Philippines’ first ‘Islands of Good Governance’ to be named in October forum

MANILA, Oct. 15 — Twelve public sector institutions will be named the Philippines’ first ‘Islands of Good Governance’ (IGG) on October 20-21, in recognition of real reforms that have resulted from their dedicated undertaking of transformative and sustainable good governance programs.

Preparations for the recognition began in 2013, when several national government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations, and local government units pledged to deliver breakthroughs that would represent the visible impact of good governance on institutions, communities, and individual lives. Since then, these public sector institutions have been put through a rigorous selection process, including audits by respected firms KPMG International, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, and the Institute of Internal Auditors Philippines (IIA-P).

The final step before their formal recognition as ‘Islands of Good Governance’ is an open presentation before an internationally convened panel of good governance and anti-corruption champions, with the notable inclusion of Dr. Robert Klitgaard, hailed as “the world’s leading expert on corruption.” This will take place at the Public Governance Forum at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila on October 20-21.

Out of the 20 public sector institutions who applied for recognition, 12 have been granted the opportunity to deliver their testimonials on good governance at the forum. These are the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine Army, Philippine Navy, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Electrification Administration (NEA), Philippine Heart Center (PHC), and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP); and the city governments of Balanga, Butuan, Dipolog, Mandaue, and Talisay.

The testimonials are expected to be delivered by the heads of these institutions, who will also be present to receive the prestigious ‘Islands of Good Governance’ recognition in a formal awarding ceremony at the close of the two-day event. Some 600 local and international delegates are anticipated to attend.

The ‘Islands of Good Governance’, the first recognition of its kind in the country, is spearheaded by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), a public governance reform advocacy group founded by Jess Estanislao and chaired by former Civil Service Commission Chairman Francisco Duque III.

“We seek to recognize these institutions because our nation must learn of their achievements. Our fellow Filipinos must be directed toward these beacons of hope,” says Duque. “We are also confident that this initiative will change how other countries perceive the Philippines for the better.”

ISA is working closely with the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to showcase the results of the initiative in line with the country’s hosting of APEC. (ISA)