Posts Tagged ‘good governance’

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


3G: Goodies for Good Governance

November 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Can you spare two minutes for the Philippines?

November 9, 2011 2 comments

Dear Friends,

Good morning!
Please give me two minutes of your precious time.
During the last Transparency International Corruption Index, our country ranked 134th out of 178 countries. The Philippines was lumped together in terms of corruption in our government with countries like Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Togo and Bangladesh. More recently, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation’s Doing Business Survey for 2011 showed that our country ranked 148th out of 183 countries in terms of the ease of setting up and running a business here. Sadly, it was our Asian neighbors such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand and Malaysia which ranked within the top 20 of this same survey.
One major reason why we ranked this low is the continued prevalence of graft and corruption in our national and local government institutions.
If there is one thing that is clear, the work of good governance is still far from over. Even if we have elected a President who is known to promote and implement anti-corruption measures, we have to realize that he cannot do it alone. We all need to chip in and do our own share of ensuring that we have better leaders in our government who will always practice good governance and leadership with integrity.
As such, the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership, a national movement initially convened by the Ateneo School of Government together with known good governance advocates’ Among Ed Panlilio, Grace Padaca and DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo invites you to support our advocacy by volunteering your time or by supporting any of our products which you can also share as Christmas gifts to your friends and families:
a.) Goodies for Good Governance Brownies – P 195.00 per box
b.) Kaya Natin! Book about Inspiring stories of Good Governance and Ethical Leadership – P 295.00 per copy
c.) Pasyonista Shirts: Fashion for Filipinos with a Passion for serving our Nation – P 350.00 per shirt
Proceeds from the sales of these products will allow us to bring our Caravan of Good Governance to more colleges and universities that will inspire more young Filipinos to believe that Good Governance is still very much possible in our country.
If you would like to volunteer or order any of these products, please get in touch with Wendell Balderas at (02) 433-1440 or you can send an email to .
We hope that you will join us in this journey of good governance for our nation. Please feel free to pass along this email to your friends and help us in spreading the good news about good governance in our country.
Thank you very much for sharing your two minutes with us. May you have a pleasant week ahead!
Harvey S. Keh
Lead Convenor
Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership

The Write Way to Good Governance

The Write Way to Good Governance

By Karla Angelica G. Pastores

The Manila Bulletin

Summer’s half over, and Filipinos are feeling the intense heat of our tropical climate. For most students, summer means beach getaways, road trips, family vacations.

Other students on summer break find this a chance to do as many activities as they can before the stress and demands of academics start all over again in June. Whether it is a hobby or an opportunity to enrich their minds, these young people take the chance of a two-month long break to do whatever they want, and possibly cross off an item or two off their bucket lists.

One way that these students can spend part of their summer vacation is through Kaya Natin’s Good Governance Writing Workshop this May. The Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership is an organization that aims to promote effective, ethical, and empowering leadership by providing support to good leaders and encouraging responsible citizenship to all Filipinos.

The Good Governance Writing Workshop will train participants how to write feature stories well. Giving it a twist is the topic of good governance; participants will learn what it takes to be an effective, ethical, and empowering leader during these times in the country, and how to write about important issues in a way that would encourage other Filipinos to take part in Philippine development.

Kaya Natin! has invited experienced and notable professionals in the media industry to share their expertise in different aspects of feature writing, such as the technical side of feature writing, ethics in media, and interview skills.

Aside from media practitioners, Kaya Natin Champion and co-founder, former governor Grace Padaca will also share her experiences as a former radio broadcaster Isabela and her experience in dealing with journalists during her time as governor.

At the end of the workshop, participants will get a chance to write as contributors in the first book project of Kaya Natin, “Public Service: Others Above Self,” a compilation of the profiles of the Kaya Natin Champions of Good Governance. It will be the first in a series of books to be published by the movement that would tell the inspiring stories of all the Kaya Natin Champions.

The workshop will be held on May 18-20 at the Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City. Slots are limited, and registration is free. For inquiries and applications, you may contact Wendell Balderas at (02) 434 1458 or send an email to

I know good governance isn’t sexy but…

March 17, 2011 1 comment

Leaders of Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership

I know good governance isn’t sexy but…

By: Harvey S. Keh

Ever since I’ve graduated from college in 2000, I have been very much involved with two major advocacies that I feel very passionate about, the improvement of access and quality of education in our country and the promotion of good governance. I have always believed that both of these elements should be attained by our country in order for us to eventually move out of poverty and become a first world economy.

Healthway Medical donates to Pathways to Higher Education

Pathways to Higher Education

I started Pathways to Higher Education-Philippines in 2002 together with Fr. Ben Nebres, S.J. and Dr. Milwida Guevara, both of whom I look up to as mentors and as great Filipino servant leaders. Pathways helps academically-gifted but financially-disadvantaged public high school students gain access to college and eventually finish their college education. Since we started Pathways in 2002, more than a hundred students have already graduated from college many of which come from families who earn less than P 150.00 a day. Raising funds for the scholarships of our participants wasn’t very hard since many generous Filipinos were more than willing to “adopt” our scholars. Even large companies such as Universal Robina Corporation, Healthway Medical, Diamond Hotel, RCPI and Smart Communications have partnered with Pathways in helping bring opportunities to more deserving young Filipinos. Those who may want to consider helping our Pathways participants can call (02) 426-6001 local 4048.

Children reading at a newly opened AHON Foundation library

AHON Foundation

In 2006, Mr. Hector Tagaysay and I worked together to establish the Acts of Hope for the Nation (AHON) Foundation, a corporate foundation of Filway Marketing, Inc., that aims to help build well-equipped public elementary school libraries all over the country. Since then, we have helped refurbish more than 40 libraries in Marikina, Quezon City, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, La Union and Pangasinan. Like Pathways, AHON does not find it very hard to get book donations and grants from individuals and organizations who believe in providing quality basic education to every Filipino child. Just recently, AHON got a grant from Target Sourcing Services which will allow us to provide Filipiniana storybooks and other reference materials to our beneficiaries. Two weeks ago, another multi-national company got in touch with us and committed to helping provide books to another public elementary school in Pasig. Those who may want to help AHON bring books to more Filipino children can call (02) 434-1458.

Good governance’s struggle for support

Unlike Pathways and AHON, the biggest challenge for me in terms of raising funds and support has been in Kaya Natin. The Ateneo School of Government together with Among Ed Panlilio, former Gov. Grace Padaca and DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo launched the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership in 2008 at a dinner meeting at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan. Since then, we have evolved to become not just a movement that promotes good governance but also as a leadership sanctuary that supports effective, ethical and empowering government leaders in our country. We believe that the only way for good people to prevail against graft and corruption is if they synergize their efforts and work together. Yet, despite the great need for good governance in our country given that billions of pesos are lost every year to graft and corruption, it has been quite tough for us to raise resources for our programs and activities.


One major reason for this is that many Filipinos still shun away from getting involved in anything political especially major companies which have their own interests to protect. Another reason that I see is that unlike Pathways and AHON where you can concretely see where your money goes (in the form of a scholar or a library), good governance is vague and it doesn’t yield results immediately. Finally, I discerned that by espousing good governance and ethical leadership, you are forced to take a side thus by choosing to advocate for what is right, you automatically gain enemies which are those who live and perpetuate graft and corruption in our society. Whereas in other advocacies such as education, healthcare and shelter, you don’t have to step on anyone’s interests.

Looking at the bigger picture

Yet, if you look at the bigger picture in the Philippines, isn’t it supposed to be the role of our government to ensure that quality education is provided to all? Isn’t it the role of our government to be able to provide equitable opportunities to every Filipino to be able to own a house? My point here is that if good governance is practiced by our government leaders, the impact would be greater and much felt by more Filipinos in a faster way. Yes, a movement that promotes good governance isn’t sexy but in the end, it also needs to be supported lest we want our country to be continually run by corrupt leaders.


A story comes to mind as I write this piece. There was a man who saw another man drowning in the pool so he jumps into the pool and saves the drowning man. Right after he brings the man out of the pool, he sees that there are two other men who are now drowning in the pool as well. He then jumps into the pool and saves both of them. This process happens again and again and again until the man grows tired because the man fails to see the bigger picture and address the root cause of the problem which is the presence of an evil man who continuously throws people into the pool.

Making a commitment

One could reflect on this story as a story of our country today. While there are so many good people who are doing their own share to contribute to nation-building, many Filipinos continue to still live in poverty. The greater challenge now is how we can engage our government and its leaders so that they can become champions of good governance who can effectively respond to our growing social problems. By doing so, we make our leaders accountable for their actions or inactions and in the end, better delivery of basic services to every Filipino can happen.


In conclusion, donating or volunteering for a cause is a personal choice which I hope many Filipinos especially those who live comfortably will make. Whether it’s helping provide a scholarship, donating books or supporting champions of good governance, the important thing is you have gone out of your comfort zone, made a choice and more importantly, a commitment to get involved and contribute to making our society a better place for all of us. Genuine and lasting change will only happen if every Filipino will not just stop at complaining about our present problems but also start to become a proactive changemaker in his or her own small way.


Comments are welcome at



Be a Changemaker this summer!

March 7, 2011 Leave a comment

AHON FOUNDATION promotes literacy throughout the country through the help it extends to public school libraries.

Be a Changemaker this summer

by: Harvey S. Keh

The Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines–As we enter the month of March, many students are now looking towards planning their summer vacation activities. Whether you are looking forward to hitting the beaches of Boracay, cooling off in Baguio or trekking up the wonderful Banaue Rice Terraces, I hope that you will also consider volunteering your summer for bigger causes such as helping improve our public education system and promoting good governance and ethical leadership in our country.

Choosing to become a volunteer this summer will not only help others but will also help you improve your leadership skills as well as provide you with an opportunity to meet new friends. Here are some organizations that you can join to make your vacation worthwhile and become a positive changemaker this summer.

• Kaya Natin! Movement for good governance and ethical leadership (KN)

One of the main missions of KN is to be able to encourage more young Filipinos to become active in terms of holding our government officials like our mayors and congressmen accountable for their action or in many cases, inaction.

KN also showcases effective, ethical and empowering leaders in our county such as DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo, Among Ed Panlilio and former Gov. Grace Padaca.

We are currently in the middle of our Caravan of Good Governance which gives talks to different colleges and universities all over the country.

Among the schools that have been visited by KN are Miriam College, St. Scholastica’s College, Letran and Malayan Colleges Laguna.

This summer, KN will be conducting a Leadership and Good Governance Training Workshop for college level youth leaders. The event will be held from April 28-29 in Antipolo. Participants will be given an opportunity to interact with the KN Champions who will share their personal experiences in advocating transparency, accountability and people participation in their respective localities.

At the end of the workshop, KN will train these youth leaders to also establish innovative programs and projects that will help them to engage their local government officials.

KN is also looking for volunteers who are interested to participate in our Karapatan at Kalusugan program which provides free medical check-up and medicines to indigent senior citizens in the areas of our KN Champions. What makes this different from your typical medical mission is the fact that all those who participate will also be given a lecture on their rights as senior citizens, good governance and responsible citizenship. Those who choose to volunteer or become a summer intern for this program will help KN in coordinating with the different partner communities as well as help the movement in sourcing donations of medicine. If you would like to be involved in KN this summer, you can send an email to or you can also call 4341458.

• Community-based toy library

We believe that every Filipino child deserves to be given the opportunity to play that is why a group of my friends are now working together towards setting up the first community-based Toy Library at Barangay Loyola Heights on Quezon City.

The toy library aims to take young children off the streets and give them a place where they can play with other children.

It will also teach children how to share and interact properly with each other. Parents of the children who will use the toy library will be the ones tasked with maintaining the cleanliness and upkeep of the facilities.

Currently, we are now accepting donations of toys and other educational materials. We also need volunteers who will help us in designing and refurbishing the room that the barangay has so generously lent us.

Youth volunteers will also be asked to conduct story telling sessions, art workshops and other educational activities for the children who will be using the toy library.

For those who want to volunteer for our toy library, you can get in touch with Edsel Ramirez by sending an email to .

• Acts of  Hope for the Nation (AHON) Foundation

As the corporate foundation of Filway Marketing Inc., the country’s exclusive distributor of Time Life books, AHON Foundation aims to promote literacy by helping develop well-equipped and functional public elementary school libraries all over the country.

To date, the foundation has helped 40 schools in Metro Manila and the nearby provinces. The foundation does not merely give books to the schools but more importantly it works toward empowering different stakeholders in the community such as the barangay, teachers association and the parents to work together to set up the library.

Volunteers or summer interns will help the foundation organize events and activities that will encourage people to donate books for the beneficiary libraries. They can also help in sorting the book donations since there are times that the books that are donated are not applicable to elementary school students. If you are interested in helping AHON Foundation, you can get in touch with Herbel Santiago at 355-1567.

So instead of just spending your whole summer vacation updating your Facebook or chatting with your friends online, why not just choose to make this coming summer a memorable and fulfilling one by volunteering your time, talent and energies towards being a young Filipino changemaker!

Comments are welcome at


Kaya Natin! Caravan of Good Governance Schedule

February 25, 2011 Leave a comment

To invite the Caravan of Good Governance to your school or institution, please feel free to contact Wendell at (02) 434-1458 or send an email to .