The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC), together with the APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM), hosted a luncheon at the conclusion of the fourth meeting of the Advisory Group on APEC Financial System Capacity Building on November 13, 2015 at Fairmont Makati.
The event was held in honor of the 12 public sector institutions named by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) as the Philippines’ first Islands of Good Governance. After undergoing a two-year selection process that included audits by regional firms and a public presentation before international panelists, the following awardees were confirmed to have delivered transformative, high impact results as a testament to their respective long-term governance reform programs:
- Armed Forces of the Philippines
- Philippine Army
- Philippine Navy
- Department of Trade and Industry
- Philippine Heart Center
- National Electrification Administration
- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
- City Government of Balanga, Bataan
- City Government of Butuan, Agusan del Norte
- City Government of Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte
- City Government of Mandaue, Cebu
- City Government of Talisay, Negros Occidental
They were formally presented before senior officials and business leaders from the 21 APEC economies in a program that included messages delivered by Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary and APEC SOM Chairperson Laura Q. Del Rosario, ABAC Chairperson Doris Magsaysay-Ho, Philippine Stock Exchange President and CEO Mr. Hans Sicat, and ISA Chairman Emeritus Dr. Jess Estanislao.
Welcoming the delegations, Ms. Magsaysay-Ho stressed the importance of good corporate governance in producing tangible results in the business sector. Mentioning ABAC’s Rule of Law initiative launched this year in Hong Kong, she advocated for “concrete steps [to] be taken to promote transparency, predictability in the business environment, and consistent enforcement of anti-corruption laws by governments.” She stated that good corporate governance practices were integral to building a resilient economy unfazed by crises or corporate scandals.
Undersecretary Laura del Rosario claimed, “Good governance is an issue we take seriously. We consider it an underlying factor and basis in economic development.” She proudly declared that the IGG initiative was proof that “change is possible even in the public sector.”
In his keynote address showcasing the IGG initiative, Dr. Estanislao reinforced this message saying, “We have found that good governance is the other side of the same coin as the fight against corruption. Moreover, good governance sounds more positive; it builds rather than merely destroys; cleans up and restores trust rather than merely removes dirt and the sources of dismay; and strengthens and secures the continuity of regimes that tread on the right path rather than merely disempowers those marked by graft and corruption.”
He offered this as the philosophy behind ISA’s work of building stronger Philippine institutions, with the ‘Islands of Good Governance’ as a showcase of emerging results from its 15-year journey, which has yielded many learning experiences. The awardee institutions were cited as exemplars and beacons of hope and progress for others in the public sector seeking improvement through good governance. Even so, Dr. Estanislao was adamant about continuing on the road to something by participating in dialogues and venues for best practice sharing such as APEC.
“We implore our Philippine public sector institutions to learn from the best anti-corruption and good governance practices from the entire APEC community,” he said, as a parting message to both the awardees and delegates at the event. “In doing so, we will one day be able to realize our shared dream—our country, the Philippines, as an archipelago of good governance.”
Dr. Estanislao also spoke about the initiative at the US APEC Business Coalition’s ‘Creating ethical cultures through APEC cooperation: Lessons from the Philippines” at New World Hotel, Makati on November 17, 2015.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]