When Vision Meets Passion
“Good governance and responsible citizenship’: this is the tagline I use for my advocacy.”
- Jesus P. Estanislao
The Spaniards came to colonize the Philippines thinking of gold and spices. Christianization of the native was an important goal but not an urgent one. The Spanish colonizers wanted to get rich first.
This bit of history was cited by Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao, in a forum on “Good Governance and Its Sustainability: Towards Dream Philippines”, last April 10, at Whitewoods Convention and Leisure Hotel in Silang Cavite.
The Spaniard did not find gold or spices. Spices were in Indonesia. Gold were more abundant elsewhere. But they stayed. This time wishing to get rich by invading China. Their mission did not change, the vision was modified.
Dr. Estanislao’s advocacy on Good Governance takes a lesson from the Spaniards. “A look into our past but future looking: to let go of the past but to learn from it so we Filipinos can learn what to do for our country which would be more according to our own nature, culture, in the next 50 years.” he said. He describes his work as “an attempt at drawing from the governance experience in our islands during the Spanish colonial period. From such experience, might there be lessons we can learn in order to apply them to the governance of our public affairs in the next 50 years? The efficacy and discipline with which we practice good governance for our country moving forward into the next five decades are of such critical importance that we need to throw into the enterprise all the governance lessons we can draw from our rich past experience.”
“[The] need to be reminded that ‘good governance’ is not just a nice-sounding phrase, which has caught the attention of many; it also makes very stringent demands. It actually asks for them to take time out and think deeply about the core values they profess and commit to adhere to in actual practice. It asks them to be very clear about the mission they have to pursue and carry out, time in and time out, as well as the vision they set for actual realization within a definite time table (with a deadline set for a few years down the road).”Dr. Estanislao shared his vision of the Philippines spanning 2 generations starting 2021 to 2081.
Dr. Estanislao’s good governance covers almost all sectors of society. “Corporate governance in the business sector; public governance in the government sector; family governance for families; school governance for school institutions; and personal governance for individuals. At the end of the day, it is governance at the personal level that makes a vital difference. But the family and the school are two crucial social institutions, which teach and transmit the proper governance values. And it is in enterprises as well as in the government where governance takes on more specific, concrete flesh and substance in a manner that affects the economy and society directly. There is need for consistency and mutual support between all these players: starting with individuals, and ending with big business enterprises and the government. Good governance at all these levels needs to reinforce each other: there has to be greater alignment in the governance values and practices from the top down, and from the bottom up for much greater effectiveness and longer-term sustainability.” he adds.
The key to Dr. Estanislao’s advocacy is ”Governance,”. [It] has always been a key word. It reflects a shared concern about the integrity and efficacy of the administration of public affairs, whether they be political, economic, and social, for the common good of all, and particularly for the welfare of the ordinary citizen.”
Paraphrasing Dr. Estanislao, “if everyone had an advocacy and pursued it, the country will be a better place.” we can ask ourselves, what is my advocacy?
Dr. Estanisalo is Chair Emeritus of the Institute of Corporate Directors, which is an advocacy for corporate governance, and of the Institute of Solidarity in Asia which is an advocacy for public governance. He is founding chairman of both institutes.
The event was organized through the cooperation of the following institutions: Dualtech Training Center, Whitewoods Convention and Leisure Hotel, Laguna Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and People Management Association of Laguna and Colegio San Juan de Letran-Calamba.
The event was sponsored by Whitewoods Convention and Leisure Center, Maxbank, Eyelectric, Ridge Power and HRMBIS/HR Team Asia with Philippine Daily Inquirer as media partner.