informed that these were the work of tenant farmers who use their harvest to pay for the use of the land and for debts incurred and feed their families either with the harvest itself or with the little they still manage to sell.
By Amando Doronila
The Aquino administration’s primary thrust in eradicating corruption through its matuwid na daan (straight path) strategy came under rigorous academic scrutiny at an international forum of Philippine specialists at Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.
By Conrado de Quiros
I’ve been reading the comments on Jesse Robredo these past days and two things stand out.
By Mahar Mangahas
Together with the nation, Social Weather Stations grieves for the tragic loss of the outstanding Filipino Jesse M. Robredo, and condoles with his widow Leni and the bereaved family.
By Edilberto C. de Jesus
Nothing like the sudden, dramatic death of a righteous man to provoke pangs of guilt among those who refused to render him his due. Some members of the Commission on Appointments and their constituents are now turning cartwheels to convince the public that they supported, all along, the confirmation of Jesse Robredo as interior and local government secretary. I do not believe Jesse was unduly bothered by the delay in his confirmation, nor would he be impressed by its posthumous award.
By Raul C. Pangalangan
A Jewish rabbi asked why “bad things happen to good people,” and wrote a book to help him find the answer (Harold Kushner, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”). Filipinos can likewise ask why a bad thing happened to Jesse Robredo, a good man and outstanding public servant, but we can find our peace best in remembering him by embracing the many causes and reforms he dreamt for our nation.
By Rina Jimenez-David
Can you find room in your mind—and in your heart—for another column on the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo?
How do we mourn the passing of Jesse Robredo? Let us, for a start, recall his words. For in a stellar career in government that spanned more than 25 years, ending with the ill-fated plane flight on Saturday that felled him and left his family and the nation grieving and orphaned, Robredo had the opportunity [...]
I sincerely believe that our lowest citizens can be made to feel the presence of the national government through the barangay. After all, it is the barangay that has direct and immediate contact with them. And I believe barangay officials can do this themselves by taking a more active role in the following: