As recent headlines tell about President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s
alleged USD 20,000 dinner in a New York City restaurant while millions
of Filipinos go hungry, a low-key forum last week gathering heads of
local governments from north to south of the Philippines showed that
the country still has a wealth of stories on good governance,
transparency and accountability.
The Policy Forum on Local Economic Development, organized by the
non-government Galing Pook Foundation, gathered in Makati City about 15
local government leaders whose programs in their respective provinces,
cities or towns have shown that amid the deep-seated distrust on
government people, there are local government units (LGUs) who keep
making good in helping their people enjoy the fruits of meaningful
socio-economic growth, good health and clean environment.
was remarkable in the forum was that the LGU executives came from
different political leanings. Some even came from opposing political
parties or for a certain time, were direct political opponents. But
what bound them was the recognition, through Galing Pook’s annual
awards in good governance, of their programs in recent years for
effectively addressing local economy, health of the people,
environmental issues and declining agricultural conditions brought
about by unsustainable practices.