Archive for the ‘Blogs about Leadership and Politics’ Category

How to make your 2013 more meaningful

January 7, 2013 Leave a comment

How to make your 2013 more meaningful

By: Harvey S. Keh

Published at The Manila Bulletin on January 6, 2013 (Sunday)


The new year always brings about new resolutions, opportunities and challenges to all of us. A recent survey done by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) shows that  almost 90% of Filipinos are entering this new year with renewed hope and excitement. Yet despite this, there still much work to be done to help our country continue to move forward towards lasting progress and development. This will only happen if each of us will take the time to do our own small share towards making a difference in our society.


Here are some concrete initiatives that we can do to help make our 2013 more meaningful not only for ourselves but also for our country:


1.) Share your old but usable books to our public schools


While we have many books that just gather dust in our book shelves or cabinets, less than 20% of our public elementary schools do not have functional libraries due to lack of resources. This is equivalent to more than 10 Million young Filipino students who are not able to learn how to read properly because they do not have books to read in the first place. The Acts of Hope for the Nation (AHON) Foundation accepts storybooks, up to date encyclopedias, dictionaries, reference books and other learning materials that can still be placed in our public elementary school libraries. If you would like to donate, you can call (02) 433-1440 or (02) 990-3282, you can also bring your donations to 56-D Esteban Abada St., Loyola Heights, Quezon City.


2.) Volunteer for the coming 2013 National and Local Elections


We always love to complain about how corrupt our government officials are and this is a fact in our country where we lose billions of pesos due to graft and corruption. These billions of pesos can easily provide scholarships to poor but deserving students, adequate housing to poor families and health insurance for every Filipino. More often than not, the reason why we have corrupt political leaders is because many of us choose to just stay away from getting involved and ensuring that these people never get elected into public office again.


If you believe that our country deserves clean, honest and truthful elections then you may want to share your time and talent to volunteer for election watchdogs such as the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) or the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV). You can contact NAMFREL by calling their office at (02) 470-4151 while you can just visit your nearest parish church to volunteer for PPCRV.


Let us remember that we do not have a right to complain if we don’t do our part as citizens of this country to ensure that we elect the right leaders.


3.) Blog and write about inspiring stories in your community


When one looks at the front page of our newspapers, majority of the news are usually bad news. Are we as a nation really that bad? I don’t think so. There are so many inspiring stories in our communities but sadly, not many people know about these stories until media decides to publish or feature it. One prime example is the Kariton Classroom of Efren Penaflorida who only got attention when he was chosen as the CNN Hero of the Year in 2009. Fortunately for Penaflorida, his friends decided to upload a video of his initiative on YouTube which got the attention of people from CNN. This recognition enabled Penaflorida’s group to receive more resources and donations that is now allowing them to help more children in Cavite.


Our country is a nation of heroes that is why I am sure that there are a lot more exciting and worthwhile initiatives that are happening in our own communities thus, it would be good if we can blog or write about these initiatives so that we can continue to inspire more Filipinos to do their own small share in making a difference by sharing their time and talents.


Just like the Kariton Classroom, the community projects that we start need not immediately make a great impact but if we are able to create several hundreds or even thousands of these initiatives all over the country then it will only be a matter of time before we are able to make a big dent in our nation’s fight against illiteracy and poverty.


Comments are welcome at


Bawal Magreklamo ang hindi Bumoto!

October 23, 2012 Leave a comment


Ayaw natin sa mga Epal at Political Dynasty diba?

Ito na ang pagkakataon natin na maalis sila sa kapangyarihan sa pamamagitan ng ating pagboto ng mas mahusay at matinong kandidato sa nalalapit na halalan.

Pero, hindi tayo makakaboto kung hindi tayo magrerehistro!

Magparehistro na sa inyong local COMELEC office! Deadline na sa Oktubre 31!

Nominations now open for the 1st Dakilang Barangay Health Workers Awards

October 23, 2012 Leave a comment


The 1st Dakilang BHW Awards is the first awards program to give honor and  well-deserved recognition to the public service and community volunteerism given by our Philippine public health volunteers known commonly as Barangay Health Workers (BHWs).

Health volunteers, or BHWs, are the frontliners in primary health care services in any Philippine locality. They are often volunteers in community health centers that operate under the guidance of the Local Health Board (LHB) in accordance with the guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH). However, over the years, many of these hardworking BHWs are often under-recognized and not given the due recognition that they deserve for all the hard work and services that they render to their communities.

The Dakilang BHW Awards program seeks to provide due recognition to outstanding BHWs based in Metro Manila who have at least five years of active experience. The awards program is organized jointly by the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government, the Kaya Natin! Movement of Good Governance and Ethical Leadership and the Office of Senator Teofisto Guingona III.

Nominees will undergo a screening process from which up to ten (10) finalists will be awarded a trophy and cash prize from the organizers in an awarding ceremony to be held in February 2013.

Any Filipino citizen or organization can nominate a BHW who is currently working in their community in Metro Manila using the application kit that can be found on They may also send an email to or call (02) 990-3282.

Nominations will be accepted until November 30, 2012.

Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) of Supreme Court Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno

January 4, 2012 Leave a comment

The Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership recently received a copy of the summarized Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth of Supreme Court Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. So far, only Justice Carpio and Sereno have voluntarily given Kaya Natin! copies of their SALN. We have not received any reply as of the moment from Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. We sent a letter to all the Supreme Court Justices requesting for a copy of their latest SALN for public disclosure last December 19, 2011.

Here is a copy of the letter of reply from Justice Sereno together with her latest SALN:

Letter of Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno

Official Summarized SALN of SC Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno

Elections and Sendong

December 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Elections and Sendong

by: Harvey S. Keh

The Manila Times

Our newest batch of Kaya Natin! Champions of Good Governance and Ethical Leadership

The Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership (KN), a national movement initially convened by the Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government in 2008 recently welcomed five new Champions of Good Governance into its fold. The movement counts Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, former Pampanga Gov. Among Ed Panlilio and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Government Service, Grace Padaca as among its founders. Aside from them, other Champions of Good Governance currently include Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, Quezon City 3rd district Rep. Bolet Banal, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, Jr., AKBAYAN Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, Alicia, Isabela Mayor Jeng Reyes and former San Isidro, Nueva Ecija Mayor Sonia Lorenzo, who is also the current Executive Director of the Union of Local Authorities ofthe Philippines (ULAP). There are currently 27 KN Champions who come from different areas all over the Philippines.

New champions of good governance

The newly inducted Champions of Good Governance include current Vice-Mayor Joy Belmonte-Alimurung of Quezon City, Rep. Erin Tañada of Quezon, Councilor Aura Landar of Passi City, Ilo-Ilo, Councilor April Dayap of Davao City and Brgy. Captain Caesar Marquez of Brgy. Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Belmonte-Alimurung was cited for her accomplishments in the promotion of local tourism and the effective implementation of livelihood programs for women from depressed communities in Quezon City. Tanada was cited for his continued fight for transparency and public accountability by being one of the main proponents of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. Landar and Dayap were both cited for their programs that help promote access to quality basic education among the youth in their communities. As the first barangay captain to be inducted as a KN Champion, Marquez was cited for transforming his barangay into one of the most child-friendly barangays in Metro Manila. All KN Champions were selected based on their proven ability to practice effective, ethical and empowering leadership.

Padaca visits University of Cebu

These new batch of KN Champions will now take part in the movement’s Caravan of Good Governance that aims to share inspiring their inspiring leadership stories to colleges and universities all over the country. Recently, Padaca through the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty and Freedom visited the University of Cebu where she encouraged student leaders of the school to become active agents in promoting transparency and public accountability among their local government officials. At the same time, Padaca reminded them of the enormous power the youth can have especially in electing better government leaders for our country.

Elections and Sendong

The massive destruction and loss of lives that typhoon Sendong has left in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan serves again as a grim reminder that we should never take our environment for granted. Many environment experts have already predicted that if illegal logging and deforestation activities continue all throughout our country, we will experience more tragedies such as this. It is very important for our government officials led by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Sec. Ramon Paje to immediately penalize and punish private businessmen as well as government officials that have perpetuated these acts. Unless we see people behind bars, we will see more these brazen acts of destroying our environment for one’s self interest.

As ordinary citizens especially those that have witnessed and experienced the effects illegal logging and illegal mining activities in their communities, this should also serve as a lesson to take our elections more seriously so that we will be able to elect better government leaders who will protect the environment and promote the common good. We should also take part in activities, institutions and organizations that promote voters education and will ensure clean, fair and honest elections so that we can finally have government leaders who will not use their power and position to enrich themselves and their families.

Start the New Year right with Success Source

What better way to start and kick off the New Year than with a series of inspiring talks filled with important lessons of success from notable young leaders of our country. The Asia Society Philippines will be holding Success Source: New Ways to Succeed series, a series of talks for students and young professionals that aims to shed light on the different aspects of success through the young and successful Filipino leaders of today’s generation. It aims to inspire participants to come up with their own innovative ways to success. With the fast paced development and progress of today’s global community, there are always new ways to discover to succeed. Starting January 2012, we will be having 3 separate sessions focusing on the different aspects of success specifically business and finance, education and travel.

Those who would like to register and take part in these interesting talks should contact Migel Estoque at (02) 752-4374 or you can send an email to

Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio’s Latest SALN

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Last December 19, 2011 (Monday), the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership sent a letter of request to all Justices of the Supreme Court for a copy of the latest Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN). This is in the interest of transparency and public accountability. As of 6pm today, only Justice Antonio Carpio has voluntarily given us a copy of his summarized SALN. Below is a copy of the letter that we sent to all SC Justices and the reply of Justice Carpio to Kaya Natin. 

This is a copy of the letter that we sent to all the Justices of the Supreme Court requesting for a copy of their latest SALN in the interest of transparency and public accountability


This is the letter of Justice Antonio Carpio to Kaya Natin! which was sent by his office via fax


A copy of the latest summarized SALN of SC Justice Antonio Carpio as sent to us by his office

Founding President of Starbucks International Howard Behar visits Manila this coming February 2012

December 16, 2011 Leave a comment


Man who brought Starbucks outside the US and into the whole world will visit Manila

From a single store in Seattle to thousands of stores across the globe (with 190 here in the Philippines), Starbucks can be considered as one of the most successful franchise companies and business stories that we all know of.

Aside from starting the “coffee shop” craze here in the country, their expansion outside of North America has proven to be very helpful and effective to the business and it has also set the model for other companies in the coffee business as well.

Now, just as with other companies, we all know that their success did not happen overnight. But a lot of people can attest to the fact that there is something different in Starbucks that has caused its continuous growth not just in the US or in the Philippines but in the whole world.

And so the question remains: What continues to make Starbucks the go-to place today? Is it the coffee?

Howard Behar, former President of Starbucks International, says otherwise. In his book entitled “It’s Not About the Coffee”, Mr. Behar enumerates several principles that he has learned and implemented throughout his career and life at Starbucks.

With experience of over 50 years in consumer oriented businesses and industries, Mr. Behar is a testament to the ideals that he advocates. His growth as a professional from working various industries and environments is reflected in the milestones that he’s had with Starbucks. From only 28 stores, founding Starbucks International has led its expansion to over 15,000 stores in five continents. He has also helped establish the Starbucks culture and bring the Starbucks experience to consumers beyond national borders.

Through his book and several speaking engagements, Mr. Behar is known for his insights on organizational and personal leadership. After 21 years of service to Starbucks, he now serves on several profit and nonprofit boards including the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership,  Sterling Savings Bank and Anthos Capital to name a few.

On February 8, 2012, he will be coming to the Philippines to help develop and educate future leaders through a talk organized by the Asia Society Philippine Foundation, Inc. and Starbucks. The talk will be from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm at the AIM Conference Center, Legazpi Village, Makati City. His books are also available at any Powerbooks stores. 10% discount will be given to those who buy the books at the venue and a book signing will also be arranged after the talk.

Asia Society Philippine Foundation, Inc., an organization that promotes and strengthens understanding between and among people, institutions and leaders of Asia and the US, invites everyone to listen and learn from Mr. Howard Behar, founding President of Starbucks International. This is a great opportunity that you wouldn’t want to miss!

For inquiries, please call 752-4374 or e-mail