Politics is a Breeding Ground for Hope
Identifying and recognizing the problems in a community is just a step - what’s more important is finding solutions to these problems, as showcased in the Politics of Hope: Stories of Outstanding Mayors in the Philippines, an event organized on 24 April by Kaya Natin Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership (KN), with the support of Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). This event launched video documentations, which feature outstanding local government efforts in San Felipe in Zambales, Del Carmen in Siargao, and Siayan in Zamboanga. The local government in these municipalities brought about progress through good governance and active citizen engagement. The stories of these municipalities show that local government can deliver services to its citizens. These are testaments that bureaucracy is not a hindrance or an excuse to bring about change and progress to communities.
Another notable element in the communities presented is the fact that these stood out not mainly because of their physical beauty but because of the kind of leadership that the LGUs exemplify. It is not just the tourist spots which attract people to these places — less known reasons are the good public management practices that their leaders demonstrate. How such form of leadership translated to actions resulted to progress? It’s the active involvement of its citizens. It is a clear validation that progress is not a one-man show, but rather a collaborative effort of a good and effective leadership and citizen participation. These success stories have one thing in common as stated by the Vice-President Leni Robredo in her inspirational speech, “It is proof that if the local government officials, especially the local chief executive is passionate, is driven, nothing is impossible.”
Country Director, Wolfgang Heinze, said during the event that “Politics of Hope sends an important message that we need to spread - that politicians who have great intentions, who take to heart and put a lot of energy to their works, manage to create a difference and change their communities for the better.” The Friedrich Naumann Foundation promotes good governance initiatives around the Philippines. It aims to nurture and replicate innovative practices that promote freedom. The Politics of Hope stories provide new ways to lead - that public servants can be true bearers of change and progress if they choose to break free from the conventions of traditional politics; that if there is a good collaboration between an efficient local government and a participative constituency, solutions and progress can be attained. It shows that regardless of obstacles: Kaya Natin!